"Arūpa-loka, (Sanskrit and Pāli: “world of immaterial form”), in Buddhist thought, the highest of the three spheres of existence in which rebirth takes place......The other two are: rūpa-loka, “the world of form,” and kāma-loka, “the world of feeling”."
"The Arupyadhatu or Arupaloka .......(Tib: gzugs.med.pai khams)..... "Formless realm" would have no place in a purely physical cosmology, as none of the beings inhabiting it has either shape or location; and correspondingly, the realm has no location either. This realm belongs to those devas who attained and remained in the Four Formless Absorptions (catuh samapatti) of the arupadhyanas in a previous life, and now enjoys the fruits (vipaka) of the good karma of that accomplishment. Bodhisattvas, however, are never born in the Arupyadhatu even when they have attained the arupadhyanas."....http://www.wisdomlib.org
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Kalachakra cosmology, from Gyatso, Khendrup Norsang (2004) Ornament of Stainless Light: An Exposition of the Kalachakra Tantra.......As with other ancient and cultural cosmologies, the Tibetan universe is composed of the classic elements fire, earth, air, and water. These four elements exist and function through a fifth element, space.
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"Three Worlds and Devalokas.......Vedic literatures describe three intertwined dimensions of existence, triloka, the physical world, the world of our ancestors and the light-filled world of the Gods as the primary hierarchical division of the cosmos. The First World is the Bhuloka "Earth world," the physical plane universe; the Second World is Antarlok, "Inner or in-between world," the subtle or astral plane or mental plane of existence in which the devas, angels and spirits live and this plane is also referred to as devaloka or deva loka; and the Third World is the causal plane Shivaloka, "World of Shiva," and of the Gods and highly evolved souls, also called Karanaloka which is the spiritual universe of the Mahadevas, "great shining beings," the Hindu Gods."....http://www.scribd.com/doc/44713199/Three-Worlds-and-Devalokas
Arupadhatu....(arupa-dhatu); realm of formlessness. Arupadhatu or Formless World where beings have no form (arupa) and exist in a dimension of cosmic consciousness.
Upper World (Udharva loka) is divided into different abodes and are the realms of the heavenly beings (demi-gods) who are non-liberated souls.......Upper World is divided into sixteen Devalokas, nine Graiveyaka, nine Anudish and five Anuttar abodes. Sixteen Devaloka abodes are Saudharma, Aishana, Sanatkumara, Mahendra, Brahma, Brahmottara, Lantava, Kapishta, Shukra, Mahashukra, Shatara, Sahasrara, Anata, Pranata, Arana and Achyuta. Nine Graiveyak abodes are Sudarshan, Amogh, Suprabuddha, Yashodhar, Subhadra, Suvishal, Sumanas, Saumanas and Pritikar. Nine Anudish are Aditya, Archi, Archimalini, Vair, Vairochan, Saum, Saumrup, Ark and Sphatik. Five Anuttar are Vijaya, Vaijayanta, Jayanta, Aparajita and Sarvarthasiddhi....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jain_cosmology
Ariyapariyesana Sutta - "'This Dhamma (of Alara Kalama) leads not to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to Awakening, nor to Unbinding, but only to reappearance in the dimension of nothingness.'"
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"There are four types of Arupyadhatu devas, corresponding to the four types of arupadhyanas:
Naivasamjnanasamjnayatana or Nevasannanasannayatana (Tib: du.shes.med du.shes.med.min) "Sphere of neither perception nor non perception". In this sphere the formless beings have gone beyond a mere negation of perception and have attained a liminal state where they do not engage in "perception" (samjna, recognition of particulars by their marks) but are not wholly unconscious. This was the sphere reached by Udraka Ramaputra (Pali: Uddaka Ramaputta), the second of the Buddhas two teachers, who considered it equivalent to enlightenment.
Akimcanyayatana or Akincannayatana (Tib: ci.yang.med) "Sphere of Nothingness" (literally "lacking anything"). In this sphere formless beings dwell contemplating upon the thought that "there is no thing". This is considered a form of perception, though a very subtle one. This was the sphere reached by Arada Kalama (Pali: Alara Kalama), the first of the Buddhas two teachers; he considered it to be equivalent to enlightenment.
Vijnananantyayatana or Vinnananancayatana or more commonly the contracted form Vinnanancayatana (Tib: rnam.shes mtha.yas) "Sphere of Infinite Consciousness". In this sphere formless beings dwell meditating on their consciousness (vijnana) as infinitely pervasive.
Akasanantyayatana or Akasanancayatana (Tib: nam.mkha mtha.yas) "Sphere of Infinite Space". In this sphere formless beings dwell meditating upon space or extension (akasa) as infinitely pervasive.
· Dhatu Element; property, impersonal condition. The four physical elements
· Arupa Absence of matter.
· Arūpa-loka Pali for ārūpyadhātu
· Rūpadhātu The Rupadhatu (Pali: Rupaloka; Tib: gzugs.kyi khams) or "Form realm"
· Ākāsa-dhātu 'space element'
· Vāyo-dhātu 'wind-element'
· Pathavī-dhātu 'earth-element'. or 'solid element'. It is cognizable through the senses
· Tejo-dhātu 'fire-element, heat-element'
· Āpo-dhātu 'water-element'
· Viññāṇa-dhātu Consciousness element (viññāṇa-dhātu): Described as "pure and bright"
· Dhatu Sutta 1. Dhatu Sutta - On the diversity in dhatu - e.g., the dhatu of eye, of visible
· Dharma Dhatu The Law doctrine that is the reality behind being and non being.
· Arupa Bhava States of Formlessness;
· Dhamma Dhātu mind-object-element (s. dhātu).
· Mano Dhātu 'mind-element', is one of the 18 elements
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"The Rupadhatu (Pali: Rupaloka; Tib: gzugs.kyi khams) or "Form realm" is, as the name implies, the first of the physical realms; its inhabitants all have a location and bodies of a sort, though those bodies are composed of a subtle substance which is of itself invisible to the inhabitants of the Kamadhatu. According to the Janavasabha Sutta, when a brahma (a being from the Brahma world of the Rupadhatu) wishes to visit a deva of the Trayastrimsa heaven (in the Kamadhatu), he has to assume a "grosser form" in order to be visible to them.......The beings of the Form realm are not subject to the extremes of pleasure and pain, or governed by desires for things pleasing to the senses, as the beings of the Kamadhatu are. The bodies of Form realm beings do not have sexual distinctions.......Like the beings of the Arupyadhatu, the dwellers in the Rupadhatu have minds corresponding to the dhyanas (Pali: jhanas). In their case it is the four lower dhyanas or rupadhyanas. However, although the beings of the Rupadhatu can be divided into four broad grades corresponding to these four dhyanas, each of them is subdivided into further grades, three for each of the four dhyanas and five for the Suddhavasa devas, for a total of seventeen grades (the Theravada tradition counts one less grade in the highest dhyana for a total of sixteen). The devas of the Rupadhatu have physical forms, but are sexless and passionless. They live in a large number of "heavens" or deva worlds that rise, layer on layer, above the earth.".....http://www.wisdomlib.org
John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….August 2014