Friday, December 30, 2005

Simple Words - KHAMS

Ok, let's start on the second zhen pa bzhi bral. khams is a good word to learn, it means realm, region, element (five elements), providence. So you need to figure out what the word really means concerning the context, or how it's used.

In this case, we are really looking at khams gsum, realms-three, or the three realms. Usually in Abhdharma literature the world is divided into three parts:

* desire realm, 'dod pa'i khams, Sanskrit Kamadhatu
* form realm, gzugs khams, Sanskrit Rupadhatu
* formless realm, gzugs med kyi khams, Sanskrit Arupyadhatu, note med is another negation form; in Sanskrit the prefix a- is used.

'dod pa'i khams is the realm inhabited by humans, animals, hungry ghosts, hell beings, and lesser deities. Those in this realm are there because they spend most of their time related to desire - 'dod pa. You might say the beings there are experts on desire, so they end up in 'dod pa'i khams.

gzugs khams is a higher level of existence, based on meditational practices to transcend desire and to refine the form. For gzugs khams beings, 'dod pa'i khams is dirty, filty and unpleasant.

gzugs med kyi khams is an even higher level of existance, based on meditational background in even transcending form. Such beings just dwell in their minds, have no form, and considers this existence the ultimate peak of experience. Alas, that experience will wear off at some point.

Homework, look around in Jetsun Drakpa Gyeltsen's commentary on zhen pa bzhi bral, as well as in the Abhidharma-kosha text for references to khams gsum or other khams references.

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