- Dear members.
I was analysing the etymology of the word ��jig rten� in Tibetan and went
through some passages in some sutras defining the word.
I would like to ask help to clear some doubts that arise comparing some
definitions that I have found in different places in pali, Sanskrit and
In the illuminator dictionary for �jig rten:
"World". Translation of the Sanskrit "lokah". Tibetan etymology: �rten�- a
basis or support which is ��jig pa�- subject to decay, transitory. The
meaning of both the Sanskrit and Tibetan is the external, transitory places
that provide a locale for beings to live in. Note that the term can be and
is used to mean all of the following: a single world like our planet earth;
a single, Mt. Meru-based world system as described in ancient Indian
cosmology; a whole system of worlds, such as a galaxy; or a complete system
of worlds like a universe.
So we could define this base or support as some kink of atomic base or
something made up by the five elements?
I have noted also that you compare in the illuminator realms (kham) with
world system (`jig rten) where for �kham� you define as:
"Realm" meaning a realm of a certain type of experience belonging to a
certain kind of being. Similar to the meaning of the Sanskrit "loka"
(Tibetan, �jig rten world or world system). E.g., kham gsum- "the three
realms" q.v. Other terms that are fitting: "plane", "sphere", "region".
I checked the Sanskrit word for the three realms (kham gsum) and it seems
that is �Tri-loka�.
If is in this way so in this context we have the same Sanskrit word �LOKA�
for defining the Tibetan words ��jig rten� and �kham�. So is not similar to
the word Loka as you wrote but is the own Sanskrit word LOKA for both ��jig
rten� and �kham� in this context.
Also beginning with the Indian etymology of the word we could see that for
example Traditionally in the HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puranas"Puranas there are seven lokas, Bhuloka
(earth), Bhuvarloka (air), Svarlokaor Svargaloka (heaven), Maharloka,
Janaloka, Tapoloka (abode of HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tapas"tapas) and Satyaloka (abode of HYPERLINK
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satya"Truth), also called Brahmaloka or the
world of HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma"Brahma. So they
state LOKA for the elements in the same way.
In the Hindu scriptures we can found also for the word LOKA as a place of a
particular level of vibration and associated beings, Gods, devas or men.
Three primary lokas (Bhuloka, Devaloka and Sivaloka) and fourteen
sub-classifications of the cosmos are designated in their scriptures.
Also according to hindu�s different classification of the word we find for
That are HYPERLINK "http://www.experiencefestival.com/seven_planes"seven
planes. They are HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/earth_plane"earth plane), HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/antariksha"Antariksha or the HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/astral_plane"astral plane), HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/heaven"heaven or the HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/mental_plane"mental plane), HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/tapoloka"Tapoloka and HYPERLINK
"http://www.experiencefestival.com/brahmaloka"Brahmaloka or the world of
HYPERLINK "http://www.experiencefestival.com/brahma"Brahma, the HYPERLINK
So we could see that here we have already a mental LOKA (svargaloka). If
this is so we this would disagree with your the illuminator where it says
that is a �externar� transitory place that provide a locale for beings to
In the Jain sect we find the definition of LOKA and a different group of
�The world (LOKA) is eternal, without beginning or end. LOKA is that place
in which happiness (SUKA) and misery (DHUKA) are experienced as results of
virtue and vice. It is composed of three parts , urdhva (where the gods
reside), Madhya(this world of ours) and adho (where the inhabitants of hells
The mundane universe �Lokakasa� is pervaded with dharma wich makes all
movement possible. Beyond the lokakasa there is no dharma and therefore no
movement, but only space �akasa�. Surrounding this lokakasa are three layers
of air. The perfect soul rising straight over the urdhva-loka goes to the
top of this lokakasa and (there being no dharma) remains motionless there.
(Surendranath Dasgupta, History of Indian philosophy, Cambridge University
As for the budhist definition and classifications of Loka:
As for the TRI_LOKA in Buddhism in pali canon we have:
1. Rupa-loka � Form sphere
2. A-rupa-loka � formeless sphere
3. Kama-loka � Desire sphere
We find this division in the illuminator as:
If we follow the pali words for this three we find the word LOKA designating
also the �Dhyana Lokas� or mental spheres where sentients beings reside.
In other words:
1) We could difine LOKA as the result of the Karma of beings. By the
strength of this karma arise a movement the creates a calm wind whose power
gradually increase to form the mandala of air. And then goes on from this
element to the other elements one creating and supporting other until we
have the base of the universe where beings live.
2) We have also for LOKA the mental environments/states/spheres where
the inhabitants of form and formeless spheres abiding in dhyanas experience
As a last find for the definition of LOKA in the Buddhist context we find in
the Prajnaparamita-ratnagunasamcayagatha (The perfection of wisdom in eight
thousand lines) Sutra the following:
�Shubuti: How does perfect of wisdom instruct the Tathagatas in this world,
and what is that the Tathagatas call �world�(LOKA)? 
Baghavat: The five skandhas have by the Tathagata being declared as
�world�(LOKA). Wich five? Form, felling, cognition, formatives and
Shubuti: How have the five skandhas been shown up by the perfection of
wisdom of the Tathagatas, or what has been shown up by her?
Baghavat: The perfection of the Tathagatas has pointed out the five skandhas
as �the world�(LOKA), because they do not crumble, nor crumble away
(lujyante, pralujyante). For the five skandhas have emptiness for own-being,
and as devoid of own-being, emptiness can not crumble can not crumble or
crumble away. It is in this sense that perfection of wisdom instructs the
Tathagatas in this world. And as emptiness does not crumble, nor crumble
away, so also the signless, the wishless, the unaffected, the unproduced,
the non-existence and the realm of dharma.�
That definition given by �The Buddha� (or not we we agree that this Mahayana
scripture was not the words of Buddha himself) gives a wide range of meaning
for the word LOKA.
It is the five aggregates including the aspects of mind functioning, karma
and consciousness. In the end it states that is NOT transitory and NOT dacay
as is emptiness by nature...( in this case we can mentioned the
interpretations of the four Buddhist tenes for this passage and use
reasoning to grasp fully what is meant by that).
But it seems that this last definition in some way includes all the
categories of LOKAS not just in Buddhism but in Hinduism an Jain views as
As for the definition given by the dun dkar tshig mdzod chen mo:
snod 'jig pa'i chos can dang bcud brten pa'i gang zag gnyis so/de yang snod
gling bzhi gling phran la sogs pa sems can rnams gnas pa'i snod lta bu yin
pas snod kyi 'jig rten dang/ de la brten pa'i khams gsum gyi sems can rnams
ni nang bcud lta bu yin pas bcud kyi 'jig rten zhes bya'o/
�The two, the container world(bhajanalokah) and the persons that are
supported as the contents. Furthermore the container of the four continents
and its subcontinents etc being the dwelling container of all sentient
beings are called the Loka�s container. In this, the sentient beings of the
three worlds being the internal contents are called the �Loka�s contents.�
So also here we could understand as for the word Loka not just the container
of sentient beings but both container and contents wich would agree with the
defitinion given by the Buddha in the Prajnaparamita text mentioned before
as the skandhas.
All this made a little confused and I could not find any more information
Any help in clarifying this would be very kind.
Thanks since now.
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- Dear friends,
I like to thank everyone who have responded to all questions posted
for this group reading. Thank you for making the study easier. I am
glad to have completed the first 16 lessons this time, and hope to
continue with the book later next year.