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The Ten Worlds of Buddhism : Realize & Utlize your State

Updated on October 14, 2015

Realize your state of mind

The Ten Worlds of Buddhism are the state of life we all come across and constantly and keep cycling until we learn how to use each state of life.

1. Hell
Positive aspect: Really understanding what the state of hell feels like can lead to the desire and wisdom to help.
Negative aspect: Ultimately is a life state of suffering, illustrated by depression, despair & self-destructive.

2. Hunger
Positive aspect: The desire to live and achieve goals; yearning to improve things for yourself and others.
Negative aspect: Greed and the continuous unsatisfied desire for power, sex, money and so on.

3. Animality
Positive aspect: The normal instinct to survive (sleep, eat, make love) and to protect and nurture life.
Negative aspect: Acting only from instinct, threatening the weak and fearing the strong; pleasure-seeking, living only in the present.

4. Anger
Positive aspect: Passion to fight injustice and create a better world; a creative force for change.
Negative aspect: A state of egotism and self-righteousness, in which we cannot bear to lose. This will inevitably result in conflict.

5. Humanity, or Tranquility
Positive aspect: At peace and in control of desires; ability to act with reason and humanity.
Negative aspect: A state of inactivity; unwillingness to tackle problems; thus leading to decline and negligence.

6. Rapture, or Heaven
Positive aspect: Intense pleasure and happiness; heightened awareness and feeling glad to be alive.
Negative aspect: As it results from the achievement of desires, such happiness is short-lived. The wish for it to continue can lead to excess (drugs, materialism) and a weak, dependent attitude towards life.

7. Learning
Positive aspect: Striving for self-improvement by learning through studying the teachings. This is the basis for realization.
Negative aspect: The tendency to become self-centered, to cut off from the daily realities of life or develop a dismissive attitude towards others with less knowledge.

8. Realization
Positive aspect: Gaining wisdom and insight through the effects of learning and by observing the world.
Negative aspect: Lacking a broad view of life due to self-absorption; arrogance (i.e. 'I know best').

9. Bodhisattva
Positive aspect: The word consists of Bodhi (enlightenment) and sattva (beings) and means someone who seeks enlightenment for themselves and others.Compassion or acting selflessly for other people, without expecting a reward.
Negative aspect: Becoming 'a martyr to the cause', neglecting our own life or health and ultimately feeling pity or contempt for those we are trying to help.

10. Buddhahood Wisdom, compassion, courage, life force which illuminates the only positive aspects of each of the other nine worlds. This life state is only positive. We are enlightened to the ultimate truth of life.

The Nine Consciousness:

Buddhism defines nine layers of consciousness. This doctrine helps to explain how karma is stored and how it can be changed. The first five consciousness are the five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. The sixth level is the thinking mind which integrates the information we receive from these five senses. For instance, when you see a rose in blossom and smell its fragrance, your sixth sense integrates what you have seen and smelt to identify it as a rose.

The seventh consciousness is where we form judgements about what action to take. It corresponds to the thinking and aware self which discerns value. “Shall I pick this rose?” you think. “No, better not, it’s in someone else’s garden.” This seventh level is the area of motivation and intention, much of it subconscious.

The eighth (alaya) consciousness is the storehouse of our karma. Alaya literally means “accumulation”, as in the name Himalaya Mountains. All of our experiences are filtered through the initial seven layers of consciousness and stored in the eighth, which exists as an unconscious memory of all our previous actions and reactions. This influences our reactions at any given time, based on our past experiences.

You may recognize repetitive patterns in your behavior. You may find, for instance, that someone at work always makes you angry. Much as you reflect and determine that next time it happens you will rise above it, you find that you are stuck in the same pattern of behavior. Or you may find that after having had an unhappy relationship, you get together with a new partner, but that soon the same problems start to occur in the new relationship. These kinds of behavioral patterns are all included in karma. The doctrine of karma clarifies why it is that people behave in these repeating cycles.

Psychology recognizes the existence of conditioned responses such as are stored in the eighth consciousness and seeks to help people change these through understanding or self-awareness. Although it undoubtedly helps to understand our behavior with our rational minds, our most deeply ingrained karma cannot be changed in this way, because the eighth consciousness lies deeper than the rational mind (seventh consciousness). Our thoughts are therefore constantly influenced by our karma.

In order to change karma fundamentally, we have to get beyond its influence into the realm of the ninth consciousness, which is pure and undefined, free of karmic impurities.

How to Clear Karmic Impurities:

  1. Start Your Day with Meditation Just practice the meditation of becoming aware of your presence. This is a very powerful practice that creates a positive vibe throughout the body.
  2. Treat Everyone the Way You Want to be Treated Know that everything is oneness and the manifestation of the one true essence. When you see others as yourself you will not harbor negative feelings and in turn your attitude will attract positive energy from the people around you.
  3. Let Go of Your Need to Control Life is a flux and its nature is change. Whenever you try to control a life situation, you will feel stressed out and this will generate a lot of negative energy. People who stay relaxed generate a lot of positive energy and attract the grace of life.
  4. See the Positive in Every Situation Know that good and bad are just perceptions created in the conditioned mind. In reality every life situation is pure grace and is the manifestation of the one truth – call it god or spirit or energy. When you see every situation with this innocence, it will reveal its grace to you.
  5. Drop the Resentment Within After all if you don’t continuously think up a bad memory you will not feel any resentment within.
  6. Stay as the Presence Instead of the Ego While interacting with people try to stay as the conscious presence instead of dwelling in your mind. Be the unconditioned presence, allowing people to talk or interact with you without taking offence or protecting opinions. People will get attracted to your calm nature as it radiates a lot of positive energy.
  7. Look at the Nature If you want to attract positive energy just look at the nature for a while. A tree or a flower, it just rests in stillness and moves with the wind. There is a peace that radiates from their being. This peace will ignite your own inner true nature of stillness.
  8. Feel the Spaciousness in Your Body Just close your eyes and try to feel your body from within. You will be surprised at the spaciousness of your body. It feels like a lot of empty space with a few sensations here and there. This inner body realization will free up any stored negative energy.


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