AN 9.24 nine abodes of beings; AN 7.44 seven stations for consciousness

AN 9.24 (4) Beings


“Bhikkhus, there are these nine abodes of beings. What nine?1890
(1) “There are, bhikkhus, beings that are different in body and different in perception, such as humans, some devas, and some in the lower world. This is the first abode of beings.
(2) “There are beings that are different in body but identical in perception, such as the devas of Brahmā’s company that are reborn through the first [jhāna]. This is the second abode of beings.
(3) “There are beings that are identical in body but different in perception, such as the devas of streaming radiance. This is the third abode of beings.
(4) “There are beings that are identical in body and identical in perception, such as the devas of refulgent glory. This is the fourth abode of beings.
(5) “There are beings that are non-percipient, without experience, such as the devas that are non-percipient. This is the fifth abode of beings.
(6) “There are beings that, with the complete surmounting of perceptions of forms, with the passing away of perceptions of sensory impingement, with non-attention to perceptions of diversity, [perceiving] ‘space is infinite,’ belong to the base of the infinity of space. This is the sixth abode of beings.
(7) “There are beings that, by completely surmounting the base of the infinity of space, [perceiving] ‘consciousness is infinite,’ belong to the base of the infinity of consciousness. This is the seventh abode of beings.
(8) “There are beings that, by completely surmounting the base of the infinity of consciousness, [perceiving] ‘there is nothing,’ belong to the base of nothingness. This is the eighth abode of beings.
(9) “There are beings that, by completely surmounting the base of nothingness, belong to the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. This is the ninth abode of beings.
“These are the nine abodes of beings.” [402]

AN 7.44 (1) Stations


“Bhikkhus, there are these seven stations for consciousness.1502 What seven?
(1) “There are, bhikkhus, beings that are different in body and different in perception, such as humans, some devas, and some in the lower world. This is the first station for consciousness.1503 [40]
(2) “There are beings that are different in body but identical in perception, such as the devas of Brahmā’s company that are reborn through the first [jhāna]. This is the second station for consciousness.1504
(3) “There are beings that are identical in body but different in perception, such as the devas of streaming radiance. This is the third station for consciousness.1505
(4) “There are beings that are identical in body and identical in perception, such as the devas of refulgent glory. This is the fourth station for consciousness.1506
(5) “There are beings that, with the complete surmounting of perceptions of forms, with the passing away of perceptions of sensory impingement, with non-attention to perceptions of diversity, [perceiving] ‘space is infinite,’ belong to the base of the infinity of space. This is the fifth station for consciousness.
(6) “There are beings that, by completely surmounting the base of the infinity of space, [perceiving] ‘consciousness is infinite,’ belong to the base of the infinity of consciousness. This is the sixth station for consciousness.
(7) “There are beings that, by completely surmounting the base of the infinity of consciousness, [perceiving] ‘there is nothing,’ belong to the base of nothingness. This is the seventh station for consciousness.
“These, bhikkhus, are the seven stations for consciousness.”1507

in summary

beings can have 1,4,or 5 aggregates:

Five-constituent existence = five aggregates
Four-constituent existence = five aggregates minus rupa (non-percipient beings)
One-constituent existence = only rupa (non-percipient beings)

five aggregates: sense-desire being, fine-material being
four aggregates: Immaterial becoming
Percipient becoming is four and five.
Non-percipient being is one aggregate: Unconscious beings (asaññasatta) Only body is present; no mind.(In this state they meditated on “Dhi Cittam”. This phrase is suppose to say ” disgusting cittam, shamefull cittam”. And that repulsion towards Sanna or citta caused the state called Asanna satta in forth Jhana realm.)
Neither-percipient-nor-non-percipient being is four.

The Thirty-one Planes of Existence

Scattered throughout the suttas are references to as many as thirty-one distinct “planes” or “realms” of existence into which beings can be reborn during their long wandering through samsara. These range from the extraordinarily grim and painful hell realms all the way up to the most exquisitely refined and blissful heaven realms. Existence in every realm is temporary; in Buddhist cosmology there is no eternal heaven or hell. Beings are born into a particular realm according to their past kamma. When they pass away, they take rebirth once again elsewhere according to the quality of their kamma: wholesome actions bring about a favorable rebirth, while unwholesome actions lead to an unfavorable one. And so the wearisome cycle continues.

The realms of existence are customarily divided into three distinct “worlds” (loka), listed here in descending order of refinement:

  • The Immaterial World (arupa-loka). Consists of four realms that are accessible to those who pass away while meditating in the formless jhanas.
  • The Fine-Material World (rupa-loka). Consists of sixteen realms whose inhabitants (the devas) experience extremely refined degrees of mental pleasure. These realms are accessible to those who have attained at least some level of jhana and who have thereby managed to (temporarily) suppress hatred and ill-will. They are said to possess extremely refined bodies of pure light. The highest of these realms, the Pure Abodes, are accessible only to those who have attained to “non-returning,” the third stage of Awakening. The Fine-Material World and the Immaterial World together constitute the “heavens” (sagga).
  • The Sensuous World (kama-loka). Consists of eleven realms in which experience — both pleasurable and not — is dominated by the five senses. Seven of these realms are favorable destinations, and include our own human realm as well as several realms occupied by devas. The lowest realms are the four “bad” destinations, which include the animal and hell realms.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sagga/loka.html

Published by Vimutta Fellowship Toronto

The Vimutta community is a group of Theravādan supporters in Canada, who share a focus on the practices based on the Buddha's teachings on the path toward liberation. The Pāli term“Vimutta” literally means “liberated, freed” from the cycle of death and rebirth (samsāra). If you share the vision and are interested and want to contribute, please feel free to contact us.