Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Abhasvara Mean?

Abhasvara can be loosely defined as a kind of heaven. The word is made up of three Sanskrit roots: 'a' (near to, towards), 'bhas' (to shine upon or illuminate) and 'vara' (enclosing or circumference). It can therefore be understood as a nearby realm, enclosing and illuminating the physical realm.

According to Buddhist cosmology, abhasvara is one of five realms above the physical world.


Yogapedia Explains Abhasvara

Abhasvara is one of the five layers of Rupadhatu, alongside suddhavasa, srhatphala, subhakrtsna and Brahma. Rupadhatu, Sanskrit for "form realm," is a Buddhist concept to explain the world above the physical world we live in. The ultimate layer of Rupadhatu is Brahma, and abhasvara is only one step below.

The Devas or deities of each of the five layers have physical forms, but are sexless and not governed by the physical senses in the way that physical beings are on Earth. Although the beings in each of its five layers are aware of those in the layer below, they cannot know or understand the beings above.

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