Asura Realm Buddhism

Asura Realm

Asura is a Sanskrit word that in Buddhism refers to the lowest rung of the rank of gods or demigods in Buddhist cosmology.

Belief in other religions

In Hinduism the asuras are entities associated with power-hungry beings, which ended up being considered demonic or sinful. However, the perception of the asuras in Hinduism has varied throughout history; due to the fact that several deities that were originally considered asuras were later recognized as devatas and vice versa.

In the Zoroastrian or Mazdeist religion of Persia, despite having a common proto-Indo-European origin, the asuras (ahuras) were finally associated with the forces of good, either as angelic beings, or associated with the god Ahura Mazda.


The asuras of Buddhism are derived from the asuras of Hinduism, but have acquired several distinctive myths from characteristics that exist only in Buddhist texts.

In this Buddhist context, the word can be translated as the Titan of ancient Greek mythology or as a demigod, although this definition is not entirely satisfactory.

The closest analogy in European traditions may be the jötnar of Scandinavian mythology, who range from semi-divinities to monsters and often have wars against the gods, although they sometimes marry them. They can also be translated as giants.

Character of the asuras

While all the gods of the Kāmadhātu are subject to passions to some degree, the asuras have become addicted to these, especially pride, bellicosity, anger or vanity.

In terms of power, the asuras rank above humans but below the other gods. They live in the region at the foot of Mount Sumeru and at least partially in the surrounding sea.

In popular Bhavachakra cosmography, the asuras are seen as the sixth stage of existence and sometimes grouped with that of the devas. Originally, the version was that of the five stages, made into six in Tibet by the authority of Je Tsongkhapa.

The leaders of the asuras are the Asurendra (Sanskrit indra meaning 'king'), which in the Pāli language became Asurinda). There are several types of Asurendra, as the Asuras were divided into different tribes or factions, among which we find the Asuras dānaveghasa and the Asuras kālaka añyakas.

The main leaders are Vemachitrin, Rajú (also called Verocha or Veróchana) and Pajārāda.

Kingdom of the asuras

The Kingdom of the asuras is about one of the six realms of samsara (realms of existence). Due to the passions of the asuras, rebirth as an asura in this realm is considered one of the four wretched births (along with rebirth in the animal realm, the Pretas realm or the Naraka realm).

The state of an asura reflects the mental state of a human obsessed with strength, violence, and pride; always looking for an excuse to get into wars and conflicts, angry with everyone and unable to keep calm or solve problems peacefully.

The stay in this realm, due to its characteristics (unlike the human realm), generally makes it impossible for its beings to follow the path to enlightenment, by letting themselves be carried away by the path contrary to the Dharma that this realm offers.

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