Demi-gods

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Depiction of the Demi-gods from a thangka of the Wheel of Life

Demi-gods (Skt. asura; Tib. ལྷ་མིན་, Wyl. lha min) — one of the six classes of beings. They are powerful and intelligent beings who dwell in cavities inside Mount Meru down to the universal golden basis and whose pleasures and abundance rival those of the gods. The dominant characteristic of the demi-gods is paranoia and jealousy, so they spend all their time fighting and quarreling among themselves over possessions and territories. Seeing that all the gods’ desires are provided by a wish-fulfilling tree whose roots are in their own realm, they constantly wage war against the gods but invariably lose in the face of the overpowering superiority of the gods.

Sogyal Rinpoche writes:

You can see the demi-god realm being acted out every day perhaps in the intrigue and rivalry of Wall Street, or in the seething corridors of Washington and Whitehall.[1]

Alternative Translations

  • Antigods (Dorje & Coleman)
  • Titans

Notes

  1. The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, page 117.