Gods (Skt. deva; Tib. lha) — one of the six classes of beings. These divine samsaric states are the fruit of positive karma generally related to acts of generosity, meditative concentration or practices of asceticism, but which are still tainted by worldly goals. Because the life of the gods is free from suffering, the idea of practising Dharma never occurs to them, and when the effect of the actions which sent them there is exhausted, these gods inevitably fall back into the lower realms of samsara.
Sogyal Rinpoche writes:
- The main feature of the realm of the gods, is that it is devoid of suffering, a realm of changeless beauty and sensual ecstasy. Imagine the gods: tall, blond surfers, lounging on beaches and in gardens flooded by brilliant sunshine, listening to any kind of music they choose, intoxicated by every kind of stimulant, high on meditation, yoga, bodywork, and ways of improving themselves, but never taxing their brains, never confronting any complex or painful situation, never conscious of their true nature, and so anesthetized that they are never aware of what their condition really is.
- Gods of the desire realm called devaputras (Skt.) (see six heavens of the desire realm),
- Gods of the form realm and
- Gods of the formless realm.
- The Tibetan word lha, in different contexts, can refer either to:
- From The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, page 117
- Third Dzogchen Rinpoche, Great Perfection: Outer and Inner Preliminaries, translated by Cortland Dahl (Snow Lion, 2008), pages 130-134