Sculpture of Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu, who is associated with the legend of taking three strides upon the three worlds

Trailokya (Sanskrit: त्रैलोक्य; Kannada: ತ್ರೈಲೋಕ್ಯ; Pali: tiloka, Tibetan: khams gsum; Chinese: 三界; Vietnamese: Tam Giới) literally means "three worlds"[1][2][3][4][5] It can also refer to "three spheres,"[3] "three planes of existence,"[6] "three realms"[6] and "three regions."[4]

Conceptions of three worlds (tri-loka) appear in Hinduism and Jainism, as well as early Buddhist texts.

The Triloka Purusha, the figure who embodies the three worlds.
Transcending the Three Realms 超出三界圖, 1615 Xingming guizhi

Hindu cosmology

Main article: Hindu cosmology

The concept of three worlds has a number of different interpretations in Hindu cosmology.

Buddhist cosmology

Main article: Buddhist cosmology

In Buddhism, the three worlds refer to the following destinations for karmic rebirth:

See also


  1. ^ Monier-Williams (1899), p. 460, col. 1, entry for "[Tri-]loka" (retrieved at and p. 462, col. 2, entry for "Trailoya" (retrieved at
  2. ^ Rhys Davids & Stede (1921-25), p. 301, entry for "Ti-" (retrieved at Here, tiloka is compared with tebhūmaka ("three planes").
  3. ^ a b c Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 230, entry for "Triloka." Here, synonyms for triloka include trailokya and traidhātuka.
  4. ^ a b Blavatsky (1892), pp. 336-7, entry for "Trailokya" (retrieved at
  5. ^ Purucker (1999), entry for "Trailokya" (retrieved at
  6. ^ a b Berzin (2008) renders khams-gsum (Wylie; Tibetan) and tridhatu (Sanskrit) as "three planes of existence" and states that it is "[s]ometimes called 'the three realms.'" Tridhatu is a synonym of triloka where dhatu may be rendered as "dimension" or "realm" and loka as "world" or even "planet."
  7. ^ (2017-11-18). "Trailokya: 19 definitions". Retrieved 2022-08-18.
  8. ^ Maruvada, Surya N. (2020-03-02). Who is Who in Hindu Mythology - VOL 2: A Comprehensive Collection of Stories from the Pur??as. Notion Press. ISBN 978-1-64805-686-4.
  9. ^ (2019-06-20). "Vaivasvata Manvantara: the Mārīca creation [Chapter 38]". Retrieved 2022-08-18.
  10. ^ (2008-09-27). "Triloka, Tri-loka: 12 definitions". Retrieved 2022-08-18.
  11. ^ (2019-01-28). "Story of Vāmana". Retrieved 2022-08-18.