I have heard that when a meditator does a long meditation, he is able to enter into different world, see and hear that world. What are those? Are they just illusion, imagination or different universe?

4 Answers 4


In Pali Buddhism, the word 'world' ('loka') refers to different mental states.

For example, MN 79 calls the meditative jhanas of pure bliss 'the world of only pleasant feelings' ('ekantasukhassa lokassa'). To quote:

Venerable sir, what is that course of actions to realise the world of only pleasant feelings?

Here, Udāyi, the bhikkhu secluded from sensual desires and thoughts of demerit abides in the first jhana: Overcoming thoughts and thought processs and the mind in one point internally appeased, without thoughts and thought processes abides in the second jhana. Again with equanimuity to joy and detachment, feeling pleasant with the body too, abides in the third jhana. To this the noble ones say abiding in pleasantness with equanimity. Udāyi, this is the course of actions, for realising the world of only pleasant feelings. `

MN 79

'Nibbana' is not a 'world'. The attainment of Nibbana is the 'cessation of the world', which is experienced within the living body & mind. To quote:

There is, bhikkhus, that [sense] base where there is no earth, no water, no fire, no air; no base consisting of the infinity of space, no base consisting of the infinity of consciousness, no base consisting of nothingness, no base consisting of neither-perception-nor-non-perception; neither this world nor another world nor both; neither sun nor moon. Here, bhikkhus, I say there is no coming, no going, no staying, no deceasing, no uprising. Not fixed, not movable, it has no support. Just this is the end of suffering. Ud 8.1

Within this fathom-long body, with its perception & mind, that I declare that there is the world, the origination of the world, the cessation of the world and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the world. AN 4.45

Therefore, when a meditator does a long meditation & is able to enter into different world, those worlds are not just illusion, not imagination or not a different universe. Those worlds are mental states.

As for Nibbana, this is also not illusion, not imagination & not a different universe. However, it is also not another world and not a mental state, even though Nibbana is experienced by the mind.


What is called world in Buddhism is the six senses. When you meditate you experience finer senses which you can't experience via ear, nose etc. When you meditate you experience finer wholesome mental states. The logic here is for example you can see only colours from your eye. Even if you become a Deva or Brahama with your eye you only see colours.

  • Is there a particular reference to this? Because I don't recall reading it anywhere. It seems to me like a kind of experience that would be perceived differently by each person, so not very worth talking about.
    – user2341
    Apr 14, 2017 at 12:13
  • I am not aware of where the Buddha called the 'world' the 'six senses' or when the Buddha said the Devaloka & Brahmaloka are colours. Please post links that show the Buddha said what you claim the Buddha said. Thank you Apr 14, 2017 at 23:53
  • What is all? Sabba Sutta:accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.023.than.html
    – SarathW
    Apr 15, 2017 at 1:12

A meditator doing long meditation is able to enter into a different world. We call this the entering into a Manomaya Kaya or that of an Out-of-Body Experience. The Buddha compared the situation of a manomaya kaya separating from the physical body to a sword pulled out of its sheath, or a snake shedding its skin. Once the manomaya kaya comes out, the body is lifeless like a log. The life force or the vitality goes out the moment the manomaya kaya leaves the body.

When the manomaya kaya and the physical body separate, “seeing” takes place without the need of light. The person acquires the ability look at things far away. Ones “hearing” then does not need air as a medium for the sound to propagate (one could hear things far away). “kirana” or “rays” similar to electromagnetic radiation helps in this ‘hearing’. One also gets to “travel” very fast; it is not physical travel. The Buddha or Arahants with iddhi powers travelled to the worlds of the devas (deva-loka) within a time taken to “stretch a bent arm”. The internal eye and internal ear associated with the manomaya kaya helps in the actual “seeing” and “hearing”.

  • Please provide links to the suttas that state what has been posted, Thanks Apr 14, 2017 at 18:56
  • @Dhammadhatu, you want references to Suttas but you are not prepared to accept all inconsistencies and untruths. Your comment on my Vibhava-Abhava answer was false. It is quite clear that vibhava tanha is associated with ucceda ditthi, the view that one lives just this life and that is the end of it. So, one tries to "enjoy life to the fullest" until death. You think that you know a lot, but you are the loser for thinking that way. - Well.. no more comments & no hard feelings - with metta... Apr 14, 2017 at 19:22
  • You seem to not comprehend that "ucceda ditthi" is the view a "self" will end at death. The view "life ends at death" is not ucceda ditthi. Returning to the answer to this question, please provide links to the suttas that state what has been posted, Thanks Apr 14, 2017 at 20:10
  • Hello Dhammadhatu. Saptha Visuddhi is writing from his indepth knowledg and from his Sutta Study. If you can trust me he is writing from Sutta, for example, re "sheath":accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.11.0.than.html
    – SarathW
    Apr 14, 2017 at 21:33
  • Thks @SarathW. True Dhamma is only in Sinhala. To tell you - What you ask about ‘Atta’ was valid _ you got -3 for that & it was put on hold. Such words come under Adhi-vacana – meaning - the same word has different meanings depending on the sutta. Also, some explanations cannot be given taking only one sutta, as the info is there in bits and pieces in many suttas. I listen to only the Tipitaka in Sinhala. I did not reply to that question b’cos you treat all answers the same. I do not mind getting -3 for an answer if you see it as correct & if you can highlight that as the correct answer. Apr 14, 2017 at 22:39

Okay. It has been scientifically proven that the brain cannot distinguish between you imagining a situation and you actually being in a situation.

So when you meditate with the aim of being detached from your experiences you'd also detach yourself (your soul) from the ego perspective of being in the situation imagined or real.

So the world you'd be a part of then is the soul world.

Now the term out of body experience would say that you actually leave your body, which is not really the case. You just focus on other input that you can receive, mostly via the third eye and other sensations that directly touch your soul.

Since the soul is eternal, yet the body isn't you'd be able to experience everything that your soul has, is or will be experiencing.

If you follow that and say that the soul was there before the body that means the soul is on the inside and the body is on the "outside". So you'd actually be venturing inside by not being attached to your bodies experiences anymore.

However. As long as you(your body) is alive you will never completely detach, so there are always some signals coming through. You just focus on the other ones more.

  • 1
    This answer is not Buddhist. Please provide links that state what has been posted, Thanks Apr 14, 2017 at 18:58

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