I've just started learning Buddhism, and currently investigating 6 realms of rebirth. What confuses me is that it seems different sources give inconsistent ordering of the realms.
For example, in the book Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction the 6 realms of rebirth is ordered (from highest to lowest) as follows:
However, in wikipedia article of Saṃsāra it presents the following order:
- Hungry ghost
I also checked wikipedia for 六道 and some other Chinese online articles (since I can read Chinese). It seems they prefer to order demi-god realm above human realm.
So in summary, there seems to be inconsistency of relative ordering of two pairs of realms among various sources, namely the relative ordering between human realm and demi-god realm, and between animal realm and ghost realm.
I'm wondering which is right? Is there a definitive ordering? Maybe different branches of Buddhism define them differently?