In some of Ryōkan's poems such as this one he mentions the Buddhas of the three worlds

While I gather firewood and wild grasses on this hill,

the Buddhas of the three worlds

Are also celebrating

Who are the Buddhas and what are the three worlds?

2 Answers 2


This phrase here means everywhere.

Specifically, probably the Trailokya, the realm of desire, form and formlessness. The realm of desire is hell and earth. The realm of form and formlessness are different types of heavens.

ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailokya

The 10 realms, 10 directions, a three times are all common stock literary phrases that meant everywhere and everything and all times.

And I've lost track of how many ways I've seen the realms sliced up, into the 4, 6, 10 realms, and now with this question, 3!

  1. No-form (formless)
  2. Form
  3. Desire


Also called

  1. Immaterial (arupa-loka)
  2. Fine Material (rupa-loka)
  3. Sensuous (kama-loka)


Since that encompasses the whole totality of the cosmos, the buddhas in question are all the supremely enlightened ones -- clear as day to a purified mindstream.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .