In Hinduism and Buddhism, that part of the many-layered universe that is the realm of pious celestial spirits. In Theravada Buddhism, the brahma-loka is said to consist of 20 separate heavens: the lower 16 are material worlds (rupa-brahma-loka) inhabited by progressively more radiant and subtle gods, the remaining 4 higher realms are devoid of substance and form. Rebirth into these realms is the reward for great virtue and meditation; the level attained is determined by faithfulness to the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha.
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