Human beings

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Depiction of the human realm from a thangka of the Wheel of Life

Human beings (Tib. མི་, mi, Wyl. mi) are only one of the six classes of beings according to Buddhism. Humans dwell on either of the four continents that surround Mount Meru, such as our world of Jambudvipa, and on their respective two subcontinents.[1] Beings on each of these four continents remain unseen from each other and have slightly different physical characteristics and life-spans.

Jamgön Kongtrul writes:

The Tibetan term for human, mi, principally implies mental capacity or aptitude and is derived from the [Sanskrit] manuṣya, which denotes aptitude or discernment.[2]


  1. Apart from the Chamara subcontinent of Jambudvipa, which is inhabited by rakshasa demons.
  2. Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé, Myriad Worlds (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 1995), page 113.

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