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Antigods (lha ma yin)

  • One of the six classes of living beings (‘gro ba rigs drug) which in turn comprise the three higher existences (mtho ris gsum) and the three inferior existences (ngan song gsum). The antigods (Skt. asura) are placed in the former category, and their mode of activity is engendered by envy- embroiled as they are in an incessant dispute with the gods (Skt. deva/ sura) over the possession of a magical tree. Foremost among the antigods are Dānava and Daitya, the descendents of the hermit sage Kāśyapa, on whom see Purāṇic Encyclopaedia, p. 67. For an analysis of the mental disposition of the antigods and the sufferings which they endure, see, Jewel Ornament of Liberation, p. 68, and dPal-sprul Rin-po-che, The Words of My Perfect Teacher, pp. 92-3. GD (from the Glossary to Tibetan Elemental Divination Paintings)