Adhibhautika, adhidaivika, ādhyātmika

From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By [[User:Krishna Maheshwari|Krishna Maheshwari]]

  • Adhibhautika literally means pertaining to the bhuta or living beings.
  • Adhidaivika literally means pertaining to the daiva or fate, unseen forces and gods.
  • Ādhyātmika literally means pertaining to the ātma or the body (and the mind).

Sorrow and suffering (duhkha, tāpa) are inevitable part of life. Knowledge regarding their origin, causes and even categorization helps one to minimize their effect, if not eradicate them. The scriptures usually call them ‘tāpatraya,’ (‘the three miseries.’) and categorize them into ādhyātmika, ādhidaivika and adhibhautika.

  • The ādhyātmika duhkha or tāpa is that which is caused by bodily suffering and mental anguish. Hereditary diseases like leprosy, disabilities like blindness or lameness and diseases caused by the violation of the rules of health and sanitation are classed under this. The mental agony caused by worries and anxieties, attachment and aversion, also comes under this group.
  • The ādhidaivika duhka or tāpa is that which is caused by daiva. The word daiva includes the power of time, nature and the unseen hand or fate. Diseases caused by the changing seasons, misery caused by the elemental forces like floods and fire, suffering caused by black magic or disembodied spirits or gods who are displeased, natural tribulations due to hunger, thirst and old-age belongs to this group.
  • The ādhibhautika duhkha or tāpa is that which is caused by other bhutas or living beings, like wild animals, snakes, or enemies.

Some of these, like hereditary diseases or physical disabilities cannot be got rid of. Hence they must be endured. Some like the diseases caused by change of seasons or the machinations of enemies can be countered by taking appropriate precautions. However, raising the mind to the level of the spirit, thus transcending the limitations imposed by the body-mind complex, is the best solution to offset the effects of tāpatraya.


In tantra, these three terms refer to the cakras. Specifically,

  • Adhibhautika refers to the mundane or terrestrial sphere of action, and the plane of accomplishments of the lower three cakras, or psychic centers of power – the Mulādhāra, Svādhişţhāna, and the Manipura.
  • Adhidaivika refers to the the celestial or astral plane, the world of gods and goddesses beyond both the physical and the spiritual. The plane of operation of the three minor cakras or sub-centers in the head, called Golāta, Lalāta, and Lālana.
  • Ādhyātmika refers to the plane of the upper three cakras or centers of power, the Anāhata, Visuddha, and Ājñā.


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore
  • Adhibhautika by Jit Majumdar
  • Adhidaivika by Jit Majumdar
  • Ādhyātmika by Jit Majumdar