Abhassara in the Buddhist religion, a superior celestial world. Previous to the creation of the present world there were several successive systems of worlds, which were destroyed by fire. On the destruction of the former worlds, the beings that inhabited them, and were meritorious, received birth in the celestial world Ablhassara; and when their proper age was expired, or their merit was no longer such as to preserve them in a celestial world, they again came to inhabit the earth. Their bodies, however, still retained many of the attributes of the world from which they had come, as they had subsisted without food, and could soar through the air at will; and the glory proceeding from their persons was so great that there was no necessity for a sun or moon. Thus no change of seasons was known; there was no difference between night and day; and there was no diversity of sex. For many ages the inhabitants of the earth thus lived, previous to the creation of the sun and moon, in happiness and mutual peace. See Gardner, Faiths of the World, s.v. SEE BUDDHISM; SEE BUDDHISTS.

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