world of asuras ［修羅界］ ( shura-kai): Also, realm of asuras, world of animosity, or world of anger. The fourth of the Ten Worlds and one of the four evil paths. When viewed as a state of life, the world of asuras is a condition dominated by egoistic pride. Persons in this state are compelled by the need to be superior to others in all things, valuing themselves and devaluing others. Asuras, belligerent spirits or demons in Indian mythology, were regarded as typifying this condition of life. In The Object of Devotion for Observing the Mind, Nichiren defines the characteristic of this world as “perverse,” or more literally, “fawning and crooked.” Out of extreme pride or a sense of superiority, people in this condition tend to conceal their real motives and flatter others to win praise. While outwardly courteous, however, they inwardly look down on others. Such a person’s self-image is distorted and unbalanced, colored by extreme pride or a sense of superiority; the self is perceived as extremely large and important, and others as small and unimportant. Those who remain in this state ultimately do harm to themselves through their own conceit. See also four evil paths; three good paths.