Lines between the realms in the suttas

The Theravada tradition famously has a list of 31 Realms/Planes, though the EBTs are much more vague. I’m wondering if anyone could point me to texts which feature smaller divisions of the realms more granular than the broader scheme of “niraya / manussaloka / devaloka / brahmaloka.”

For example, the suttas generally refer to the various classes of devas in a way that doesn’t necessarily depict them as occupying their own realms. However, Dhp 44 refers specifically to “the Yamaloka with its gods.” Similarly, the Pure Abodes are spoken of in a way that sets them apart from the wider brahmaloka, and MN 130 & AN 10.89 discuss various types of hells which seem to divide the wider “niraya” into more granular realms.

Does anyone know of any other examples? Any help is appreciated!


As far as I know, the earliest attempt to systematize the realms referred to in the suttas is in the Dhamma­hadaya­vibhaṅga, the last chapter of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka’s Book of Analysis.