The Four Heavenly Kings
The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua explains:
Our world is located under the first of the six heavens of the Desire Realm—the Heaven of the Four Heavenly Kings. This heaven, which is directly above us, is governed by the four Heavenly Kings. It is located halfway up Mount Sumeru, which means that half of Mount Sumeru is within the human realm while the other half is above the Heaven of the Four Heavenly Kings. The parts of this heaven located on the north, south, east, and west sides of Mount Sumeru are governed by the four Heavenly Kings, as are the four continents of our world: Purvavideha to the east, Jambudvipa to the south, Aparagodaniya to the west, and Uttarakuru to the north.
To read the rest of the explanation on the realm of the gods, please visit: The Dharma Realm of the Gods
When the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua was lecturing on the Shurangama Sutra, he said:
"There are many heavens. The one closest to us is the Heaven of the Four Kings. It lies halfway up Mount Sumeru on the north, south, east, and west. The four heavenly kings are the Heavenly King of Increase and Growth, the Heavenly King of Learning, the Heavenly King of the Broad Eyes, and the Heavenly King Who Upholds his Country. The lifespan of the inhabitants of the Heaven of the Four Kings is 500 years. However, fifty years among us people is equivalent to only one day and night in that heaven."
The Murals of the Four Great Heavenly Kings in the City of 10,000 Buddhas:
On the outside of the Jewelled Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there is a mural of the Heavenly King Increasing of the South on the right side. On the left side of the Hall is a mural of the Heavenly King Broad Eyes of the West. In the back of the Hall, the left wall is painted with the Heavenly King Upholding the Country of the East. The right wall has a mural of the Heavenly King Much Learning of the North. These splendid and imposing twenty-foot-high murals convey the awesome and majestic bearing of the Heavenly Kings. Each one wears a golden helmet and golden armor, holds a Dharma treasure, and wears cloud shoes.