The Worlds -Loka

The Worlds (Loka) as per Tantra.

The Worlds (Loka).There are 14 worldsThis earth, the object of the physical senses and the knowledge-based thereon, is one of fourteen worlds or regions placed “above” and “below” it. Of which (as the sutra says) knowledge may be obtained by meditation on the solar “nerve” (nada) sushumna in the merudanda. On this nadi, six of the upper worlds are threaded, the seventh and highest overhanging it in the Sahasrara Padma, the thousand-petalled lotus.

The sphere of the earth (Bhurloka), with its continents, mountains, rivers, and oceans, is the seventh or lowest of the upper worlds. Beneath it are the Hells and Nether Worlds, the names of which are given below. Above the terrestrial sphere is Bhuvarloka, or the atmospheric sphere known as the antariksha, extending “from the earth to the sun,” where the upper air’s Siddhas and other celestial beings (Devayoni) dwell. “From the sun to the pole star” Dhruva) is Svarloka, or the heavenly sphere.

Heaven (Svarga) is that which delights the mind, as hell (Naraka) is that which gives it pain.

In the former is the abode of the Deva and the blessed.

These three spheres are the region of the consequences of work and are termed transitory as compared with the three highest spheres, and the fourth is of a mixed character. When the jiva has received its reward, he or she is reborn again on earth. For it is not a good action, but the knowledge of the atma which procures Liberation (moksha).

Above Svarloka is Maharloka, and above it are the three ascending regions known as the Jana Loka, Tapo Lloka, and Satya Loka, each inhabited by various forms of celestial intelligence of higher and higher degrees. Below the earth (Bhuh) and above the nether worlds are the Hells, of which, according to popular theology, there are thirty-four. Though it is elsewhere said, there are as many hells as there are offenses for which particular punishments are meted out.  Of these, six are known as the great at hells.

Hinduism, however, even when popular, knows nothing of a hell of eternal torment.

To it nothing is eternal but the Brahman. Issuing from the Hells, the jiva is again reborn to make its future. Below the Hells are the seven nether worlds, Sutala, Vitala, Talatala, Mahatala, Rasatala, Atala, and Patala, where, according to the Puranas. Here dwell the Naga serpent divinities, brilliant with jewels, and where the lovely daughters of the Daityas and Danavas wander, fascinating even the most austere. Yet below Patala is the form of Vishnu proceeding from the dark quality (tamogunah), known as the Sesha serpent or Ananta. Bearing the entire world as a diadem, attended by his Shakti Varuni, his own embodied radiance.

Inhabitants of the Worlds

The worlds are inhabited by countless grades of beings, ranging from the highest Devas (of whom there are many classes and degrees) to the lowest animal life. The scale of beings runs from the shining manifestations of Spirit to those in which it is so veiled that it would seem almost to have disappeared in its material covering. There is but one Light, one Spirit, whose manifestations are many.

A flame enclosed in a clear glass loses but little of its brilliance. The light is dimmer if we substitute for glass, paper, or some other more opaque yet transparent substance. A covering of metal may be so dense as to exclude from sight the rays of light that burn within with equal brilliance. As a matter of fact, all such veiling forms are maya. They are none the less true for those who live in and are themselves part of the mayik world.

Deva, or “heavenly and shining one” – for spirit is light and self-manifestation

Applicable to those descending yet high manifestations of the Brahman, such as the seven Shivas, including the Trinity (trimurtti), Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra. Devi, again, is the title of the Supreme Mother Herself and is again applied to the manifold forms assumed by the one only Maya, such as Kali, Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Gauri, Gayatri, Sandhya, and others. In a sense also in which it is said, “Verily, in the beginning, there was the Brahman. It created the Devas,” the latter term also includes lofty intelligencies belonging to the created world intermediate between Ishvara (Himself a Purusha) and man, who in the person of the Brahmana is known as Earth-deva (bhudeva).

These spirits are of varying degrees.

For there are no breaks in the creation, representing an apparent descent of the Brahman in gradually lowered forms. Throughout these forms play the divine currents of pravritti and nivritti, the latter drawing to Itself that which the former has sent forth.

Deva, jiva, and Jara (inorganic matter) are, in their real, as opposed to their phenomenal and illusory, being. The one Brahman, which appears thus to be other than Itself through its connection with the upadhi or limiting conditions with which ignorance (avidya) invests it. Therefore all beings which are the object of worship are each of them, but the Brahman is seen through the veil of avidya.

Though the worshippers of Devas may not know it, their worship is, in reality, the worship of the Brahman. Hence, the Mahanirvana Tantra says, “As all streams flow to the ocean, so the worship given to any Deva is received by the Brahman.” On the other hand, those who, knowing this, worship the Devas do so as manifestations of the Brahman and thus worship It mediately. The sun, the most glorious symbol in the physical world, is the mayik vesture of Her, who is “clothed with the sun.”

In the lower ranks of the celestial hierarchy are the Devayonis, some of whom are mentioned in the opening verses of the first chapter of the text. The Devas are of two classes: “unborn” (Ajanta) that is, those who have not, and those who have (Sadhya) evolved from humanity, as in the case of King Nahusha, who became Indra. Opposed to the divine hosts are the Asura, Danava, Daitya, and Rakshasa, who, with other spirits, represent the tamasik or demonic element in creation.

All Devas, from the highest downwards, are subordinate to both time and karma.

So it is said, “Salutation to Karma, over which not even Vidhi (Brahma) prevails” (Namastat karmmabhyovidhirapi na yebhyah prabhavati). The rendering of the term “Deva” by “God” has led to a misapprehension of Hindu thought. The use of the term “angel” may also mislead, for the world of Devas has, in some respects analogy to the angelic choirs. The Christian conception of these Beings, their origin, and functions do not include, but in fact excludes, other ideas connoted by the Sanskrit term.

The Pitris, or “Fathers,” are a creation separate from the predecessors of humanity and are, according to others. The lunar ancestry who are addressed in prayer with the Devas. Brahma, who is known as the “Grandfather” Pita Maha of the human race, issued Marichi, Atri, and others his “mental sons”. The Agnishvattvah, Saumnyah, Havishmantah, Ushmapah, and other classes of Pitris, numbering, according to the Markandeya Purana, thirty-one. Tarpanam, or oblation, is offered daily to these Pitris. The term is also applied to the human ancestors of the worshipper, generally up to the seventh generation, to whom in shraddha (the obsequial rites), pinda and water are offered with the mantra “svadha.”

The Rishi are seers who know and, by their knowledge, are the makers of shastra and “see” all mantras.

The word comes from the root rish Rishati-prapnoti sarvvang mantrang jnanena pashyati sangsaraparangva, etc. The seven great Rishi or saptarshi of the first manvantara are Marichi, Atri, Angiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, and Vashishtha. In other manvantara there are other Sapta-Rshi.

In the present manvantara the seven are Kashyapa Atri, Vashishtha, Vishvamitra, Gautama, Jamadagni, Bharadvaja. To the Rishi, the Vedas were revealed. Vyasa taught the Rigveda so revealed to Paila, the Yajurveda to Vaishampayana, the Samaveda to Jaimini, Atharvaveda to Samantu, and Itihasa and Purana to Suta.

The three chief classes of Rishi are the Brah-marshi, born of the mind of Brahma.

The Devarshi of lower rank and Rajarshi or Kings became Rishis through their knowledge and austerities, such as Janaka, Ritaparna, etc. The Shrutarshi are makers of Shastras, as Sushruta. The Kandarshi are of the Karmakanda, such as Jaimini. The Muni, who may be a Rishi, is a sage. Muni is so called on account of his mananam (mananat muniruchyate). Mananam is that thought, investigation, and discussion which marks the independent thinking mind.

First, there is shravanam listening; then mananam is the thinking or understanding, discussion upon, and testing of what is heard instead of the mere acceptance of the trust of the lower intelligence. These two are followed by nididhyasanam, which is attention and profound meditation on the conclusions (siddhanta) drawn from what is so heard and reasoned upon. As the Mahabharata says, “The Veda differ, and so do the Smriti. No one is a muni who has no independent opinion of his own (nasau muniryasya matang na bhinnam).

The Human being is called Jiva.

The human being is called jiva – that is, the embodied Atma possessed by egoism and of the notion that it directs the puryashtaka, namely, the five organs of action (karmendriya), the five organs of perception (jnanendriya), the fourfold Antahkarana or mental self (Manas, Buddhi, Ahangkara, Chitta), the five vital airs (Prana), the five elements, Kama (desire), Karma (action and its results), and Avidya (illusion). When these false notions are destroyed, the embodiment is destroyed, and the wearer of the mayik garment attains nirvana. When the jiva is absorbed in Brahman, there is no longer any jiva remaining as such.

Saturday Zoom Meeting with Satguru Shri Param Eswaran – Dasa Mahavidya Goddess – Goddess Temple – Tantra and the Inhabitants of the Worlds – Goddesses Temple

Mother Center
Mahavidya Temple
1/244 Killankulam village, Periayur Taluk, Madurai district,  Tamil Nadu, India   625703

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