The Fourteen Worlds Part3

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 15 Apr 2011 04:25 and updated at 25 Feb 2012 14:53

Part 1 Part2 Part3 Part4

Continued from Part2

The Fourteen Worlds (Lokas) described in the ancient Indian Puranas are the following:- 1.Satyaloka, 2.Tapoloka, 3.Janaloka, 4.Maharloka, 5.Suvarloka, 6.Bhuvarloka 7.Bhuloka, 8.Atala, 9.Vitala, 10.Nitala, 11.Rasatala, 12.Mahatala, 13.Sutala and 14.Patala. The Puranas usually describe these worlds as different regions of the observable universe (the planet Earth, Earth's immediate neighborhood and regions far beyond).

The Four-Fold Classification of the Lokas

See Also:- The Fourteen Worlds

Parasara makes an interesting classification after describing all the 'upper' lokas. Vishnu Purana: Chapter 7:- These three spheres (Bhur, Bhuva and Swar Lokas) are termed transitory: the three highest, Jana, Tapa, and Satya, are styled durable. Maharloka, as situated between the two, has also a mixed character; for although it is deserted at the end of the Kalpa, it is not destroyed. These seven spheres, together with the Pátálas, forming the extent of the whole world, I have thus, Maitreya, explained to you.

As per this,

  1. Bhur (The Earth), Bhuvar (the Geosphere) and Swar (The Solar System) Lokas forms one group and are termed transitory. It is to be noted that from our current astronomical knowledge, we know these Lokas will travel along Sun in its orbit around the center of the Galaxy. Thus these Lokas are indeed transitory.
  2. Jana Loka (The Milky Way Galaxy), Tapo Loka (The World of Galaxies) and the Satya Loka (The Universe) forms another group and are mentioned as durable. These Lokas are not affected by the motion of the Sun along its orbit around the Galaxy as they act as the frame of reference for Sun's motion. These words are also durable compared to the Bhur-Bhuva-Swar Lokas (the Solar System).
  3. The intermediate Mahar Loka (The World of Stars) has both transitory and durable characteristics. Some of the stars in the Interstellar Neighborhood will travel along with Sun in its orbit around the Galaxy while most will have a much different orbital period. Thus this Loka is both transitory and durable. What is meant by:- "It is deserted at the end of the Kalpa (an epochal time-period) but not destroyed"?. It is not clear what is conveyed here. It could mean the destruction of a local area of Milky Way that contains our Solar System in a distant future?
  4. The seven Lokas 'below' (inside) the Earth (Bhu Loka), collectively known as the seven Patala Lokas forms the fourth group

The Seven Patala Lokas

Going with the definition of 'one Loka inside the other', we could identify the worlds 'below' Earth (also known as the seven Patala Lokas) to be same as the layers interior to the planet Earth.

Loka (World) Layer
Atala Upper Crust
Vitala Lower Crust
Nitala Upper mantle
Rasatala Mantle
Mahatala Asthenosphere
Sutala Outer core
Patala Inner core

Humans, during their early stages of development indeed lived in caves that went as deep as 1 km in the Upper Crust (Atala Loka). Several anomalies and submerged alien space-crafts and submerged-cities are reported as per UFO literature, as situated underground, sometimes beneath the oceans, under the bottom of continental lakes, underground cave networks etc. These are thus located in Atala (Upper Crust) and Vitala (Lower Crust).

Several Puranas also mentions that Patala (which we equate to the Inner Core of Earth) contains several thousand hells burning with heat and hell-fire and boiling with molten iron which fits correctly with the modern day description of Earth's inner core, an ever burning inferno with molten iron and other metals in fluid state!

A point to be noted here is that the Vedic Sanskrit scholars reuse terminologies used in one domain of knowledge in other domains of knowledge as well. Hence we see the terminologies used to denote the seven sub-terrainian Lokas reused for denoting continental regions on the surface of Earth as well, such as the word Patala used to denote South America in many ancient texts.

The Secret of Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri Mantra is a verse found in Rig Veda. It is authored by sage Viswamitra.:-

Om Bhur Bhuva Swah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dheeyonna Prajotayat

The first line of this verse is about the Bhur, Bhuva and Swar Lokas (the Earth, its atmosphere and the Solar System). (Om represent the whole of reality and beyond.) The next lines are about the Sun (Savitr), the sustainer of the Solar System and the nourisher of planet Earth and the space around Earth (atmosphere and magnetosphere). It is an appeal to the Sun god to enlighten the intellect of the reciter of this Mantra. Apart from the religious and ritualistic dimensions of this mantra, it contains the tell-tale signs of the existence of an intelligence beyond human comprehension that pervades throughout the Solar System.

The Secret of Yoga and Dhyana (Meditation)

The significance of the understanding, that one Loka lies inside the other is that, as we are in Bhu Loka, we are in Swar Loka (Swarga) as well, the Earth being inside the Solar System. But we are not conscious about it. During a Yoga through Dhyana (Meditation), our consciousness expands beyond the bounds of Bhu Loka (the Earth) and Bhuvar Loka and we experience the blissful existence in Swar Loka. 'Yoga' means 'union', 'merger'. Here the individual consciousness is merged with the consciousness of Swarga and gives a blissful experience to the Yogi. (Yogi:- a person doing Yoga). The same effect is not achieved by an astronaut travelling in Solar System (for example in a Lunar Mission) crossing the Bhuvar Loka (the Geosphere of Earth). This is because the astronaut's consciousness is confined to his own body. Yoga or the merger of consciousness through Dhyana is necessary to experience the effect of being in Swarga.

Mahabharata and the Puranas has several narrations where the sages are mentioned as travelling to Swarga and higher Lokas like Mahar Loka and Satya Loka. A true Yogi sitting in Patmasana (a Yogic posture) under a tree in a forest of Earth, engaged in deep Yogic Dhyana (Meditation) can indeed transcend the boundaries of inner Lokas and reach out to Swarga or Satya Loka. In the current age, Yoga is relegated to the level of a physical exercise and expanding the Yogis consciousness to the whole of the body and mind itself is considered as great achievement.

The Four Promising Theories

The first three theories

This Yoga based space-travel is a theory (theory-1) that can explain the source of knowledge of the ancient Indians, apart from the explanation based on the ancient-astronaut theory (theory-2:- that the ancient Indians came into contact with an ancient inter-stellar or inter-galactic civilization) or the explanation based on the technological excellence of ancient Indians themselves (theory-3:- that the ancient Indians themselves were an inter-stellar or inter-galactic civilization).

The fourth theory

The fourth theory (**theory-4*) is based on the possibility that human progress on Earth underwent several peaks and troughs following cycles of development and decline. Based on this concept some analysts consider the possibility of an advanced civilization that existed in ancient India during and before the LGM (Last Glacial Maximum). This was around 19,300 BCE varyingly called the Ice Age civilization and as the Devasura civilization (the civilization of the Devas and Asuras). The locus of this civilization could be the submerged sea shores of India that lied to the south east and west of Indian peninsula. They submerged due to the rising sea levels when much of the glaciers melted into the seas.

Analysis of theories

Take into account, the flaws in the knowledge of ancient Indians about Solar System:- 1. no knowledge of Uranus and Neptune, 2. errors in the estimation of the distance to the Sun and other stars. Consider the accuracy in some calculations:- 1. the diameter of Mercury and Saturn 2. the duration of tropical and sidereal years. Consider also the validity of certain assumptions:- 1. Heliocentrism expounded by some ancient Indian astronomers, while others among them extolled Geocentrism 2. the Knowledge of the Mutiverse Concept by way of belief in the infinite number of Brahmandas 3. the notion of different time-frames and different rates of time-flow as perceived by the people inhabiting different Lokas (very close to the Relativistic Time-Dilation) 4. the relative accuracy in the estimate of the age of Universe (expressed as a unit of time called Kalpa) as 17.28 billion years in comparison to the very poor estimates based on the Bible. Based on Bible, the age of the Universe is estimated variously around 6000 to 8000 years which is way off the mark. As per modern Cosmology, the current age of Universe is 14 billion years

Based on these, I tend to rule out the third theory. The first theory, the second theory or a combination of both is a valid possibility. One possibility here is that the Yoga base space-travel of the ancient sages might have invited the attention of the inter-stellar or inter-galactic civilization leading to their contact with the humanity.

Devas and Asuras as aliens and source of scientific knowledge

The fourth theory too has high potential. Ancient Indians (and Mayans of Meso America) seems to be true inheritors of the Devasura civilization. Partial excellence and partial error in the scientific data possessed by ancient Indians could be the result of a partial knowledge transfer from the Devas and Asuras to ancient Indians during the time when human civilization was in the decline phase (expressed in the concept of descending Chatur Yugas as the golden age Rta Yuga degrading to Treta, then Dwapara and finally to Kali Yuga of complete degradation). An interesting corollary of Theory-4 is that Devas and Asuras who existed in a previous peak of human civilization in around 19,000 BCE might have achieved space-faring capability. They themselves may be now coming back to Earth as aliens causing hundreds of alien citations across the globe every day.

A characteristics of the Yoga based space-travel is that the Yogi may perceive the higher Lokas but wold not be able to articulate accurately what he or she saw. Articulation require technical vocabulary. Technical vocabulary is accumulated only through the progress of history. It requires a high level of accumulated human knowledge, like we have now in the 21st century.

The Symbolism of Swastika

Swastika is an ancient Indian symbol. The name comes from the Sanskrit world 'Swasti'. It means 'well being', 'properly established' etc. The worlds 'Su' and 'Asti' can generate the word 'Swasti' 'Su' means 'good' and 'Asti' means 'to be'. Thus Swasti means 'good to be' and its derivative 'Swastika' would mean 'that which bring good (luck)'. The worlds 'Su' and 'Vasti' too generate the word 'Swasti'. 'Vasti' means 'dwelling', 'place of stay', 'place of settlement', 'place of habitation', 'home' etc. Often ancient Indian cities where large number of people reside were called 'Vasti', example Sravasti a city of Kosala kingdom. The two words 'Swa' and 'Vasti' too generate the compound 'Swasti'. The word 'Swa' ('Swam') means 'own' or 'self'. Thus 'Swasti' could also mean 'ones own home or settlement'.


The symbol of Swastika consists of a horizontal bar and a vertical bar from which arms are extended in a clock wise direction indicating an anticlockwise rotation. The Milky Way Galaxy too contains a horizontal bar and (spiral) arms extended in clockwise direction and the Galaxy is spinning in anticlockwise direction. In case of Milky Way, however, the direction of extension of the arms and the direction of rotation of the Galaxy on its own axis depends on from where we are looking at it. What we see from the northern hemisphere of Earth or from 'above' the Galactic plane will be oppositet of what we see from 'below' the Galactic plane. Interestingly, Swastika too comes both in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions!

The only thing that is different from Swastika symbol and the Milky Way Galaxy is the vertical bar and the spiral nature of the arms. In the symbolism of Swastika too we thus see the presence of an intelligence beyond human comprehension. Probably this intelligence considers the whole of Milky Way Galaxy as its own home or settlement?

In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, the derivative word 'Swasti' / 'Swasta' is a state in which an individual is cured of his illness and is settled in his / her default healthy state. 'Swastya' means good health and 'Aswastya' means disease.

Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Sindhu Saraswati Civilization of Ancient India. It remains widely used in Indian Religions, specifically in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Unfortunately, in 20th century Swastika got a negative meaning due to the usurping of this symbol by Adolph Hitler for his flawed theory of Aryan supremacy based on the flawed Aryan Invasion Theory. The swastika from the 1930s became strongly associated with its iconic usage by Nazi Germany, and it has hence become stigmatized and taboo in the Western world; it has notably been outlawed in Germany if used as a symbol of Nazism. It is important that this word be re-established to its original meaning.

The Significance of Cremation

In ancient cultures of the world, including those of the Hindus in India and those of the ancient Greeks, the dead-bodies are cremated and not preserved (like in ancient Egypt) or buried underground (like in the case of Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions). During cremation, the dead-body is reduced to its constituent elements and the largest constituents viz. water, fluids and the gases go upward (into Bhuvar Loka) and the solid remains (mostly ash and hard bones) which are lesser in mass, remain in the surface of Earth (Bhu Loka).

Sometimes the ashes and bones are flown into sacred rivers like Ganga or flown into the ocean. These then becomes part of the plant-life (plankton, plants and trees) and enter into the food chain. The water, fluids and gases, once part of the body merge into the atmosphere. Water becomes vaporized and then condensed to comes down as rain. During preservation of the dead-body, like in the case of mummification done in ancient Egypt, the dead-body is forced to remain in Bhu Loka.

In case of burial, the dead body is pushed down into Patala Lokas (into Atala Loka which is just below the surface of Earth). There the body is decayed into foul smelling substances in which worms and bacteria thrive. Some parts of the dead body is eaten by these worms and some parts of it is slowly assimilated into the soil taking a very long time.

If the direction and destination of the remains of the dead-body is any indication of the direction and destination of the departing soul, then the souls departing from cremated bodies have an inclination to go into the 'higher' or 'outer' worlds like Bhuvar Loka and Swar Loka (Swarga or Heaven) and the souls departing from the buried bodies have an equal and similar inclination to go into the 'lower' or 'inner' worlds like Atala Loka and the bottom-most Patala Loka where the several million Hells (Naraka) are situated. However, where actually the departing soul goes is known only to the departing-souls themselves but seems to be influenced by their Karma as indicated in the ancient Indian scriptures. These however are beyond the scope of modern science, so that from a scientific point of view, we can only speculate about these possibilities.

The Theory of Migration of Souls

The scope of science, in its current state, is limited to the study of the body. Hence when a person is dead, it can only trace the history of the dead-body.

Possibilities after Burial

The dead-bodies, especially when buried, is decomposed and some of its components stay in Earth or sink down into the under-ground. Some part of the dead-body stays underground for a long time. Some are recycled into the food chain. This can vary from dead-body to dead-body. Some dead-bodies predominantly stays underground for a long time without being part of the food chain. If these are an indication of what is happening to the soul departing from the dead-body, then we have the following:- Some of the departed-souls sink into the upper Patala Lokas (like Atala and Vitala) and stay their for a long time. After that, they are recycled becoming part of the souls of new life forms. Some stays in Bhu Loka or Atala and are recycled in short time. Some (rare?) souls may reach the hells in the bottom-most Patala, where the traces of the dead-body can barely reach.

Possibilities after Cremation

The dead-bodies, especially when cremated, becomes water-vapor and gases which goes up into the atmosphere; and ashes and bones which stays in earth in the soil and in water. Most of these are recycled into the food chain. The corresponding soul that depart from the body thus can go to the lower parts of Bhuvar Loka (atmoshphere) or stay in Bhu Loka (in earth, in soil, in rivers or in oceans). The souls in Bhu Loka are quickly recycled into the souls of new life forms. Sooner or later, the souls in the Bhuvar Loka too are recycled into the souls of new life forms. There is a low probability that some traces of the dead-body may reach the upper atmosphere and into the ionosphere of Earth, which may finally escape the Earth's Geo-sphere (Bhuvar Loka). Similarly, some souls go beyond Bhuvar Loka to reach Swar Loka (Solar System). Some of the traces of body, thus escaped from Earth's Geo-sphere may wander in the Solar System and may get carried away by the Solar Winds to reach the Inter Stellar Space. There is an extremely rare possibility of some of them reaching other stellar systems or even go beyond the Milky Way Galaxy due to Stellar Radiation. Similarly some extremely rare souls may reach Mahar Loka, Jana Loka or Tapo Loka and the rarest of them may reach Satya Loka, becoming part of the Universal Soul.

Possible Trends

Majority of the souls stay in Bhuvar Loka, Bhu Loka or in Atala and are recycled sooner or later into the souls of new life forms. Rarely some souls sink into regions below Atala and rarely some souls ascends to Swarga (Swar Loka or Heaven or Jannat). Extremely rarely do the souls reach the 'higher' Lokas (from Mahar Loka to Satya Loka) or sink to the Hells in the innermost Patala.

It is to be noted that the departed soul need not always follow the traces of the dead-body since the soul is (as per many descriptions in the Puranas) very subtle. Hence it is possible that a person's soul can reach higher Lokas, while the dead-body is buried underground or it can sink into the Hells in Patala, even while the dead body is cremated. The Puranas unanimously attribute the destiny of the departing-soul to the Karma of the individual.


Related Articles

  1. Alien Presence During Mahabharata
  2. The Fourteen Worlds
  3. The Fourteen Worlds Part2
  4. The Fourteen Worlds Part3
  5. The Fourteen Worlds Part4
Part 1 Part2 Part3 Part4

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