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Know About The 14 Realms Of Existence As Per The Hindu Tradition

It is said that everything in this world is material. Besides, the outer space too is material as it consists of the fundamental units of matter like the atoms and molecules. In fact, as per the psychologists, even our abstract mental processes like thoughts, feelings and emotions are composed of basic structural & functional units.

Thus, materiality pervades anything and everything. Accordingly, the mainstream and conventional scientific wisdom holds that there is nothing beyond matter, energy, space and time. Everything falls in one of these four categories or are at the most derived from one of them or from their combination. It is here that the most glaring ideological fault-line comes into existence. Many traditions, philosophies and religions opine that there exists something very formidable beyond the normal and mundane perception in sharp contrast to the view held by science.

The perception towards this unseen reality varies from tradition to tradition. However, there is a broad consensus among the major belief systems. The belief in good conduct, the need for happiness and the final predicament for the good & bad people forms the core of most of the religious and philosophical traditions. It is here that the concept of heaven and hell come into the picture. It is stated that life can not be complete without practising spiritual truths. It is also stated that spirituality cannot be comprehensive without believing in heaven and hell. Do you want to know about your future? Avail the 2023 Highlights Report.

Indeed, karma begets the perception of good & bad which can only be substantiated by the existence of heaven (a destination where good souls enjoy) and hell (a place where the evil souls suffer). For most people, the concept of heaven & hell is too far fetched & mysterious. Well, the mystery of the universe and that of existence is well documented in the many scriptures of Hindu mythology. All beings that reside within the universe, do so in different realms within it. These realms or worlds are known as Lokas. Read on and know about them:

What are the 14 Lokas In Hindu Mythology

Hindu mythology defines fourteen worlds (not to be confused with planets) – seven higher worlds (heavens) and seven lower ones (underworlds). (The earth is considered the lowest of the seven higher worlds.) The higher worlds are the 7 Vyahrtis and lower worlds the 7 Patalas. Read on to know more:

The 7 Vyahrtis (Heavens or Upperworlds):

1 Satya-Loka: Brahma’s Loka or Satya-Loka planetary system is not eternal. Abode of Truth or of Brahma, where atman are released from the necessity of rebirth.
2 Tapa-Loka: Abode of tapas or of other deities. Ayohnija Devadas live here.
3 Jana-Loka: Abode of the sons of God Brahma.
4 Mahar-Loka: The abode of great sages and enlightened beings like Markendeya and other rishis.
5 Svar-Loka: Region between the sun and polar star, the heaven of the god Indra. Indra, Devatas, Rishies, Gandharvas and Apsaras live here: a heavenly paradise of pleasure, where all the 330 million Hindu gods (Deva) reside along with the king of gods, Indra.
6 Bhuvar-Loka (aka Pitri Loka): Sun, planets, stars. Space between earth and the sun, inhabited by semi-divine beings. It is a real region, the atmosphere, the life-force.
7 Bhur-Loka: The Vishnu Purana says that the earth is merely one of the thousands of billions of inhabited worlds like itself to be found in the universe.

The 7 Patalas (Underworlds Or Hell):

1 Atala-Loka: Atala is ruled by Bala – a son of Maya – who possesses mystical powers. By one yawn, Bala created three types of women – svairiṇīs , who like to marry men from their own group; kāmiṇīs, who marry men from any group, and the puḿścalīs.
2 Vitala-Loka: Vitala is ruled by the god Hara-Bhava – a form of Shiva, who dwells with attendant ganas including ghosts and goblins as the master of gold mines. The residents of this realm are adorned with gold from this region.
3 Sutala-Loka: Sutala is the kingdom of the pious demon king Bali.
4 Talatala-Loka: Talātala is the realm of the demon-architect Maya, who is well-versed in sorcery. Shiva, as Tripurantaka, destroyed the three cities of Maya but was later pleased with Maya and gave him this realm and promised to protect him.
5 Mahatala-Loka: Mahātala is the abode of many-hooded Nagas (serpents) – the sons of Kadru, headed by the Krodhavasha (Irascible) band of Kuhaka, Taksshaka, Kaliya and Sushena. They live here with their families in peace but always fear Garuda, the eagle-man.
6 Rasatala-Loka: Rasātala is the home of the demons – Danavas and Daityas, who are mighty but cruel. They are the eternal foes of Devas (the gods). They live in holes like serpents.

7 Patala-Loka: The lowest realm is called Patala or Nagaloka, the region of the Nagas, ruled by Vasuki. Here live several Nagas with many hoods. Each of their hood is decorated by a jewel, whose light illuminates this realm.

With Ganesha’s Grace,
The GaneshaSpeaks Team

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