Loka is a realm of existence, as believed in Hinduism.

Loka
Loka in hinduism ; source : pinterest

Namaste!

Welcome to all the lovely readers of www.onindianpath.com. Today, I am going to share insights on a mystical topic of Hinduism- loka and parloka.

Introduction

Hinduism is the third-largest followed religion of the world. It holds a profound understanding of human and other beings, along with their existence in this world. Apparently, Loka is the place or planet or realm of existence where everyone is destined to be part with as per his karma.

What is Loka?

Notably, Loka is a Sanskrit word meaning the world. In simple language, it refers to a specific division of the universe.

However, many Hindus commonly discuss three main lokas: Swarglok (heaven), Bhu-loka (earth) and Patala-loka (underworld).

What is the significance of lokas in Hinduism ?

Many of you may be associating this with the concept of Heaven and Hell, as in other western religions. Interestingly, to dispel any confusion, let me affirm that here, the division of Lokas is based on karma, deities and beliefs. Meanwhile, these lokas are the dimensions of existence.

Subsequently, many sages and scholars says that a living being is blessed with the sarvottam yoni or Durgam yoni after being into few of these realms. The cycle of rebirth and death revolves around loka, moksha refers to the stage of attaining liberation and being into Vaikuntha Dham or Dhruva Loka or Satya loka.

How many loka are there in Hinduism?

As per Puranas, there are 14 lokas in Hinduism. Santana Dharma believes that these lokas are divine planetary systems, or one can say worlds where different entities and gods reside.

What are different loka?

Meanwhile Sanatana Dharma defines lokas into fourteen worlds or realms of existence.

Infact, Sage Ved Vayasa has explained these lokas into 14 types in Puranas and Mahabharata, he has written.

Correspondingly, as per Bhagavad Gita, these upper, lower and intermediate dimensions of existence known as Urdhvaloka, Madhya and Adhaloka respectively.

Vyahrits and Patala

Loka
Vyahrtis in Hinduism; source:wikimedia commons

Certainly, in 14 lokas of Hindu Mythology, there are seven higher (urdhva loka) and seven lower (adha loka) worlds. Additionally the Earth is considered the lowest one in the seven higher worlds.

Although, the upper higher worlds (lokas) are called 7 Vyahrtis. In addition to this, the lower lokas are called the 7 Patalas.

7 Vyahirts (upper world)

Here, I am going to share insights on 7 upper world called Vyahirts:

1. Satya Loka

Satya Loka is the top most world as per Hinduism. Infact it is believed to be abode of Lord Brahma. Thus, it is called the purity chamber where souls are atmans and become brahman.

Indeed, spirituallly speaking, Satya loka is abode of Truth where the soul meets the divine supreme. The inhabitants of this loka are beyond happiness and sadness of life and death. Hence they are in true bliss of being aligned to their diety.

2. Tapa loka

Tapa Loka is the loka of Tapa (penance). Furthermore, the inhabitants are immortal and highly knowledgeable. They are enlightened thus called Vaibrajas. It is the realm of higher spiritual quotient.

3. Gyan loka

Gyan loka is the third Loka in the vyahirts. Likewise, it is also known as abode of all the four sons of Lord Brahma- Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara. However, as name suggest, gyan is Hindi word for wisdom, it is the world of divine wisdom.

4. Mahar Loka

Infact, Mahar Loka is the fourth realm of existence and as name suggests, Mahar Loka is the place of greatness and glory. Particularly, it is the abode of great sages and enlightened beings like Markendeya and other rishis like Rishi Bhrigu.

5. Swar Loka

Nevertheless, Swar Loka also called Indraloka, is a space between the sun and polar star. Moreover, it the home of Indra, Devas, Gandharvas and Apsaras. As per ancient text, life is free from sufferings and ailments here.

6. Bhuvar loka

Firstly, Bhuvar Loka is also called Pitr Loka. Secondly, it is the space between Earth and other spatial bodies. Notably, some ancient text suggests that it is also a land of deceased souls and pitras. It consist of

  1. Saptarishi loka (home of Seven Rishi)
  2. Nakshatra loka (space of constellation)
  3. Surya loka (abode of Lord Sun)
  4. Dhruv loka (abode of Lord Vishnu)
  5. Antakriksha (celestial space)
  6. Chandra loka (abode of Lord Moon)

In fact, Bhuvar loka is a considered as a region includes the atmosphere and the life-force in form of Solar and Lunar enerrgy.

7. Bhu Loka

Apparently, bhu loka refers to our planet Earth. Where we all human beings and other living beings reside.

7 Patala

Loka
Patala ; source : wikimedia commons

Likewise, we have patalas having next seven lokas. These seven worlds which are below the Earth, our planet.

1. Atala Loka

Atala loka is the world of pleasure and materialistic enjoyment. However, it is ruled by king Bala – a son of Maya. Ancient text suggests that Maya is the Goddess of mystical powers.

2. Vitala Loka

Vitala loka is the world of ignorance. Apparently this realm is ruled by the god Hara-Bhava – a form of Shiva. Additionally, the residents of this realm are adorned with gold from this region.

3. Sutala Loka

Moreover, Sutala loka is the kingdom of the demon king Bali. King Bali was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu in his last rebirth. He was blessed by Lord Vamana (reincarnation of Shri Vishnu) to be king of this world. Demons and not so good inhabitants resides here. Here, the residents are able to rectify their mistakes and learn from it.

4. Talatala Loka

Additionally Talatala Loka is the loka of illusion. Also the king is demon Maya, who is well-versed in illusion and mysticsm. Hence forth, it is believed that Lord Shiva gave him this realm to live in.

5. Mahatala Loka

Meanwhile, Mahatala loka is the abode of serpents and reptile. Hindu mythology defines this as a world given to many hooded naagas, kaliya naag, vishkanya and Ichadhari nagins. All of them live here with their families.

6. Rasatala Loka

Moreover, Rasatala Loka is the home of the Danavas and Daityas (demons and devils). This realm is full of conflict and cruelity amongst inhabitants. This loka is resident of eternal enemies of Devas (gods).

7. Patala Loka

Specifically, Patala Loka is the lowest world in the hierarchy. Many ancient text also call it Nagaloka, the region of the Nagas. In the same vein, this loka ruled by Vasuki.

What is the need of lokas?

Henceforth, long before proving of black hole by scientists, hindu scriptures have told us about parallel universe. In the same vein, we have principles of duality, which I will discuss in my upcoming blogs.

Apparently, do you know these lokas are not limited to life and birth? Yes, you got me right it also has relevance in our daily life.

Spiritual Significance of lokas

Consequently, each of these lokas serves a purpose in the universe, they hold varying significance for individuals at different stages of spiritual development and backgrounds. The need and importance of a loka evolve with one’s age and experiences. Satya Loka, for instance, symbolizes a higher stage of awareness (samaddhi) and truth, while Patala Loka reflects the selfish and less noble aspects of our inner selves.

Similarly, the Vedas teach us about different qualities through the 14 lokas of Hindu mythology. Firstly, these lokas carry a higher value as they signify the materialistic reality around us, providing insights into various states of consciousness and dimensions of experience.

Secondly, to grow spiritually, we need to learn about the realms and their connection to our daily life. Life on Earth is full of ups and downs. To teach the value of consciousness and upliftment of thoughts, Vyahrtis and patala teaches us the value of white and black in life. Nothing is permanent, immortality is part of existence.

Henceforth, the concept of life and existence is neither 100% right nor 100% wrong.

How Human body is linked to Lokas?

Meanwhile, these fourteen lokas are also symbolically represented within the human body. The seven upper worlds—Satya-loka, Tapa-loka, Jana-loka, Mahar-loka, Swar-loka, Bhuvar-loka and Bhu-loka—are associated with the energy centers (chakras) of manav (human). And they are Sahasara chakra, Ajna chakra, Vishuddha chakra, Anahata chakra, Manipura chakra, Swadhisthana chakra and Muladhara chakra respectively. To know about chakras, I have one blog dedicated to chakras.

Conversely, the seven lower worlds—Atala-loka, Vitala-loka, Sutala-loka, Talatala-loka, Mahatala-loka, Rasatala-loka, and Patala-loka—are symbolically connected to the areas from thighs to toes of human body.

Conclusion

To sum up, I would like to emphasize that our Sanatana Dharma has delved deep into the realms of Brahamand and other parallel worlds long before the advent of science and technology. Each loka holds a unique significance, reflecting the complex journey of self-discovery and consciousness. As we navigate the cosmic realms within and around us, the lokas serve as guideposts, revealing not only the materialistic reality but also the deeper dimensions of our existence. It’s essential for us to be aware of these profound concepts.

Have a blessed day ahead. Keep reading and growing with us.

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