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Vedas 107 - Seven Lokas And Associated Consciousness Levels - 6 July 2021

R. Narayanaswami

Active member
Vedas 107 - Seven Lokas And Associated Consciousness Levels - 6 July 2021

The Vedic sages and Rishis realized that the world (cosmic) manifestation appears as a multi-tiered hill with distinct, separable layers one on top of the other and consisting of seven separate stations. The support and justification for this view comes from the Rig Veda mantra RV (1.22.16), “prithivyāḥ saptha dhāmabhi ”, that is, the universe is divided into seven lokas or ‘non-physical worlds’, not in a geographical sense but in a conceptual sense, with each loka having an associated level of consciousness. The earth, or the lowest level 1, has the consciousness of matter and the parame vyoman or the ultimate station or the 7th and highest station, the truth or Satya loka has the consciousness of pure or essential being where the Supreme Being resides (or the Supreme Energy exists). These worlds (or Lokas) are given names like Bhu, Bhuvah, Suvah, Mahah, Janah, Tapah, Satyam. Each of these seven planes has its own consciousness levels with the (psychological) power in each plane being held by a deva. For example, Agni is the deva with psychological power of divine will power in the earth or Bhu plane (lowest station); Vayu, the deva of Antariksha, or bhuvah with psychological power of prana or vital energy etc. Note that the whole manifestation is a web. The human beings are not chattels in the hands of gods, but they are co-creators with the god. The Supreme Spirit is not a cruel absentee landlord who punishes those who do not pray to him or show allegiance to him or who rewards those loyal to him etc. Supreme Spirit provides full freedom to human beings to act as they want but willing to help if they seek such help. The seven stations are not physical worlds nor will one be able to travel to any of the seven stations by physical travel. These worlds are different states of consciousness. Human beings usually live in the consciousness levels of the 3 lowest planes, bhu (material world), bhuvah (pranic or vital or emotional world) and suvah (mental world) with respective devas of Agni, Vayu and Indra.

The Vedic seers stated that the entire manifestation can also be viewed as a stair or ladder of consciousness or as a mountain with several peaks. RV (1.10.2) states, “yat sānoḥ sānum ārūhāḍ, bhūri aspaṣṭa kartvam, tadindrō arthaṁ cētati yūthēna vṛṣṇirejati ” [when the worshipper climbs from peak to peak, he realizes the progress yet to be achieved, then Indra awakens in him the purpose of the journey, manifests with his troop to aid (the devotee in the journey)].

The aim of life is to climb this stair or ladder step by step. Corresponding to each step of this ladder or peak of this mountain, there is a principle of consciousness, and an associated world (loka). Corresponding to every one of the seven worlds discussed here, there is a corresponding sheath of consciousness (kosha) within every human being, reflecting the correspondence between the microcosm (the structure within a human being) and the macrocosm (the outside cosmos). While the reference to climb the external world is stated, it is only a symbol to suggest to each human aspirant to raise himself or herself by their actions to such levels of consciousness in their inner beings. We will see the ‘how to accomplish the raising of our consciousness’ aspects suggested by the Rishis in succeeding posts.

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