Conscious Cosmos

Nature, with her intelligence, created humans

Fourteen Lokas as Viewing Galleries

Puranas describe fourteen worlds or Lokas. Indeed, Earth is one of these realms and the most tangible. Seven of the fourteen are below the earth plane, and six are above it. In summary, the Earth plane is the marker between the upper and the lower planes of existence. In addition, all these planes of existence are parallel realities within this very cosmos. Some experts imagine lower life forms to be in lower planes of existence. For example, there is a world within our body. Secondly, every cell in our body is intelligent with a constrained movement zone. In contrast, an earthworm has an independent existence. However, its life span is limited. Besides, all its experiences are limited to a tiny spot within the ground. In comparison, a human can claim higher intelligence, several orders higher. We can learn a bit more from Kathopanishad.

Fourteen Lokas are vantage points for consciousness

Vedic texts count 84,000 species. In addition, they assign these to one of the abstract Lokas. However, beings with only an energy body can exist in any of the six higher planes. Indeed, the highest plane of existence is Satya Loka. It is the plane of Brahma. Highly evolved beings exist there.

A Soul’s journey

A soul gains a body based on its past Karma. Kathopanishad refers to three higher planes of existence. In short, one of its verses has a clue about the logic behind the Loka abstraction. Indeed, the Loka abstraction is based on levels of consciousness. However, not every kind of birth is conducive to gaining liberation or Nirvana. Nirvana refers to gaining the knowledge of one’s higher self, the knowledge of Brahman. A human can transit to either Pitru Loka or Gandharva Loka after missing its Nirvana opportunity. Firstly, a human being moves to the Pitru Loka when not fully satisfied with his craving for material comforts. Secondly, it hangs out there until its next human birth. However, a human being with an excessive craving to enthrall others reaches the Gandharva plane of existence. 

Human birth is the best

Kathopanishad explains why attaining Nirvana in Gandharva and Pitru births is impossible. The Gandharva and Pitru planes of existence are vantage points. In the same vein, they provide different views of Brahman. The vision of Brahman in the Pitru plane is like a dream vision. Likewise, the vision of Brahman in the human plane is like a reflection in a mirror. In addition, a mirror’s quality limits this reflection’s clarity. A dusty mirror provides a hazy view, while a polished mirror provides a clear picture.

yatha darse tathatmani
yatha svapne tatha pitrloke |
yathpsu pariva dadrse tatha gandharvaloke
chayatapayor iva brahmaloke ||5||


The human mind, which has dropped cravings and aversions, can act like a polished mirror. However, a dream vision is always vague. Knowledge of Brahman is elusive in Pitru Loka because the memory of a dream is more ambiguous. On the other hand, the vision of Brahman in Gandharva Loka is like a reflection on the surface of agitated waters. Bright lights dance on a flowing surface. Secondly, these shifting lights distract a viewer. Therefore, a clear vision of Brahman is possible only in Brahma Loka.

Light and Shadow

Brahman appears like a play of Light and Shadow in the highest plane of existence. In short, shadow vanishes when light appears. Existence, at least its visible aspect, is unreal per Upanishads. In summary, it is like a shadow. The invisible part of existence is consciousness. In essence, it is like light. Light and darkness exist together in Brahman. Material creation and consciousness coexist within creation. The former, however, cannot exist independently. The human plane of existence alone can provide direct glimpses into this truth. Yogis repeatedly strive for an experience of this truth. In turn, these experiences culture the nervous system of a Yogi. Finally, a Yogi transitions to Brahma Loka.

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