Author: Vineet 
All Creations of God stretch Infinitely,
All Times, Past, Present and Future,
Worlds imagined and unimagined..
Everything that Can be,
Everything that Cannot be, 
All exist somewhere..
Beyond this world are myriad worlds,
And beyond all worlds,
Is the One that is Eternal..


The Hindu New Year has just started and Chaitra Navratri gets over today. Calculations tell us that we are in the 5114th Year of the Era of Kaliyuga, a thought that was enough to get me started on an exploration of the scriptures once again.

Hindu scriptures have always used mind-boggling numbers for the Age of the Universe and the Gods inhabiting it. For example, Brahma, the Creator-God, has an impressive life span that runs into trillions of Solar Years!

The 'Chemical locha' in my brain makes me look for a scienctific sub-text in every religious text that I read. How can it be, that the demi-gods and their Superior gods have such long time-spans that make them seem almost IMMORTAL to us??

For some time now, I have been nursing this notion

COULD the multi-limbed gods and goddesses with super-human abilities, space-crafts and atomic-weaponry, be actually super-advanced ALIENS with a keen interest in our world??


Gods as Alien Benefactors of Human-kind



I don't intend this statement to be blasphemous, as I myself am as much a Man of FAITH as of SCIENCE and completely believe in the Divinity of Supreme Lord and the Holy Trinity.

What I propose here is a new understanding of the DEMI-GODS as denizens of the same Universe living on different planets called LOKAS. They have access to highly advanced Science (that we percieve as supernatural abilities) and a much better grasp of the Supreme Lord's Cosmic Plan!

Of course, they are Spiritually more advanced too and perform their individual roles in running the Universe impeccably viz. Indra-the Lord of Rain, Varun-the Lord of Oceans andYamaraj-the Lord of Death.

Could the Scientific advancement of these beings have resulted in their extended life-spans as well?? To us, the World seems to be ending, but our Brahma has JUST hit Middle-age, and is currently near the Noon of the 1st Day of the 51st year of his life!

By my calculation, Lord Brahma's current age of 50 Deva Years (~155 Trillion Human Years) + Half a Day (~1.85 Billion Years) amounts to the massive figure of 155.521852 Trillion Solar Years which would also be the Age of OUR Universe approximately!!

Brahma, the 150 Trillion Year old God!



It is noteworthy that unlike any other belief system in the World, Hindu Cosmology talks about Time frames that are even FURTHER in the mists of time than the approximations arrived at by current Science (Age of Universe - 14 Billion years).

Whether we consider them advanced aliens or demi-gods, these beings would be FAR FAR Superior to us in Scientific as well as Spiritual pursuits and we should keep that in our mind while reading about their super-human feats in the ancient chronicles.

Respecting the authority of these same sources, in this post, let us embark on a journey ofScriptural Space-Exploration.


Do Aliens Exist?
Our planet is the only KNOWN planet which has given birth to Life; however, it does not follow that it is the ONLY one capable of supporting Life! 

There are Billions and Billions of Stars in each Galaxy; Billions of Galaxies in each Universe, and as we learnt in the 2nd post (Black Holes and Bhagavatam), Billions of Universes in the Material Creation!!

It is more likely than not, that Life in its myriad forms exists in not just one but many other planets as yet undiscovered by the human race.



Billions of stars in our Galaxy Milky Way
 
Trillions of Galaxies in the Universe
Zillions of Universes emerging from Shri Maha-Vishnu




Scientifically, it is still undetermined whether the universe exists by itself or is just one of the countless trillions within a larger Multiverse, itself contained within the Omniverse that is the Material World.

Even if we forget the Multi-verse and Parallel Universes we encountered in a previous post, there are still enough planets within our OWN Universe, which could be inhabited by alien species. Here, I would quote my favorite author, Arthur C. Clarke to put a very valid point across-

Almost certainly there is enough land in the sky to give every member of the human species, his own private world! But how many of those potentially habitable worlds are ALREADY inhabited, we have no way of knowing!

Yet, as he quite eloquently states, the barriers of distance are crumbling; one day SOON we may meet our Equals, or our Masters, among the stars.


Advanced Aliens from a Hollywood flick




Sadly, Human race today, is like the proverbial Frog-in-the-well. We have been cocooned by our Atmosphere and sheltered from the harsh realities of Universe for so long, that we just can't remember how things are outside of it.

But there are entire Solar Systems, Galaxies and even Universes that are inaccessible to us right now and it would be good to remember the plausability of Life existing somewhere out there.



Different Worlds in Our Universe

Let us begin our journey with a brief insight into our current place in the Universe by means of this animation:


Zoom out from Earth to the Universe




It would be immediately clear from this video that we are an extremely tiny and insignificant part of this gigantic Universe and there are billions and zillions of worlds out there about which we have absolutely no clue even today.

Fortunately for us, the Ancients were NOT as short-sighted or limited by Scientific Theories as we are today, and have described planets, galaxies and even multiple Universes in this Material Realm which would act like what Science calls an Omniverse.

The Puraans give THREE different divisions of our Universe and label them as the:

  • Urdhva-loka (Highest abodes),
  • Madhya or Bhu-loka (Middle ones), and
  • Adho-loka (the Lower realms). 

Various scriptures talk about these different realms within Material Creation. In the Great War of Mahabharat, when Arjuna faltered in his duty, Lord Krishna gave him the Divine discourse of  Shrimad Bhagavad Geeta, and let him have a glimpse of His Supreme Virat-Roop

In this Universal Form of the Lord, Arjun could see the entire cosmos. Eternity manifests itself in endless ways on endless planes of existence and from head to toe, Arjuna saw the body of Lord Krishna encompassing 14 different planetary dimensions!!


Virat Roop of Lord Vishnu



Let us try to understand what the fourteen planetary systems or Lokas refer to and what is their geographical and spatial arrangement.


Lokas in Our Universe


Each Universe is shaped like an egg (Brahmand) and within it exist the three levels of Lokas. There are 14 planetary systems comprising the three Lokas and below them exist the 28 different Hells.

Brahmand and its Lokas



The Hari-vamsha says that Higher planetary systems are the realms of Devas, Angels, Spirits and Manes; Middle Planets (Bhu-Loka) the abode of mortal beings like Humans and animals; and the Lower planets are populated by the Demons and Nagas.

Since the names in the Image above may not be very clear, I am jotting down the 14 systems here:

      Higher Lokas  -  Lower Lokas
Satyaloka
1
Atal
Tapoloka
2
Vital
Janloka
3
Sutal
Maharloka
4
Rasatal
Swargaloka
5
Talatal
Bhuvarloka
6
Mahatal
Bhuloka
7
Patal

All these planets are within the material world and under the control of Devi Durga, therefore the Material Creation is also known as Devi-dham.

Development of higher consciousness, starts with human beings, and further increases among the denizens of higher planetary systems. Our Earth is situated close to the middle of these planetary systems and represents the Mortal Realms known as the Bhu Mandala.

Jain Scriptures also describe a similar form known as the Lok-purush or the Cosmic Man. The torso and head of the Cosmic Man contain a series of heavenly realms where the inhabitants experience lives of pleasure. The legs represent a series of seven hells, which offer an endless variety of torments.


Lokas in Jain cosmology




For us, the most important part of the universe, is the disk at the Loka-purush's waist, representing the MIDDLE-WORLD, where humans live and great teachers can be born. In this post, I shall take you through the 14 planetary systems starting with the Top planets first and gradually progressing to the Lower ones.


URDHVA-LOKA or The Higher Planets
The Higher Planets are abodes of super-intelligent, super-human, semi-divine and spiritually advanced beings. Loosely they may be understood as the Heavenly planets compared to the Middle Realm of Earth-like planets and the lower Hellish realms.


Comparative arrangement of the Lokas



This group contains SIX planetary systems shown in the image above as the top six Lokas. The lowest of these, the Bhuvar-Loka, lies immediately above the Earthly Realm or Bhu-Loka.



SATYA-LOKA


The HIGHEST planet in the Material Realm is the abode of Lord Brahma, the progenitor of this universe. Along with him are present, his consort Saraswati and other spiritual entities who, after eons of spiritual penance have been able to transcend the bonds of Material world and reach this plane by traversing through the Milky Way.

Satya-Loka or Brahma-Loka



At the time of final dissolution of the material planets the residents here transform their subtle bodies into spiritual bodies and enter the eternal Vaikuntha planets which begin 26,200,000 yojanas ABOVE the Satyaloka.



TAPO-LOKA

This is the abode of the four Kumars named Sanat, Sanak, Sanandan, and Sanatan and is located 120,000,000 yojanas below the Satya-Loka.

They are the first incarnations of Lord Vishnu and represent the Gyan-shakti (power of knowledge) of the Lord. They are collectively referred to as the Kumars because they are immortal and live for the entire duration of universal time, yet retain their appearance of 5 year old kids!


The Kumars preaching Supreme Knowledge



Because of their pure nature, they have easy access to the Brahma-Loka as well as the Spiritual Realm and regularly visit Lord Vishnu in the Vaikuntha.



JANA-LOKA & MAHAR-LOKA


The next Loka lies 80,000,000 yojanas below the Tapaloka and is the abode of great rishis. 20,000,000 yojanas below Janaloka is the Maharloka which is another abode of great saints and sages.

These Lokas are populated by mystics who can move between any planets within the material universe at speeds unthinkable to modern Science and the greatest of sages, such as Bhrigu Muni, live in this place. The inhabitants have a life span of one whole day of Brahma (4.32 Billion years)!


Sages of Jana-Loka and Mahar-loka worshipping the Lord



When the fire of devastation reaches this planet the residents transport themselves toSatyaloka where they live further before the highest of planets is also destroyed. They then transform their subtle bodies to spiritual and enter the spiritual realms.

Here, by means of his Karma, a soul can either go higher, up to Satyaloka and become Brahma's associate, or down, to the level of the Devas or demigods.


SWARGA-LOKA


The abode of the 33 Vedic gods also known as the Trayastriṃśa in Buddhist cosmology is located on the peak of Mount Meru, the central mountain of the world, at a height of 80,000 yojans.

This Loka corresponds to the concept of Heaven as described in the Western sense of the term. Here the King of the Gods, Indra rules with his brothers and companions. His entourage comprises of Angels, Gandharvas, Apsaras, Maruts, Vasus and other divine beings.


The Heavenly Realm



This is one of the most opulent planetary system with unimaginable riches, wish-fulfilling trees, supersonic space-crafts, ability to travel in different dimensions, long life-spans, and freedom from disease and disability. The duty of these Demi-gods is to manage the affairs of the universe, protecting its inhabitants against the demons.

The capital city of this world is Amravati - Abode of the Immortals. Indra and his fellow-residents obtain all the pleasures of life because of the wish-fulfilling cow Kamdhenu. This divine cow, the three-headed White Elephant Airavat as well as the Flying Horse Uchhaihshrava (~Greek Pegasus) were the riches Indra obtained after the Churning of the Cosmic Ocean.




Indra riding the winged-horse Ucchaihshrava
 
Kamdhenu emerging from the Samudra Manthan
Airavat, the King of Elephants



However, the 33 gods do not have a completely worry-free life here. In particular, they find themselves frequently challenged by the Asuras who dwell at the foot of Sumeru, plotting for ways to overthrow the Devas and take over their kingdom.


Devas getting ready for a battle with Asuras
Image courtesy Grant Morrison's 18 Days
{Art by Mukesh Singh}



Scriptural references make it equivalent to the Biblical Heaven or Islamic Jannat where the good souls go after death to reap the benefits of their good Karma.

If they become advanced in devotional service, they can advance to one of the higher Munilokas but if they become attached to material enjoyment, they will degrade into a lower position of a semi-divine being of even a Human again.



BHUVAR-LOKA


This planetary system roughly corresponds to our Solar System and contains Five major planets plus the Sun-God. However, there are two planets outside the Solar System included in this - Dhruva Loka or Pole Star and the realm of the Sapta-rishis or Big Dipper.

These Lokas are the abodes of Semi-divine beings who are one notch higher than the Humans. They assist the demigods in various ways and sometimes interact with the humans. By advancement in their service they can become a Demigod or by indulging in enjoyment, be born as a Human on the Earthly Realms.


Dhruv-Loka

It is the planetary complex revolving around the Polestar that is said to be 10,000,000 yojans below the Maharloka. It is described as the center of a bright ring of stars identified with our galaxy, Milky Way.

In every material universe, there is one Vaikunth planet with an ocean of milk where Lord Vishnu resides on an island called Shvetadvipa. In our Universe, this planet is situated in the Eastern side of Dhruvaloka and is the abode of Lord Kshirodakshayi Vishnu! 



Brahma and the demigods meditating on Lord Vishnu at the Shvet-dvipa in Dhruv Loka



This transcendental island is 200,000 square miles and covered with desire trees for the pleasure of the Supreme Lord who resides here with Goddess Lakshmi and other pure, transcendental entities.

As it is a spiritual planet, it is eternal and therefore remains when all other planets within the material universes are destroyed. It is believed to be the pivot for all material stars and planets with even the Sun, revolving at the speed of 16,000 miles per second around theDhruvaloka.

As mentioned in a previous post {Black Holes and Bhagavatam}, this Loka is located at theGalactic Center which is formed by a Super-massive Black Hole which may act as a portal between the Physical and Spiritual Realms.



Sapta-rishi Loka

The abode of the Seven Great Seers or the Sapta-rishis located 100,000 Yojans below the Dhruva-Loka.

The seven rishis are the most advanced spiritual guides for Humanity and have been present at all major time periods of our History. Astronomically, their abode is recognized in the form of the Big Dipper or Ursa Major constellation and it always revolves around the Dhruv-Loka or Pole Star.


Sapta-rishi Loka revolves around the Pole Star



Rishi Vasishth was the preceptor of the Solar Dynasty or Suryavansh whileVishwamitra was the guru of Lord Rama. There are numerous stories and legends in the ancient scriptures which relate the immense services these rishis have provided to different rulers on our planet since the beginning of time.


Nakshtara-Loka


Nakshatra Mandala is the stellar neighborhood of the Solar System perceived as the starry night sky. It is generally equated with the Zodiac Map around the Earth and represents the different constellations visible to us from Earth.


Nakshatra-Mandal




Lokas of Solar Planets


The next Lokas are those of the major Solar planets viz.  Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn which are the abodes of the divine-beings called Budh, Shukra, Mangal, Brihaspati and Shanaichar respectively.


The Lokas of Solar Planets



An alternate view is that these are spherical shell regions in which the respective planet's orbits are situated and these shells contain one after the other in the order of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These are believed to be located at a respective distance of 2,00,000 Yojans each.



Surya-Loka

Similarly, the Surya-Loka refers to the sphere of the Sun-god and the Solar neighborhood. It is located at a height of 1,00,000 Yojans above the Earth.

The Most importnt thing about this Loka is that it is situated bang in the middle of the Bhuloka and Bhuvarloka, rotating through the time circle of the zodiac. Thus, it represents not only the center of the Solar System, but ALSO the center of the Universe!!


Surya-Loka represents the center of our Universe



Since all observable data has shown the Universe to be expanding all around us, it MAY in fact BE true that our Solar System occupies the central position in the Egg-shaped Universe that we exist in.

It is not so easy to determine the real space structure of the universe because there's no INDEPENDENT measure of distance in the universe. Hence, the astronomers have to look at a map of redshifts and directions in the sky from where the light has come. Then to get the distance to the source galaxy they have to assume the Hubble law.

Such observations have confirmed that numerical values of galaxy redshifts are ‘quantized’, tending to fall into distinct groups. According to Hubble’s Law, redshifts are proportional to how far a Galaxy is from us and an analysis of these shifts shows that galaxies tend to be grouped into (conceptual) spherical shells concentric around our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

Those interested in knowing more can go through this article by Dr. Russel Humphrey - {Our-galaxy-is-the-centre-of-the-universe-quantized-redshifts-show}.



Chandra-Loka

Chandra/Soma is the Sanskrit name of the Moon-god and hence, this Loka includes the satellite of Moon as well as its orbital neighborhood.

It should be remembered that when the scriptures talk about the Sun or the Moon-gods, it does not imply that the Star and the Satellite themselves are revered as Gods! There are deities who have been given the responsibility of these Heavenly bodies and THEY are the ones referred to by these terms.


Chandra-Loka, abode of the Moon-god



Moon influences the tidal processions and growth of vegetation therefore it is considered the life-giver for all living beings on earth. Here the celestial, intoxicating beverage called Soma is also available which is consumed by Indra and other Devas especially when they are getting ready for a battle.



Rahu

Rahu is the North node of the Moon's orbit while its counterpart Ketu is the southern one. It is said to be situated 80,000 miles above the three previous Lokas and is responsible for causing the Solar and Lunar eclipses.

Astronomically, Rahu and Ketu are identified with the Ascending and Descending Nodesof the Moon which are the points where the orbits of Sun and Moon intersect and if the alignment is correct, either a Solar or Lunar eclipse may occur.


Rahu and Ketu as Nodes of the Lunar orbit



Thus, these are not imaginary entities which periodically swallow the Sun and the Moon to cause an eclipse but ACTUAL positions contributing to the eclipses. The ancients were after all NOT crazy and the myths actually have underlying science inherent in them.

Siddhaloka, Charanaloka, & Vidyadharaloka


These planets are spread from above the Antariksh to the orbit of the Moon. Their residents are born with all the mystic siddhis naturally, including the ability to travel to other planets without using mechanical contraptions.

Vidyadhars/Angels visit Earth as messengers



The Vidyadhars are winged-creatures corresponding to the western concept of Angels and Siddhas are advanced beings who do not need wings to fly on account of their mystic Yogic powers. Chaarans spend most of their time traveling between the different planetary systems, eulogizing the Lord.

To me, the three Lokas seem to represent the divisions of our atmosphere which is quite neatly divided into three bands as well!


The Layers of Atmosphere between Sun and Earth



It is quite possible, that the three Lokas mentioned here, actually refer to the Atmospheric layers of Thermosphere, Mesosphere and Stratosphere and these entities exist there in an ethereal form.



Antariksh

The sky called Antariksh is the lowest of the higher Lokas and exists immediately above the Earth realm. It extends as far as the wind blows and clouds float in the sky and within it are the residences of Yakshas, Rakshashas, Pisachas, Ghosts, and other etheral beings.

Now that we are done with the Higher planets, let's move on to the Middle level Earth-like worlds known as th Mrityu-Loka or Bhu-Loka.


MADHYA-LOKA or The Middle Planets


The Bhumandala comprises of SEVEN Planets giving rise to the Mortal Realm. These are:
  • Jambu-dvipa,
  • Plaksha-dvipa,
  • Salmali-dvipa,
  • Kusha-dvipa,
  • Krauncha-dvipa,
  • Shaka-dvipa,
  • Pushkar-dvipa

We have already identified JAMBUDWEEP as our planet, in a previous post {Jambudvip - The Global Island}. The other six planets are arranged in a concentric fashion around the central planet Earth.


Dvipas in their orbits with Earth in the Centre



I wouldn't go much into the details of the different planets here because the descriptions more or less follow the same pattern as those of the Earth. All these planets have land surrounded by huge oceans and comprise of Humanoid species.

However, the denizens here live longer and are more materially opulent than the denizens of our world becuase right from Plaksh-dvipa to Shak-dvipa, there is a perpetual Treta-Yuga which is a more conducive age than our present Kailyuga.

I hope most of you would have grasped the point to be noted here -

Besides Earth, there are SIX more planets which have Human-beings/Humanoids inhabiting them!

The significance of this information is huge!! If only we could identify these planets, we would be able to identify the location of OTHER intelligent species similar to us as well. I for one would be most eager to join if someone with access to astronomical resources needed for this endeavor decides to take the initiative..

Till then, let us do what we can and learn more about the other Lokas.

ADHO-LOKA or The Lower Planets

About 70,000 Yojans below the earth begin the seven lower planetary systems.

It should be remembered that these planets may be LOWER in spatial co-ordinates but are materially MORE opulent than even the Higher Planets hence they are known as the Bila-Swarga! These lower worlds are:

  • Atal
  • Vital
  • Sutal
  • Talatal
  • Mahataal
  • Rasaatal
  • Pataal

The residents here enjoy a standard of material comfort UNMATCHED by even the higher planets because the denizens of these worlds are concerned only with Material enjoyment and have very loittle Spiritual inclination.

These lower worlds are dark planets, devoid of any Sunshine and are hence artificially-lit by means of huge reflecting surfaces in the form of crystals and gems! Since time is not divided into days and nights due to no sunshine reaching these planets, they have no fear produced by time.

These planets are the residence of Daityas, Danavas, Panis, Nivat-kavachs, Rakshasas, Kalkeyas, Nagas, Uragas who are all engaged in illusory material enjoyment with no thought of spiritual liberation. All residents bathe in elixirs which free them from any anxiety or physical disease, as well as any signs of physical aging. 


Rakshas denizens enjoy all Material opulences




The visual beauty of these artificial heavens surpasses even that of the higher planets and hence they are known as Bila-Swarga. There are incredible feats of architecture in their cities bedecked with valuable jewels.

This sensual atmosphere completely captures the mind, allowing no thoughts but those directed toward fulfillment of pleasure. Demon live in these lower planetary systems with their wives and children, always engaged in sense gratification and not fearing their next births.

There are some details which are worth mentioning here-

  • The planet Sutal is the abode of Bali Maharaj, the most benevoent and just king of the Asura race, who was blessed by Lord Vishnu to become the Indra for the nextManvantar.
  • In the Lower planets of Mahataal and Pataal, reside the Nagas or the semi-human serpent people. The Nagaloka is a splendid place with unimaginable riches. All darkness is banished here because of the brilliantly glowing jewels on the hoods of the huge serpents. The King of the Nagas, Vasuki resides here in his capitalBhogavati.


    Naga city of Bhogavati



    • Buddhist texts mention eight major kings of the Nagas - Vasuki, Takshak, Nanda, Upananda, Sagar, Balvan, Anavatapta and Utpal. The same are also referred to as the 'Eight Dragon Kings' in Chinese and Japanese legends.
    • Below the lowest planet of Pataal, is the planet of the Manes or ancestors who are known as the Pitras.

    Texts like the Mahabharat repeatedly give incidents of Nagas emerging from under the ground (inspired probably by their tendency to live in burrows) and Naga princesses abducting handsome men deep down under water.

    Maybe a thorough underwater exploration can help shed some light on the possible existence of portals between these worlds and our Earth.

    Till now, we have encountered planets with advanced beings having multiple limbs who can transport themselves from one place to another in a fraction of a second (Vaikunth-Loka). We saw planets where people travel on airplanes and space-crafts rather than ground-cars (Swarga-Loka) and also read about planets that do not need the Sun for survival (Bila-Swarga)

    Beneath all these, and slightly above the Garbhodak ocean, are the Naraklokas, or the hellish planets. 
      
    



    NARAK-LOKA or The Hellish Planets


    Narak is the Hindu counterpart of Christian Hell and Islamic Dozakh.

    This place acts as a purgatory for the souls who have commited the most abominable actions on the earthly plane. Unlike the Eternal Hell of Western religions though, this place is temporary and once the soul has learnt its lesson, it is free to move back into the regular dimension.


    Lowest of all are the Planets of Hell



    There are 28 different hells described in the Vedic literature and these planets are:

    Raurav, Sukar, Rodha, Tal, Vishsan, Mahajwal, Taptakumbh, Lavan, Vilohit, Rudhiramabh, Vaitarni, Krimish, Krimibhojan, Asipatravana, Krishna, Lalabhaksha, Darun, Puyuvah, Pap, Vahnijwal, Adhahshira, Sandansh, Kalsutra, Tamas, Avichi, Swabhojan, Apratishthit andAprachi.


    The different Hells



    The ancient sages have made provisions of expiation for those sinners who feel guilty in their conscience after committing their sins. Only those sinners who do not expiate for their sins fall into these hells. Although life here seems like it goes on for an eternity, in actual fact the duration of one's Karmic sentence here may be only seconds or moments.

    All these Hells are under the domain of Surya-putra Yamaraj where he delivers judgement according to the record kept by his assistant Chitra-gupta.


    Yamraj in his Court of Justice 
    Image courtesy Dominique Amendola




    Below these planets is the Garbhodak Ocean which forms the bottom of the Universal Eggor the Brahm-and.





    Foundation of Our Universe
    At the base of our Universe lies the immense Garbhodak Ocean on which reclines the second form of Lord Vishnu - Shri Garbhodakshayi Vishnu, resting on the Eternal serpent,Ananta-Shesha. {For details check this link - Creation by Brahma}.


    Final arrangement of the Lokas



    Anant-Shesh has thousands of hoods and each of the hoods carries a bright gemstone that illuminates the azimuths. At the end of every Kalpa, Brahma goes to sleep and rests for the night. This is the time of Maha-pralaya when fiery poison emanates from Ananta's thousands of hoods and destroys all Creation.

    This is the Sankarshan form of the Lord from whose eyebrows appears the three-eyedRudra who destroys the three worlds and dances the dance of destruction known as the Tandav.


    Lord Sankarshan destroys the creation at the end of Brahma's day



    From all that we have read about the different Lokas, Bhu-Loka or the Earth-Realm seems to be sort of a Launch-pad from where you can reach the other worlds based on your Karma.

    Through GOOD Karma and right inclination, one can ascend to the Spiritually advanced Higher planets; through OKAYish Karma, indulgence of senses and unbridled desires, one can descend to the Spiritually deprived but Materially advanced Lower planets. And through really really really BAD Karma, one may have to suffer in one of the Hellish planets!

    This, I believe is the central learning from all this knowledge. Even if you are a Deva or aRishi, there's no guarantee that you won't be born as a Rakshas or an ant or a bacteria in your next birth! There are numerous instances where a Divine being was cursed to be born as a Human or an animal because of his bad Karma.

    The only certain way to get out of this Samsara or the Never-ending Cycle of Birth and Death is to keep the Lord in your heart in every action that you do, in every thought that comes to your mind, and in every breath that you take. 

    I conclude this post with a statement from the Brahma-Vaivarta Puraan -
    Harer naam Harer naam Hare naam Kevalam,
    Kalau na asti eva na asti eva na asti eva gatih anyathha!

    Only the name of Hari, Only the name of Hari, Only the name of Hari,
    There's no other delieverance, no other deliverance, no other deliverance in this Age of Kali!

    .
    Aum Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:
    .
    Source: Decode Hindu Mythology

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    1. thank you it was very informative.

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