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Spiritual Inquiries: 6. The Seven Worlds of Nature

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  • saidevotee
    From the universe and our solar system, we move on to the formation of the seven planes or worlds of nature. Om Bhuhu, Om Bhuvaha, Ohum Suvaha, Om Mahaha, Om
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 15, 2005
      From the universe and our solar system, we move on to the
      formation of the seven planes or worlds of nature.

      Om Bhuhu, Om Bhuvaha, Ohum Suvaha, Om Mahaha,
      Om Janaha, Om Tapaha, Ohum Satyam.
      Om tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi,
      dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.
      Om apo jyoti raso amritam brahma bhurbhuvasuvarom.

      Recognize this mantra?

      Pranayamam. The maha mantra that purifies our body, heart and soul.
      It indicates the Seven Planes of Nature that are the next worlds
      for a human, after he/she drops his/her physical body.

      The transliteration below uses the ITRANS scheme, developed by
      Avinash Chopde. The ITRANS utility, converts the transliterated
      text below into Devanagari script. This utility is freeware,
      available at the Website http://www.omkarananada-ashram.org

      oM bhUH. oM bhuvaH. o{\m+} suvaH. oM mahaH.
      oM janaH. oM tapaH. o{\m+} satyam..
      oM tat savitu^rvareNyaM. bhago^r devasya dhImahi.
      dhiyo yo naH pracodayat..
      omApo jyoti raso .amRRitaM bramhA bhUbhu^rvassuvarom..

      We noted in the article 5. Formation of Our Solar System how the
      seven planes of our solar system were formed by the seven impulses
      or "breaths" of the Solar Deity. Coming one after another, over long
      periods of time, each breath aggregated the bubbles of koilon (which
      are ultimate atoms of all planes) into multiples of 49 (7^2) to form
      the matter of each plane.

      These seven planes are the seven folds of space, surrounding each
      planet in the solar system, the solar system itself, the other
      systems in the universe, and the universe itself.

      There are seven far larger Cosmic Planes. The seven solar planes
      form the Cosmic Physical Plane, the lowest of the cosmic planes.

      So the space around us has seven planes, called the Seven Planes of
      Nature, that surround our planet earth. Each of these planes has
      seven sub-planes. The planes are also known as worlds, lokas,
      regions or dimensions.

      Each plane relates to a state of consciousness; that is, with the
      right state of consciousness, humans can see and travel in the
      related plane. For example, human consciousness, which is at most
      times of the day focussed on the physical body, is confined to the
      Physical plane or world. During sleep at night, the consciousness
      gets focussed on the Astral or Emotional plane. Human thoughts
      originate from the Mental or Intellectual plane.Flashes of intution
      originate from the Buddhic or Causal plane.

      The planes of Nature from the subtlest to the grossest are listed
      below. The names in brackets are the other names for the planes.
      Theosophy currently adopts the term world for the older term plane.
      Each plane has its own nature and inhabitants, so it is a world in

      1. Divine World (Adi, Satya-loka)
      2. Monodic World (Anupadaka, Taparloka)
      3. Spiritual World (Atmic, Janarloka)
      4. Intutional World (Buddhic, Causal, Maharloka)
      5. Mental World (Intellectual, Manas, Suvarloka)
      6. Astral World (Emotional, Bhuvar-loka, Kamaloka)
      7. Physical World (Earth, Bhur-loka, Sthula, Prithvi)

      The Hindu Model of the Seven Worlds

      In the Hindu model, Bhur-loka is the lowest of the seven lokas or
      worlds. This the Bhumi, the Earth or the Physical World we live. The
      field of influence of bhurloka is said to extend little farther than
      our atmosphere. The term Bhur-loka originates from bhur earth and
      loka place or world.

      The sixth loka (counting downwards) is the Bhuvar-loka, the middle
      of the three worlds Bhur, Bhuvas, Suvar. This is the world we go to
      after death. The ethereal realm or sphere between the earth and the
      sun, this world is also the abode of the munis. The term Bhvar-loka
      originates from bhuvas air, atmosphere and loka world.

      Svarloka, the fifth world (counting downwards) is the svarga or the
      Heaven-world. Svarloka is also exoterically said to be a paradise
      situated on Mount Meru, the abode of Brahma and Vishnu. Mount Meru,
      the Hindu Olympus, is "described geographically as passing through
      the middle of the earth-globe, and protruding on either side. On its
      upper station are the gods, on the nether (or South pole) is the
      abode of the demons (hells)" (SD 2:404). The sphere of influence of
      svarloka is said to reach to the pole star. The term Svarloka is a
      combination of the roots svar heaven and loka world.

      The fourth of the seven lokas is the Maharloka, the abode of certain
      classes of pitris, certain of the manus, and the seven rishis, as
      well as of orders of celestial spirits and gods. Its sphere of
      influence is exoterically said to extend to the utmost limits of the
      solar system. The term Maharloka is a combination of the verbal root
      mah to be great, also pleasure, delight and loka world.

      Janarloka (also called Janoloka), the third of the seven lokas
      (counting downwards). Exoterically said to extend beyond the solar
      system, it is the abode of the kumaras belonging to a high plane,
      but one nevertheless inferior to those living in taparloka. The
      siddhas (saints, pious men) are stated to have their spiritual
      dwellings or rest periods in janarloka. There too, according to the
      Puranas, animals destroyed in the general cosmic conflagration are
      born again (SD 1:371). The term Janarloka originates from the root
      jan to be born and loka world.

      The second of the seven lokas (counting downwards), Taparloka is
      often called in Hindu literature the mansion of the blessed. It is
      considered to be the abode of vairaja-deities, agnishvattas, Sons of
      Brahma, the highest classes of manasaputras and kumaras. The term
      Taparloka originates from tapar devotion and loka world.

      The first or the highest of the seven lokas is the Satyaloka.
      Referred to as the abode of truth, this loka is the innermost and
      closest to the radiating spiritual center, and yet extends its
      influence through and beyond all the inferior lokas. The three
      higher worlds Janarloka, Taparloka and Satyaloka are together known
      as Brahmaloka. Satyaloka is the abode of jivanmuktas, souls that are
      liberated for the remainder of the entire solar manvantara from the
      cycle of spiritual transmigrations through the various spheres of
      being. The term Satyaloka is a combination of satyam truth and loka

      Atoms of the Seven Worlds

      Each of the seven worlds has its own ultimate or permanent atom that
      consists of bubbles from koilon. The number of bubbles in each
      permanent atom of the planes is given below. The names in brackets
      are the commonly used older names.

      1. Divine World (Adi) - 1
      2. Monodic World (Anupadaka) - 49
      3. Spiritual World (Atmic) - 2,401 (49^2)
      4. Intutional World (Buddhic, Causal) - 117,649 (49^3)

      5. Mental World (Intellectual) - 5,764,801 (49^4)
      6. Astral World (Emotional, Kamaloka) - 282,475,249 (49^5)
      7. Physical World (Earth) - 13,841,287,201 (49^6)

      Evolution of Form and Life

      There are three currents of evolution that are distinguishable on
      our earth in connection with humanity. The first great wave from the
      Solar Logos (Solar Deity) forms the matter, seeding it with His
      spirit, using His third aspect.

      The second great wave, using the second aspect of the Solar Deity,
      evolves the forms out of matter. The third, using the first aspect,
      evolves the self-consciousness of the forms and ensouls them.

      As Annie Besant in her book The Ancient Wisdom says that the first
      current makes the materials, the second builds the house and the
      third grows the tenant of the house.

      These three great waves of evolution formed the Seven Kingdoms of
      Nature, four of which are well known. The first is the Mineral
      Kingdom, the second, Vegetable Kingdom, the third, Animal Kingdom
      and the fourth, Human Kingdom. The three higher kingdoms, according
      to Theosopy, are represented by the Hierarchy, Shamballa and Sanat
      Kumara. We shall consider these life regions separately later.

      Human constitution, like the seven planes, is septenary. In other
      words, we have seven bodies or vehicles of consciousness. The three
      higher vehicles are permanent in nature. They are the Atma, Buddhi
      and Manas. The four lower vehicles that are transitory in nature are
      the physical body, etheric-double, astral body and the animal soul

      Let us now start exploring the seven worlds, from the lowest and the

      The Physical World (Physical Plane)

      The world we live in our waking consciousness (jagrat state), our
      holy mother Earth, has seven sub-planes, four of which most of us
      are aware of: solid, liquid, gas and ether.

      The sub-plane ether is actually four sub-planes. For want of better
      names, they are known as the fourth, third, second and first ether.
      What is the difference between these four ethers?

      The first ether, the highest, has only one ultimate physical atom
      (UPA). This is the seventh sub-plane of our physical world, counting
      from the lowest. The second ether is composed of fairly simple
      heterogeneous combinations of UPAs. The complexity increases in the
      third and fourth etheric sub-planes. Each combination stays stable
      and acts as the unit of matter in a given etheric plane.

      In the lowest three sub-planes, the gaseous, liquid and solid, the
      complicated combinations of the UPAs are regarded as the scientific
      or chemical atom, the atom of the elements, such as hydrogen,
      oxygen, bromine or gold. In these three sub-planes, the combinations
      exist as elements, mixtures and compounds.

      Whether it exists in mixtures or compounds, or individually, an
      element preserves its nature. For example, the element oxygen exists
      as a constituent of wood (solid), water (liquid) and air (gas). Pure
      oxygen can also be reduced from gas to liquid to solid. In the same
      way, oxygen can be raised to the four etheric levels, losing its
      UPAs in the process, until it has a single UPA in the first ether,
      which is the seventh sub-plane of the physical world.

      Our physical body is composed of matter from all the seven
      sub-planes of the physical plane. The etheric matter constitutes an
      etheric-double of the physical body. These two bodies respond to the
      vibrations at their own levels of matter. We shall consider the
      septenary constitution of man separately.

      To continue on the other planes...

      1. Theosophy Explained in Questions and Answers by P. Pavri.
      2. The Ancient Wisdom by Annie Besant

      Lower than hell,
      Higher than heaven, outside the utmost stars,
      Farther than Brahm doth dwell,
      Before beginning and without an end,
      As space eternal and as surety sure,
      Is fixed a power divine which moves to good,
      Only its laws endure.

      --From The Light of Asia by Edwin Arnold


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