Loka


Loka

Loka, a word in Sanskrit, in Hinduism and Hindu mythology, means world, dimension, plane, abode, and/or place or plane of existence.

Puranas

In the Puranas there are seven lokas (realms), Bhuloka (earth), Bhuvarloka (air), Svarloka or Svargaloka (heaven), Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka (abode of tapas) and Satyaloka (abode of Truth), also called Brahmaloka or the world of Brahma.

The scholar Deborah Soifer describes the development of the concept of lokas as follows:

The concept of a loka or lokas develops in the Vedic literature. Influenced by the special connotations that a word for space might have for a nomadic people, "loka" in the Veda did not simply mean place or world, but had a postivie valuation: it was a place or position of religious or psychological interest with a special value of function of its own.
Hence, inherent in the 'loka' concept in the earliest literature was a double aspect; that is, coexistent with spatiality was a religious or soteriological meaning, which could exist independent of a spatial notion, an 'immaterial' significance.

The most common cosmological conception of lokas in the Veda was that of the trailokya or triple world: three worlds consisting of earth, atmosphere or sky, and heaven, making up the universe." [Soiver, Deborah A., "The Myths of Narasimha and Vamana: Two Avatars in Cosmological Perspective" State University of New York Press (Nov 1991), ISBN: 978-0791407998 p. 51 [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=OoFDK_sDGHwC&pg=PA51&dq=Vedas+Lokas&ei=Wjd-SNCiCqPujAHt8MAQ&client=firefox-a&sig=ACfU3U1Qb5ZTNxVqgkqYk4mLaPwB5BGiOw] ]

Theosophy

The concept of Lokas was adopted by Theosophy, and can be found in the writings of Blavatsky. There is also reference to kamaloka (world of desires) as a sort of astral plane or temporary after-life state, according to the teachings of Blavatsky, Leadbeater, and Steiner.

System iteration and feedback of meme

In contemporary Vedanta these Theosophical ideas in turn influenced Indian conceptions, so that the Lokas are equated with Theosophical-style planes (see Sivananda link below)

Six Lokas

Six Lokas refers to a Bönpo and Nyingmapa spiritual practice or discipline that works with chakras and the six dimensions or classes of beings in the Bhavachakra.

Notes

References


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