Friday, 1 January 2016

LOKA - Worlds, Levels or Stairs - HINDU.


Satyaloka, Tapoloka, Janaloka, Maharloka, Suvarloka, Bhuvarloka, Bhuloka, Atala, Vitala, Nitala, Rasatala, Mahatala, Sutala and Patala.

The Puranas usually describe these worlds as different regions of the observable universe (the planet Earth, Earth's immediate neighborhood and regions far beyond). Bhagavata Purana has many passages that describe these worlds as inhabited planets with movement of people between them through some kind of inter planetary travel.

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 positive 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."

Ancient Indian Astronomers :-

A group of sages called the Valikhilyas are counted as among the most ancient astronomers of India. They were descendants of the sage Kratu. Sage Kratu is etymologically connected with Crete in Greece, the the centre of the Minoan civilization. Valikhilyas were experts in analyzing the motion of the Sun (across the sky of Earth) and in creating a solar calendar based on it. These calenders were used by people to predict seasonal changes, arrival of rains, finding the best time to saw seeds and to harvest crops. Ancient Indian kings adopted this solar calender from the Valikhilyas and by doing so they were called Solar Dynasty kings.

The Ikswakus were prominent among the Solar Dynasty Kings. A calendar based on the motion of Sun (as against that based on the motion of Moon) tend to be more accurate in the southern latitudes. This could mean that the Valikhilyas and the Ikshwakus, who adopted their solar calender, could be originally from the souther parts of India, such as from the Godavari river valley and coastal Andhra Pradesh. Lunar calender based on the motion of Moon was popular in northern India due to difficulty in observing the motion of Sun accurately in these higher latitudes. The kings who adopted Lunar calender later became known as the Lunar Dynasty kings. The Purus, the Bharatas and the Kurus were Lunar Dynasty kings.

Danava Maya
Maya was a great architect who construct buildings, cities, vehicles (boats, ships and Vimanas). Mahabharata mentions that he even created space-crafts that orbit around Earth. He belonged to the Danava tribe. Definitely his architectural skill also required him to get familiarized with astronomy and mathematics (including trigonometry). He has done several astronomical calculations, arriving at the orbital periods of visible planets, their distance from Earth and their diameters. He is credited with the Surya Siddhanta, a work dealing with astronomy where he had described about the results of his analysis. 'Surya' means 'Sun' and 'Siddhanta' means 'theory'. Thus Surya Siddhanta could mean the Theory of Sun or the Theory of Solar System.

Some of the interesting conclusions of Surya Siddhanta, whose original author was Maya but which was subsequently updated by later astronomers of India are the following:-
The average length of the tropical year as 365.2421756 days, which is only 1.4 seconds shorter than the modern scientific value of 365.2421904 days but more accurate than the value given by the Gregorian calendar (which gives the average length of the year as 365.2425 days)
The average length of the sidereal year, the actual length of the Earth's revolution around the Sun, as 365.2563627 days, which is virtually the same as the modern scientific value of 365.25636305 days
Estimate for the diameter of Mercury is 3,008 miles, an error of less than 1% from the currently accepted diameter of 3,032 miles.
Estimate for the diameter of Saturn as 73,882 miles, which again has an error of less than 1% from the currently accepted diameter of 74,580
Estimate for the diameter of Mars is 3,772 miles, which has an error within 11% of the currently accepted diameter of 4,218 miles.
Estimate of the diameter of Venus as 4,011 miles and Jupiter as 41,624 miles, which are roughly half the currently accepted values, 7,523 miles and 88,748 miles, respectively went wrong
Probably he could not correctly gauge the relatively high brightness of planet Venus and Jupiter, affecting their diameter estimates; similarly Mars is a dull red planet affecting its diameter estimate.

It is learned that the original Surya Siddhanta contained the description of the spherical shape of Earth (that the Earth is not flat but a sphere), the rotation of Earth on its own axis as well as its revolution around Sun. If proved right this will be first recorded instance of Helio-Centric theory in human history. What makes things difficult is that most of the verses of the Surya Siddhanta is lost (only half available now) and that the older versions of the Siddhanta too is lost or modified. Most of the information that we have about this text and its contents is from secondary sources like the works of Aryabhata and Varahamihira who were inspired by this text and its findings.

Danava Maya's connection with the Meso American Mayans
It is impossible to ignore the etymological similarity of Maya with the Mayans of Meso America. The Mayan civilization is known for their astronomical systems (like the Mayan calender) and predictions based on them. Researchers are still not sure if there is any connection between Maya Danava and the Mayans of Meso-America. My analysis shows that the term 'Maya' was not just the name of a person but that of a tribe (the Maaya tribe / the Maayas) but applied to the members of this tribe who lived at different period of time.

There are also many direct and indirect evidence showing the interaction of ancient Indians with Meso America through ancient sea-trade networks in huge Indian ships capable of carrying 500 or more people. Besides this, Human Genome Project shows a north-eastern migration starting from India, through Tibet, Mongolia, Russia, North America, Meso America and South America.Analyzing the ancient Indian literature, this migration could be identified with the Naga-Suparna, Danava-Deva migration from ancient India in the north-eastern direction mentioned in the Indian scriptures. This will be discussed in a different article.

Parasara was a contemporary of Maya. He was also the father of Vyasa, the author of the great epic Mahabharata. Parasara is well known as an astronomer of ancient India and his treaties on astronomy called Parasara-Samhita (Parasara-Hora-Sastra) is still preserved. His works on astronomy and cosmology had somehow got its way into some of the Puranas authored after his life time. Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana are some among these Puranas. Vishnu Purana is one of the 18 major Puranas of ancient India and the most authentic among them as per many scholars.

Parasara's definitions on Bhur, Bhuva and Swar Lokas
Vishnu Purana: Chapter 7:- Parasara Said:- The sphere of the earth (or Bhúr-loka), comprehending its oceans, mountains, and rivers, extends as far as it is illuminated by the rays of the sun and moon; and to the same extent, both in diameter and circumference, the sphere of the sky (Bhuvar-loka) spreads above it (as far upwards as to the planetary sphere, or Swar-loka).

The solar orb is situated a hundred thousand leagues from the earth; and that of the moon an equal distance from the sun. At the same interval above the moon occurs the orbit of all the lunar constellations. The planet Budha (Mercury) is two hundred thousand leagues above the lunar mansions. Śukra (Venus) is at the same distance from Mercury. Angáraka (Mars) is as far above Venus; and the priest of the gods (Vrihaspati, or Jupiter) as far from Mars: whilst Saturn (Sani) is two hundred and fifty thousand leagues beyond Jupiter. The sphere of the seven Rishis (Ursa Major) is a hundred thousand leagues above Saturn; and at a similar height above the seven Rishis is Dhruva (the pole-star), the pivot or axis of the whole planetary circle. Such, Maitreya, is the elevation of the three spheres (Bhúr, Bhuvar, Swar) which form the region of the consequences of works. The region of works is here.

A theory close to the theory of Gravitation
Some of these descriptions seems to be plain wrong (like Moon being father than Sun, distance of Mercury being same as that of Venus) by what we know from modern astronomy but some are astonishingly true (like the distance towards Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn)! Parasara seems to have based his estimate of the distance of a planet upon the time the planet takes to complete one revolution (orbital period). Orbital revolution of planets is an observable phenomenon. Longer the orbital period, farther the distance. Thus Parasara was very close to discovering the theory of gravitation which states that orbital period is inversely proportional to the square of distance. This might also lead him to misjudge the distance of the Sun in comparison to the Moon. The apparent orbital period (1 day) of Sun is shorter than that of Moon (1 month). The apparent orbital periods of Mercury and Venus is almost equal; hence he concluded they are of the same distance.

The Source of the Astronomical Knowledge
It is possible that some space-faring civilization passed on astronomical information to ancient India which appeared in the Puranas in a partially distorted form. It is also possible that these were invented by ancient Indian sages like Parasara and Maya with some assistance from the space-faring civilization. Since the three worlds were mentioned as the region of the consequences of works and the region of work, it could mean that these three worlds were the domain of work for this civilization as they interacted with the human civilization and subtly interfered with them. It also seems to be the places where the human-souls are re-engineered (after death?).


Bhurloka-The sphere of the earth or Bhúr-loka, comprehending its oceans, mountains, and rivers, extends as far as it is illuminated by the rays of the sun and moon; and to the same extent, both in diameter and circumference, the sphere of the sky (Bhuvar-loka) spreads above it (as far upwards as to the planetary sphere, or Swar-loka.Wherever earthy substance exists, which may be traversed by the feet, that constitutes the sphere of the earth (Bhu Loka).‘Bhu’ means ‘Earth’ and ‘loka’ means the surface of planet Earth, where we live.

Bhuvar Loka-The region that extends from the earth to the sun, in which the Siddhas and other celestial beings move, is the atmospheric sphere (Bhuvar Loka). Bhuvar-loka is identified with Earth’s atmosphere and sometimes with the space which is in the immediate neighborhood of Earth.

Suvar Loka- The interval between the sun and Dhruva, extending fourteen hundred thousand leagues, is called by those who are acquainted with the system of the universe the heavenly sphere (Suvar Loka).Suvar-loka (alternatively Swar-loka) is beyond Bhuvarloka.Some description makes it a planet inhabited by the Devas with their king Indra.Some references make it equivalent to the Swarga.Some Puranic references equate Suvarloka to the Solar System.

Maharloka-Above Dhruva, at the distance of ton million leagues, lies the sphere of saints, or Mahar-loka, the inhabitants of which dwell in it throughout a Kalpa, or day of Brahmá.

Janaloka-At twice that distance is situated Janaloka, where Sanandana and other pure-minded sons of Brahmá, reside.

Tapoloka- At four times the distance, between the two last, lies the Tapo-loka (the sphere of penance), inhabited by the deities called Vaibhrájas, who are unconsumable by fire.

Satyaloka-At six times the distance (or twelve Crores, a hundred and twenty millions of leagues) is situated Satya-loka, the sphere of truth, the inhabitants of which never again know death

These three lower spheres are termed transitory: the three highest, Jana, Tapa, and Satya, are styled durable 4: Maharloka, as situated between the two, has also a mixed character; for although it is deserted at the end of the Kalpa, it was not destroyed yet.

Atala- is ruled by Bala - a son of Maya - who possesses mystical powers. By one yawn, Bala created three types of women - svairiṇīs ("self-willed"), who like to marry men from their own group; kāmiṇīs ("lustful"), who marry men from any group, and the puḿścalīs ("those who wholly give themselves up"), who keep changing their partners. When a man enters Atala, these women enchant him and serve him an intoxicating cannabis drink that induces sexual energy in the man. Then, these women enjoy sexual play with the traveller, who feels to be stronger than ten thousand elephants and forgets impending death.

Vitala-is ruled by the god Hara-Bhava - a form of Shiva, who dwells with attendant ganas including ghosts and goblins as the master of gold mines. Here he enjoys sexual union with his consort Bhavani and their sexual fluids flow as river Hataki here. When fire - fanned by wind - drinks from this river, it spits the water out as a type of gold called Hataka. The residents of this realm are adorned with gold from this region.

Sutala- is the kingdom of the pious demon king Mahabali. The dwarf Avatar of Vishnu, Vamana tricked Bali - who had conquered the three worlds - by begging for three paces of land and acquired the three worlds in his three paces. Vamana pushed Bali to Sutala, but when Bali surrendered to Vishnu and gave away all his belongings to him, Vishnu in return made Bali, richer than Indra, the god-king of heaven. Bali still prays to Vishnu in this realm.

Talātala- is the realm of the demon-architect Maya, who is well-versed in sorcery. Shiva, as Tripurantaka, destroyed the three cities of Maya but was later pleased with Maya and gave him this realm and promised to protect him.

Mahātala- is the abode of many-hooded nāgas - the sons of Kadru, headed by the Krodhavasha (Irascible) band of Kuhaka, Taksshaka, Kaliya and Sushena. They live here with their families in peace but always fear garuda.

Rasātala- is the home of the demons - Danavas and Daityas, who are mighty but cruel. They are the eternal foes of Devas (the gods). They live in holes like serpents.

Patala or Nagaloka- is the lowest realm and the region of the Nagas, ruled by Vasuki. Here live several Nagas with many hoods. Each of their hood is decorated by a jewel, the light of which illuminates this realm.