What’s Your State of Mind? The Esoteric Meaning of the 14 Lokas in Hindu Mythology

Yin-Yang esoteric symbolism

In an earlier article, titled “What are the Lokas in Hindu Mythology”, I explained how the esoteric symbolism in the Hindu Vedas relates to consciousness and the various states of mind you experience.

Vedic cosmology is fundamentally based on sacred sciences. So are other religions for that matter. Once you understand the true meanings of esoteric symbols, it becomes apparent that ancient civilisations had a profound understanding of the human psyche, biology, physiology and, arguably, quantum physics.

The 14 Lokas of Hindu mythology, for example, explain states of mind. The seven upper worlds describe states of mind when you are balanced, happy and in perfect harmony – or near-perfect harmony – with your environment.

In contrast, the seven lower worlds describe states of disharmony. The Lokas are essentially the yin-yang of your chakras – the duality of positive (good) and negative (bad) energies.

When your energy centres are open and in balance, you feel much better about yourself, emotionally mentally and physically. The reverse is true when your chakras are out of sync.

How many times have do you feel glum, melancholic or fatigued and don’t know why?

It is because your energies are unbalanced.

Well, now you know why. Or partly. Understanding the 14 Lokas will give you more indication of why you might be feeling low or experiencing bad luck (unbalanced negative energy). And once you identify the issue, you can work on the solution.

The Upper Lokas

Some commentators think the Lokas are actually planets somewhere in the solar system. And they may well be, but there is no way of ever proving that in this lifetime. So there is really no point discussing it. But hey-ho!

In my opinion, the Lokas reveal the states of mind. Is it not true that you fluctuate in and out of consciousness on a daily basis? Your thoughts are constantly changing, and so are your emotions. Thoughts and emotions come from the subconscious mind.

You will know from experience that your moods change without any real explanation. How can you go to bed one-night feeling content, then wake up the next morning feeling restless?

The seven upper worlds of the Lokas, or vyahrtis, represent your higher states of conscious awareness. When you expand your conscious awareness, the components of your body vibrate at a higher level of frequency and you feel better about yourself.

You also see through the veil of illusion and recognise the Truth of the real world more often. Subsequently, your experience of life is more profound and satisfying.

The seven upper worlds range from being fully awake to your Buddha nature, down to above average state of consciousness whereby an individual is grounded and confident. In between are the various levels you pass through on the path to Nirvana.

It’s worth noting that you do not have to be spiritual or follow any religious practices to expand conscious awareness. All you have to do is observe your subconscious mind, know yourself and make small changes to your daily practices to transform bad energy.

Hindu myths explain the upper worlds are where the gods reside, and the lower realms are where the demons reside. Don’t take this literally. Gods are symbolic of higher states of conscious awareness (good energy) and demons are lower states of consciousness (bad energy); ignorance, anger, hate, weakness etc.

The 7 Upper Worlds of Hinduism

1. Satya-Loka:

Said to be located on Mount Meru, Satya-Loka is the home of the Hindu Trimurti; Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. It is described as “the highest of the joyful worlds” and, according to Buddhism, is impermanent.

Satya-Loka is the state of mind you reach when you experience Samadhi or Nirvana. It is the moment of Absolute Truth which the Hindus associate with Brahman – the all-seeing, all-knowing master of the Universe.

To put Satya-Loka into perspective, have you ever experienced an a-ha moment when you felt elated and knew – you just KNEW – it was right?

That’s Satya-Loka.

Lokas in Hindu Myth

Most people will only get brief glimpses of Satya-Loka unless you strive to attain full enlightenment. But even then, as Buddhism explains, you can’t stay in that sense of heightened bliss permanently otherwise you would be in a constant state of rapture. You will literally be out-of-this world.

However, once you attain enlightenment, you do retain the benefits and powers of Satya-Loka, but live in a state of mind that enables you to operate in the real world on a daily basis.

2. Tapa-Loka:

Whereas Satya-Loka is impermanent, Tapa-Loka is the state of consciousness buddhas retain after they reach enlightenment. It is a state of eternal bliss. When you reach this state of mind, you are capable of creating anything you need in life because you are guided by divine consciousness – the highest faculties of mind.

The inhabitants of Tapa-Loka are the four Kumaras – the enlightened sons of Lord Brahma. Given Brahma represents Mind, the four kumaras represent the four faculties, or powers of the mind; intellect, imagination, inspiration and intuition.

The four Kumaras are pure and have no desire other than to teach. In the Mahabharata, they are described as Nirvitti, – inward contemplation. When you are capable of deep introspection, you can achieve everything you’re supposed to.

3. Jana-Loka:

Jana-Loka is said to be the abode of the great saints and sages. This is the realm of the Akashic Library which you want to be accessing. You will not achieve anything in life without first attaining knowledge – and the highest forms of knowledge have come from wise men of the ages. 

The Vedas position Jana-Loka 80,000,000 yojanas below Tapa-Loka, thus the realm is associated with the number eight. In turn, the number eight is associated with “God-Consciousness” – the state of mind awakened mystics, yogis, philosophers and other spiritual teachers should attain in order to teach others.

4. Mahar-Loka:

It is said that the Rishis living on Mahar-Loka have a life span of 4,300,000,000 solar years – this is associated with the number seven (4+3), a symbolic mathematical principle you calculate using gematria. In ancient mythology, seven is associated with the Mother Goddess, who in turn is associated with emotions.

The state of mind represented by Mahar-Loka, therefore, is tied to emotional understanding; the power of patience and the ability to care and nurture.

5. Svar-Loka:

As you move into the lower sections of the seven upper Lokas, you will start to recognise everyday traits you are probably more familiar with. Svar-Loka, for example, is said to be the realm which is inhabited by the 33 Vedic gods, the head of whom is Indra.

Indra is regarded as the King of the Gods and recognised as a war god or storm god, and we often find him fighting the asuras (demons, which represent bad habits, or bad energies) with his vajra – a weapon that fires a lightning bolt.

Indra lightning bolt on Lokas

In essence, Indra is the aspect of your nature in circumstances when you are called upon to summon courage and confidence to overcome challenges. This is how you expand conscious awareness and cultivate more quality in your life.

Indra also has destructive qualities which represent our dual nature. Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail. When Indra takes Soma – a hallucinogenic plant – he loses control of the world – the body and mind – and has to battle with demons to restore order.

As a unit, the 33 Gods represent the highest state of conscious awareness. For example, in Freemasonry, the Grandmaster is a 33rd-degree mason which reflects he has the power to overcome his thoughts and emotions.

Jesus also reflects man in a heightened state of conscious awareness. Jesus dies at the age of 33, and in the story of the Passion, he “sacrifices” himself and is seen forgiving the Roman soldiers that torture him.

Making sacrifices means giving up bad habits or changing attitudes, belief systems and actions that do not serve you well. Sometimes these changes are difficult – which is why you have to summons the courage and weaponry (powers of mental faculties) of Indra to overcome your weaknesses.

6. Bhuvar-Loka:

In the Vedas, Bhuvar-Loka is described as a realm with Earth-like qualities but is inhabited by semi-divine beings. These semi-divine beings are essentially humans that have found inner-peace and live a happy and fulfilling life.

In this state of mind, you vibrate at a high frequency that, I would say, is above-average. As a consequence, you feel confident and content with your life most of the time. You do not pine for anything and on most occasions have command over your emotions and actions.

When you live in this state of mind, most things you do, or try, results in success. You are happy with yourself, have strong relationships, and a content work-life. Sure, you are still prone to the odd error, but this is also human nature. Bhuvar-Loka is a state of mind that everyone should strive towards – at the very least!

7. Bhur-loka:

Bhur-Loka is the realm that reflects planet Earth. The people that inhabit this lower realm of the higher Lokas are people that are awake but do not assert much effort into self-development and try to reach the higher realms.

In this state of mind, you are typically neutral. For example, you could be aware of the corruption and injustices of the world, but do not let that concern you too much. You won’t stand up and fight for your rights, but you won’t moan and complain about it either.

People in this realm are not overly concerned by material possessions or overcome by desires either. You may have ambitions, but you are even-keeled, grounded and go about your business at your own pace.

The seven lower realms of Hindu mythology

Now you have a feel for how the Lokas represent states of minds and the types of attitudes associated with the various mindsets, let’s take a closer look at the lower worlds of Hindu mythology.

No offence, but you may well find states of consciousness you can associate with in this section.

The lower realms are described in the Puranas as dark planets thus represent lesser states of consciousness. In terms of character traits, the inhabitants represent opulence, materialism, and desire.

The lower seven realms go down into the pits of Hell. And we’ve probably all felt like we’ve been that low before. However, I imagine most people reading this blog will put themselves in the upper-lower worlds. The good news is, you won’t have that much work to do to restore equilibrium.

1. Atala-Loka:

Atala-Loka is ruled by Bala, a demon God who creates three types of women; self-willed, lustful and whorish. Bala is the son of Maya, a god who is full of promise but turns out to be an illusion.

The state of mind represented by Atala-Loka is the delusional mind of the empirical ego. You may want to believe you are in control of your mind and emotions – and thus your life – but in reality, you are controlled by the subconscious programs planted by society and therefore live in ignorance to what is really happening in the world.

World of ignorance

These types of illusions can also manifest as feelings. For example, you might convince yourself that you need to have something when in actual fact you don’t. A craving is a good example.

Addictions and material pleasures are the folly of people that live in the realm of Atala-Loka. If you are obsessed with shopping, sex, drinking alcohol, gaming etc, you are not in control of your thoughts or emotions.

In this realm, you are also in a state of mind whereby you kid yourself into believing something is true which, in reality, is not. It’s merely a perception we have formed based on our subconscious programming.

When your belief system is challenged or compromised, it can rock your world. Until you accept it, you defend your belief systems and mull the question over in your head. When you eventually come to your senses – a moment of realisation and acceptance – you state of mind moves into the realms of the higher Lokas. 

2. Vitala-Loka:

The inhabitants of Vitala-Loka live in a state of ignorance and have very little insight about their weaknesses. Individuals may be successful and affluent, but they are immune to feeling and care about nothing other than themselves.

It is in the realm of Vital-Loka that arrogance and derision are bred. You may be vaguely aware of your weaknesses, but you have no motivation to do anything about it. In essence, you are a “spiritual” victim of your own success. 

3. Sutala-Loka:

The mindset of the inhabitants living in the realm of Sutala-Loka is prone to greed, hatred and ignorance (the three poisons). However, you are also willing to learn from your mistakes.

Sutala-Loka is the residence of King Bali. In Hindu myth, Bali is the chief Asura and depicted as a benevolent King that wrestles power over Earth from the King of the Gods, Indra.

Bali is the equivalent of Lucifer from western traditions. Lucifer means ‘the light bringer’ which is essentially a symbolic code for the capacity to learn from your mistakes.

In the Bhagavata Purana, King Bali sacrifices himself to the dwarf, Vamana, an avatar of Vishnu, once he realises he has been defeated. In other words, he saw the error of his ways and accepted his mistake.

4. Talatala-Loka:

Talatala-Loka is the realm of the Supreme sorcerer, Maya. In Hindu philosophy, Maya is the character that demonstrates the inability to recognise the true power of your mind. Subsequently, you inhibit yourself from achieving your goals.

When you live in a state of Maya, you have lost sight of your true nature. Your mindset is that nothing exists beyond the realm of Earth and there is no afterlife. Your state of conscious awareness is so attached to individualism, you become disconnected from the world and struggle to forge meaningful relationships.

Individuals in this state of mind harbour negative character traits that cause problems; opinionated, indulgent, obstinate etc. You have little sense of self-awareness and do not recognise your failings are because of your attitude toward life.

5. Mahatala-Loka:

Delusional tendencies deepen in the world of Mahatala-Loka. The inhabitants of this realm are the mythical seven-headed serpents known as Nagas. Depicted as semi-divine beings with the heads of cobras and the body of humans, the Naga represent the dual nature of your personality.

Seven-headed naga of Mahatala-Loka

Some Nagas are strong and alluring, appearing as beautiful princesses who abduct men and carry them off to the underworld. In this sense, they share the same quality as the serpent in the Garden of Eden that tempts Eve into eating the forbidden fruit.

The Nagas were banished to the realm of Mahatala-Loka by Brahma and instructed to bite anyone with evil intentions (mistakes, bad energy). Given Nagas also represent higher conscious nature, their role in mythology reflects your need to learn from mistakes.

In ancient symbolism, serpents, together with dragons, represent energy and the flux of higher-lower consciousness. Vishnu is often found laying on his serpent-couch, Ananda, revealing that he has power over the duality of his personality. This shows he has transformed in The Supreme Self – he is at one with himself and nature as a whole.

The Naga then represent cravings and incidents you class as bad luck. But there is no such thing as bad luck. It is bad energy, and you have these experiences because there is something you need to learn about yourself.

6. Rasatala-Loka:

The demon Gods of Danavas and Daityas rule the world of Rasatala-Loka. They are strong, but cruel and forever in direct conflict with the gods. In ancient symbolism, demons – known as asuras in Hindu myth – represent your faults and weaknesses.

During the process of self-development, you will encounter many demons, and your main weaknesses will show up in the latter two realms of the lower Lokas. These negative character traits are the easiest to identify and rectify.

In this state of conscious awareness, individuals typically experience a lot of chaos in their life and have little to no control over their actions – but nor do they recognise what they are doing is wrong.

Individuals which persist with a holier-than-thou attitude learn the hard way. From here there is only one place to go – Patala-Loka, or Hell. Don’t wait for disaster to strike, because the next stage is “rock-bottom”. 

Rasatala-Loka is often a state of mind you experience as a teenager. This is because you continue to act in accordance with subconscious programs you developed as a child. Although the mistakes you made in this period of your life is all part of the learning curve, they were often hard lessons to learn.

It may be that you are still operating on some of the subconscious programs you developed as a child. This is not uncommon. How many adults do you see behaving like children?

How often is it you?

You have probably noticed yourself or your partner throwing a tantrum over the slightest little thing. It’s just frustration, but the cause is due to a deep-rooted belief you have carried with you since childhood.

7. Patala-Loka:

Patala-Loka is the Hindu equivalent to the realm known as the Underworld, or Hell in many traditions around the world. In Hindu myth, Patala-Loka is the abode of the Serpent King, Vasuki who is killed by Indra and Vishnu when he threatens to destroy the population of Earth.

I expect most people have experienced what it is like to live in Hell on at least one occasion in your life. Fortunately, the majority of us never fall this low that often, but when you do, it’s usually an abrupt wake-up call.

The inhabitants of Patala-Loka are filled with hatred, malice and anger all the time. They are very abrupt people with a bad attitude and violent by nature. They hate themselves, the world and everything in it.

The esoteric symbolism in ancient myth is often misunderstood. Master Mind Content has decoded ancient wisdom in relation to the mind-body-energy connection.

When you approach ancient symbolism from this perspective, not only does it make more sense than other theories, it is clearly the most beneficial and why else would ancient builders and wise sages go to such great lengths to build symbolism into their architecture and preserve writings that would survive for thousands of years.

Furthermore, why are the same symbols used by the ruling classes in modern society.

Click here to learn more about ancient symbolism

Master Mind Content gives online symbolism courses. We have several in-depth guides that explain how symbolism relates to the body-mind-energy connection and helps make changing habits | self-development easier.

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