[Advaita-l] Naam sankirtan
v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Feb 15 01:26:21 CST 2012
The loka-s in the Vedic/Vedantic scheme are within creation and therefore
physical (pAncha bhautika). Brahma loka is the highest in this list of
seven higher and seven lower loka-s. bhUH (this world of ours now),
bhuvaH, suvaH, mahaH, janaH, tapah and satyam. This satyaloka-s is
considered as Brahmaloka. The lower ones (to our earth) are atala, vitala,
sutala, paataala, talAtala and rasAtala (the order here may not be exact).
I think the puraaNa-s describe these in detail. Just because they are
within creation and physical they need not be visible to our present eyes.
They will be seen and experienced by those who are destined to be there and
of course those devatas that are in charge of those lokas.
While this explanation holds, yet, your question as to whether these
(brahma loka in particular) are actually metaphorical to denote one's
spiritual attainments/experiences is worth considering. True, this way too
one can look at the loka-s. Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi in response to a
question: are heaven/svarga, etc. real loka-s? replied: for those who hold
this loka to be real, yes, those loka-s too have to be real.
So, we get the hint that even this loka is what we experience and 'hold' to
be real. When the bhrAnti pertaining to this loka goes it takes away the
reality we attribute to other loka-s too. As an ajnAni Astika one believes
in the existence of the other loka-s too, on the basis of the shAstra
pramANa. For example the Bhagavadgita says: आब्रह्मभुवनाल्लोकाः
पुनरावर्तिनोऽर्जुन - All lokas, including Brahmaloka, are destinations
from where people return too. According to Vedanta as taught by Shankara
and followed by the tradition, Brahmaloka is a place where upAsaka-s of two
categories reach. 1. those who engage in upasanas like panchAgni vidya and
2. who engage in saguna brahma (Ishwara) upasana. The former reach
Brahmaloka, stay there enjoying the bhoga there and return upon their punya
phala expires. The latter reach there and get Nirguna Atma/Brahma jnana
and become muktas and remain there till the tenure of the loka itself lasts
and become freed for ever.
What other upAsaka-s do who do not find themselves in the sanatana dharma
scheme above are not the concern of our Acharyas. If pressed to give an
answer about these people, our Acharyas will only try to fit them in the
above scheme in the best way possible.
Some schools talk of Goloka and the like. Even Vishnu loka, Kailasa, etc.
are not absolute in Advaita. There is said to be a view that:
Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva loka-s are not three different ones, it is one loka
alone that is perceived as one of the three by that particular upasaka
As explained in an old post of mine, the four types of mukti are held to be
only in the relative plane of samsara. The absolute mukti in Vedanta is
the Advaitic realization.
On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 12:24 PM, Satish Arigela <satisharigela at yahoo.com>wrote:
> They have their own definitions of moxa which do not involve so called
> mahAvAkya-s and are much thorough when compared to shankara's vedAnta when
> it comes to step by step experience of deities ultimately leading to
> shivatva. So they do not need another janma!
> We could say, this is what advaitin-s believe in i.e. the said GYAna will
> dawn on them in brahma loka...just like the christians or muslims have
> their own beliefs
> So that is the reason I am asking is attaining brahma loka some place[like
> the Christian or Muslim believe in Heaven] or something metaphorical.
> If it is a place where is it in the vyavahAra? Or if it is metaphorical,
> then the question is why do those who have attained unity with their
> devata-s[i.e. attained to pinnacle of upAsana] do not mahAvAkya-s.
More information about the Advaita-l mailing list