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yajvan
05 July 2007, 10:55 PM
Hari Om
~~~~~~

Namaste,

I Have been pondering this for some time and do not have an answer... I would gladly take the final answer if one has it, but hope to hear opinions on this matter.

It is said though ones merits higher levels of existence are gained or experienced . This is found in the Srimad Bhagavatam and the svarga-loka's are called out.
Krsna in Chpt 9 of the Gita indicates births to higher loka's yet one returns to this plane of existence after exhausting one merits.

Here is my conundrum: If one achieves a higher level, why would one not continue ones practice , sadhana, to continue ones march to Brahman, to fullness, while on that higher plane?
Lets say the following:


I earn this higher level but am unconscious about it. That is, I did my particular duty on this earth, and made it to the next loka. Not really mindful how I got there, I just enjoy the fruits there. I can understand coming back from that level of being, as it was a gift ands that was that, yet;
If one is a sadhu and though his/her practices gains a higher level after death, would some impulse be there, to continue ones practice at that higher level? To continue ones sadhana? It seems reasonable, as that desire for Brahman has been kindled in the sadhu.
Why does one have to return to this plane to achieve Brahman? - if in fact is the only place we have the opportunity of achieving this?
Maybe I have not read enough ... Maybe there is a doctrine that suggest one CAN continue ones practice on a higher level.
The Gita also says 'no effort is ever lost' - so if I start here and do not achieve Brahman, one will most likely be born in a family that is conducive to pick up where one left off.So that is my pondering for some time and I have not solved this mystery.
Any help/opinion/idea is welcomed.


pranams,

satay
06 July 2007, 02:03 AM
namaste,

My personal opinion and feeling is that this Bhuloka is the only plane where we can achieve moksha. The other lokas are for enjoying the fruits of good deeds or for suffering the pains of bad deeds.

Perhaps in other lokas only 'delivery of results' of karma part is happening and no 'action' (?) May be this bhuloka is where we have the combination i.e. action and some enjoyment/suffering also? or maybe this bhuloka the kshetra or karmabhumi only?

I remember reading somewhere that it is only manav who has the desire (and ability) to the reach the divine, devas and asuras are not interested in moksha. Now, if can just find the source...

sm78
06 July 2007, 04:59 AM
Our desire on death and good karma takes us to these "places" and its our prarabdha that brings us back here.

I think much confusion arises because of the puranic imagery of Lokas which makes us wonder that these are places like Earth.

I don't know if karma, suffering, fire, struggle and asuras are present in these states of existence of consciousness ~ if not, there is sure not much hope of progressing. Obstacles are the necessary road marks on a path.


And is earth just Bhu Loka ? It is that 99.9999...99% of humans living on earth have there awareness in Bhu Loka...but surely one can dwell in Satyam and in the unmanifest itself (as Krishna) while appearing to be in Bhu Loka to others who cannot see beyond.

Lokas are here and now ... birth in this planet is Karmic consequence ~ this is my understanding.

saidevo
06 July 2007, 12:49 PM
Namase Yajvan.

This is an interesting topic to discuss. I would like to share something I read recently which has hints as to why Sadhana for Mukti is practicable only in the physical world.

Here is a passage (mostly quoted verbatim) from the book A Study of the Bhagavata Purana by Purnendu Narayana Sinha, using the commentaries of Sridhara Swami. The quote is from the initial pages of the book (I am yet to read it in full. This book can be downloaded at http://www.archive.org/download/studyofbhagavata00benaiala/studyofbhagavata00benaiala.pdf).



1. The three Lokas, Bhur (terrestrial), Bhuvar (astral) and Svar (Kama and desires), collectively known as Triloki, have Kama as the guiding principle of existence and a recurrence of births and rebirths as its main characteristic.

The Triloki is destroyed with every Night of Brahma and its energies transferred to the higher loka (Mahar). With every Day of Brahma the Triloki is recreated.

The main occupants of the three Lokas are: humans in the Bhur Loka, disembodied souls, Munis and Siddhas in the Bhuvar Loka, and Devas, Ghandarvas and humans enjoying the fruits of their good karma in the Svar Loka.

Devas form an integral part of the Divine Hierarchy and have their roles to play in the upkeep of the universe. This is the reason Vedas lay so much stress on the performance of Vedic Yajnas to have communion with the Devas in the Svar Loka. This leads to a prolonged gratification of Kama in the Svar Loka, which is limited by the destined period of the Loka itself.

2. Mukti is living past the Triloki and getting liberated from the cycle of birth and death. For the liberated, there is one continued life, one continued existence on the higher worlds till the end of the cosmos or the Life of Brahma.

3. When a Yogi gives up his body, he draws the air in the Manipura Chakra to the Anahata, then to the Visuddha. Then he takes the vital air to Ajna Chakra between the eye-brows. Then he controls the seven holes (the ears, the eyes, the nostrils and the mouth). He then looks steadily for half a Muhurta, and if he has not a trace of desire left in him gives up the body and the Indriyas, passes out through the Brahma-randhra and attains the state of Vishnu.

In space when the Yogi moves towards the Brahma Loka or Satya Loka, he first goes by means of his Sushumna Nadi to Vaisvanara or the fire-god for the Sushumna by its light extends beyond the body. His impurities being all waslied away, he goes upwards to the Sisumara Chakra of Hari.

Then crossing that Chakra of Vishnu, which is the navel of the Universe, he reaches the Mahar Loka with his pure Linga Sarira. There the dwellers of Svarga cannot go. Mahar Loka is the abode of Brahmavids, where BhrigH and other adepts who live for a whole Kalpa dwell.

The Yogi remains in Mahar Loka till the end of the Kalpa, when, seeing the Triloki burnt up by fire from the mouth of Ananta or Sankarshana, the fires reaching even Mahar Loka, he moves towards the abode of Paramesthi (Satya Loka or Brahma Loka).

There are three courses for those that go to Brahma Loka. Some by the excellence of their merits get responsible cosmical positions at the next Kalpa. Others remain in the Brahma Loka till the end of the cosmos or Brahmanda. The Upasakas of Bhagavan however may at their will pierce through the cosmos or Brahmanda and reach the trans-cosmic plane of Vishnu.


Thus it seems that only this physical world and the human birth are the tools suitable for carving out our Sadhana. The Bhuvar and Svar Lokas are full of desires existing for the human souls to expend their karma. The Mahar Loka seems to be the abode of our Jivan Muktas where they have a cosmic existence with the full choice of further progress or descending to the Triloki to guide other human souls on their progress.

Of all the forms of God's creations, the Human Form seems (at least to me) to be the holiest and most powerful. This may be the reason why God takes avatar mostly in human forms. There are stories of Devas and Asuras taking human form for some accomplishment or even human birth to expend their karma. All our Rishis and Manus, now occupying Janar, Tapas and Satya Lokas were humans in their first incarnations.

But then Sadhana has no end. Though the Devas and Asuras do not meditate, our Gods do. Parvati took human births to meditate and unite with Shiva. Shiva himself is always in constant meditation. Vishnu has his Yoga Nidra. Brahma knows the Vedas only by meditation and uses it to create the universe.