Descriptions of the Planetary Systems in the Vedas
Do you know that your distance to hell is 100.000 yojanas and distance to the spiritual planets 55.555.555.500.000.000 yojanas (555.555.555 x 10^ 8)?
We use yojanas because Krishna created the universe using these units, it is the metric unit of the gods. The Vedas and the Srimad bhagavatam is a scripture for gods.
The descriptions in this text are of the subtle level of the universe, as perceived by mystics and godly beings.
In the gross dimension there is the use of 8 miles for a yojana.
There are 14 planetary systems. These are horizontal planes, parallel to the orbit of the sun around the earth, as seen from the earth, and extend close to the inner layer of the spherically shaped universe.
130.000 yojanas beneath the bhumandala - the great earth, or the round flat disk-form of the planetary system to which the planet earth belongs - begins the Garbha ocean (see figure). Just above this ocean are the 550 million Narakalokas or hellish planets. The area where these planets are orbiting has a thickness of 3000 yojanas and a diameter of 1000 yojanas, and has like the other planetary levels, the form of a disk, like a CD. On all these hell planets, living entities are punished according to the principle of “paying the sinner in his own coin." These planets are described in Srimad Bhagavatam, Canto 5, chapter 26, verse 8 - 36. (S.B. 5.26.8-36).
Above the hellish planets are seven planetary systems, called bila-svarga (underground heavenly planets). Bila means dark, a den, or grotto. These planetary systems are between 80.000 and 100.000 yojanas beneath the bhumandala. Instead of sunlight, they are lit by shining jewels. The demons living there can enjoy heavenly sense-gratification because of their karma. These planets are described in the S.B. 5.24.8-31.
The bhumandala itself comprises islands or land regions in the form of rings with, in-between each ring, ring-shaped oceans of salt water (lavanoda), sugar cane juice (iksura), strong drinks (suroda), ghi (ghrtoda), milk (ksiroda), yoghurt (dadhyoda) and very tasty sweet water (svadudaka). All these oceans have the same fluidity as water.
At the centre is Jambudvipa (dvipa means: island). It is divided in nine varsas (planets, provinces ) and one of them is bharata-varsa. The gross earth planet is in the gross dimension of this subtle bharata-varsa. The gross bharata-varsa is the (only) planet where the bharata (light) of the Veda can and does fully shine.
The other varsas and dvipas of the bhu-mandala (see figure) are called bhauma-svarga or paradisiacal areas in the bhumandala. The description of these heavens and life there is in S.B. 5.16.12-25 and S.B. 5.20. The inhabitants of these varsas are at least part-time devotees of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Bhauma-svarga and the oceans in-between are not visible with gross senses; they are higher dimensional. However, these dimensions are connected with each other. For example, the farthest point of the orbit of the planet Uranus (measured from bharata-varsa) is the same as aloka varsa (= uninhabited area, see figure). The farthest point of the orbit of Saturn is in adarsa-talopama (= the land with a surface like a mirror) that is situated just before the lokaloka mountain. The nearest point of the orbit of Jupiter is in the golden land. The farthest point of the orbit of Mercury is the ring inside of Puskara Dvipa and the nearest point of the orbit of Mercury is in the ocean of milk.
Above the bhumandala is the 100 yojanas thick Antariksa (space, or the bhumandala atmosphere). This is part of bhuvarloka: the middle heaven, here are the lokas (= planets) belonging to different entities, also known to ufologists. These entities sometimes come to the bhumandala in vimanas (flying saucers) or sometimes by their mystic powers. They come for example from Raksasa-loka (hairy monsters), pretaloka (ghosts), Bhutaloka (associates of Siva), Pisacaloka (witches, female ghosts), Yaksaloka (half pious ghosts and associates of Kuvera), Siddhaloka. This Siddha-loka is 79.900 yojanas above antariksa and 80.000 yojanas above the bhumandala. Everyone at Siddhaloka is born with twenty-three yoga-siddhis, mystical perfections (see Bhagavad Gita 6.20, purport and S.B. 11.15.4-13).
Beyond Siddhaloka is Caranaloka (the planet of angels and heavenly musicians) and then Vidyadharaloka (where the inhabitants have great material knowledge, vidya). The UFOs are manufactured in bilasvarga’s talatalaloka (S.B.2.7.37).
100.000 yojanas above the bhumandala is the sun. The sun is svarga-dvara, the door to svarga. It is the first planet, vertically, of the divya-svarga or heavenly planetary system, also called deva-lokas or bhoga-lokas because the demigods-deva’s- enjoy here (bhoga means enjoyment). The distance from the sun to the gross bharata-varsa at the bhumandala is however 150 million km at the physical level, because the orbit of the sun (orbiting around the SumeruMountain) is on the summit of sakadvipa’ ring-shaped mountain the Manasottara, which is dividing the ring-shaped island in two. The moon is also a heavenly planet. The gross moon also has a area that is higher dimensional and therefore that part is not accessible by any human space craft; these can enter only the moon’s gross dimension.
Indraloka (one of the planets in divya-svarga) is the kingdom of Indra. Indra is the king of the demigods who reign over the cosmos. The stairs of Indra's palace are made of coral, the floors are covered with emeralds, the walls are made of crystal, the pillars of vaidurya gems, the seats are covered with diamonds and rubies, the silk bedspreads are white like foam, and there are immensely beautiful lakes, gardens and rivers. The crossroads are made of pearls; the plating of the doors of gold; the doorways of marble; the windows of golden networks; and the flags of pearls and golden stitches. Indra-loka is thousands and thousands of times more luxurious than the earth planet.
Everyone is very beautiful and divinely dressed. Apsaras (angels) and gandharvas (musicians) dance and sing. There are 100,000,000 vimanas for pleasure journeys. There are no atheists. There is no criminality, jealousy, violence, craftiness, false pride, lust, greed or fraud. Their lives last 3,600,000 solar years. Indra's city is surrounded by a moat of Ganges water and fortifications because sometimes asuras (asu= immediately; rama = enjoyment: those who want only temporary material enjoyment) or demons come to conquer and plunder.
Above divyasvarga are mahar-, jana-, tapa- and satyaloka where the yogis (ascetics and mystics) try to become fully absorbed in meditation, so that at the moment of leaving the material body they can attain liberation from the material universe and go back to the spiritual world.
The first wall around the universe is ten times the diameter of the universe. The second layer is ten times the thickness of the first layer. The third layer is ten times the thickness of the second layer, and so on. In this way, there are eight prison-walls around the egg-like formed material universe. These eight walls are together 55.555.555.000.000.000 yojanas thick. The space within these egg-like round prison-walls has a diameter of 500.000.000 yojanas. This is comparatively, a very small prison with huge walls. Each succeeding covering or layer around the universe is composed of a different substance (see Bhagavad Gita 7.4). First solid matter, then watery-fluids, then the luminous element, then the gaseous, then the ethereal, then the mental, buddhih (intelligence), ahankara (false ego) layer (these 3 form one layer), then mahat-tattva (visible original matter) and then pradhana (litt. “ the first”; not manifested most subtle matter). After these prison-walls is the spiritual world. The laws of nature that are valid on bharata-varsa change as we get closer to these layers. In these layers there are also different laws. Thus, closer to the walls of the universe time and space bend. Therefore, the layers around the universe are beyond the reach of our earthly telescopes and spaceships. And the distances given, from here to the other planets and to the layers around the universe are as it would be perceived by the demigods, yogi’s and sages who can actually make this travel.
The way out of this universe is from the bharata-varsa. At the above-mentioned divya-, bhauma- and bilasvarga’s and also in the middle heavens of the upa-deva’s (the sub-demigods), there is too much hedonism. It is rare that someone is looking for something non-material. In the naraka-lokas (hell) there is only pain and there is no time for deliberation and meditation. At mahar-, jana-, tapa- and satyaloka a certain type of sattva-guna (the quality of goodness) is dominating and thus there are mainly impersonalists on these planets. Therefore, a sage who lives there can at best, with a lot of pain and trouble, attain the brahmajyoti (= spiritual light) around Krishna's spiritual planets. However, from there, the yogi again falls down to the material universe because of his isolation from other souls and Krishna as well. There is no complete happiness in the brahmayjoti.
According to the Vedas, Bharata-varsa, this earth planet is the most suitable place for practicing spiritual life in this age, and that is done mainly by chanting the holy name of God, with increasing devotion. The best names are Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare. Only souls who rejoice in love of God can dance through these layers around the cosmos, through the spiritual light and go back to their spiritual home. In the years of the spiritual golden age that started in 1486 A.D. with the advent of Sri Krishna Caitanya Mahaprabhu, more souls are going to Krishna-loka then to naraka-loka, in spite of the fact that Krishna-loka is farther away.
he Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Tapoloka
BY: SUN STAFF
Muni-loka: Tapoloka, Janaloka and Maharloka [ Image: Arma.hr ]
Jul 22, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 155.
The next list in Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places' is Tapoloka:
"Tapoloka - a planet situated above Janaloka. Topmost sages like the four Kumaras reside on this planet which is obtained by naisthika- brahmacaris."
There is only mention of Tapoloka in Jaiva Dharma, in a chapter twelve passage we have now read several times over the course of this series:
"The material sense pleasures the soul attains from the time of birth until the time of death are called 'pleasures this world', and the material sense pleasures one may attain after dying are called 'pleasures of the next world'. There are many different kinds of pleasure in the next world. In Svargaloka and Indraloka there are the pleasures of seeing the apsaras' dancing, the pleasure of drinking heavenly nectar, smelling the flowers and other scented objects in the Nandana gardens, seeing the beauty of Indrapuri and the Nandana gardens, hearing the singing of the gandharvas and others, and living with the Vidyadharis are all pleasures attainable in Svargaloka. To a lesser degree these same kinds of material sense pleasure are also available in Tapoloka and Maharloka. In Bhuloka (the earth) the material sense pleasures are gross. As one goes to higher and higher planets, the sense pleasures become more and more subtle. In this way they are different. Still, they are all material sense pleasure."
There is a description of Tapoloka given by Srila Jiva Goswami in his Bhagavat Sandarbha:
"Because the Lord's abode cannot be attained by fruitive activities; the Vedas describe it as transcendental to the material world; it is glorified for the quality that those who attain it have the infallible nature; Vaikuntha is glorified for the nature that those who have attained it, have the nature not to fall down, it is attained only when one is free from the modes of material nature; even the temples of the Lord in this world are transcendental to the modes, because of the association of the Deity form of the Lord. Thus certainly the Vaikuntha planet is to be understood as beyond the modes of material nature; The scriptures directly describe that it is beyond material nature; they declare it eternal; it is attained only by pure devotion, which belittles even the bliss of liberation; it is called saccidananda-ghana or having the form of eternal bliss and knowledge. Out of these its quality of non-attainability by fruitive activities is stated by Lord Krishna as follows (11.24.12-14):
"Heaven was established as the residence of the demigods, Bhuvarloka as that of ghostly spirits, and the Earth system as the place of human beings and other mortal creatures. Those mystics who strive for liberation are promoted beyond these three divisions. Lord Brahma created the region below the Earth for the demons and the Naga snakes. In this way the destinations of the three worlds were arranged as the corresponding reactions for different kinds of work performed within the three modes of nature. By mystic yoga, great austerities, and the renounced order of life, the pure destinations of Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and Satyaloka are attained, but by devotional yoga, one achieves My transcendental abode."
The perfected beings by the process such as yoga attain the planets Mahar and above, which are beyond the three planetary systems, tritayat param. Below earth means the planets like Atala. The three planetary systems includes planets beginning with Patala and also Bhuh, Bhuvar, and Svah. Karmanam means those who follow the principles of household life. Tapa refers to principles of vanaprastha life and also the order of brahmacarya. Out of these by following the two types of brahmacarya i.e. upakurvana and naishthika, one attains to Mahar and Janalokas respectively. The followers of the Vanaprastha order reach Tapaloka and of the sannyasa order to Satya-loka. But one can attain any of these planets according to different levels of advancement in Yoga. Madgatih (lit. My destination) means Sri Vaikuntha loka and is reached only by bhakti-yoga, as substantiated by the verse yanna vrajanti (SB.3.15.23), which will be quoted later on, and also by this present description of the planets."