Symbolism of Worlds

We shall proceed to symbolism behind the system of the worlds. First there are the worlds denoted by the three vyāhŗtis, bhūĥ, bhuvaĥ and svaĥ. Bhūĥ also known as pŗthvi is the earth, bhuvaĥ is the mid-region antarikşha and suvaĥ, otherwise called dyauĥ, is the heaven. Beyond that is the fourth vyāhŗti-the vast world of Light, mahas. And still higher there are three vyāhŗtis, jana, tapas, and satya signifying the three uncreated or typal worlds. Though the veda refers to the seven principles of Existence, the seven principles of Cosmic order, the sevenfold Existence, Consciousness, Force or Consciousness-Force, the seven worlds or guardians of the worlds, the seven hills, seven rivers, seven sisters, seven rays and seven rişhis, still it constantly speaks of the first three worlds denoted by the triple bhūĥ etc., and their Gods. And that is so because the three worlds, earth etc., are what concern us primarily, nearer to us relatively speaking, than the higher worlds. And this triple world is termed as the aparārdha, lower half. That is why more riks are devoted to Agni who is the nearest to us and who presides over the Earth. And most riks laud Indra the Lord of this triple world. Beyond these worlds and their Gods, effulgent in the supreme parārdha, upper half, is Sūrya, Sun – celebrated in the vedās as the One God of all the Gods and of all the worlds; to attain him is all tapas austerity undertaken, all sacrifice offered. Yet riks devoted to this God, Lord Savitŗ, are but few in number. It is only the Gods of our triple world that are the main hosts in the yajňa sacrifice.

This division of the triple world, bhuĥ the Earth, bhuvaĥ the Mid-region and dyauĥ or svaĥ or suvaĥ the Heaven, comes down from the perception of the rişhis. And this outer triple world, it must be noted, is symbolic of its corresponding inner triple in the subtle bodies of the human beings. This world-bhūĥ earth of the physical senses-is the symbol of the plane of the gross physical consciousness in the waking state known as annamaya. dyauĥ, Heaven, is the symbol of the consciousness where is dominant the Pure Mind with an existence of its own, independent of the outer world. In between the Heaven and Earth, the mid-region antarikşha or bhuvaĥ symbolises prāņa, the principle of Life-force pregnant with consciousness linking the physical with the mental consciousness i.e., Matter and Mind, Earth and Heaven. Thus the three worlds, denoted by the triple vyāhŗti of bhūĥ, bhuvaĥ and suvaĥ, are the manifestations of the principles of matter, life and mind in the macrocosm and the microcosm. Such in brief is the statement in essence of the symbolism of the world-order.

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