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" Seven Lokams "

From: V. Sadagopan (75041.3037_at_compuserve.com)
Date: Sat May 17 1997 - 06:00:32 PDT

Dear Professor Vasudha Narayanan and fellow members : 

It is  a wondeful conception to view the Sriranga Kshethram
incorporating the seven prAkArams around it as the seven lokams 
created by the Lord's empowerment of BrahmA (Bhur, Bhuvar ,
Suvar, Mahar , Jano , Tapo and Satya Lokams . The Conception and
elaboration of the seven lokams is part and parcel of the literature 
dealing with the creation of the Universe dealt in PurANAs . Each religion 
has  attempted to model and understand creation of the world and 
its beings and their interrelationships in their way . What I am 
assembling here is the version as found in our source literatures.   
 
Before I comemnt on the seven lokams , I would like 
to point out that  bhur , bhuvar and suvar are known 
as the Vyaahruthis uttered after OM(PraNavam )  in Sandhya Vandanam 
during the recitation of  the Gayathri Mantram . After theOM and Vyahruthis  , 
the thripaada Gaayathri mantram follows . Incidentally , the Chathurpaadha 
Gaayadhri upadesam is rare . Very few know it now. 
Coming back to Vyaahruthis , these three lokams 
( Bhur, Bhuvar and Suvar ) have a special place among 
the seven lokams ; Some smrithis take the Vyaahruthis
to be made up of the assembly of  not three , but of seven Lokams 
constituting  the body of the Parama PurushA  . 

Srimadh Bhagavatham refers to the seven lokams and its denizens 
in Cantos II , III , V , VIII , X and XI . The Canto II refers to these lokams
in 
detail , while Sukha Brahmam discusses the  way of fixing one's mind 
on the MahA PurushA saluted by Purusha Sooktham . Our Sri Sundar 
of Penn State has translated the Purusha Sooktham beautifully and we 
can refer to those translations in Sri VaishNavA home page for back-up ..
 
Canto III describes the ten fold creation of Brahma . There the entry of
Brahma into the seed vessel of his Lotus home and splitting by him of that into 
the three worlds (Vyaahruthis ) and their manifestation into 14 regions 
that include the 7 nether worlds are covered . In that Canto , the residents of 
the Jana , TapO and Satya LokAs are described as reciting the three 
VedAs , when they hear the roar of the mighty Varaha PerumAn as
He comes out of the waters of PraLayam . The sages of these three 
lokAs thank the Lord for sanctfying them with the sprinkling of 
the waters from the shaking of His gigantic body . Sri Narayana
Bhattadhiri's slokams of Sri NarayaNeeyam saluting these events
are beautiful to recite and listen to as sung by Sri Tirisoor Ramachandran,
the disciple of the Late Sangeetha Kalanidhi G.N .BalasubramaNyan .

Minor references are made to these seven lokams in Canto V. The canto 
dealing with TrivikramAvatharam ( VIII) describes the ascent of 
the Lord's second feet thru Mahar lokam , TapO Lokam , 
Jana Lokam to Satya Lokam , the kingdom of His son BrahmA
and receiving the waters of the kamandalu jalam of His son
as Abolution and converting it to the sacred Ganga river held 
safely by Lord Siva in His matted locks to protect the world 
below from the power  of the descending GangA . 

The XIth Canto Of Srimadh Bhagavatham comes back to 
the description of the 7 lokams during the occasion of 
the elaboration on Saankhya Yogam ( XI.24 ) . 

In a companion posting , I will include the essence of the long
passages on the 14 lokams as the body of the Lord (PurushA)
as described in II.1 and XI.24 chapters of Srimadh Bhagavatham .

V.Sadagopan