ātivāhika

(‘one who leads beyond’)

After death, a jīva (individual soul), depending upon its karma, takes anyone of these three courses: immediate rebirth, pitṛloka (world of manes) and Satyaloka or Brahmaloka (the world of Brahmā). Journey to either of the last two worlds involves passing through some intermediate stations like arcis (light), ahas (day), āpūryamāṇa-pakṣa (the bright fortnight) and so on. Though these appear to be physical realities, they really represent ‘ātivāhikas,’ the deities or divine guides who lead the jīva to the next destination in its onward journey.

See also DEVAYĀNA and PITṚYĀNA.