Brahmaloka

(‘the world of Brahmā’)

The state of a human being before birth and after death has always been a mystery to us, though the various religions of the world have offered their own explanations.

According to the Upaniṣads and other allied scriptures, three destinies are possible for a human being: to be reborn here, to go to the Pitṛloka or the world of manes and to go to the Brahmaloka or Satyaloka, the abode of Brahmā.

The path to the Pitṛloka lies through the Pitṛyāna or Dakṣiṇāyana or Dhūmādi-mārga, the path of smoke.

The path to the Brahmaloka lies through the Devayāna or Uttarāyaṇa or Arcirādimārga, the path of light.

The Brahmaloka, also known as the Satyaloka, is the final destination of those who have purified themselves by austerities and meditation. They do not return to this mundane existence. They will be there till the end of the kalpa or the cycle of creation. When the Brahmaloka too gets dissolved in the Supreme Brahman, they will also get merged in It. This is called Kramamukti or gradual liberation as against sadyomukti or instant liberation.

The purāṇas describe Brahmaloka as the highest of the fourteen worlds, six being above this earth and seven, below. The denizens of this Brahmaloka are said to be completely free from all passions and limitations of the physical body, unlike here.

Sometimes, the two worlds below Brahmaloka, viz., the Janaloka and the Tapoloka, are also classed with the Brahmaloka and called as such.

See also DEVAYĀNA and PITṚYĀNA.