(‘knowledge of the worlds’)

Acquisition of supernatural powers has always fascinated man right from the beginning of human history. Some have struggled to get them through witchcraft or sorcery or demonological rites, to harm or control others through selfish or evil motives. Others however, while practising spiritual disciplines to purify themselves have attained these powers as a matter of course, as a part of that evolutionary process.

The aṣṭāṅgayoga—eightlimbed yoga leading to samādhi or superconscious experience—of Patañjali (200 B. C.) has, incidentally mentioned several such powers that a yogi develops as a result of practising ‘saṁyama’ on various objects. (See BHŪTAJAYA for an explanation of the word ‘saṁyama.’)

If saṁyama is practised on sūrya or the sun, the yogi will attain a detailed knowledge of all the fourteen worlds. This is ‘bhuvanajñāna.’

See also BHUVANA.