POORNIMA MESSAGE OF DR. C. B. SATPATHYJI
are certain questions that spontaneously provoke the mind
of all human beings - the innocent children as well as
the mature persons alike. If we delve into the history
of human civilization, we will come to realise that human
beings, at different points of time and at different places
on earth, have been fascinated by the concept of ‘SPACE’.
Be it the Hindu mythology or the Vedic literature or the
Greek mythology, the queries about space, the sky and
the inhabiting orbs can be found everywhere.
example, in Brihadaaranyaka Upanishada1
there is a dialogue between Gargi2
and Yagynavalkya3 on this subject.
Gargi asks “Oh Yagnavalkya, which they say is above
Heaven and beneath the Earth and which is between these
two? Which is that the people call the past, the present
and the future, which is woven across the space like the
warp and woof”? In short, she asks ‘which
is above the heaven and earth and which the people call
the past, present and future woven across the space like
warp and woof.’ The Vedic seers were concerned with
the concepts of cosmos, universe, space, sky and time.
Such queries, originating in human mind as an intellectual
process, gradually resulted in the origin and growth of
philosophy, metaphysics and science. The space science
of today, may be said to be the emanation of the thoughts
of the ancient seers and modern age scientists.
the same Upanishada, Gargi further asks Yagyavalka, if
everything is ‘Ota-Prota’ which means intermingled,
like water with air and air with Antariksha4
. The Vedic Sanskrit word, ‘Ota-Prota’ can
be interpreted as ‘covered with’ or ‘filled
with’. Be as it may be, my purport of referring
to Vedic literature is to state that the Vedic seers,
over thousands of years, carried on serious research on
space and time. For the understanding of this magnificent
Vedic concept in a simpler manner, mythological characters
were introduced through various Puranas5
like Brahma Purana6 and others.
the point of view of Hindu mythology, it is stated in
Bhagavata Gita 7.4 that Space is one of Krishna’s
apo nalo vayuh
Kham mano buddhir eva cha
Ahankara itiyam me
Bhinna prakrutir ashtadha”
“Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence
and false ego – all together these eight constitute
My separated material energies.” Other Sanskrit
terms for this energy are akasha and nabhah, all three
terms can be translated as ‘space’, ‘sky’,
or ‘outer space’……”
Atharva Veda7 and in some of the
Puranas one finds the mention of fourteen lokas or worlds.
The seven higher lokas or worlds are called – Bhu-loka8
, Bhuvar-loka9 , Svar-loka10
, Mahar-loka11 , Jana-loka12
, Tapa-loka13 and Satya-loka14
. The Lokas, inter-alia, have a spatial notion. They also
have significant spiritual connotations. The word Trailokya
- the three worlds consisting of the earth, atmosphere
or sky and the heaven - makes up the universe. The Abrahamic
religions like Judaism, Christianity and Islam, also refer
to the concept of seven heavens and seven earths. Some
such worlds are said to be inhabited by subtle beings.
after the landing of spaceship on the surface of Moon
and Mars, the technology-empowered human beings are planning
to promote extra-terrestrial real estate ventures in future.
A few websites on the internet advertise for the purchase
of extra-terrestrial real estate. “Lunar Embassy
was showered with Internet awards and an overwhelming
press attention worldwide, which is continuing today.
Reportedly, it has been planned that by the year 2023,
astronauts would enter the planet Mars.”
the Vedic seers’ research on space and sky is relevant
in today’s context for understanding the origin
of such thoughts at a time when space science has made
C.B. Satpathy, Gurugram
Brihadaaranyaka Upanishada: The Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad is a treatise on Atman (Soul, Self), includes
passages on metaphysics, ethics.
2 Gargi: Gargi
Vachaknavi, the daughter of sage Vachaknu in the lineage
of sage Garga (800-500 BCE) was named after her father
as Gargi Vachaknavi. Born in about 700 BC, she was an
ancient Indian philosopher. In Vedic Literature, she is
honored as a great natural philosopher, renowned expounder
of the Vedas, and known as Brahmavadini, a person with
knowledge of Brahma Vidya.
Yajnavalkya of Videha (fl. c. 7th century BCE) was
a sage and philosopher of Vedic India. He was one of the
first philosophers in recorded history. In the court of
King Janaka of Mithila, he was renowned for his expertise
in Vedic rituals and his unrivalled talent in theological
In the Vedas, antariksha is the middle or second of three
lokas (spheres) usually enumerated as bhur, bhuvar, and
svar. It is the mid-region; the firmament or space between
earth and heaven, the abode of apsaras (nymphs), gandharvas
(celestial musicians), and yakshas (nature spirits of
many types) along with the mythical wish-granting cow
of plenty, Kamadhenu.
5 Puranas: The
word Puranas literally means ‘ancient, old’,
and it is a vast genre of Indian literature about a wide
range of topics, particularly myths, legends and other
6 Brahma Purana:
It is a Sanskrit-text and listed as the first among the
eighteen major Puranas. It is also called Adi Purana.
The surviving manuscript carries 245 chapters.
7 Atharva Veda:
The Atharva Veda is composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and it
is a collection of 730 hymns with about 6,000 mantras,
divided into 20 books. Atharva Veda originated from ‘atharva?as’
and Veda means ‘knowledge’. It is the "knowledge
storehouse of atharva?as, the procedures for everyday
life". The text is the fourth Veda, but has been
a late addition to the Vedic scriptures of Hinduism.
8 Bhu-loka: It
literally means ‘the earth-world’ which is
considered as a ‘loka,’ a place for doing
karma or actions and enjoy their fruits.
Means ‘Plane of atmosphere’. The second of
the seven upper worlds, realm of svadhishtana chakra,
consisting of the two astral regions closest to the physical
plane: pitriloka, "world of ancestors," and
pretaloka, ‘world of the departed’.
In Sanskrit, it means ‘Celestial or bright plane’.
The third of the seven upper worlds, the midastral region
(equated in some texts with Svarga), realm of manipura
: In Sanskrit it means ‘Plane of greatness’,
originated from mahas, "greatness, might, power,
glory." Also called the Devaloka, this fourth highest
of the seven upper worlds is the mental plane, realm of
In Sanskrit, it means ‘Plane of creativity’,
or of liberated mortals. The third highest of the seven
upper worlds, realm of vishuddha chakra.
Abode of tapas or of other deities. Ayohnija devadas live
In Sanskrit, it means ‘Plane of reality, truth’,
also called brahmaloka; the realm of sahasrara chakra.
It is the highest of the seven upper worlds.