What are the Seven Heavens and Seven Hells?

Can Hindu mythology explain the structure of reality?
Yes, absolutely. Ancient Hindu texts describe 14 unique levels of consciousness. Which one do you live in? The seven Heavenly realms outline the ascension path to higher consciousness and joy. The seven Hellish realms describe regressive, illusory, selfish states of being that descend lower and lower into fear and entrapment. Do these different realities exist in modern times? Oh, yes they do! We find the 14 levels clearly exist all around us. Maybe these ancient descriptions from the Mahabharata and the Vedas can help us understand human levels of consciousness in our world today.

Amazingly, the levels described in the Vedas are crystal clear, although we can’t say if they’re physical locations, etheric dimensions, or levels of awareness. Maybe each of us embodies several levels at different times in our lives. This article is a brief review of the 14 worlds. I’m pretty sure anyone wishing to understand ascension in 3d, 4d, and 5d, will find the 14 Hindu realms extremely enlightening!

The famous Mahabharata epic story is thousands of years old. We really have no idea when it originated, because it was not written down. The Mahabharata is a story of ascension, perhaps describing events that occurred around the 9th century BCE. One of the root assumptions of the epic story is this: To increase the virtue of your life and that of your family, you must make sacrifices and perform selfless deeds that benefit others. This leads to a happier future, both now and in your next life. A foundational belief of this tradition is that to build integrity, you must purify your thoughts steadily in a sequence of experiences or a series of lives, until finally you achieve freedom.

Freedom is called “Moksha” in Sanskrit. “Moksha” means your earthly lessons are finished. You merge in joy and spiritual union with the Divine. You ascend to a Heavenly realm forever, ending the cycle of death and rebirth. While living on earth you must try to move upward, not fall downward, to balance your physical duties in society with your ultimate goal of Moksha or spiritual freedom. Sometimes the earthly duties and cosmic duties seem to be in stark opposition to each other. In these cases it requires careful discernment to find the highest path. Most of us are believed to traverse lifetime after lifetime in a cycle of life and death (Samsara), experiencing many lessons in order to finally achieve freedom or Moksha. These are important underlying tenants of Hindu philosophy. What is your view on it?

The ascending path is sometimes seen as a stairway leading upward toward God realms. Hindu mythology holds there are 7 unique Heavenly realms or levels.

Hell is sometimes seen as a very dark, hot place of pain and evil. Hindu Mythology holds there are 7 different hell realms. Each descending Hellish world demonstrates a deeper level of illusion and Godlessness. What are the levels?


Hindu tradition holds there are 3 God realms, 2 Heavenly realms, and 2 mental realms (see illustration below). The universe is designed so that each experience can assist your ascension toward God. How these levels relate to the Western concept of 3D, 4D, and 5D, I cannot say.

  1. Divine Realm, Home of the Creator, Incomprehensible, Beyond thoughts, Highest frequency vibration (Satya Loka)
  2. Infinite Consciousness, Bridge to the creator (Tapa)
  3. Infinite Joy and Knowledge. Can encompass physical and non-physical beings. Can connect through thought (Jana)
  4. Finite Existence, Galactic Saints live here, Instincts of the Heavens (Mahar)
  5. Heaven, Unified consciousness, Home of Higher Beings, This is where righteous souls live in paradise before their next physical incarnation. (Svar Loka)
  6. Spirit world, World of thoughts and concepts, Realm of air connected to physical, It can observe but not act. (Bhuvar)
  7. Physical Life in 3D. Free will with a possibility of reset and ascension to higher levels. You live in a body, Learning to balance the senses in order to see clearly. Every experience is designed to help show you the way to God. (Bhu Loka)

Above these heavenly realms exist even more levels, the very highest realms of Goloka, Mandiweepa, and Multiple Universes. Periodically, a great disaster or dissolution happens, called a PRALAYA. That’s when Heaven, Earth, and all the lower Hell realms collapse. Even more rarely, the ENTIRE universe collapses, and even the highest realms of God consciousness also dissolve.

The 7 LOWER HELL REALMS (LOKAS) are very interesting.

Hindu Hell is not just a devil cooking you in a pot of oil. Oh no, it’s much more hypnotic and illusory. These are the fascinating Satanic networks that would wreak havoc on human awareness. Is it working? Oh yes. It’s functioning quite well in some circles. After all, hell happens in the mind. Where do we see these levels of illusion every day in the world? Look on any TV screen. Do you know anyone living in these states of consciousness? Here are the 7 Hellish realms in Hindu mythology, described in detail thousands of years ago in Sanskrit literature.

  1. Infinite imagination, Intense sensory experiences, Passion, Games, Emotional stimulation, Physical Pleasure, Lust, Food, Intense music, Addiction, Lots of money (Atala)
  2. Selfish Privilege, Enjoy Illusion, Immense Wealth, But Never Satisfied, Empty (Vitala)
  3. Evil is used for material gain. Right turned to wrong, Rich is God, No Truth, No Spirit (Sutala)
  4. People are trapped unaware in another’s hallucination or dream, Asleep, May be controlled or insulated in this illusion by evil forces. (Talatala)
  5. An outwardly peaceful but frightened world of hooded snakes who fear power. You can be abducted by monsters or giant Garuda birds, snatched from your home at any time. This world is filled with spies and imposters, hence no trust. (Mahatala)
  6. True Hell, Home of devils, Constant war, Infinite death and rebirth into scarcity and fear, No possibility of ascension, Hatred of everyone including God. God is the enemy here. (Rasatala)
  7. Darkest of worlds, Deadliest snakes, The very richest realm, Vast unlimited wealth, Money, Most mysterious world, Everything is an illusion.  (Patala)

What are your thoughts on the 14 realms of Hindu mythology? Do you see any truth in them? Can we perhaps remember our own experiences of any of these states of awareness? Do we know of anyone in the world who demonstrates these awareness patterns?

Thanks for reading. This is part of my video series on the Bhagavad Gita. Click to view it: Truth Amid Chaos”. Warmest regards, Sri Jana

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