Is there an underworld


The Underworld is a form of the otherworld that is often viewed as the realm of death, Hades. In Hindu mythology, there is Patala Loka, which is also known as the underworld.

It can mean the world of death, the world of the dead or the lower levels, simply what is under the surface of the earth, e.g. when you go into caves (there are large cave networks or abandoned mountain tunnels). Even if you go on a diving tour with a submarine, you dive into the underworld of the sea.


The expression "underworld" is used, for example, in the greek mythology a major role. There the gods live on Mount Olympus - the Olympians live in the higher worlds. And then there is Hades - that is the underworld. There there is the god of the dead and Persepone, who is the wife of Hades (and thus the god of the underworld). The souls of the deceased go into this underworld after death.

We find the expression “underworld” in other religions as well. In certain myths of the Germanic peoples there are also the underworlds - the warriors who have fled then do not go to the higher levels, but to the underworlds.

We also find this expression in the Hinduism. There there is Patalaloka (the lower world, underworld), and in some myths (or also theological systems) there are 7 higher worlds and 7 lower worlds (which are then also referred to as underworlds). Sometimes in Hinduism it is also said: "The underworld is hell", whereas in Hinduism hell is usually not regarded as permanent. Someone who has committed crimes in this life cannot rise to the higher levels (Bhuvarloka and Svaloka), but goes to the lower worlds (which also includes Patalaloka).

Dimensions of the underworld

Another term for the underworld (or another explanation) is that there are different dimensions of the world. There is the physical world, which is the world we are in now. Then there are the astral worlds (higher worlds), which have a higher vibrational state than the physical world. Therefore, humans typically do not perceive them even though they are there - their vibrational state is such that they only perceive the physical world. But while we are in the physical world, all sorts of astral and subtle beings are also there. Sometimes you can communicate with them, feel them, hear them or see them. We can live in harmony with these subtle beings, regardless of whether they are the souls of the deceased, the protective spirit of a house or a place, whether they are nature, angel or light beings (Devatas) etc. Then there are also beings that are grosser than this physical world. Sometimes it is said that gnomes, or dwarfs, who can pass through the earth, are more gross, and therefore this world in which we live is more subtle for them - it does not affect them. You can be in the earth, go through it - but you can also make contact with the physical world. It is an underworld in the sense of "lower vibrational state". Sometimes it is also said that Patalaloka is the plain where Nagas (serpentine beings) are also, who are usually not visible. The physical snakes (i.e. the animals) are only expressions of form once they become visible. These serpent beings are powerful and also benign. In many regions of India the Nagas are very revered. They come from another dimension - from an underworld - and can give us positive energy.

Aspects of the underworld

So there are different aspects of the underworld and different ways of seeing the underworld. There is much more to this universe than you can see with your physical eyes. There are subtle worlds and perhaps also underworlds, and there are various descriptions of this in the myths. It is best that you are benevolent towards all beings (whether they are in this world or in higher or lower worlds), and you strive to grow beyond all worlds in order to go to what is beyond the relative world: The pure consciousness, the divine in itself.

Video underworld

Short lecture video on the topic Underworld :

Author / speaker: Sukadev Bretz, seminar leader on the topics of yoga and meditation.

Underworld audio lecture

Here is the audio track of the video above Underworld :

See also

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If you are interested in the underworld, you might be interested in lectures and articles on teaching advanced pranayama and Kundalini Yoga, subconscious mind, restless, early Christianity, primordial vibration, Vedanta Yoga.

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