Saturday, September 7, 2013

In Seventh Heaven

I have always loved this idea of being in Seventh Heaven and, by and large, all it takes me to be in that state is to have absolutely nothing that requires doing. Even in this retired state of mine, alas, there are things to do - most notably that damnable Income Tax return which plagues me once a year. Still, it is not a bad deal being in seventh heaven for the most part of the year, I suppose.

The funny thing is that religions, which are reputed to remain at loggerheads with each other in all interactions and to tend to see the followers of the others as imps from Hell if not the Devil incarnate, are all agreed on the existence of seven heavens. Surprising that there is such unanimity among people who are seen to otherwise claim that the Sun rose in the West merely to contradict the others saying that it rose in the East.

Judaism claims the existence of Seven Heavens - Vilan, Raqiya, Shehaqim, Zebul, Ma'on, Makhon and Araboth. Islam, too, agrees about seven heavens - Rafi, Qaydum, Marum, Arfalun, Hay'oun, Arous and Ajma'. Two major religions, whose followers have the public reputation of being perpetually at loggerheads with each other seem to have a shared vision about, at least, the number of heavens.

Closer home, Hinduism also has its seven heavens. The famed Gayatri Mantra - Om Bhoor Bhuva Svah - lists the first three and the expanded version actually lists all seven. Well - actually, the heaven part starts later but seventh heaven is most certainly present. In order, we have Bhoorloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapa loka and Satyaloka. Bhoorloka is the land of mortals - us, so technically there are only six heavens but the seventh loka translates to seventh heaven!

Now, if only we have unanimity in considering everyone as children of the same god. That would truly be seventh heaven.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st - 7th September 2013

68 comments:

  1. "Now, if only we have unanimity in considering everyone as children of the same god. That would truly be seventh heaven."

    Wouldn't that be nice? :) True words of wisdom!

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    1. And like most words of wisdom it shall be studiously ignored in practice :)

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  2. I think of everyone as children of God. I think that different groups formed everywhere as they tried to understand everything. They formed their own beliefs about how things are, were, and should be but essentially everyone is the same. We all believe in love, kindness, community, and faith. We all bleed the same. Essentially we all are born the same way and we all leave this world through death. This is such a fascinating topic and I applaud your take on it!!

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    1. Thanks Kathy! If everyone thought like you there would be much less strife in the world.

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  3. Of course it would! I mean I am not religious but I do follow a faith that speaks of unanimity, unison.

    Thanks for the enlightenment on the seven heavens in different religious streams.

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    1. I was curious abt what the seventh Heaven was and googled it :)

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  4. I seriously didn't know there were actually 7 heavens. This is really interesting. I guess it is time for me to go and read some spiritual books. :D

    It was fun doing this challenge with you. Hope to read many more fantastic posts here. :)

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    1. I thought there might be - knew of the Hindu ones but did not know how the phrase began in English so googled for it. :)

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  5. Absolutely!! Not just seven heavens there are so many similarities between all religions.
    Before starting a debate/fight if only we 'google' a bit we ell definitely find the commonness of all :)
    Wonderful post Suresh

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    1. Hmm! And somehow people find fighting each other more fun :(

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  6. Exactly...and I strictly believe in this...very well written

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  7. i was actually not aware of so many Hinduism words u mentioned..seventh heaven is like we always use as phrase or something when we do highly remarkable and mind goes to the seventh heaven. ur research is remarkable :)

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    1. Almost all the phrases we use started out with a solid reason, Jasmeet!

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  8. Wow, that's an interesting piece of information.

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    1. Hmm! So you do visit my blog, Medha - or is today an exception? :)

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  9. A lot of research on heavens-and how many hells?

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    1. An identical number, Indu - above all we love symmetry :)

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  10. Bhoorloka will become the seventh heaven if there everyone believes that they are children of the same God!!

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    1. Ah! So, maybe that's why we do not believe it? :)

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  11. Aditi said what I wanted to say. I didn't know that Hinduism also has seven heavens. That was a brand new information for me. :) Cool post, nevertheless.

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  12. In the morning after the potty, I'm in seventh heaven and if the loo is occupied by someone and I wait and wait and then download . . . THAT IS seventh heaven!

    Though I haven't read all your posts, I was glad to be part of this challenge along with you. Thanks for the comments on my blog. Looking forward to continuing this interaction. Fingers crossed.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  13. Whatever religion you may be, being human end with same view/visions with different names. Yet fight with one another.

    Nice post

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  14. Very well written, true we are all divine beings having human experiences on this earth, said a great author... there is no need to fight on this.. thanks for sharing, I am enlightened, I never heard of 7th heaven in Hinduism. Though 7th heaven is used in a common manner... never in my life reflected so much.. thanks for sharing !

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    1. I searched with the same curiosity and was as surprised with what I found :)

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  15. I knew about the 7 heavens in hinduism but was surprised they exist in judaism and islam. Thanks for the info.

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    1. Well - as I just told Angela, I was as surprised with what I found :)

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  16. I only heard of the term "seven heaven" but no inkling about what exactly they were.Thank you for the enlightenment.
    Suresh i love your writing styles...informative with tinge of hum-our..

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  17. Your post reminded me of one great grandfather of mine. I know a lot of Shlokas, but I have no clue about their meaning. And he always used to tell me that one who recites without knowing the meaning is illiterate. I know the Gayatri Mantra, but didn't know it included the seven heavens or lokas. Thanks for the insight.

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    1. I have always felt that - the mouthing of the mantras without understanding what they mean is non-productive.

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  18. So well said, Now, if only we have unanimity in considering everyone as children of the same god. That would truly be seventh heaven.
    I dunno why temper flare up so stupidly on whose religion is best. Religion should unite but it divide more often. Hope we can change our attitudes and rise as human beings:)
    www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

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    1. That is only common-sense. No wonder someone said that common sense is the mostg uncommon virtue in the world :)

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  19. Yep in terms of Vedas and shlokas I am truly illiterate :) Thanks for visiting

    PhenoMenon
    http://throodalookingglass.com/2013/09/festival-words-close/

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  20. Very interesting info Suresh. Had no idea that there are so many heavens and we have a choice ;)

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    1. There are those heavens but do we have a choice? :)

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  21. There were posts of this week which made me laugh but this one was left on a wishful thought. And quite a wonderful one, seventh heaven will be of unity... true true..

    Richa

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    1. Hmm! Let us wish that it comes through one day.

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  22. The "loka" post hehe,
    nice writeup sir!

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  23. I loved your line, "Now, if only we have unanimity in considering everyone as children of the same god. That would truly be seventh heaven."

    We are all children of the same God, even though that same God goes by different names in different traditions. God is a diverse God, as diverse as the peoples S/He created. Thanks for a great series during this blog challenge. I enjoyed learning from your wisdom, Suresh.
    Namaste.
    Penny

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    1. Yes Penny! All the names we give to God are only semantic differences.

      Wisdom is a big word, Penny. If the candle I carry has thrown light on some obscure bit of darkness it is reward enough for the writing.

      Namaste

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  24. Dear Suresh, the message you imparted with this post is simply great and i truly wish people get the meaning of it.

    I am yet to catch up on your other posts.

    It was great to connect with you. :)

    P.S: Thank you so much for your every visit to my blog even when i could not return the favor. My sincere apologies to you. My new job keeps me tied up. I joined it just very recently. I could not even complete the challenge. Missed by two posts but anyways i am planning to write them in a day or two. I cherished your each and every comment on my posts. I seem to simply can't express my gratitude in words.... see lethologica it is. :) <3

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  25. I had no idea that the concept of seven heavens is so universal! Fascinating! As you aptly say, true heaven will happen when we start considering everyone, the children of the same god.

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  26. Interesting information, most of it I didn't know! Any heaven would be fine compared to the hell that we seem to be living in. Amen to the last line.

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    1. Oh! Any Heaven would certainly be better :) The thing is we seem to be headed towards a "Any Hell would be certainly better" situation :)

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  27. This was interesting and fascinating yet again. Thanks for sharing the insights about various heavens and also that when you're curious, you explore and learn a lot of interesting things. :)

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    1. Thanks Shilpa! It is a sad thing that as we age our curiosity also dies down. I wish I could still be as curious as a child.

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  28. Any intersection of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is unsurprising - all are descended from Abraham, and actually have much more in common than their differences and violent conflicts would suggest. Much more interesting are the commonalities between the Abrahamic religious traditions and others that are seemingly unrelated. My son was asking me, just last night, whether - if I were God - I would interact with humans, and how. And it got me to thinking that this must happen, not because we have creation myths, but because we all have similar types of stories regarding those interactions - even where our people had little or no contact at the time those myths were told and recorded.

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    1. No war is as devastating as a war between siblings - that is true of religions as of people :)

      The commonalities between the deities of the Graeco-Roman myth and the Hindu myth is astounding. Even some practices like the "Aswamedha Yagna" of the Hindus have an echo in the tale of Theseus :)

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  29. Ah! this was a light post. I wonder if someone wrote on 'Saat Samandar' theme!

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  30. Interesting concept Suresh :)

    Pleasure to meet ya via this writing tribe.

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  31. Seven whole worlds to aspire to for my afterlife. Though I am sure the reality might be that none of the Heavens will accept me when it is time! :D

    What's the scoop on Hell? You know, I just started to read the new Dan Brown book - which talks about Dante's Inferno and Hell and all that. I think I am going to have to pay a lot of attention to figure out what's in store for me!

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    1. There are seven underworlds again in Indian myth at least, Rickie :) Did not research that because I will find out personally myself soon :)

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  32. You know what? In spite of the numbers, I am sure all 7 heavens everywhere are rather sparsely populated :D

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    1. :) That's precisely what I said in my very first post for Write tribe this time :)

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  33. Had no idea Suresh. Informative post and yes, wish the world came to its senses.

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