What are the different types of lokas like the yamaloka,swargaloka, prithiviloka, pitrloka, bramhaloka , dhwarka dham etc ?
My dear son Nārada, know from me that there are seven lower planetary
systems out of the total fourteen. The first planetary system, known
as Atala, is situated on the waist; the second, Vitala, is situated on
the thighs; the third, Sutala, on the knees; the fourth, Talātala, on
the shanks; the fifth, Mahātala, on the ankles; the sixth, Rasātala,
on the upper portion of the feet; and the seventh, Pātāla, on the
soles of the feet. Thus the virāṭ form of the Lord is full of all
planetary systems. (Srimad Bhagavatam 2:5:40-41)
To draw a parallel with modern science, Hindu cosmology has talked about alternate dimensions in terms of horizontal & vertical worlds. Horizontal dimension is a spread of cosmos on the side ways whereas vertical dimensions talk about 3 layers.
- Urdhva (Higher dominion)
- Bhu-Loka (Middle dominion)
- Adho (Lower dominion)
Both Higher & Lower dominion are further said to have seven sub-divisons (Vyahrtis) namely Bhu, Bhuvar, Svarga, Mahar, Jana, Tapa, and Satyaloka above and seven lower ones (Pātālas) like Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasaataala, Talatala, Mahaatala, Patala and Naraka below. Atharva Veda, Vishnu Purana, Srimad Bhagavatam, Padma Purana and Vayu Purana all testify to this cosmological model.
On what basis a person is sent to one of these lokas?
Each loka is a separate realm of existence. In simple terms, it’s the enrichment of human consciousness that defines the metaphysical world it will live. Srimad Bhagvatam links ‘Karma’ as the principal constitute for a soul to move between different lokas. Good Karma leads the soul to
‘urdhva-gati’ literally meaning moving to higher dominion and bad karma leads the soul to
‘adho-gati’ meaning decline to lower dominion.
Who sends him?
However, this would be half-truth. It is the grand cosmic design by the unborn Supreme which guides journey of soul through this realms of existence.