The Earth plane of existence is very important. It is the only plane of existence where we can make rapid spiritual growth and settle our give-and-take account in the shortest period of time. The main reason for this is that with the help of the physical body, we can do many things to enhance our spiritual growth and spiritual level and reduce the basic subtle tama component.
Other than Earth, spiritual growth is mostly likely to occur only in the regions beyond Heaven such as Mahaaloka etc. This is because in Heaven, the subtle bodies run the risk of getting caught up in the unending pleasures it offers. In the Nether and Hell planes of existence, the punishment is so severe and also the distress from the other higher-level ghosts is such that it becomes very difficult to rise above the suffering to undertake any spiritual practice of value.
- As one goes to lower planes of existence of Hell, as the subtle basic sattva component progressively reduces the environment becomes less conducive to the experience of happiness.
- Within the planes of existence of Hell, there are some ghosts who do certain types of spiritual practice to gain spiritual power. The highest in the hierarchy of ghosts are sorcerers from the seventh plane of existence of Hell. They have immense spiritual power almost equivalent to a Saint at the 90% spiritual level. They control all the other types of ghosts with lesser spiritual power.
- As one goes deeper into the various planes of existence of Hell, i.e. from 1st to 7th, the extent of happiness experienced by the subtle bodies therein goes on decreasing and the extent of unhappiness goes on multiplying. The minimal experience of happiness is also due to being engrossed in memories of past positive events, pleasant memories of wealth in a past life, etc. The experience of unhappiness is due to memories of physical pain and insulting events, memories of unfulfilled desires, e.g. regarding education, house, career, expectation of happiness from children in past life.
- The extent of punishment/pain to be endured in the various planes of existence of Hell (Paataal) and their associated Narak goes on increasing with the subsequent plane of existence of Hell. Also, the period of punishment to be endured in each Narak is in excess compared to the corresponding plane of existence of Hell. If we consider the punishment in first plane of existence of Hell as 100%, then the punishment in the corresponding first Narak region is 50% more, i.e. 150%.
How very difficult and demanding renouncement is! Whether it is love for the spouse or attraction for the corporeal, to try to prove oneself knowledgeable by philosophizing on various principles and theories is one thing, but to put oneself to test by putting these philosophies in practice is quite another. To talk about ‘Karma’ and ‘Akarma’ and to surmise saying that everybody reaps as he sows, and then to shut one’s eyes to actual realities by remaining harshly disconcerned of the actual facts, asks for a lot of thinking on the part of the one who claims himself to be knowledgable, let alone being termed renounced. Well, discussing is easy and anything can be brought to the level of discussion. The foremost and the most difficult thing is to accept whatever comes your way, and do whatever needs to be done, with love, deep understanding and a spirit of renouncement, while remaining unconcerned of its outcome. Thus, the true spirit of life is to leave the result to His sweet will, thinking, ‘He is the all in all,’ and then to remain untouched by the ups and downs of this life and keep ever contented. It is this, this inner state that authorizes us to say, “Thou art all in all” and “Thy Will Be Done.” I know for sure that I lack this spirit. Let people praise me for my looking after Veena, thinking, I am doing a yeoman service to her. I well know that whatever I am doing for her, is being done more with a spirit of love than of duty. But not unlike ‘Karma’, it is not easy to understand love. Love is that which does not have even the slightest of selfishness in it. It is all a sacrifice. And where sacrifice is, grumble is not. True love has nothing to complain about. No situation can be too harsh for pure love. Love tires not of giving, never. To such relentlessly overflowing a love I am a novice. It is easy for me to get angry and irritated. Again, when this happens, I easily lose my discrimination too, as has been aptly declared by the ‘BhagvadGitā’ in the words ‘Anger begets mental imbalance’, a lesson you can easily learn from me. Veena’s mental state today and my repercussions to it often reminds me of the truth in what the Gita has pronounced. I know that it is wrong to be angry. Even then, I lose my self-control, one reason for this being my inability to digest any wrong. It is equally possible that because of the increased sensitivity due to the awakening of the Kūndalini, I become an easy prey to impetuosity leading to rage and resentment. But there is another reason too for my being easily taken to impetuosity and wrath.