Pitra Loka

Definition - What does Pitra Loka mean?

In Hinduism, pitra loka is the world of the departed ancestors. The term comes from Sanskrit, with pitra meaning “ancestors” or “parents,” and loka meaning “world,” “region” or “realm.” The concept of pitra loka, while similar, does vary among the many different Hindu traditions.

In some traditions, pitra loka is the upper of two regions within bhuvar loka (plane of the atmosphere), along with preta loka (world of the departed). Sometimes pitra loka is considered synonymous with bhuvar loka. In other traditions, pitra loka is one of four subdivisions of bhu loka (the earthly realm).

Yogapedia explains Pitra Loka

When pitra loka is associated with bhuvar loka, it is the astral plane where virtuous souls go to enjoy their good karma. When it is exhausted, they are reincarnated to continue their spiritual growth. Some believe that the souls of three generations of ancestors dwell in pitra loka.

In traditions in which a more expansive bhu loka includes four lokas, pitra is the highest of these regions. The others are martya loka, where humans dwell in earthly bodies; preta loka, where souls rest following physical death and while awaiting judgment; naraka loka, where sinners face punishment; and pitra loka, where those with a mix of good and bad deeds reside.

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