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pitṛloka


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According to the Upaniṣads (see esp. Bṛhadāraṇyaka 6.2.16; Chāndogya 5.10.3), the intermediate and impermanent after-death world (loka), adjacent to the moon, reached by those who have led proper lives as sacrificers and gift-givers, but who will eventually be reborn. It is contrasted with the permanent state achieved in the brahmaloka (devaloka). More generally, the pitṛloka designates the celestial or nether world where the dead forefathers (pitṛs) reside, and where they need to be fed and sustained for as long as possible by their living sons through the śrāddha funerary rites, and the pitṛyajñā. See also pitṛyāna.

Subjects: Hinduism.


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