One of three paths taken by the self, or its subtle body, after death, according to the Upaniṣads and Vedāntic theology. (The others are the devayāna (‘the way of the gods’), or the ‘northern path’, and the pitṛyāna, (‘the way of the fathers’), or the ‘southern path’. It is reserved for those who have neither performed their sacrificial actions (karma) properly, nor attained knowledge of their real meaning (or of brahman (neut.), according to Śaṅkara). In some texts the place of this path is taken by rebirth as a lower life form.