3 Worlds

Most cultures of the world have an idea of three worlds, corresponding to heaven, earth and underworld, but given various names, e.g.:
Earth, Atmosphere, Heaven
These are typically linked with three elements: fire, air and water respectively.

These three worlds were intially two worlds: a world of heaven (fire) and world below: water. This duality between fire and water was probably introduced in the Zoroastrian tradition which opposes light and darkness: Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu. Between these two came vayu (wind). In Armenia this became an opposition between fire and water: Mihr (cf MIthra, Mitra) and Ab.

In India these 3 worlds are called:
1. Bhuloka
2. Bhuvarloka
3. Swarloka
or collectively Bhavitra, Lokatraya, Vizvatraya.
In China and Japan the three worlds are the 3 Fundamentals of Heaven, Earth and Man.

In the Hebrew tradition this becomes fire (Shin, red) and water (Mem, blue) between which comes air (Aleph, yellow). These 3 worlds of the Hebrews become symbolized by the 3 Mother Letters. In the Indian traditions the three worlds are white, yellow and blue and lead to 18 eggs.

In Norse mythology these three worlds become 9 worlds with 2 above, 1 central, 4 for the 4 directions, snd two below linked with the runes. In Russia and the Norse tradition this becomes Ginnungapap.

Among the Mapuche the three worlds are called:
Wenu Mapu The Land Above
Nag Mapu The Land Below
Minche Mapu Beneath the Land

Above Astronomy Astro-, Cosmo
Intermediate Wind, Atmosphere Atmo-, Meteo
Below Geography Geo-

Wenu Mapu, Nag Mapu, Minche Mapu
Land Above, Land Below, Beneath the Land

In Japan, the 12 Directions also entail 3 Worlds or 3 Divisions of the world:

Down Earth
Moon Atmosphere
Sun Sky
Up Heaven Brahman

Immaterial World (arupa-loka).
Fine-Material World (rupa-loka)
Sensuous World (kama-loka

Immaterial World, Fine-Material World, Sensuous World

arupa-loka, rupa-loka, kama-loka


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