Sanatan Dharma describes the fourteen worlds: Bhuu, Bhuvas, Svar, Mahas, Jana, Tapa and Satya. And The Seven Paatalas (lower worlds) are: Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Rasaataala, Talatala, Mahaatala and Paatala. As per the Puranas, when Vishnu, in the form of a young scholar Vamana, humbled Asura king Maha Bali, Maha Bali was banished to Paatala Loka. When the Deva overcame the Asura in battles, the Asura were forced to migrate to the Paatala Loka, the netherworld or the world below.
Where is this Paatala Loka?
People have conjured up images of Paatala Loka as being vertically downwards inside the earth. The Puranic legends describe how the world is divided into different habitable regions. They list 14 regions, with 7 regions being the “nether worlds”, the Paatala Loka. The Puranic texts also give the notion of the Paatala Loka as being beyond the seas.
The words like location and locomotion are etymologically similar to the word, “Loka”. There are other technical texts that mention the location of Asura and their adversaries, the Sura. A sloka in Surya Siddhantha throws some light on the exact location of the Paatala. The relevant sloka is,
“Surasuranam anyonyam diva – ratra viparyayaha
For Sura and Asura, days and nights are interchangeable.”
According to this sloka, Sura and Asura would have lived on opposite sides of the earth as only then can their days and nights be interchangeable. The region of the earth diametrically opposite to the Indian subcontinent is the central parts of South America which were the Paatala Loka of the Asura.
If we want a modern analogy, unlike the Indian subcontinent, if the theory is linked to today’s contemporary world, the area of earth is the central part of South America. It means that the Paatala Lok of the Asura’s used to be America!
If we want a modern analogy, then we can know that the British people call Australia as “Down under”. Similarly, in the Puranas, the underground area of Aryavarta has been mentioned as Paatala Lok. There is a place called “Grand Canyon” in Colorado, USA, which is full of secrets. The editors believe that America can be a hospice and the Grand Canyon can be the temple of Lord Shiva.
G.E. Kinkaid, originally a hunter-excavator and researcher who has spent 30 years in Smithsonian, has prepared a study report about Grand Canyon. According to him, the main part of this rock is likely to be the place of the cave, which takes the mysterious underground stronghold. The gateway is 1,486 feet below the valley. The mouth of the cave is hidden when seen from the river. There are a few stairs at the distance of 30 yards from this entrance, which probably used to be at the river level at that time.
There are many rooms in this Cave. Going through the long main road, a large room is found, out of which there are many routes that lead to other rooms. The article from here directs this direction that all of these things will be from the east, because such items have never been found in the original form in the USA. From weapon of war, made from copper and metal like steel, with sharp-edged objects, it appears that they were related to modern and high civilization.
One hundred feet from the entrance is a chamber which is about a 100 feet tall, in which the image or picture of the deity is found. This image is sitting in Padmasan position and holding the lotus flower in each hand. The description of this image comes from the people of the East. Keeping in view the available items and paintings so far, it is being speculated that the people maybe native of Tibet. Lord Shiva is also a resident of Kailash of Tibet. So does this cave belong to Shiva? So far, this mystery has not been solved.
There are small pictures all around this original picture, some are of very beautiful form and some are crushed and deformed. Although they are symbolic images of good and bad. Even in the picture of Lord Shiva, we can see God and Asuras. Inside the cave, we can find copper, things made of gold, works of art and other things have been found. Many of these things are putting the Scientists into a deeper dilemma, as they are unable to conceal the secrets associated with them. There is another cave inside this cave where the aroma of snakes can be smelled. This cave is very deep and full of darkness, so till now, no one has been able to discover it.
In the illustrated scriptures found inside the cave, only two animals are found – one of them is a prehistoric animal. During the research, some ‘Mummies’ have also been found. No cottage or cloth or bed has been found in the cave and it is estimated that these people used to come from the east to the west in winter and return back to their original place in the summer! G.E. Kinkaid says that, undoubtedly, thousands of years ago, there lived some people who reached the high level of human civilization, from the Christian era. The vastness of the caves is estimated by the fact that about 50,000 people will live here. In such a case, some people assume that this is the Paatala Lok mentioned in our Puranas, where the Asuras are known to be lived.