Karma, Emotions and Six Lokas

Maybe you have received teaching called the purification of the six lokas. There are many different versions of this practice and it is a characteristic purification in the Dzogchen teaching.

Basically we have five emotions. When we apply each of them, then we produce one of the six lokas. For example, if we are continually angry and we do not purify [that emotion], we accumulate that cause of the vision of hell more and more. If, for example, we ask where hell is, today, in this moment, we cannot find it anywhere, but we cannot say that it doesn’t exist because we have its cause.

Day after day, year after year, we accumulate emotions. If we continue to accumulate emotions such as anger and do not purify [them], then we will have a very rich accumulation of the cause. In this moment we do not have a vision of hell because we are being and we live in the human condition, and our dimension is human karmic vision. However, when we finish our human vision, we die and are in the state of bardo, which is the intermediate state for all sentient beings. But after the bardo of existence, we go after the potentiality of our karma, that is, the kind of accumulation we have that is strongest. Not one of us is free.

For example, we say in the Dzogchen teaching that when we have discovered and we have knowledge of chönyi ngönsum (chos nyid mngon sum), real knowledge of dharmata, with this potentiality, we do not always follow only our negative karma. We always have the possibility to have rebirth somewhere where there is teaching and where there is a possibility to follow it in order to have realisation. This is also considered something like becoming free from ordinary samsara, but of course it doesn’t mean that we are free, that we are realised.

We have a guarantee of realisation and there will always be this possibility until we have total realisation. But not all sentient beings have this kind of guarantee because they are always going after the potentiality of their karma. When we do the introduction to the bardo [for one who has just died], we tell the person, “Now you have died. Now you are in the state of the bardo. If you remember some teachings that your teacher gave you during your life, you should try to remember them now. In any case, you are totally dependent on your karma just like a small feather of a bird in space.” A small feather depends on the wind to take it up and down and in different directions. You are not free but are carried here and there. This is our real condition, totally dependent on the potentiality of karma.

So karma depends on the type of emotions that have produced our accumulation of negative karma. We balance negative karma and positive karma and if positive karma is a little stronger we may have rebirth in one of the three superior states as a human being, or a dewa or asura. But most of the time it depends on our accumulation of karma. For that reason we have what are called the six lokas.

We have five main emotions but when they are all together they produce another and become six dimensions called rig drug (rigs drug), which means six lokas. Loka means dimension, more linked to the relative condition. Sometimes we also say kham sum (khams gsum), which means three worlds because the roots of all emotions are three – attachment, anger and ignorance. These three emotions accumulate and then produce these three dimensions, which are relatively similar to and connected with our body, speech and mind. So the three worlds or the six lokas are the same thing.

Download PDF