The Five Blue Ethers

This information is excerpted from the book “Dying into Life: The Yoga of Death, Loss and Transformation” by Dr. Jivan Joti Kaur Khalsa 

Once we successfully cross the electro-magnetic field of the earth, we are ready to begin our passage through the five blue ethers.

Depending upon our spiritual orientation, we usually have at least one guide to direct us through these realms of consciousness. For example, a Christian may have Christ, Mother Mary or St. Francis; a Jew may have Abraham or Moses; a Sikh may have Guru Nanak . . .

The First Blue Ether, called Karta Purakh, contains the Akashic Records, also referred to as the Cosmic Library or Storehouse, where all the information of the universe is kept, including the life histories of all beings.

The Subtle Body is the capsule of the Soul, and it contains our “cosmic file” as well. When we pass through the first blue ether our individual file becomes a part of the cosmic library or storehouse. When we are reincarnated, we retain the same subtle body, imprinted with our old unfinished karmas.

In the first blue ether, we access ourselves and are accounted for, according to our karmas. It is like an audit, a factual viewing so to speak. The soul intuitively knows that there is the next step – lessons to learn, debts to pay – a period of purification.

The Soul in the Subtle Body goes on to the second and third blue ethers, by passing through a kind of shield, or doorway, which separates one realm from the next. It is only when we undergo our internal process and reach a certain level of purification that we are granted passage into the next realm.

The result of the thirty-second to three-minute test of the mind, along with instruction from our enlightened guides, will determine specifically which lessons we will receive in these first and second blue ethers. The goal of this purification is to be able to perceive harmony of the Self.

The Second Blue Ether is called Sopurakh and is where we assess where we are in the cosmic play and what lessons we have yet to learn to further our consciousness. We not only acknowledge the need for these lessons, but we must next learn how to consistently maintain them throughout the test of Time and Space. This means that our efforts are able to demonstrate our consciousness through constancy of actions in all situations.

For example, let’s say that one of our lessons in life was detachment from personal success. In the second ether we are not only presented with that lesson and must acknowledge it, we are also tested with situations in which we are forced to prove our neutrality. If our efforts are not able to pass this test, we will have to return to another life. In order to pay off that karma, we are assigned a way to complete it. Whether we are a beggar or a king, a man or a woman; whether we live in Iran or France, have a violent parent or are born without sight. We may even have to teach our lessons to others in our next life to complete the karmic cycle.

The Third Blue Ether, called Purakh, is the etheric realm of Khalsa. Up to this point, we have faced our karmas and received the tools we need to pay them off. Now in the third ether, free of the lessons of Time and Space, we move into a more refined realm, that of Khalsa, or pure one. There is a grace and dignity, which relates to spiritual consciousness.

Instead of focusing on oneself, we turn our awareness to serving and blessing others. We have moved from individual identity to infinite identity. Free of the confines of an individual identity, there is no shield between the third and fourth ether, allowing us to easily slip into the next realm.

Between the third and Fourth Blue Ether, there is a huge shift. The Fourth Blue Ether, called Brahm Prakash, is the realm of radiance or the lighted self.

Once we reach this ether, we cannot reincarnate into another life without the will of God. From this layer, we can penetrate into all realms of existence and bliss is experienced.

At the time of death, if we have a spiritual teacher, he or she can use their meditative powers during the ambrosial hours to penetrate through the magnetic field and help our soul slip into the fourth ether, freeing us. If the soul leaves through the Tenth Gate, it will be more likely to reach the fourth ether.

The Soul Body is still present in the Fourth Ether. It has a kind of skin – both a connection and a separation between the finite and Infinite soul. It does not exist in the fifth layer, where there is a total merger and one becomes formless.

The Fifth Blue Ether, called Brahm, or God, is the ultimate flow and merger into God, where out of the formless, limitlessness exists and all of creation comes into being. In ancient scriptures, it is said that in this realm, one experiences the divine gaze of the Creator.

If one meditates during life and at the time of death, it is possible to reach all five ethers. It is by becoming very subtle (conscious and aware) that we can be so light that we rise to the highest sphere.

Guru Ram Das‘s soul has merged with the Infinite in the Fifth Ether, but His Subtle Body is available to us in the fourth ether. He is the source of creative unity and abundance, spiritually as well as materially. One who meditates on Guru Ram Das can manifest the essence of the reality.

There is no time limit on how long one can stay in the fourth ether. This is where the souls of lovers and devotees of God dwell. Those who find God are endless. They are still alive guiding us – more so than when they were alive in their physical body.

When we don’t live in a physical body, we live in the Subtle and Radiant Bodies. The Radiant Body has no end. As long as the sun shall shine, the radiant body will live. The purpose of these radiant beings is to fulfill the positive desires of all. They are as the candle is to darkness.

There is no exact set time it takes the soul to progress through the ethers. It may be easier for the soul to progress on its journey during the ambrosial hours, between 3-6 a.m., when the rays of the sun are hitting and projecting at 60 degrees to the earth. It is a law of sun energy.

If we meditate during the ambrosial hours of the morning, this practice during life, this divine habit, will carry us through the ethers like a lightning bolt at the time of death.

The soul has one other choice. If the soul has completed its journey to the fourth ether, it can choose to reincarnate into a human form, with God’s will. It can return as a spiritual teacher, or someone who has an enormous mission on earth, requiring an enlightened consciousness to carry it out.

Examples of this phenomenon might include such exalted personalities as Christ, Guru Nanak, Guru Gobind Singh, Mohammed, Buddha, and Moses.

Of course, it may also be the case that their karma was to do “the job” in order to be liberated. Once the soul merges with God in the fifth ether, this option is gone.

The Five Blue Ethers are beautifully described in Japji Sahib – Paurees 34-37 – the first ether in Pauree 34, the second ether in Pauree 35, the third ether in Pauree 36 and ethers fourth and fifth in Pauree 37.


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Death and loss are universal experiences, which we all experience in our lives. The experience of death and loss are never convenient, and everyone responds to them differently. For some, death is an ending, a tragedy, a wall of sorts; for others, it is a beginning, a door or an opportunity for tremendous personal growth and transformation. With training, we can prepare ourselves to view and respond to these transitions with more grace and inner serenity. We can also help others in their own transformative journey. Dying into Life book and course will give you such a training.

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