Symbols - What does heaven look like
Snakes and ladders
Snakes and ladders as a game derives all it symbolism from the ladder or stairs as a means of ascent and the snake - but seen from inside the snake and thus a tunnel - as a means of descent. In effect the snake symbolically is equivalent to a tunnel in this context. It describes the manoevering required around the body template in the search for the crown chakra and the exit point to the Higher spirit.
Snakes and Ladders originated in India as a game based on a map of the spiritual world. It was called variously Vaikuntapaali or Paramapada Sopanam (the ladder to salvation). The game was played widely in ancient India, when it was known as Moksha Patamu. There was also an early Jain version dating back to 16th century. In Andhra Pradesh, snakes and ladders is still played today under the name of Vaikuntapali. The game made its way to England, and was eventually introduced in the United States of America at which point all the original spiritual symbolism was wiped away and utterly lost.
The original Indian layout is shown in the example above. It is a perfect representation of the ‘map’ of the spiritual world within our cone of energy and our template – done in much the same way that we would create a flat atlas picture from the globe of the earth. The matrix squares/cells are shown with the aether level and its gods at the top of the board and the underworld with the systems of animals etc at the bottom.
The snakes [tunnels, funnels, shafts etc] taking you down are clearly shown as well as the ladders taking you up.
In visions and other spiritual experiences, people actually see tunnels and stairs or ladders – like Jacob. The tunnels can feel like the inside of a snake or they may simply be tunnels or wells [like Alice in Wonderland]. Tunnels tend to go down or horizontal, ladders and stairs go up. The largest snake [or snakes] are the ones we travel on birth and death.
The number of ladders is less than the number of snakes , the number "100" represented Moksha (Salvation).
What is perhaps particularly intriguing and attractive in this example is the number of symbolic images shown. Practically every symbolic image you may come across during visionary or dream experience is shown. You can see at the top the gods, angels, avatars, beings. As you move down there are palaces of various sorts. Then we have various sorts of birds, as well as flowers and butterflies. There are various signs of the Zodiac, the crab, the scorpion, the twins Gemini, Leo, Pisces, Virgo and so on. There are sacred groves, reeds, rushes, streams and forests.
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