Loka so called, because the beings who occupy them are subject to desires of eating, drinking, sleeping and love. They are otherwise called the abodes of the five (?) orders of sentient creatures — Devas, men, asuras, beasts, demons" (Lau-tan Sutra, trans. by S. Beal). They mean simply that, had the reverend translator been acquainted with the true doctrine a little better — he would have (1) divided the Devas into two classes — and called them the "Rupa-devas" and the "Arupa-devas" (the "form" — or objective, and the "formless" or subjective Dhyan Chohans; and (2) — would have done the same for his class of "men," since there are shells, and "Mara-rupas" — i.e. bodies doomed to annihilation. All these are:
(1) "Rupa-devas" — Dhyan Chohans (*) having forms } Ex-men.
(2) "Arupa-devas" [Dhyan Chohans] having no forms } Ex-men.
(3) "Pisachas" — (two-principled) ghosts.
(4) "Mara-rupa" — Doomed to death (3 principled).
(5) Asuras — Elementals — having human form } Future men.
(6) Beasts — [Elementals] 2nd class — animal Elementals } Future men.
(7) Rakshasas (Demons) Souls or Astral Forms of sorcerers; men who have reached the apex of knowledge in the forbidden art. Dead or alive they have, so to say cheated nature; but it is only temporary — until our planet goes into obscuration, after which they have nolens volens to be annihilated.
It is these seven groups that form the principal divisions of the Dwellers of the subjective world around us. It is in stock No. 1, that are the intelligent Rulers of this world of Matter, and who, with all this intelligence are but the blindly obedient instruments of the
(*) The Planetary Spirits of our Earth are not of the highest, as you may well imagine — since, as Subba Row says in his criticism upon Oxley's work that no Eastern Adept would like to be compared with an angel or Deva. See May The Theosophist.
In the book Man: Fragments of Forgotten History the same table of "dwellers" is printed and some concepts are added. About the Pisachas it is said that they are "shells left in Kama Loka after the passage of the ego into Devachan". About the mara-rupas it is added: "Shells of persons with abnormally material attractions, whose spiritual and psychic life, being a complete blank, cannot carry them on to Devachan". As for the "Beasts" the book says: "Elementals of the lower order connected with the different elements and animals".
Lau-tan Sutra. The reference is taken from Rev. Samuel Beal's book A Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese.