More literally, the state of the gods. It may appropriately be remarked here that the ordinary Hindu gods, of the post-Vedic period, like the gods of Ancient Greece and Italy, were simply a class of superhuman beings, distinctly contra-distinguished from the Supreme Spirit, the Paramatman or Parabrahma. After death, a virtuous man was supposed to be transformed into one of these so-called gods.
 This is the well-known
and popular doctrine of
transmigration of souls.
“Yudhishthira asked, ’O snake, tell me truly and without confusion how that dissociated spirit becomes cognisant of sound, touch, form, flavour, and taste. O great-minded one, dost thou not perceive them, simultaneously by the senses? Do thou, O best of snakes, answer all these queries!’ The snake replied, ’O long-lived one, the thing called Atman (spirit), betaking itself to corporeal tenement and manifesting itself through the organs of sense, becomes duly cognisant of perceptible objects. O prince of Bharata’s race, know that the senses, the mind, and the intellect, assisting the soul in its perception of objects, are called Karanas. O my son, the eternal spirit, going out of its sphere, and aided by the mind, acting through the senses, the receptacles of all perceptions, successively perceives these things (sound, form, flavour, &c). O most valiant of men, the mind of living creatures is the cause of all perception, and, therefore, it cannot be cognisant of more than one thing at a time. That spirit, O foremost of men, betaking itself to the space between the eyebrows, sends the high and low intellect to different objects. What the Yogins perceive after the action of the intelligent principle by that is manifested the action of the soul.’