What Is the Difference Between the Astral World and the Causal World?


Some days ago I was watching a video of Swami Kriyanandaji. He talked about the astral world and the causal world. So what is that astral world, what is the causal world, and what’s the difference between the two?

—Radhika Rajesh Chandak, India


Dear Radhika,

Swami Kriyananda explained how the entire creation is structured, according to Yogananda. There are three worlds, causal, astral, and physical.

Here is the story of creation:

God, out of His pure Consciousness, first created a very subtle causal universe, made of thoughts and ideas. “The causal world is indescribably subtle,” as you read in the Autobiography of a Yogi.

From those thoughts He created the astral universe, which is less subtle, made of energy and light.

Out of that energy emerged the physical universe which we know, made of solid matter.

So the difference between the astral and causal universe is that the astral universe is made of energy, and the causal world is made of thought.

We human beings, being made in the image of God, similarly have three bodies: causal (thought body), astral (energy body), physical (material body).

You will very much enjoy, I believe, Chapter 43 of the Autobiography of a Yogi, “The Resurrection of Sri Yukteswar,” which describes these three worlds and bodies in a highly inspiring way.

By the way, Swami Kriyananda talked about these things from experience, not from book learning. Once in a restaurant he told us, “The astral world is more real to me than the physical.”

We asked, “Even right now?”

“Yes,” he answered.

Joy to you,