Understand the different planes of existence

Dear Venerable,
Thank you for helping us in our understanding of the Dhamma. As a lay person, I am
convinced, willing and fully committed to following the Buddha's teachings. How should we understand the different planes of existence (Devas, humans, hells, etc.)? Is it symbolic or a reality?

Venerable Nyanadharo: Symbolic or reality, in any case, the meditator is called upon to abandon all formal and mundane plans in the long term. The path to the Ultimate is already long enough not to allow oneself to be distracted by any phenomena.

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