in the hindu mahabharata it describes an ascension of sorts, that is actually a bit different than how Raso describes it:
Book 18: Section 6
"At the fifth (Parana), twice those fruits are his. Ascending a celestial car that resembles the rising sun or a blazing fire, and with the deities
for his companions, he goes to Heaven and sports in felicity for myriads of years in the abode of Indra.
"At the sixth Parana, twice, and at the seventh, thrice those fruits become his. Ascending a celestial car that resembles the summit of the Kailasa
mountains (in beauty), that is equipt with an altar made of stones of lapis lazuli and other precious gems, that is surrounded by beautiful objects of
diverse kinds, that is decked with gems and corals, that moves at the will of the rider, and that teems with waiting Apsaras, he roves through all the
regions of felicity, like a second deity of the Sun.
"At the eight Parana, he acquires the fruits of the Rajasuya sacrifice. He ascends a car as beautiful as the rising moon, and unto which are yoked
steeds white as the rays of the moon and endued with the speed of thought. He is served by women of the foremost beauty and whose faces are more
charming than the moon. He hears the music of the garlands that encircle their waists and the Nupuras encircling their ankles. Sleeping with his head
resting on the laps of women of transcendent beauty, he awakes greatly refreshed.
"At the ninth Parana, he acquires, O Bharata, the fruits of that foremost of sacrifices, viz., the Horse-sacrifice. Ascending on a car equipt with a
chamber consisting of a top supported by columns of gold, furnished with a seat made of stones of lapis lazuli, with windows on all sides made of pure
gold, and teeming with waiting Apsaras and Gandharvas and other celestials, he blazes forth in splendour. Wearing celestial garlands and robes, and
decked with celestial unguents, he sports in bliss, with deities for his companions, in Heaven, like a second deity himself.
"Reaching the tenth Parana and gratifying Brahmanas, he acquires a car which tinkles with innumerable bells, which is decked with flags and banners,
which is equipt with a seat made of precious gems, which has many arches made of lapis lazuli, which has a net-work of gold all round, which has
turrets made of corals, which is adorned with Gandharvas and Apsaras well-skilled in singing, and which is fit for the residence of the Righteous.
Crowned with a diadem of the complexion of fire, decked with ornaments of gold, his person smeared with celestial sandalpaste, garnished with
celestial wreaths, he roves through all celestial regions, enjoying all celestial objects of enjoyment, and endued with great splendour, through the
grace of the deities.
Sounds to me as if this description is impressing on the mind of the reader that ascension is composed of (among other things), taking off in a
celestial car and navigating the stars with the power of the mind.
[edit on 6-6-2008 by undo]