Vasudeva sits in Lokaloka
[ Photo courtesy GreatMirror.com ]

Jan 28, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — There is an invisible barrier around the solar system, which is referred to in sastra as the Lokaloka Mountains. The planets within this Loka-Loka barrier are designated as illuminating bodies, while those outside of it are non-illuminating. In a discussion on the Vaikuntha planet, Srila Prabhupada describes Lokaloka Mountain in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatam 8.5.5:

    "Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura remarks here that this Vaikuntha planet, like Srimad-Bhagavatam, appears and is said to be born or created, but both Srimad-Bhagavatam and Vaikuntha eternally exist beyond the material universes, which are enveloped by eight kinds of coverings. As described in the Second Canto, Lord Brahma saw Vaikuntha before the creation of the universe. Viraraghava Acarya mentions that this Vaikuntha is within the universe. It is situated above the mountain known as Lokaloka. This planet is worshiped by everyone."

In the picture above, a sculpture on the southwest porch of the Vaikuntha Perumal Temple in Kanchipuram, is a scene in which the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Bhagavan, is sitting in Lokaloka. In the lower panel we see Sukadeva Goswami, explaining the location of this place to Pariksit Maharaja. The four-headed image of Vasudeva is sitting with His four faces turned to the four cardinal directions. Srila Sukadeva explains to Pariksit Maharaja that space is divided into directional space (loka) and non-directional space (aloka).

There are some detailed descriptions of Lokaloka in Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20, presented below. The barrier range is depicted in an illustration (below) from The Cosmology of the Bhagavata Purana: Mysteries of the Sacred Universe by Sadaputa dasa (Dr. Richard L. Thompson), who writes:

    "We note that "Loka" means an inhabited area. In contrast the Bhagavatam states that the Golden Land is uninhabited. ….Lokaloka Mountain [has] a radius of 125,000 thousand yoganas (see 5.20.38). This circle divides the illuminated region of Bhu-mandala from the dark, uninhabited region, called Aloka-varsa, which extends from Lokaloka to the shell of the Brahmanda."

The region called Loka (inhabited), with the Golden Land (Kancanibhumi), Loka-loka Mountain, and Aloka-varsa.

In Srimad Bhagavatam 5th Canto there is a description of the location and dimensions of Lokāloka Mountain:

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20 Summary

    "Beyond Puṣkaradvīpa there are two islands, one always lit by the sunshine and the other always dark. Between them is a mountain called Lokāloka, which is situated one billion miles from the edge of the universe. Lord Nārāyaṇa, expanding His opulence, resides upon this mountain. The area beyond Lokāloka Mountain is called Aloka-varṣa, and beyond Aloka-varṣa is the pure destination of persons who desire liberation."

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.34

    "Thereafter, beyond the ocean of sweet water and fully surrounding it, is a mountain named Lokaloka, which divides the countries that are full of sunlight from those not lit by the sun."

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.35

    "Beyond the ocean of sweet water is a tract of land as broad as the area between the middle of Mount Sumeru and the boundary of Manasottara Mountain. In that tract of land there are many living beings. Beyond it, extending to Lokaloka Mountain, is another land, which is made of gold. Because of its golden surface, it reflects light like the surface of a mirror, and any physical article that falls on that land can never be perceived again. All living entities, therefore, have abandoned that golden land."

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.36

    "Between the lands inhabited by living entities and those that are uninhabited stands the great mountain which separates the two and which is therefore celebrated as Lokaloka."

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.37

    "By the supreme will of Krsna, the mountain known as Lokaloka has been installed as the outer border of the three worlds -- Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka -- to control the rays of the sun throughout the universe. All the luminaries, from the sun up to Dhruvaloka, distribute their rays throughout the three worlds, but only within the boundary formed by this mountain. Because it is extremely high, extending even higher than Dhruvaloka, it blocks the rays of the luminaries, which therefore can never extend beyond it.

    PURPORT: When we speak of loka-traya, we refer to the three primary planetary systems -- Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah -- into which the universe is divided. Surrounding these planetary systems are the eight directions, namely east, west, north, south, northeast, southeast, northwest and southwest. Lokaloka Mountain has been established as the outer boundary of all the lokas to distribute the rays of the sun and other luminaries equally throughout the universe.

    This vivid description of how the rays of the sun are distributed throughout the different planetary systems of the universe is very scientific. Sukadeva Gosvami described these universal affairs to Maharaja Pariksit as he had heard about them from his predecessor. He explained these facts five thousand years ago, but the knowledge existed long, long before because Sukadeva Gosvami received it through disciplic succession. Because this knowledge is accepted through the disciplic succession, it is perfect. The history of modern scientific knowledge, on the contrary, does not go back more than a few hundred years. Therefore, even if modern scientists do not accept the other factual presentations of Srimad-Bhagavatam, how can they deny the perfect astronomical calculations that existed long before they could imagine such things? There is so much information to gather from Srimad-Bhagavatam. Modern scientists, however, have no information of other planetary systems and, indeed, are hardly conversant with the planet on which we are now living."

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.38

    "Learned scholars who are free from mistakes, illusions and propensities to cheat have thus described the planetary systems and their particular symptoms, measurements and locations. With great deliberation, they have established the truth that the distance between Sumeru and the mountain known as Lokaloka is one fourth of the diameter of the universe -- or, in other words, 125,000,000 yojanas [1 billion miles].

    PURPORT: Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given accurate astronomical information about the location of Lokaloka Mountain, the movements of the sun globe and the distance between the sun and the circumference of the universe. However, the technical terms used in the astronomical calculations given by the Jyotir Veda are difficult to translate into English. Therefore to satisfy the reader, we may include the exact Sanskrit statement given by Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, which records exact calculations regarding universal affairs." [omitted here]

    Srimad Bhagavatam 5.20.39

    "On the top of Lokaloka Mountain are the four gaja-patis, the best of elephants, which were established in the four directions by Lord Brahma, the supreme spiritual master of the entire universe. The names of those elephants are Rsabha, Puskaracuda, Vamana and Aparajita. They are responsible for maintaining the planetary systems of the universe."

    Bhaktivedanta Book Trust

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