The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Indraloka, Indrapuri & Nandana-kanana
BY: SUN STAFF
Lord Indra on Airavat, Engaged in Battle
Apr 20, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 62.
Lord Indra, the king of the heavens, resides on a planet known as Indraloka. Those wishing to go to Indraloka do so in order to get better facility for sense enjoyment. On the heavenly planet of Indraloka there are very beautiful women and very beautiful gardens. One day on Indraloka is equal to six months on the Earth planet. By going to Indraloka, one can drink soma rasa and enjoy life for ten thousands of years.
Indrapuri is the capital city of Indraloka, and the central headquarters of Lord Indra's domain.
Indra's famed Nandana-kanana garden is located there. In Indrapuri, Bṛhaspati serves as Indra's priest, and since Indra is the chief of all kings, Bṛhaspati is likewise the chief of all priests.
One of the most detailed descriptions of the city is found in the 8th Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, which explains how Bali Maharaja was empowered by the descendants of Bhrgu, Prahlada Mahajraja and his guru Sukracarya, and used those potencies to storm the city of Indrapuri and engage Lord Indra in battle.
"Blowing his conchshell, he [Bali] attacked the outskirts of Indra's kingdom. When Indra saw Bali Maharaja's prowess, he went to his own spiritual master, Brhaspati, told him about Bali's strength, and inquired about his duty. Brhaspati informed the demigods that because Bali had been endowed with extraordinary power by the brahmanas, the demigods could not fight with him. Their only hope was to gain the favor of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Indeed, there was no alternative. Under the circumstances, Brhaspati advised the demigods to leave the heavenly planets and keep themselves somewhere invisible. The demigods followed his orders, and Bali Maharaja, along with his associates, gained the entire kingdom of Indra. The descendants of Bhrgu Muni, being very affectionate to their disciple Bali Maharaja, engaged him in performing one hundred asvamedha-yajnas. In this way, Bali enjoyed the opulences of the heavenly planets."
(SB 8.15 Summary)
In the opening narration of this battle, S.B. 8.15.12-22 describes the city of Indrapuri:
"King Indra's city was full of pleasing orchards and gardens, such as the Nandana garden. Because of the weight of the flowers, leaves and fruit, the branches of the eternally existing trees were bending down. The gardens were visited by pairs of chirping birds and singing bees. The entire atmosphere was celestial.
Beautiful women protected by the demigods sported in the gardens, which had lotus ponds full of swans, cranes, cakravakas and ducks.
The city was surrounded by trenches full of Ganges water, known as Akasa-ganga, and by a high wall, which was the color of fire. Upon this wall were parapets for fighting.
The doors were made of solid gold plates, and the gates were of excellent marble. These were linked by various public roads. The entire city had been constructed by Visvakarma.
The city was full of courtyards, wide roads, assembly houses, and not less than one hundred million airplanes. The crossroads were made of pearl, and there were sitting places made of diamond and coral.
Everlastingly beautiful and youthful women, who were dressed with clean garments, glittered in the city like fires with flames. They all possessed the quality of syama.
The breezes blowing in the streets of the city bore the fragrance of the flowers falling from the hair of the women of the demigods.
Apsaras passed on the streets, which were covered with the white, fragrant smoke of aguru incense emanating from windows with golden filigree.
The city was shaded by canopies decorated with pearls, and the domes of the palaces had flags of pearl and gold. The city always resounded with the vibrations of peacocks, pigeons and bees, and above the city flew airplanes full of beautiful women who constantly chanted auspicious songs that were very pleasing to the ear.
The city was filled with the sounds of mrdangas, conchshells, kettledrums, flutes and well-tuned stringed instruments all playing in concert. There was constant dancing and the Gandharvas sang. The combined beauty of Indrapuri defeated beauty personified.
No one who was sinful, envious, violent toward other living entities, cunning, falsely proud, lusty or greedy could enter that city. The people who lived there were all devoid of these faults."
(Srimad Bhagavatam 8.15.12-22)
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