The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Janaloka
BY: SUN STAFF
[ Illustration from Atma.hr ]
Apr 27, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 69.
The nature of Janaloka and its inhabitants is described in various Vaisnava texts. In "Bhagavad Arka Marichi Mala by Srila Bhakivinoda (chapter eleven), Sri Krsna explains to Uddhava that one can attain the pure destinations of Janaloka, Maharloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka by performing mystic yoga, great austerities, and through the renounced order of life, although it is by devotional yoga that one achieves Sri Krsna's transcendental abode.
The residents of these planetary abodes are also described by Srila Prabhupada in a 1956 article entitled "Progressive Ambition and Unsatiated Lust":
"The living entities or the 'Jivas' are so many minute samples of the Supreme Lord and therefore we find in the activities of the living entities an urge for eternal existence, a hankering for knowledge of every thing that be and an urge for seeking happiness by diverse attempts in life. These three qualities of the living being are minutely visible in the human society but they are increased and enjoyed in the proportion of 100 times more by other beings residing in the upper planets called by the name Bhooaloka, Swargaloka, Janaloka, Tapaloka, Manaloka, Brahmaloka etc."
(Delhi, Friday 5th October, 1956)
In the Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta of Srila Sanatana Goswami we find a more detailed explanation of those who attain Janaloka, among the four related planetary realms:
"[As]…described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.24.29):
sva-dharma-nis thah sata-janmabhih puman
virincatam eti tatah param hi mam
avyakritam bhagavato 'tha vais navam
padam yathaham vibudhah kalatyaye
"A person who executes his occupational duty properly for one hundred births becomes qualified to occupy the post of Brahma, and if he becomes more qualified, he can approach Lord Siva. A person who is directly surrendered to Lord Krishna, or Vishnu, in unalloyed devotional service is immediately promoted to the spiritual planets. Lord Siva and other demigods attain these planets after the destruction of this material world."
The persons who are not householders are the naishtika-brahmacaris, vanaprasthas, and sannyasis. The four realms they attain are Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and Satyaloka. The ultimate fate of these renounced souls is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.6.20):
padas trayo bahis casan
aprajanam ya asramah
antas tri-lokyas tv aparo
"The spiritual world, which consists of three-fourths of the Lord's energy, is situated beyond this material world, and it is especially meant for those who will never be reborn. Others, who are attached to family life and who do not strictly follow celibacy vows, must live within the three material worlds."
(Part Two, Volume One - Vairagya (Renunciation)
As Srila Bhaktivinoda explained about Janaloka in the 'Glossary of Places', the residents of that place are not destroyed by flames during the partial annihilation at the end of Brahma's day, like Bhu, Bhuva, and Svarga-lokas are. This is also mentioned in Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta 2.2.61:
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