The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Maharloka

BY: SUN STAFF

Maharishi Bhriguji


May 16, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 88.

There is a very interesting narration about Maharloka found in the Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta by Srila Sanatana Goswami. In Part 2, chapter 2, 'Jnana (Knowledge)', Srila Sanatana explains how one ascends upwards through the planetary systems to Svargaloka, Maharloka, etc.

As mentioned in our first segment on this holy place, Srila Bhaktivinode states in Jaiva Dharma that "The sastras give fewer descriptions of Maharloka and Janaloka than of the celestial pleasures in Indraloka, and fewer descriptions still of Tapoloka and Brahmaloka." Therefore, we will present this entire chapter of Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta on the subject of Maharloka:

Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta

by Srila Sanatana Goswami

Part Two, Chapter Two
Jnana (Knowledge)

Texts 1 and 2

sri-gopa-kumara uvaca

sri-mathurottama visrantau
snatva vrindavanam gatah
atra govardhanadau ca
yatha-kamam pribhraman

pibams ca gorasam purva-
bandhavais tair alakshitah
bhajan sva-japyam anayam
dinani katicit sukham

Sri Gopa-kumara said: O best of Mathura brahmanas, I bathed at Visrama-tirtha and then went to Vrindavana. To Govardhana and other places wandering as I wished, drinking milk, unnoticed by my former friends, and chanting my mantra, I passed some days.

Text 3

atha sandarsanotkantha
jagad-isasya sajani
yayedam sunyavad vikshya
purushottamam asmaram

My longing to see Lord Jagannatha making me see everything as if it were a desert, I remembered Purushottama-kshetra.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this verse may mean that gopa-kumara saw everything asa if it were a desert, or that he saw Mathura-mandala as if it were a desert. Lord Krishna lives in Vrindavana eternally. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.42, 10.1.28, and 10.44.13.

Text 4

artas tatra jagannatham
drashtum odhran punar vrajan
pathi ganga-tate 'pasyam
dharmacara-paran dvijan

Unhappy, I was returning to Orissa to see Lord Jagannatha when on the path by the Ganges shore I saw some brahmanas devoted to religious duties.

Text 5

vicitra-sastra-vijnebhyas
tebhyas casraus am adbhutam
svarga-namordhva-dese 'sti
devaloko 'ntarikshitah

From those brahmanas learned in many scriptures I heard something wonderful: that in the sky above is a place named Svargaloka, where the demigods live.

Text 6

vimanavalibhih sriman
nirbhayo duhkha-varjitah
jara-marana-rogadi-
dosha-varga-bahishkritah

That place is glorious with many airplanes. In it are no fears, sufferings, old-age, death, disease, or any other faults.

Text 7

maha-sukhamayo labhyah
punyair atrottamaih kritaih
yasya sakro 'dhipo jyayan
bhrata sri-jagadisituh

That very happy place, where the king is Indra, the elder brother of the Lord of the universes, is attained by performing many great pious deeds.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that King Indra is the elder brother of Lord Vamana.

Text 8

yadyapy asti vila-svargo
vishnu-seshady-alankritah
bhauma-svargas ca tad-dvipa-
varshadishu pade pade

vicitra-rupa-sri-krishna-
pujotsava-virajitah
tathapy urdhvataro loko
divyas tabhyam visishyate

That realm, named Divya-svarga, is better than the realm of Vila-svarga, which is decorated with the forms of Lord Vishnu, Lord Sesha, and other forms of the Lord, and it is also better than Bhauma-svarga, which in its continents, countries, and other places, is splendid with festivals of worship for Lord Krishna, who appears in many forms.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Vishnu is the Deity of Sutalaloka and Lord Sesha is the Deity of Saptama-patalaloka. The word "adi" refers to Deities described in the Ramayana, as well as to Lord Kapila. who is the Deity of Atalaloka, and the Rudras, who are he Deites of Vitalaloka.

The word "dvipa" refers to continents, such as Jambudvipa, the word "varsha" refers to countries, such as Bharata-varsha, and the word "adi" refers to other places, such as the ocean of milk. In Plakshadvipa the Deity is Lord Surya, in Ilavrita-varsha the Deity is Lord Sankarshana, and in Bhadrasva the Deity is Lord Hayagriva, Thus in the different places are different forms of Lord Krishna, as is described in the Fifth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Divya-svarga is the abode of the demigods. The other svargas here are the other planets, below that realm.

Texts 10 and 11

yasmin sri-jagadiso 'sti
sakshad aditi-nandanah
tasyopendrasya varta ca
sri-vishnor adbhuta sruta

aruhya pakshindram itas tato 'sau
kridan vinighnann asuran manojnaih
lila-vacobhi ramayann ajasram
devan nija-bhratritayarcyate taih

Then I heard the wonderful story of Aditi's son Upendra, who is the Lord of the universes personally present there, enjoying pastimes, traveling on the king of birds, killing demons, always pleasing the demigods with playful, beautiful words, and worshiped by them as their own brother.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the king of birds is Garuda.

Text 12

tad-darsane jata-manoratha-kulah
sankalpa-purvam sva-japam samacaran
sv-alpena kalena vimanam agatam
mudaham aruhya gatas tripishtapam

Yearning to see Him, I chanted my mantra, and in a very short time an airplane came. I happily entered it and went to the realm of the demigods.

Text 13

purvam ganga-tata-nripa-grihe yasya drishta pratishtha
tam sri-vishnum sura-gana-vritam sac-cid-ananda-sandram
tatrapasyam rucira-garuda-skandha-simhasana-stham
vina-gitam madhura-madhuram naradasyarcayantam

There I saw Lord Vishnu, His form filled with eternity knowledge and bliss, sitting on the throne of Garuda's graceful shoulders, surrounded by demigods, and worshiped by Narada who very sweetly played a vina. He was the same Lord I had seen before in a king's palace by the Ganges' shore.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this was the Lord four-armed form.

Text 14

prapya prapyam drashtum ishtam ca drishtva
tatratmanam manyamanah kritartham
durad bhuyo dandavad vandamanas
tenahuto 'nugraha-snigdha-vaca

Now having attained the Lord I yearned to attain, seeing the Lord I yearned to see, and thinking I now had the goal of my life, from far away again and again I fell down as a stick to offer my respects. Then, with words melting with compassion, He called to me:

Text 15

dishtya dishtya gato 'si tvam
atra sri-gopa-nandana
alam danda-pranamair me
nikate 'nusarabhayam

It is good, very good that you have come, O cowherd boy. Why should you fall down as a stick? Come close to Me without fear.

Text 16

tasyajnaya mahendrena
preritair tridasair aham
agratah sadaram nitva
prayatnad upavesitah

Respectfully brought before Him by demigods sent by Indra, I very carefully sat down.

Text 17

divyair dravyais tarpito nandanakhye
'ranye vasam prapito 'gam praharsham
vikshe kacit tatra bhir nasti soko
rogo mrityur glanir artir jara ca

Residing in the Nandana forest, and pleased with heavenly things, I was happy. I saw that there was no fear, lamentation, disease, death, withering, suffering, or old-age.

Text 18

santu va katicid doshas
tan aham ganayami na
tadrisam jagadisasya
sandarsana-sukham bhajan

There may have been some defects there but, enjoying the sight of the Lord of the universes, I did not consider them.

Text 19

mahendrenarcyate svarga-
vibhutibhir asau prabhuh
bhratritvenesvaratvena
saranatvena canv-aham

With the opulences of Svarga, day after day Indra worshiped the Lord as his brother, master, and shelter.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives the parijata flower and the heavenly nectar as examples of the opulences of Svarga.

Texts 20-22

manasy akaravam caitad
aho dhanyah satakratuh
yo hi sri-vishnuna dattam
sadhayitva nirakulam

trailokaisvaryam asadya
bhagavantam imam muda
upahara-cayair divyair
grihyamanaih svayam yajet

evam mamapi bhagavan
ayam kim kripayishyati
iti tatravasam kurvan
sva-sankalpam nijam japam

In my heart I thought: Indra is fortunate. Obtaining from Lord Vishnu fearlessness and mastery over the three worlds, he worships the Lord with celestial things, and the Lord personally accepts his offerings. Will the Lord be kind to me in this way? With this desire I chanted my mantra and lived there.

Text 23

athaikasya munindrasya
dus ayitva priyam balat
lajjaya sapa-bhitya ca
sakrah kutrapy aliyata

Then Indra, having raped the dear wife of a great sage, ashamed, and fearing a curse, hid somewhere.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this event occurred soon after Gopa-kumara's desire was manifest. Indra hid in a lotus stem in Manasa-sarovara.

Text 24

devair anvisya bahudha
sa na prapto yada tatah
arajakatvat trailokyam
abhibhutam upadravaih

Although they searched in many ways, the demigods could not find him. Because there was no king, the three worlds were overcome by calamities.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the calamities were caused by the demons.

Text 25

sri-vishnor ajnaya devair
guruna preritair atha
aindre pade 'bhis ikto 'ham
adity-ady-anumoditah

Then, on Lord Vishnu's order, the demigods, sent by their guru, crowned me in Indra's place. I delighted Aditi and the others.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the guru here is Brihaspati. Why did Indra's mother Aditi, wife Saci, and many friends tolerate this? They were happy with this arrangement because it was the Lord's order.

Text 26

tato 'ditim sacim jivam
brahmanan api manayan
trailokye vaishnavim bhaktim
purnam pravartayam sada

I worshiped Aditi, Saci, Brihaspati, and the brahmanas. I made the three worlds always full of devotion to Lord Vishnu.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word {.sy 168}jivam" here is a name of Briaspati and the word manayan" means "worshiping". Gopa-kumara made the worlds more full of Vishnu-bhakti than they had been under King Indra.

Text 27

svayam tasyah prabhavena
svarajye 'pi yatha pura
sadakincana-rupo 'ham
nyavasan nandane vane

Although made king of Svarga by the Lord's order, I lived as before, a penniless man in the Nandana Forest.

Text 28

atyajams ca japam sviyam
akritajnatva-sankaya
vismartum naiva saknomi
vrajabhumim imam kvacit

Fearing that I would become ungrateful, I did not give up my chanting. Thus I could never forget the land of Vraja.

Text 29

tac-choka-duhkhair anutapyamanah
sushkanano 'ham jagadisvarena
samlakshya toshyeya muhuh karabja-
sparsena citrair vacanamritais ca

Tormented by this, my face dried up. Noticing this, the Lord of the universes again and again pleased me with the touch of His lotus hand and the many nectars of His words.

Text 30

jyeshtha-sodara-sambandham
iva palayata svayam
mat-tos anaya mad-dattam
bhogyam adaya bhujyate

Acting as if I were His elder brother, to please me He took and ate the food I offered Him.

Text 31

tena vismritya tad-duhkham
pujayapurva-vrittaya
prinayan sneha-bhavat tam
lalayeyam kanishthavat

With this I forgot my sufferings. I pleased Him with unprecedented worship and loved Him as one loves a younger brother.

Text 32

evam mam svasthyam apadya
sva-sthane kutracid gatah
upendro vasati sriman
na labhyeta sadekshitum

Seeing that I had become well, glorious Upendra then went to His own abode. Then I could not always see Him.

Text 33

tato yo jayate sokas
tena nilacala-prabhum
acalasrita-vatsalyam
drashtum iccheyam etya tam

Then I became very unhappy. I yearned to go and see Lord Jagannatha, the master of Nilacala, who out of love never leaves they who take shelter of Him.

Text 34

pradurbhutasya vishnos tu
tasya tadrik-kripa-bharaih
adhih sarvo viliyeta
pascatyo 'pi tad-asaya

When Lord Vishnu appeared, His great mercy and the hope it brought me made all my sufferings disappear.

Text 35

evam nivasata tatra
sakratvam adhikurvata
brahman samvatsaro divyo
mayaiko gamitah sukham

O brahmana, living as Indra there, I happily passed one year of the demigods.

Text 36

akasmad agatas tatra
bhrigu-mukhya maharshayah
padbhyam pavayitum yantas
tirthani kripaya bhuvi

Then Bhrigu and other great sages, who were mercifully going on foot to purify the holy places of the earth, unexpectedly came to Svarga.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the sages in this group included Marici, Angira, Pulastya and Pulaha. The great devotee Bhrigu Muni is glorified in Bhagavad-gita (10.25) and Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.11.30). The Ganges and other holy places become contaminated by the very sinful people that visit them. These sages were going to purify them again with the touch of their feet.

Text 37

sa-sambhramam suraih sarvair
ris ibhir guruna svayam
vishnuna carcyamanas te
maya drishtah sa-vismayam

I gazed on them with wonder as all the demigods and sages, Brihaspati, and Lord Vishnu Himself worshiped them.

Text 38

aham cabhinavo vishnu-
sevananda-hritantarah
na jane tan atha sviyaih
preritas tair apujayam

I, a novice whose heart was charmed by the bliss of serving Lord Vishnu, did not know them. Pushed by my friends, I also worshiped them.

Text 39

abhinandya subhasirbhir
mam te 'gacchan yatha-sukham
tiro 'bhavad upendro 'pi
maya prishtas tadamarah

They blessed me and then left by their own wish. Lord Upendra also disapeared. Then I asked the demigods:

Text 40

pujya deva nrinam pujya
devanam apy ami tu ke
kim mahatmya maha-tejo-
mayah kutra vasanti va

Who are these sages that they are worshiped by demigods who receive the worship of human beings? What are their splendid glories? Where do they live?

Text 41

mahabhimanibhir devair
matsarakranta-manasaih
lajjayeva na tad-vrittam
uktam gurur athabravit

Their hearts filled with envy, the embarrassed demigods did not speak. Then Brihaspati said:

Text 42

sri-brihaspatir uvaca

ata urdhvam maharloko
rajate karmabhih subhaih
mahadbhir yo nasyet
trailokya-pralaye 'pi na

Sri Brihaspati said: Above this realm is splendid Maharloka, which is attained by great pious deeds, and which does not perish when the three worlds are destroyed.

Text 43

yatha hi koti-gunitam
samrajyat sukham aindrakam
tat-koti-gunitam tatra
prajapatyam sukham matam

As Indra's happiness is millions of times more than an earthly king's, so the Prajapatis' happiness is considered millions of times greater than Indra's.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Prajapatis here are Bhrigu Muni anmd the other residents of Maharloka.

Text 44

tenami sevitas tatra
nivasanti maha-sukhaih
yajnesvaram prabhum sakshat
pujayantah pade pade

Taking shelter of the Lord sacrifices, and worshiping Him at every step, they live there very happily.

Text 45

sri-gopa-kumara uvaca

tac chrutvendra-pade sadyo
nirvidyaiccham tam ikshitum
pujya-pujyair mahadbhis taih
pujyamanam maha-prabhum

Sri Gopa-kumara said: Hearing this, and losing interest in Indra's post, I yearned to see the Lord worshiped by these great, supremely worshipable sages.

Texts 46 and 47

tat sankalpya japam kurvann
acirad urdhvam utthitah
vyoma-yanena tam prapto
lokam tatra vyalokayam

trailokye yat sukham nasti
vaibhavam bhajanam tatha
nirdosham tatra tat sarvam
asty anirvacyam asu tat

Desiring this as I chanted my mantra, very soon I went by airplane up to that planet and there I saw all was faultless and beyond description. The happiness, opulence, and worship was not like that in the three worlds.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the happiness there is faultless because: 1. there is no fear it will perish at the arrival of Brahma's night, 2. it is free from material rivalry, and 3. it is not a cause of future suffering. The opulence there is faultless because it is free from diminution and other faults. The worship is faultless because it is done without material motives.

Text 48

vitayamaneshu maha-makheshu tair
maharshibhir bhakti-paraih sahasrasah
makhagni-madhye prabhur utthitah sphuran
makhesvarah kridati yajna-bhaga-bhuk

When thousands of devotee sages perform great fire sacrifices, the Lord of sacrifices rises from the fire and enjoys pastimes of eating the offerings.

Text 49

sa yajna-murtir avikoti-teja
jagan-mano-hari-maha-pratikah
prasarya hastams carum adadano
varan priyan yacchati yajakebhyah

Charming the world's hearts and splendid as millions of suns, He who is the personification of sacrifices extends His hands, accepts the offerings, and blesses the worshipers.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord of sacrifices is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.13.35-36.

Text 50

tad-darishnojjrimbhita-sambhramaya
harshan namaskara-paraya mahyam
dato nijocchishta-maha-prasadas
tena sva-hastena dayardra-vaca

To me, filled with awe and reverence and happily bowing before Him, with His own hand He gave His prasadam remnants and said in a voice melting with compassion:

Text 51

apurva-labdham anandam
paramam prapnuvams tatah
karunyatisayat tasya
samsiddhasesha-vanchitah

By His great mercy I attained unprecedented bliss and all my desires were fulfilled.

Text 52

dayalunam maharshinam
sangatyetas tato bhraman
pratyavasam tathaivaham
adraksham jagadisvaram

Wandering with the kind sages, I saw in every home the Lord of the universes.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this was the form of the Lord appearing in the midst of the sacrificial fire and eating the offerings.

Text 53

tatah kritarthata-nishtham
manvanah svasya sarvatha
sanandam nivasams tatra
prokto 'ham tair maharshibhih

Thinking I had attained all success, I very happily lived there. Then the great sages said to me:

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that gopa-kumara thought that his birth and his mantra-chanting were successful because now, by the Lord's grace, he could directly see the many forms of the Lord of the universes.

Text 54

sri-maharshaya ucuh bho gopa-vaisya-putra tvam
etal-loka-svabhava-jam
pradiyamanam asmabhir
vipratvam svi-kuru drutam

The great sages said: O son of a gopa-vaisya, please accept from us the status of a brahmana in these worlds.

Text 55

maharshinam ekatamo
bhutva tvam api pujaya
jagadisam imam yajnais
ciram atma-didrikshitam

Become one of the great sages and worship with sacrifices the Lord of the universes you long desired to see.

Text 56

sri-gopa-kumara uvaca

tac chrutvacintayam brahman
vaisyatve syat sukham mahat
prabhor esham ca vipranam
tad-bhaktanam upasanat

Sri Gopa-kumara said: O brahmana, when I heard this I thought: There is great happiness in being a vaisya, for then I can serve both the Lord and His brahmana devotees.

Text 57

esham yajnaika-nishtha nam
aikyenavasyake nije
jape ca sad-guruddishte
mandyam syad drishta-sat-phale

By staying with these sages devoted only to sacrifices, I will become lax in chanting the mantra, taught by my spiritual guru, that shows me such good results.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that from chanting this mantra came the results of kingdoms on earth, the kingship of Svarga, and the attainment of Maharloka.

Text 58

tatas tan anumanyaham
anangi-kritya vipratam
tatravasam svato jata-
prajapatya-maha-sukhaih

Showing all respect to them, but not accepting the status of a brahmana, I continued to live there, enjoying the great happinesses of the Prajapatis.

Text 59

na doshas tatra soko va
sanka va kapi vidyate
nanyac ca kincid yajnesa-
prityai yajnotsavan rite

In that place is no fault, lamentation, or anxiety. There is nothing but festivals of sacrifices for the pleasure of the Lord of sacrifices.

Text 60

kintu yajna-samaptau syad
duhkham antarhite prabhau
vritte yajnantare casya
pradurbhavat punah sukham

However, when the sacrifices are over, and the Lord disapears, there is suffering, and when the sacrifices are performed and the Lord appears, again there is happiness.

Text 61

catur-yuga-sahasrasya
tatratyaika-dinasya hi
ante trailokya-dahena
janaloko 'dhigamyate

When the three worlds burn at the end of a thousand catur-yugas, a time that here is a single day, (the sages) go to Janaloka.

Text 62

rajanyam iva jatayam
yajnabhavena tatra tu
yajnesadarsanena syad
dahas tad-dahato 'dhikah

Then, when it was like night, and there were no sacrifices, the Lord of sacrifices was not seen. For me this was a fire greater that the fire of devastation.

Text 63

tato 'kshaya-vata-cchaye
kshetre sri-purushottame
agatya sri-jagannatham
pasyeyam iti rocate

Then, going to Sri Purushottama-kshetra, which stands in the shade of an eternal banyan tree, I saw Lord Jagannatha. Thus I became happy.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that because it is shaded by that eternal banyan tree, Purushottama-kshetra is not destroyed at the time of cosmic devastation, but stays there eternally.

Text 64

maharloke gate 'py atma-
japad rahasi purvavat
sampadyamanac chokah syad
asya bhumer didrikshaya

When I returned to Maharloka my chanting, done in secret as before, made me unhappy, for I wished to see the earth.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that he wished to see Vrindavana.

Texts 65 and 66

pradurbhuto 'tha bhagavan
ijyamano daya-nidhih
yada mam ahvayet pritya
man-nitam lilayatti ca

tadaniyeta sarvartis
tamah suryodaye yatha
ratrav api tad-ekasa-
baddho nese kvacid gatau

When I worshiped Him, the Lord, who was an ocean of kindness, appeared, and when He affectionately called me and gracefully ate what I offered, all my unhappiness went away, as darkness goes with the rising of the sun. Now, bound by desires, I had no power to go anywhere else, even at night.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that, shackled by the desire to see and worship the Lord of sacrifices, Gopa-kumara would not go to Purushottama-kshetra, or any other place, at the time of (Brahma's) night.

Text 67

tatraikada maha-tejah-
punja-rupo dig-ambarah
pancasabdhi-kalalabhah
ko 'py agad urdhva-lokatah

One day a naked and very splendid boy, five or six years of age, came from the higher planets.

Text 68

vihaya yajna-karmani
bhaktyotthaya maharshibhih
pranamya dhyana-nishtho 'sau
yajnesvara-vad arcitah

Leaving their sacrifices, standing up with devotion, and bowing down, the great sages worshiped that meditating sage as if he were the Lord of sacrifices.

Text 69

yatha-kamam gate tasmin
maya prishta maharshayah
kutratyah katamo vayam
bhavadbhir varcitah katham

After he left I asked the great sages: Who is he? Where is he from? Why do you worship him?

Text 70

sanat-kumara-namayam
jyeshto 'smakam mahattamah
atmaramapta-kamanam
ady-acaryo brihad-vratah

(The great sages said:) His name is Sanat-kumara. He is older than we. He is a great soul. He is the first guru of the atmaramas (they who take pleeasure in the Supreme) and the apta-kamas (they who have attained all desires). He has taken the great vow (of celibacy).

Text 71

ita urdhvatare loke
tapah-samjne vasaty asau
bhratribhis tribhir anyais ca
yogindraih sva-samaih saha

He lives in a higher world named Tapoloka with three brothers, great yogis as he is.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Tapoloka is above Maharloka.

Text 72

brihad-vrataika-labhyo yah
kshemam yasmin sada sukham
prajapatyat sukhat koti-
gunitam cordhva-retasam

That place is attained only by the celibate sages. There the auspicious happiness of the celibate sages is millions of times greater than the happiness of the Prajapatis.

Text 73

yatha yajnesvarah pujyas
tathayam ca viseshatah
grihasthanam ivasmakam
sva-kritya-tyagato 'pi ca

We householders abandoned our duties and worshiped Sanat-kumara because is as much to be worshiped as the Lord of sacrifices Himself.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Sanat-kumara should be worshiped because: 1. He is a form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 2. He is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and 3. He is a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

Text 74

sri-gopa-kumara uvaca

tato 'karsham aham citte
tatraho kidrisam sukham
idrisah kati vanye syur
esham pujyas ca kidrisah

Sri Gopa-kumara said: Then in my heart I thought: What happiness do they experience there? How many are like them? What form of the Lord do they worship?

Text 75

evam tan ca didrikshuh san
samahita-mana japan
bhutva parama-tejasvi
tam lokam vegato 'gamam

Wishing to see them, and my heart fixed on them, I chanted, became very powerful, and quickly went to their world.

Text 76

tatra drishto maya sriman
sanako 'tha sanandanah
asau sanat-kumaro 'pi
caturthas ca sanatanah

There I saw glorious Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat-kumara, and, the fourth, Sanatana.

Text 77

sammanyamanas tatratyais
tadrisair eva te mithah
sukha-goshthim vitanvanah
santy agamyam hi madrisaih

They were being worshiped by other sages like themselves. They were happily conversing, but those like myself could not understand their words.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that a sample of their conversation is found in the Prayers by the Personified Vedas chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.

Text 78

bhagaval-lakshanam teshu
tadrin nasti tathapy abhut
tesham sandarsanat tatra
mahan modah mama svatah

Although they were not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead Hismelf, still, simply be seeing them I felt great happiness.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that they did not have four armed-forms, or supreme power and opulence, as the Lord does.

Text 79

yatha-sthanam prayateshu
dhyana-nishtheshu teshv atha
drashtum bhramami sambhavya
purvavaj jagadisvaram

To see the Lord of the universes as I had before, I wandered among the sages fixed in meditation.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that, expecting to find the Supreme Lord, as he had found Him in Svargaloka and Maharloka, Gopa-kumara visited many places in Tapoloka. He did not find the Lord, but instead found only yogis living alone, hardly talking to each other, and rapt in meditation.

Text 80

itas tato na drishtva tam
apriccham tan maha-munin
na te stuvantam mam agre
namantam lokayanty api

Not seeing Him anywhere, I asked the sages about Him. As I bowed before them and recited prayers, they did not even see me.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explaisn that he asked the sages: "Where is the Supreme Lord?"

Text 81

prayah sarve samadhi-stha
naishthika urdhva-retasah
svatmaramah purna-kamah
sevyamanas ca siddhibhih

Almost always situated in ecstatic trance, finding pleasure in the Supreme, all their desires fulfilled, and served by the mystic perfections, all were perfect celibate sages.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the words {.sy 168}almost always" mean that sometimes they would converse amongst themselves, and sometimes they would perform external worship of the Lord.

Text 82

bhagavad-darsanasa ca
mahati phalita na me
utabhud viramantiva
tesham sange sva-bhavatah

My great desire to see the Lord did not bear fruit. Indeed, it seemed to be checked by associating with the sages.

Text 83

tatrathapy avasam tesham
prabhava-bhara-darsanat
guru-vag-gauravad drishta-
phalatvac catyajan japam

Because of seeing their great power, I stayed among them, and because of respect for my guru's words, and also because I had seen the reuslts it brings, I did not abandon my chanting.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara's guru had ordered him: "Never abandon your chanting".

Text 84

sthana-svabhavajac citta-
prasadanandato 'dhikam
tena sampadyamanena
sa didriksha vivardhita

Because this place is naturally very pleasing to the heart, my chanting increased, and with that, my desire to see the Lord also increased.

Text 85

sada nilacale rajaj-
jagannatha-didrikshaya
yiyasum tatra samlakshya-
bravin mam pippalayanah

Seeing that I desired to go to Nilacala and see Lord Jagannatha, Pippalayana Muni said to me:

Text 86

sri-pippalayana uvaca

idam mahat padam hitva
katham anyad yiyasasi
katham va bhramasi drashtum
drigbhyam tam paramesvaram

Why do you wish to leave this great place and go to another? Why would you go to see the Supreme Lord with your eyes?

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that here the sage implies that the Supreme Lord is beyond the perception of the eyes and other senses.

Text 87

samadhatsva manah sviyam
tato drakshyasi tam svatah
sarvatra bahir antas ca
sada sakshad iva sthitam

Fix your mind in meditation and you will always see Him everywhere, within and without, as if He were always before you.

Text 88

paramatma vasudevah
sac-cid-ananda-vigrahah
nitantam sodhite citte
sphuraty esha na canyatah

In this way, and not in another way, the Supreme Self, Lord Vasudeva, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, will always appear in your purified heart.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this way to see the Lord is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.3.23. Pippalayana Muni here implies that because the Supreme Lord is all-pervading and is manifest only by His own wish, He cannot be seen with the eyes or other senses.

Text 89

tadanim ca mano-vrittyan-
tarabhavat su-siddhyati
cetasa khalu yat sakshac
cakshusha darsanam hareh

Because one cannot actually see without the action of the mind, the action of seeing the Lord with one's eyes is only perfectly done when the mind is also fixed on Him.

Text 90

manah-sukhe 'ntar-bhavati
sarvendriya-sukham svatah
tad-vrittishv api vak-cakshuh-
sruty-adindriya-vrittayah

The happiness of all the senses rests in the happiness of the mind, and the actions of the words, eyes, ears, and other senses also rest in the actions of the mind.

Text 91

mano-vrittim vina sarven-
driyanam vrittayo 'phalah
kritapihakritaiva syad
atmany anupalabdhitah

Without the action of the mind, the actions of all the senses are fruitless. When the mind does not act, one cannot experience anything.

Text 92

kadacid bhakta-vatsalyad
yati ced drisyatam drisoh
jnana-drishtyaiva taj-jatam
abhimanah param drisoh

If sometimes, out of Lord for His devotee, the Lord appears and is seen with the eyes, He is actually seen with the eye of transcendental knowledge, although one may think He is seen with the physical eyes.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that someone may protest: "Dhruva, Prahlada, and others saw the Lord with their eyes!" To answer, Pippalayana Muni speaks this verse. He asserts that the senses are helpless without the mind.

Text 93

tasya karunya-saktya va
drisyo 'stv api bahir-drisoh
tathapi darsananandah
sva-yanau jayate hridi

Or if, by the power of His mercy, He is seen by the external eyes, the bliss of seeing Him is felt in the mind.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the power of the Lord's mercy is described in the following words (of Srila Sridhara Svami): mukam karoti vacalam
pangum langhayate girim
yat-kripa tam aham vande
paramananda-madhavam

"The Supreme Personality of Godhead has the form of sac-cid-ananda, transcendental bliss, knowledge, and eternity. I offer my respectful obeisances unto He who turns the dumb into eloquent speakers and eenables the lame to cross mountains. Such is the mercy of the Lord."*

Text 94

anantaram ca tatraiva
vilasan paryavasyati
mana eva maha-patram
tat-sukha-grahinocitam

After (He is no longer visible to the eyes) He still enjoys pastimes in the mind. The mind is the place where the happiness of seeing Him is felt.

Text 95

tat-prasadodayad yavat
sukham vardheta manasam
tavad vardhitum isita
na canyad bahyam indriyam

By His mercy the happiness in the mind expands. The happiness in the senses has no power to expand in that way.

Text 96

antar-dhyanena drishto 'pi
sakshad drishta iva prabhuh
kripa-visesham tanute
pramanam tatra padmajah

When one sees the Lord in meditation it is as if one sees Him directly. The demigod Brahma gives evidence for this special mercy of the Lord.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that, seen in meditation, the Lord grants benedictions, talks with the devotee, touches him, and relates to him in many ways. Lord Brahma's vision of the Lord is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.9.9, 2.9.14, 2.9.17-18, 2.9.37, 3.8.22-23, 3.8.33, 3.9.29, and 3.9.29.

Text 97

sakshad darsanam apy asya
bhaktanam eva harsha-dam
kamsa-duryodhanadinam
bhaya-doshadinocyate

It is said that the direct sight of the Lord delights the devotees, but fills Kamsa, Duryodhana, and those like them with fear and a host of faults.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that anger and envy are examples of some of the faults here.

Texts 98 and 99

parananda-ghanam srimat
sarvendriya-gunanjanam
narayanasya rupam tat
sakshat sampasyatam api

madhu-kaitabha-mukhyanam
asuranam duratmanam
na lino dushta-bhavo 'pi
sarva-pida-karo hi yah

Even though they directly saw Lord Narayana's handsome, glorious, blissful form, which with its virtues delights all the senses, Madhu, Kaitabha, and a host of other sinful demons would not abandon their wickedness, which tormented everyone.

Text 100

anandaka-svabhavo 'pi
bhakti-mahatmya-darsanat
bhaktan harshayitum kuryad
durghatam ca sa isvarah

To show the glories of devotional service, the blissful Lord delights His devotees and hides that delight from others.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that as a fire's heat is concelaed by smoke, so the Lord conceals from the demons the bliss of seeing Him. This verse is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.18.

Text 101

bhaktau nava-vidhayam ca
mukhyam smaranam eva hi
tat samagrendriya-sreshtha-
mano-vritti-samarpanam

Of the nine ways of devotional service, remembering the Lord is the best, for it engages the mind, which is the best of the senses.

Text 102

antarangantarangam tu
prema-bhaktim yatha-ruci
datum arhaty avisramam
mana eva samahitam

The mind is able, without stopping, and as much as it wishes, to give to the Lord pure love, the most confidential of spiritual gifts.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that love for the Lord is more confidential than transcendental knowledge and renunciation. The word "avisramam" here means "without impediment".

Texts 103-105

asesha-sadhanaih sadhyah
samastarthadhikadhikah
yo vasi-karane gadho-
payo bhagavato 'dvayah

tat-prasadaika-labhyo yas
tad-bhaktaika-maha-nidhih
vicitra-paramananda-
madhurya-bhara-puritah

maha-nirvacya-mahatmyah
padarthah prema-samjnakah
parinama-viseshe hi
ceto-vritter udeti sah

Pure love, which is the goal to be attained by other spiritual practices, which is the best of the best of all goals of life, which is the only powerful way to bring the Supreme Lord under one's dominion, which is only attained by the Lord's mercy, which is the only great treasure of the dveotees, which is flooded with the sweetness of wonderful transcendental bliss, which is glorious beyond description, and which manifests the transformations of ectsasy, arises from the actions of the mind.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the other spiritual practices begin with trancendental knowledge and renunciation, and the goals of life are piety, sense gratification, economic development, and liberation.

Texts 106 and 107

manaso hi samadhanam
manyase dushkaram yadi
cakshuh saphalya-kamo va
bhagavantam didrikshase

tad gaccha bharatam varsham
tatra no 'tratyam isvaram
narayanam nara-sakham
pasyadrau gandhamadane

If you think meditation is difficult for the mind, or if you wish to see the Lord and thus make your eyes fruitful, then go to Bharata-varsha and on Gandha-madana Mountain see Lord Narayana, the friend of Nara.

Text 108

antar bahis ca pasyamas
tam samadhi-parayanah
nato viccheda-duhkham syad
ity agat tatra sa prabhuh

Fixed in meditation, we see Him within and without. Therefore we never suffer separation from Him. That is why the Lord has gone there.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that someone may ask: {.sy 168}Why do the sages stay in Tapoloka if the Lord is not present?" Someone may also ask: "How can the Lord, who loves His devotees, leave that place and go somewhere else?" The answer is given in this verse.

Text 109

loka-siksha-hitartham tu
kurvann aste mahat-tapah
dhanur-vidya-gurur brahma-
cari-veso jatadharah

As a very austere brahmacari archery-teacher with matted locks of hair, He stays there to benefit the world with His teachings.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "hita" means that His teachings brought auspiciousness to the people.

Text 110

sri-gopa-kumara uvaca

tatraiva gantu-kamam mam
catvarah sanakadayah
pasyatraiva tam ity uktva
bahu-rupany adarsayan

Seeing that I wished to go there, the four sages headed by Sanaka said to me: "Go there!" Then they showed me many forms of the Lord.

Text 111

eko narayano vritto
vishnu-rupo 'paro 'bhavat
anyo yajnesa-rupo 'bhut
paro vividha-rupavan

The first one became Lord Narayana. Another became the form of Lord Vishnu. Another became the Lord of sacrifices. Another assumed many different forms.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the first one was perhaps Sanaka, or perhaps another of the kumaras. The form of Lord Vishnu here was either Lord Upendra, whom Gopa-kumara had seen in Svargaloka, or perhaps it was a form like His. The Lord of sacrifices is the Deity worshiped in Maharloka. The forms of Lord Nrisimha and Lord Vamana were among the many different forms.

Text 112

bhayena vepamanas tan
avocam sanjalir naman
aparaddham maya badham
kshamadhvam dina-vatsalah

Trembling with fear and bowing down, with folded hands I said to Them: "O Lords who love the poor, please forgive my horrible offenses."

Text 113

sprishto 'ham tair murdhni labdhva samadhim
drishtani prak tani rupany apasyam
vyutthane 'pi dhyana-vegat kadacit
pratyakshanivanupasyeyam arat

They touched me on the head and I entered a trance of meditation and saw those forms again as before. Sometimes, by the power of meditation, I still see those forms as if They were right before my eyes.

Text 114

tato jape 'pi me nishtham
avindata sukham svatah
kintv asya madhuri bhumer
vyakuli-kurute manah

As I chanted my mantra I found happiness and faith. Then the sweetness of Vrajabhumi agitated my mind.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that by chanting he remembered Vrajabhumi and then became agitated with the suffering of separation from it.

Text 115

sushuptir iva kacin me
kadacij jayate dasa
taya jape 'ntaraya syat
tat-tad-rupekshane tatha

Sometimes I experience a certain state like deep sleep, where I see many forms of the Lord. That state hinders my chanting.

Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the state described here is ecstatic trance (samadhi), where the mind and all the senses became inactive.

Text 116

vilapami tato nila-
calam jigamishami ca
tatratyais tais tu tad-vrittam
pricchyeyaham sa-santvanam

For this I lamented. I wished to go to Nilacala. Consoling me, the sages asked what had happened.

Text 117

sa-sokam kathyamana sa
srutvamibhih prasasyate
maya tathanubudhyeta
duhkham evanumanyate

Hearing my lament, they praised me. I could not understand. I became unhappy.

Text 118

athabhyasa-balenantar
bahis ca jagadisvaram
tat-tad-rupena pasyami
pratyaksham iva sarvatah

Then, by the power of my regular practice, I saw, as if before my eyes, the Lord of the universes in many forms, everywhere, within and without.

Text 119

kadacit sanakadims ca
dhyana-nishtha-vasam gatan
vindatas tani rupani
drishtvapnomi param mudam

Sometimes seeing Sanaka and the other sages so rapt in meditation that they manifested forms of the Lord, I became very happy.

Text 120

tat-tad-rahita-kale 'pi
na sidami tad-asaya
ittham cira-dinam tatra
sukhenevavasam sada

Even when there were no such displays I did not lament with a desire to see them. In this way I happily lived there for many days.


(Translated by H.G. Kusakratha dasa)


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