The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma:
Sva and Svarga-loka


Narad Arrives in the Court of Lord Indra
Nala Damayanti series, Kangra School, late 18th c.

Jul 19, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 152.

In the Introduction to Harinama Cintamani, Srila Bhaktivinoda mentions that:

    "The seven higher planetary systems Bhur, Bhuvar, Svarga, Mahar, Jana, Tapa, and Satya or Brahma and the seven lower planetary systems such as Atala, Sutala and so on are all manifestations of maya (the illusory potency). Cid-vaibhava is the complete whole, and maya is its shadow."

The Svarga-loka planetary division is mentioned in sastra as being one of three worlds that come under the act of dissolution by Rudra:

    "These three worlds are known as Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah (Patala, Martya and Svarga)."
    (SB 3.11.28)

These three are also referred to in their embodiment as transcendental sound vibration:

    "The science of logical argument, the Vedic goals of life, and also law and order, moral codes, and the celebrated hymns bhuh, bhuvah and svah all became manifested from the mouths of Brahma, and the pranava omkara was manifested from his heart."
    (SB 3.12.44)

This is further described by Srila Prabhupada in SB 5.20.37, SB 8.24.32, and in Krsna Book:

    "…[as] clearly described in the Brahma-samhita: The living entities, space, time, and the material elements like fire, earth, sky, water and mind, constitute the total cosmic manifestation, known as bhuh bhuvah svah, which is manifested by Govinda. It flourishes on the strength of Govinda and after annihilation enters into and is conserved in Govinda. Lord Brahma therefore says, "I worship Lord Govinda, the original personality, the cause of all causes." (KB 87)

This is also mentioned by Srila Prabhupada in the fourteenth chapter of Krsna Book, 'Prayers Offered by Lord Brahma to Lord Krsna' we read:

    "Lord Brahma then admitted that his birth was from the lotus flower which blossomed from the navel of Narayana after the dissolution of the three worlds, or three planetary systems, known as Bhurloka, Bhuvarloka and Svarloka. The universe is divided into three divisions, namely Svarga, Martya and Patala. These three planetary systems are merged into water at the time of dissolution. At that time Narayana, the plenary portion of Krsna, lies down on the water and gradually a lotus stem grows from His navel, and from that lotus flower, Brahma is born."

In the Sri Niralamba Upanishad of Srila Veda Vyasa, text 16-17, we read:

    svarga iti ca sat-samsargah svargah.

    "Svargaloka is a material realm where pious souls dwell. That is Svargaloka."

    naraka iti ca asat-samsara-vishaya-jana-samsarga eva narakah.

    "Hell is a material realm where impious souls attached to material sense pleasures dwell. That is hell."

Finally, we have this very interesting narration from the Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta of Srila Sanatana Goswami, which tells the story of Narada Muni's visit to Svargaloka, where he praised Lord Indra, who in response pointed out all of his own great shortcoming by mentioning the history of Svargaloka:

    Part One, Chapter Two
    Divya (The Higher Material Planets)

    Text 1

    sri-parikshid uvaca

    prasasya tam maharajam
    svargato munir aikshata
    rajamanam sabha-madhye
    vishnum deva-ganair vritam

    "Sri Parikshit said: After glorifying the king, Narada Muni (went) to Svargaloka and in a great assembly of demigods saw Lord Vishnu, . . .

    Text 2

    samarcitam divyataropacaraih
    sukhopavishtam garudasya prishthe

    . . . who was decorated with garlands of kalpa-druma flowers, anointed with fragrant scents, dressed in beautiful garments and ornaments, served palatable nectar and a host of other very splendid offerings, and was comfortably seated on Garuda's back, . . .

    Text 3

    stuyamanam maharshibhih
    lalyamanam aditya tan
    harshayantam priyoktibhih

    . . . whom Brihaspati and the great sages were glorifying with prayers, whom Aditi was caressing and pleasing with sweet words, . . .

    Text 4

    sarobhibhir vivdhaih stavaih
    jaya-sabdair vadya-gita-
    nrityais ca paritoshitam

    . . . who was pleased by the prayers, exclamations of "jaya!", instrumental music, singing, and dancing of the Siddhas, Vidyadharas, Gandharvas, and Apsaras, . . .

    Text 5

    sakrayabhayam uccoktya
    daityebhyo dadatam dridham
    kirtyarpyamanam tambulam
    carvantam lilayahritam

    . . . who emphatically assured Indra that he need not fear the demons, who gracefully accepted and chewed the betelnuts Kirti-devi offered, . . .

    Texts 6 and 7

    sakram ca tasya mahatmyam
    kirtayantam muhur muhuh
    svami-kritopakarams ca
    varnayantam maha-muda

    sahasra-nayanair asru-
    dhara-varshantam asane
    sviye nishannam tat-parsve
    rajantam sva-vibhutibhih

    . . . whom Indra glorified, raining tears from his thousand eyes as again and again he happily described how his Lord had come to his aid, and who splendidly sat on His throne, His transcendental potencies at His side.

    Text 8

    atha vishnum nijavase
    gacchantam anugamya tam
    sabhayam agatam sakram
    asasyovaca naradah

    Following Lord Vishnu as He departed for His own residence, Narada returned to the assembly and, praising Indra, said:

    Text 9

    sri-narada uvaca

    kritanukalpitas tvam yat
    tavajna-karinah sarve
    loka-palah pare kim u

    Sri Narada said: You are a great leader. Surya, Candra, Yama, and all the demigods and rulers of planets, what to speak of others, obey your commands.

    Text 10

    munayo 'smadriso vasyah
    srutayas tvam stuvanti hi
    jagadisataya yat tvam

    Sages like myself are under you order. The Vedas praise you as the master of the universe. You grant the results of pious and impious deeds.

    Text 11

    aho narayano bhrata
    kaniyan yasya sodarah
    sad-dharmam manayan yasya
    vidadhaty adaram sada

    Ah! Lord Narayana is your younger brother, born from the same womb. Honoring the path of religion, He always treats you with great respect.

    Text 12

    sri-parikshid uvaca

    ittham indrasya saubhagya-
    vaibhavam kirtayan muhuh
    devarshir vadayan vinam
    slaghamano nanarta tam

    Sri Parikshit said: Repeatedly praising Indra's great good fortune in this way, and playing his vina, Devarshi Narada began to dance.

    Text 13

    tato 'bhivadya devarshim
    uvacendrah sanair hriya
    bho gandharva-kalabhijna
    kim mam upahasann asi

    Then, with great embarrassment, Indra slowly said to Devarshi Narada: O learned musician, why are you mocking me?

    Text 14

    asya na svarga-rajasya
    vrittam vetsi tvam eva kim
    kati varan ito daitya-
    bhityasmabhir na nirgatam

    Do you not know the history of the king of Svargaloka? How many times have we not left this place out of fear of the demons?

    Text 15

    acaran balir indratvam
    asuran eva sarvatah
    nyayunkta kratu-bhaga-bhuk

    Once Bali Maharaja occupied the post of Indra. He personally enjoyed Indra's portion in the Vedic sacrifices. He posted demons as the rulers of the sun, moon, and other planets.

    Text 16

    tato nas tata-matribhyam
    tapobhir vitatair dridhaih
    toshito 'py amsa-matriena
    gato bhratritvam acyutah

    Then, pleased by my parents' long and severe austerity, the infallible Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared by His plenary portion as my brother.

    Text 17

    tathapy ahatva tan chatrun
    kevalam nas trapa-krita
    bale rajyam dadau sa me

    Still, the Lord did not kill my enemies. He merely pretended to beg the kingdom from them, and then embarrassed me by giving the results of His begging to me.

    Text 18

    kim sukham svarga-vasinam

    Because we are envious, embroiled in unremitting competition, and filled with many faults, and because we sometimes murder brahmanas and commit many other sins, we live in constant fear of falling down from our positions. Where is there any happiness for the residents of Svargaloka?

    Text 19

    kim ca mam praty upendrasya
    viddhy upeksham viseshatah
    sudharmam parijatam ca
    svargan martyam ninaya sah

    You should know that Vamana treats me with contempt. He forcibly took both the Sudharma assembly house and the parijata flower from Svargaloka and brought them to the earth.

    Text 20

    gopalaih kriyamanam me
    nyahan pujam cirantanim
    akhandam khandvakhyam me
    priyam dahitavan vanam

    He stopped the cowherds' traditional worship of me, and He burned to the ground the Khandava forest, which is so dear to me.

    Text 21

    vadhartham prarthitah pura
    audasinyam bhajams tatra
    prerayam asa mam param

    When I begged Him to kill the demon Vritra, who had terrified the three worlds, the Lord was not willing to do anything. He told me to kill the demon myself.

    Text 22

    utsadya mam avajnaya
    madiyam amaravatim
    sarvopari sva-bhavanam
    racayam asa nutanam

    Treating me with contempt, He left my city of Amaravati and made a new home for Himself above all the worlds.

    Text 23

    aradhana-balat pitror
    agrahac ca purodhasah
    pujam svi-kritya nah sadyo
    yaty adrisyam nijam padam

    At the time of His departure He only accepted my worship to show kindness to my priest Brihaspati and because my parents were also worshiping Him. Very quickly He left for His own abode, far beyond the range of my sight.

    Text 24

    punah sa-tvaram agatya
    svarghya-svi-karanad vayam
    anugrahyas tvayety ukto
    'sman adisati vancayan

    When I said to Him, "We will be honored if You quickly return to accept our offerings of arghya," He cheated me by speaking this instruction:

    Text 25

    yavan naham samayami
    tavad brahma sivo 'thava
    bhavadbhih pujaniyo 'tra
    matto bhinnau na tau yatah

    "When I am not here you may worship Brahma or Siva, for they are not different from Me.

    Text 26

    eka-murtis trayo deva
    ity adi sastra-vacanam
    bhavadbhir vismritam kim u

    Have you forgotten the words of scripture: "The one Supreme Lord has expanded into the three forms of Vishnu, Brahma and Siva"?"

    Text 27

    vaso 'syaniyato 'smabhir
    agamyo muni-durlabhah
    vaikunthe dhruvaloke ca
    kshirabdhau ca kadacana

    Neither I nor the sages can go to His abode. He does not stay for very long in any one place. Sometimes He stays in Vaikuntha, sometimes in Dhruvaloka, and sometimes in the Kshirodaka Ocean.

    Text 28

    samprati dvarakayam ca
    tatrapi niyamo 'sti na
    kadacit pandavagare
    mathurayam kadacana

    puryam kadacit tatrapi
    gokule ca vanad vane
    ittham tasyavaloko 'pi
    durlabho nah kutah kripa

    Now He is at Dvaraka. But He does not always stay there. Sometimes He is in the palace of the Pandavas, sometimes in the city of Mathura, and sometimes going from forest to forest in Gokula. In this way it is very difficult for us to see Him. Where is His mercy to us? Near the end of this chapter of Brhad-Bhagavatamrta, Indra concludes by saying:

    Text 94

    yatha hi krishno bhagavan
    madrisam bhakti-yantritah
    mama loke svaradau ca
    vasaty ucita-lilaya

    The Supreme Personality of Godhead Krishna becomes conquered by the loving service of devotees like myself, and for this reason He resides on my planet, on Svargaloka, and in many other places as well, and enjoys suitable pastimes there. (In the same way Siva resides in Kailasa because of the devotion of Kuvera.)"


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