The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Tapoloka


Muni-loka: Tapoloka, Janaloka and Maharloka
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Jul 22, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 155.

The next list in Jaiva Dharma's 'Glossary of Places' is Tapoloka:

    "Tapoloka - a planet situated above Janaloka. Topmost sages like the four Kumaras reside on this planet which is obtained by naisthika- brahmacaris."

There is only mention of Tapoloka in Jaiva Dharma, in a chapter twelve passage we have now read several times over the course of this series:

    "The material sense pleasures the soul attains from the time of birth until the time of death are called 'pleasures this world', and the material sense pleasures one may attain after dying are called 'pleasures of the next world'. There are many different kinds of pleasure in the next world. In Svargaloka and Indraloka there are the pleasures of seeing the apsaras' dancing, the pleasure of drinking heavenly nectar, smelling the flowers and other scented objects in the Nandana gardens, seeing the beauty of Indrapuri and the Nandana gardens, hearing the singing of the gandharvas and others, and living with the Vidyadharis are all pleasures attainable in Svargaloka. To a lesser degree these same kinds of material sense pleasure are also available in Tapoloka and Maharloka. In Bhuloka (the earth) the material sense pleasures are gross. As one goes to higher and higher planets, the sense pleasures become more and more subtle. In this way they are different. Still, they are all material sense pleasure."

There is a description of Tapoloka given by Srila Jiva Goswami in his Bhagavat Sandarbha:

    "Because the Lord's abode cannot be attained by fruitive activities; the Vedas describe it as transcendental to the material world; it is glorified for the quality that those who attain it have the infallible nature; Vaikuntha is glorified for the nature that those who have attained it, have the nature not to fall down, it is attained only when one is free from the modes of material nature; even the temples of the Lord in this world are transcendental to the modes, because of the association of the Deity form of the Lord. Thus certainly the Vaikuntha planet is to be understood as beyond the modes of material nature; The scriptures directly describe that it is beyond material nature; they declare it eternal; it is attained only by pure devotion, which belittles even the bliss of liberation; it is called saccidananda-ghana or having the form of eternal bliss and knowledge. Out of these its quality of non-attainability by fruitive activities is stated by Lord Krishna as follows (11.24.12-14):

      "Heaven was established as the residence of the demigods, Bhuvarloka as that of ghostly spirits, and the Earth system as the place of human beings and other mortal creatures. Those mystics who strive for liberation are promoted beyond these three divisions. Lord Brahma created the region below the Earth for the demons and the Naga snakes. In this way the destinations of the three worlds were arranged as the corresponding reactions for different kinds of work performed within the three modes of nature. By mystic yoga, great austerities, and the renounced order of life, the pure destinations of Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, and Satyaloka are attained, but by devotional yoga, one achieves My transcendental abode."

    The perfected beings by the process such as yoga attain the planets Mahar and above, which are beyond the three planetary systems, tritayat param. Below earth means the planets like Atala. The three planetary systems includes planets beginning with Patala and also Bhuh, Bhuvar, and Svah. Karmanam means those who follow the principles of household life. Tapa refers to principles of vanaprastha life and also the order of brahmacarya. Out of these by following the two types of brahmacarya i.e. upakurvana and naishthika, one attains to Mahar and Janalokas respectively. The followers of the Vanaprastha order reach Tapaloka and of the sannyasa order to Satya-loka. But one can attain any of these planets according to different levels of advancement in Yoga. Madgatih (lit. My destination) means Sri Vaikuntha loka and is reached only by bhakti-yoga, as substantiated by the verse yanna vrajanti (SB.3.15.23), which will be quoted later on, and also by this present description of the planets."

    (Bhagavat Sandarbha, Section 61)

(Tapoloka, to be continued…)


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