The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Tapoloka


Lord Trivikrama

Jul 25, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 158.

Among the planetary systems we have been discussing, Tapoloka is one of a group that is described as being correspondent to the Lord's body. This is mentioned in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana section on Parsva Ekadasi, in which King Yudhishthira is inquiring about Vamanadeva's pastimes:

Among the planetary systems we have been discussing, Tapoloka is one of a group that is described as being correspondent to the Lord's body. This is mentioned in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana section on Parsva Ekadasi, in which King Yudhishthira is inquiring about Vamanadeva's pastimes:

    "The Supreme Lord, Sri Krishna replied, "Though a dwarf, I was a brahmana, and I approached that pious king Bali to ask him for alms in the form of land. I said, 'Oh Daityraj Bali, please give Me just three steps of land in charity. Such a small piece of land will be good as all the three worlds for Me.' Bali agreed to grant My request without lengthy consideration. But as soon as he vowed to give Me the land, My body began to expand into a gigantic transcendental form. I covered the entire Earth with My feet, all the Bhuvarloka with My thighs, the Swarga heavens with My waist, Maharloka with My stomach, Janaloka with My chest, Tapoloka with My neck, and Satyaloka with My head and face. I covered the entire material creation. Indeed, all the planets of the universe, including the Sun and the Moon, were encompassed by My gigantic form."

There are several divine personalities that sastra includes among the residents of Tapoloka. One of them was mentioned yesterday -- the sage Pippalayana. He is also referred to in the Sri Brhad-Bhagavatamrta of Srila Sanatana Goswami:

    Part Two, Chapter Three

    Text 174

    sri-krishnacandrasya mahanukampa-
    smabhih sthira tvayy avadharitasti
    lina na sakshad-bhagavad-didriksha
    tvattas tapoloka-nivasi-vakyaih

    Lord Krishnacandra has placed His great and unwavering mercy on you. We know this because even the words of the sage in Tapoloka [Pippalayana Muni] could not make you abandon your wish to see the Lord directly.

In his Sri Laghu-Bhagavatamrta, Srila Rupa Goswami confirms that Lord Trivikrama (Vamanadeva) resides on Tapoloka:

    "Above Brahmaloka is the realm of Lord Hari. In Svarloka is the home of Lord Visnu, who is the son of Vikuntha-devi. The Lord is also personally manifested in Vaikunthaloka.

    Lord Ajita's residence is considered to be on Dhruvaloka, and Lord Vamana's residence is considered to be on Bhuvarloka. Lord Trivikrama's residence is said to be on Tapoloka, and Lord Narayana's spiritual asrama is on Brahmaloka. He has also created a residence above Brahmaloka. This was explained in Hari-vamsa (127.37), where Maharaja Indra said to Narada Muni:

    "O sage, above all the worlds Lord Visnu made His own abode, which eclipses even my realm."

    (Chapter 4, Texts 63-68)

Although we have already mentioned in previous segment on Tapoloka the various injunctions dealing with out certain personalities happen to attain residence on Tapoloka, we should also mention the reference in Vymanika Shastra, which deals with the science of vimanas and travel through the planetary system on these ancient craft. In the section on aavartaas, the atmosphere comprising various aerial routes, it is stated that there are six types of vimana that are used to travel to Bhuvaloka, Suvarloka, Maholoka, Janoloka, Tapoloka, and Brahmaloka.

And finally, here is a passage from a Dasavatara narrative on the Appearance of Lord Varahadeva, which describes the prayers of the munis living on Tapoloka at the time of Lord Varaha's pastime, delivering the Earth planet from the watery depths:

    "Varaha-avatara is the third among the Dasavatara. When Brahmaji was ordered to carry out the creation, he began to think about the details involved in the task. At that moment, a male named Svayambhuva Manu and a female named Satarupa manifested from his body. Abiding by the desire of Brahma, Svayambhuva Manu accepted Satarupa as his wife in order to carry out the process of creation. Seeing the earth submerged in the waters of annihilation and desiring to seek a dwelling place for the living beings, Manu approached his father, Lord Brahma, and prayed to him to rescue the earth. When Brahma saw the earth submerged in the water, he thought for a long time about how it could be rescued. He had earlier established the earth in its normal state after removing all the water, but could not understand why the earth had again sunk into the watery abyss. He had been appointed to do the work of creation but the earth had become inundated in a deluge and had sunk into the depths of the ocean to Rasatala (the lowest of the seven underworlds). How was the act of creation to be accomplished? How was the earth to be rescued?

    Lord Brahma could not think of a solution even after much thought and effort. At last, he took shelter of the Supreme Lord, Vishnu. While Brahma was still deep in thought, a small boar the size of a thumb suddenly appeared from his nostril. Astonishingly, as Brahma looked on, the tiny boar expanded in the sky and within moments had assumed a form as large as a great elephant. Brahma, great brahmanas such as Marici, the Four Kumaras (Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and Sanat-Kumara) as well as Svayambhuva Manu, saw the transcendental Varaha form and began to discuss this wonderful event. Lord Brahma thought that this must be some resident of the transcendental world travelling in disguise in the form of a boar. "Oh! What a great surprise! How wonderful it is that this expanding Varaha form has come forth from my nostril. Is Sri Hari, the lord of sacrifice, concealing His original form and trying to agitate me?" In this way, while Brahma was deliberating with his associates, Sri Hari roared tumultuously like the great mountain Giriraja. The omnipresent Sri Hari enlivened Brahma and the other highly elevated brahmanas by again roaring with His uncommon voice. The sound of His roar was so sweet that it would destroy all the miseries of the hearer. Lord Brahma, Svayambhuva Manu and other sages who reside in Janaloka, Tapaloka and Satyaloka, chanted auspicious mantras from the Vedas as offerings to Varahadeva. Upon hearing the prayers of Brahma and the other sages, Lord Varaha prepared to enter into the waters of annihilation for the benefit of the demigods. Lord Varaha rose into the sky while slashing His tail. The Lord quivered the hair on His shoulders and scattered the clouds in the sky with His hooves. With raised hairs, white tusks and luminous effulgence, the Lord's form was brilliantly beautiful. This is a unique and wonderful pastime of Sri Hari. Just the remembrance of it causes shivering in the body. Despite being omnipotent and omniscient, He searched for the earth planet in the way that an animal would, using the sense of smell. Although His external appearance was fearful, He pleased the sages engaged in offering prayers by lovingly glancing over them and entering into the water. His dive into the water with His thunderbolt-like mountainous body divided the ocean. The ocean prayed to the Lord out of fear, "Please protect me, O Supreme Lord!'"

    (Dasavatara, Swami B.B. Tirtha)


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