The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Vaikuntha


Cowherd Boys Perform for Lakshmi and Narayana
Painting by Dinabandhu dasa

Jul 26, 2014 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 159.

The next holy place listed on the 'Glossary of Places' in Jaiva Dharma is among the topmost of all spiritual places: Vaikuntha.

    "Vaikuntha - the spiritual world. The majestic realm of the spiritual world which is predominated by Lord Narayana or His various expansions.

    All the residents of Vaikuntha have eternal, spiritual bodies. They possess four arms and a darkish complexion like that of Bhagavan and are fully engaged in His service in pure devotional love. Their sense of intimacy with Sri Bhagavan is somewhat hampered, however, due to their aisvarya-bhava. Superior to this is Goloka Vrndavana, the topmost planet of Sri Krsna, which is characterised by madhurya and intimacy."

Not surprisingly, Vaikuntha is mentioned many times throughout Srila Bhaktivinoda's transcendental novel. We will attempt to summarize the main references here.

Generally, the points made in Jaiva Dharma about Vaikuntha are found to be in the following categories: instruction on the differentiation of Vaikuntha, Goloka and Vrindavan; the manifestation of Vaikuntha by Sesa-Sankarshana; Lord Narayana as the presiding Deity of Vaikuntha; what attracts souls to the Vaikuntha abode; and the rasas engaged in by the Lord and His confidential associates in Vaikuntha and comparatively, those manifest in Goloka Vrindavana.

Following are the key references to Vaikuntha, beginning with the first, in chapter seven:

    "A soul liberated from maya is always conscious of his original spiritual identity. His whole life is service to Lord Krsna. Such a soul does not reside in the material world. He resides in one of the pure spiritual worlds. Goloka, Vaikuntha and Vrndavana are the names of some of these pure spiritual worlds. The souls free from maya are limitless in number. They cannot be counted."

In chapter thirteen, this passage refers to the ontology of Vaikuntha, Lord Narayana's domain:

    "Krsna is the Supreme, and He is always glorified as the Supreme Lord and controller. Thus all the previously mentioned transcendental qualities are in Him. The fifty qualities of the Supreme Personality of Godhead above mentioned are as deep as the ocean. In other words, they are difficult to comprehend.

    These qualities are sometimes very minutely exhibited in living beings, but they are fully manifest in the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

    Apart from these fifty qualities, there are five other qualities found in the Supreme Personality of Godhead that are partially present in demigods like Siva.

    These qualities are: 1. the Lord is always situated in His original position, 2. He is omniscient, 3. He is always fresh and youthful, 4. He is the concentrated form of eternity, knowledge and bliss, and 5. He is the possessor of all mystic perfection. These are another five qualities, which exist in the Vaikuntha planets in Narayana, the Lord of Laksmi. These qualities are present in Krsna, but are not present in demigods like Lord Siva or in other living entities. These are: 1. inconceivable supreme power, 2. generating innumerable universes from the body, 3. being the original source of all incarnations, 4. bestowing salvation upon enemies killed and 5. the ability to attract exalted persons who are satisfied in themselves. Although these qualities are present in Narayana, the dominating Deity of the Vaikuntha planets, they are even more wonderfully present in Krsna."

In chapter fifteen we find the character Vrajanatha inquiring as to whether the spiritual potency (cit-sakti) places the individual soul on the border (tatastha) of matter and spirit? The Babaji replies as follows:

    "Lord Krsna manifests different kinds of entities according to the different kinds of potencies He employs to create them. When He is manifested in His cit-sakti, He appears as Krsna and as Narayana, the master of Vaikuntha. When He is manifested in the jiva-sakti, He appears as Baladeva, His pastime form (vilasa-murti) in Vraja. When He is manifested in the maya-sakti, He appears as the three forms of Karanodakasayi Visnu, Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu. In Vraja He appears in His original form, as Krsna, a form manifested by His complete potency. Appearing as Baladeva, He manifests His sesa-tattva (nature of Lord Sesa). In this way He manifests the eight kinds of services the eternally liberated associates offer to Him. Again in Vaikuntha He appears as Sesa-Sankarsana and manifests the eight kinds of service His eternal associates offer to Lord Narayana. Lord Sankarsana incarnates as Maha-Visnu. He becomes the resting-place of the jiva-sakti and appears as the Supersoul in the hearts of all the individual souls residing in the material world. All these individual souls are attracted to maya. As long as they do not attain the mercy of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and take shelter of the Lord's spiritual hladini-sakti, they are defeated by Maya. Numberless souls are defeated by Maya and cast into Her prison. They are the followers of Maya's three modes. The conclusion is this: the individual souls are manifested by the jiva-sakti. They are not manifested by the cit-sakti."

In chapter sixteen, we find this instruction on the manifest source of Vaikuntha:

    "In Goloka, which is manifested by Lord Baladeva, and in Vaikuntha, which is manifested by Lord Sankarsana, numberless individual souls are eternal associates of the Lord. There they taste the nectar of worshipping and serving the Lord. They are always inclined to spiritual things. They seek the happiness of worshipping the Lord. They are always eager to serve the Lord. Empowered by the Lord's jiva-sakti and cit-sakti, they always have great spiritual strength. They never touch Maya. They do not even know that a potency called maya-sakti exists. Staying in the middle of the circle of the spiritual world, they are very far away from Maya. They always swim in the ocean of pleasure that is worshipping and serving the Lord."

(Vaikuntha, to be continued…)


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