The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Vaikuntha
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Sri Laksmi-Narayana
Jul 29, 2014 CANADA (SUN) A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 162.
Studying the last few references to Vaikuntha found in Jaiva Dharma, we find another important theme: the differentiation between different rasas as they manifest on Vaikuntha, and in Goloka.
In chapter thirty-two, the dedicated student Vijaya-kumara has begun to grasp the reality of non-difference between Goloka and Gokul, but still he is trying to understand how Lord Krsna engages in various rasas in the variagated spiritual realms:
"Vijaya-kumara did not sleep. He used to think that Goloka was a different place. Now he could understand that Goloka and Gokula were not different. The parakiya rasa has its root in Goloka. However, how could Krsna be a paramour? That was his only doubt. Now he thought, "Krsna is the Absolute Truth. The potency and the master of potencies are not different. If Krsna and His potency are not different, then how can Krsna be the husband or the paramour of His potency?" Once he thought, "Tomorrow I will place this question before my spiritual master, and he will remove my doubt." Then again he thought, "It would not be good to ask the master again about Goloka. Still, I must throw this doubt far away." Thinking very seriously about all this, he fell asleep. Asleep, he dreamed that he met his spiritual master and placed this question before him. In the dream his spiritual master resolved the doubt. The spiritual master said, "Baba, Vijaya-kumara, Krsna's desires are not dependent on the wishes of others, pushed here and there like an elephant prodded with a goad. He eternally desires to conceal His own opulence and divine power, and instead manifest His charming sweetness. He makes His potency exist as a separate entity. Then His potency manifests Herself as millions and millions of beautiful girls. In this way His potency serves Him very diligently. Krsna is not very pleased when His potency serves Him in the mood of opulence. With the wonderful power of His potency, He makes these manifestations of His potency into married girls. Then He becomes their sole paramour.
Desiring to enjoy the parakiya-rasa, Krsna rejects His own natural self-sufficiency (atmarama-dharma), and enjoys the rasa dance and other wonderful pastimes with His potencies, who are all convinced that they are the wives of others. In all these activities, His flute becomes a dear friend. In this way the parakiya-rasa is eternally perfect in the realm of Goloka. It is for this purpose that the pastime forests of Goloka and Vrndavana exist. Vraja's rasa-mandala, Yamuna shore, Govardhana Hill, and other pastimes places all exist in Goloka also. In this way svakiya rasa and parakiya rasa both exist in Goloka. Pure svakiya rasa is splendidly manifested in Vaikuntha. Svakiya rasa and parakiya rasa, which are simultaneously one and different from each other, are both seen in Goloka. Look. This is very wonderful. Although the parakiya-rasa in Vraja seems to be material and Krsna seems to be an ordinary paramour, the truth is that it is not material and Krsna is not a paramour at all. And why not? Krsna has been enjoying the company of His potencies from a time without beginning."
Later on in this chapter, the differentiation between these rasas is explained in terms of Goddess Laksmi:
"The gopis' weddings and husbands are both creations of Yogamaya. The gopis never had any husband but Krsna. Still, in the eternal present (nitya-vartamana) that is the feature of time in the spiritual world, the gopis eternally think that they are married to someone other than Krsna. If this were not the case, then the wonderful rasas where the beloved is contrary, unattainable, surrounded by obstacles, and forbidden, would not be possible. It is because she refuses to accept parakiya rasa that Goddess Laksmi in Vaikuntha cannot become one of Krsna's beloved in the rasas of Vraja."
Later still in chapter thirty-two, Vijaya-kumara inquires into the nature of the nitya-priya gopis of Goloka, who are the eternally dear associates of Sri Krsna. The Gosvami explains to him that the Maya of the material world has no role to play in helping to arrange the Lord's rasa-lila pastimes with these gopis. Rather, it is Yogamaya who is involved:
"Another name of the Lord's cit sakti (spiritual potency) is Yogamaya. She arranges Lord Krsna's pastimes so that ordinary people influenced by Maya see them as material. She makes the nitya-priya gopis of Goloka think they are married to persons other than Krsna, and she also brings those gopis to Vraja in the material world. She arranges the nitya-priya gopis' wedding ceremonies, and she arranges that Krsna becomes their paramour. The all-knowing supreme male, Krsna and His all knowing spiritual potencies voluntarily accept the rasa roles Yogamaya gives Them. Thus it is seen that this is the best of all rasas, Lord Krsna is supremely independent, all His desires are at once fulfilled, and His iccha-sakti (the potency that fulfils His desires) is supremely glorious. The great glory of this rasa is not seen in Vaikuntha, Dvaraka, and other places. When they attain salokya liberation, the prana sakhi gopis and the nitya priya gopis leave behind any idea that He is their paramour. That is their final attainment."
Finally, we have this passage from chapter thirty-six, in which Vijaya-kumara inquires as to whether svakiya-rasa and parakiya rasa are both eternally manifested in madhura-rasa? The Gosvami replies:
"Yes. Svakiya and parakiya are both eternal. The difference between them is not merely a material designation. If the difference between them were material, the madhura rasa and the other rasas would all be material in nature. The rasas are eternal, and they are manifested eternally. In the rasas there are ruci (attraction to Krsna), bhajana (service to Krsna), and prapti (attainment of Krsna). Svakiya-rasa is also present in Vraja. In that rasa the devotee thinks of Krsna as her husband. In that rasa, ruci, sadhana, (spiritual practice), bhajana, and prapti are all manifested. The svakiya-rasa manifest in Dvaraka is the same as that of Vaikuntha. However, please know that the svakiya-rasa of Vraja is different from the rasas of Goloka. In other words, Lord Krsna, the master of Vraja, resides in the highest portion of the Vaikuntha world."
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