Goloka Vṛndāvana; The Supreme Abode

Goloka

With the beginning of a new year, I am always apt to take up my studies with renewed enthusiasm, a resolution and firmness of purpose, to read more from Srila Prabhupada’s books, and to delve more deeply into the practice of bhakti-yoga. This morning I was reading about the spiritual sky; Goloka Vṛndāvana.

The abode of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, sixth verse:

na tad bhāsayate sūryo na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama

“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. And anyone who reaches it never comes back to this material world.” (Bg. 15.6)

This verse gives a description of that eternal sky. Of course we have a material conception of the sky, and we think of it in relationship to the sun, moon, stars and so on, but in this verse the Lord states that in the eternal sky there is no need for the sun nor for the moon nor fire of any kind because the spiritual sky is already illuminated by the brahmajyoti, the rays emanating from the Supreme Lord. We are trying with difficulty to reach other planets, but it is not difficult to understand the abode of the Supreme Lord. This abode is referred to as Goloka. In the Brahma-saṁhitā it is beautifully described: Goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūtaḥ. The Lord resides eternally in His abode Goloka, yet He can be approached from this world, and to this end the Lord comes to manifest His real form, sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha. When He manifests this form, there is no need for our imagining what He looks like. To discourage such imaginative speculation, He descends and exhibits Himself as He is, as Śyāmasundara. Unfortunately, the less intelligent deride Him because He comes as one of us and plays with us as a human being. But because of this we should not consider that the Lord is one of us. It is by His potency that He presents Himself in His real form before us and displays His pastimes, which are prototypes of those pastimes found in His abode. (from Introduction to the Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

…The ultimate goal in practicing yoga is now clearly explained. Yoga practice is not meant for attaining any kind of material facility; it is to enable the cessation of all material existence. One who seeks an improvement in health or aspires after material perfection is no yogī according to Bhagavad-gītā. Nor does cessation of material existence entail one’s entering into “the void,” which is only a myth. There is no void anywhere within the creation of the Lord. Rather, the cessation of material existence enables one to enter into the spiritual sky, the abode of the Lord. (from purport to Bg 6.15)

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The Abode of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa (Spiritual Sky)

…The Lord descends to this mortal world to show His pastimes in Vṛndāvana, which are full of happiness. When Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa was in Vṛndāvana, His activities with His cowherd boy friends, with His damsel friends, with the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana and with the cows were all full of happiness. The total population of Vṛndāvana knew nothing but Kṛṣṇa. But Lord Kṛṣṇa even discouraged His father Nanda Mahārāja from worshiping the demigod Indra because He wanted to establish the fact that people need not worship any demigod. They need only worship the Supreme Lord because their ultimate goal is to return to His abode.

The abode of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described in the Bhagavad-gītā, Fifteenth Chapter, sixth verse: More

Everyone Follows My Path in All Respects

In picture; At the top Krishna is dancing with His purest devotees as a lover. On the lotus petals the Lord is reciprocating with His devotees as a son, as a friend and as a master. Below left, a devotee in the material world is associating with Krishna personally by painting His transcendental form. Next, an impersonalist, by his meditation, is merging with the brahmajyoti, the spiritual effulgence emanating from the Lord’s body. On the right a mystic yogi is walking on the water. On the far right a fruitive worker is receiving the fruits of his labor. (Picture and description taken from the Original 1972 Bhagavad-gita As It Is)

Bhagavad-gītā As It Is
By: His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Chapter 4 Transcendental Knowledge

TEXT 11

ye yathā māṁ prapadyante
tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham
mama vartmānuvartante
manuṣyāḥ pārtha sarvaśaḥ

ye—all of them; yathā—as; mām—unto Me; prapadyante—surrender; tān—unto them; tathā—so; eva—certainly; bhajāmi—do I reward; aham—I; mama—My; vartma—path; anuvartante—do follow; manuṣyāḥ—all men; pārtha—O son of Pṛthā; sarvaśaḥ—in all respects.

TRANSLATION

All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.
PURPORT

Eveyone is searching for Kṛṣṇa in the different aspects of His manifestations. Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is partially realized in His impersonal brahmajyoti effulgence and as the all-pervading Supersoul dwelling within everything, including the particles of atoms. But Kṛṣṇa is only fully realized by His pure devotees. Consequently, Kṛṣṇa is the object of everyone’s realization, and thus anyone and everyone is satisfied according to one’s desire to have Him. In the transcendental world also, Kṛṣṇa reciprocates with His pure devotees in the transcendental attitude, just as the devotee wants Him. One devotee may want Kṛṣṇa as supreme master, another as his personal friend, another as his son, and still another as his lover. Kṛṣṇa rewards all the devotees equally, according to their different intensities of love for Him. In the material world, the same reciprocations of feelings are there, and they are equally exchanged by the Lord with the different types of worshipers. The pure devotees both here and in the transcendental abode associate with Him in person and are able to render personal service to the Lord and thus derive transcendental bliss in His loving service. As for those who are impersonalists and who want to commit spiritual suicide by annihilating the individual existence of the living entity, Kṛṣṇa helps also by absorbing them into His effulgence. Such impersonalists do not agree to accept the eternal, blissful Personality of Godhead; consequently they cannot relish the bliss of transcendental personal service to the Lord, having extinguished their individuality. Some of them, who are not situated even in the impersonal existence, return to this material field to exhibit their dormant desires for activities. They are not admitted in the spiritual planets, but they are again given a chance to act on the material planets. For those who are fruitive workers, the Lord awards the desired results of their prescribed duties, as the yajñeśvara; and those who are yogīs seeking mystic powers are awarded such powers. In other words, everyone is dependant for success upon His mercy alone, and all kinds of spiritual processes are but different degrees of success on the same path. Unless, therefore, one comes to the highest perfection of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, all attempts remain imperfect, as is stated in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam:

akāmaḥ sarva-kāmo vā mokṣa-kāma udāradhīḥ
tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena yajeta puruṣaṁ param

“Whether one is without desire [the condition of the devotees], or is desirous of all fruitive results, or is after liberation, one should with all efforts try to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead for complete perfection, culminating in Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” (Bhāg. 2.3.10)

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