Param Padam; The Place Where There Are No Material Miseries

Radha Ramana Lotus feet

This morning, I stumbled upon the words; param padam, padam padam, when I was reading from the purport to Bhagavad-gita 2.51:

The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhāgavatam says:

samāśritā ye padapallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhāvambudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
paraṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām

(Bhāg. 10.14.58)

“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuṇṭha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life.” (from purport to Bg 2.51)

I wanted to know the exact meaning of the words param padam, so I did a search and have included it here as a post and as another entry into our ‘Vaisnava Vocabulary’ category.

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The Spiritual Sky

Radha and Krishna  the Spiritual World

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The liberated living entities seek that place where there are no material miseries. The Bhāgavatam says:

samāśritā ye padapallava-plavaṁ
mahat-padaṁ puṇya-yaśo murāreḥ
bhāvambudhir vatsa-padaṁ paraṁ padaṁ
paraṁ padaṁ yad vipadāṁ na teṣām
(Bhāg. 10.14.58)

“For one who has accepted the boat of the lotus feet of the Lord, who is the shelter of the cosmic manifestation and is famous as Mukunda or the giver of mukti, the ocean of the material world is like the water contained in a calf’s hoofprint. Param padam, or the place where there are no material miseries, or Vaikuṇṭha, is his goal, not the place where there is danger in every step of life.” (From purport to Bg. 2.51)

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Akṣauhiṇī

aksauhini

Here is a word for your vaisnava vocabulary: Aksauhini (akṣauhiṇī).

The word akṣauhiṇī refers to a military phalanx consisting of 21,870 chariots and elephants, 109,350 infantry soldiers and 65,610 horses. An exact description is given in the Mahābhārata, Ādi parva, Second Chapter, as follows:

“One chariot, one elephant, five infantry soldiers and three horses are called a patti by those who are learned in the science. The wise also know that a senāmukha is three times what a patti is. Three senāmukhas are known as one gulma, three gulmas are called a gaṇa, and three gaṇas are called a vāhinī. Three vāhinīs have been referred to by the learned as a pṛtanā, three pṛtanās equal one camū, and three camūs equal one anīkinī. The wise refer to ten anīkinīs as one akṣauhiṇī. The chariots of an akṣauhiṇī have been calculated at 21,870 by those who know the science of such calculations, O best of the twice-born, and the number of elephants is the same. The number of infantry soldiers is 109,350, and the number of horses is 65,610. This is called an akṣauhiṇī.” (SB 9.15.30)

A solid phalanx of 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 109,650 infantry and 65,600 cavalry is called an akṣauhiṇī. (SB 1.8.48 purport)

What makes this word so noteworthy, is the fact that many akṣauhiṇīs were killed on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra. Such was the enormity of the battle.

Following is a lecture by His Divine Grace describing the lamentation of King Yudhisthira. Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, as the most pious king of the world, takes for himself the responsibility for killing such a huge number of living beings because the battle was fought to reinstate him on the throne.

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