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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Unalloyed Affection in the Land of Vṛndāvana

Krsna splashing the gopis by Shyamarani devi

…In His boyhood at Vṛndāvana, Lord Kṛṣṇa was notorious as a teasing friend in transcendental love to all the girls His age. His love for them was so intense that there is no comparison to that ecstasy, and the damsels of Vraja were so much attached to Him that their affection excelled that of the great demigods like Brahmā and Śiva. Lord Kṛṣṇa finally admitted His defeat before the transcendental affection of the gopīs and declared that He was unable to repay them for their unalloyed affection. (from purport SB 3.2.14)

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Srimad Bhagwatam (Free Download)

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Srimad Bhagwatam
By His Divine Grace A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam

Excerpted form Preface to Srimad Bhagavatam

I must admit my frailties in presenting Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, but still I am hopeful of its good reception by the thinkers and leaders of society on the strength of the following statement of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.5.11):

tad-vāg-visargo janatāgha-viplavo
yasmin prati-ślokam abaddhavaty api
nāmāny anantasya yaśo ‘ṅkitāni yac
chṛṇvanti gāyanti gṛṇanti sādhavaḥ

“On the other hand, that literature which is full with descriptions of the transcendental glories of the name, fame, form and pastimes of the unlimited Supreme Lord is a transcendental creation meant to bring about a revolution in the impious life of a misdirected civilization. Such transcendental literatures, even though irregularly composed, are heard, sung and accepted by purified men who are thoroughly honest.”

Oṁ tat sat

A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami
Dated at Delhi
December 15, 1962

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Transcendental Chanting of the Holy Name of the Lord

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…In this verse, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī recommends the transcendental chanting of the holy name of the Lord. By offenseless chanting and hearing of the holy name of the Lord, one becomes acquainted with the transcendental form of the Lord, and then with the attributes of the Lord, and then with the transcendental nature of His pastimes, etc. Here it is mentioned that one should constantly chant the holy name of the Lord after hearing it from authorities. This means that hearing from the authorities is the first essential.

Anyone who hears Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam attentively from its bona fide reciter is sure to become a sincere devotee of the Lord, who is able to award liberation. There was none so attentive as Mahārāja Parīkṣit in the matter of hearing Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and there was none so qualified as Śukadeva Gosvāmī to recite the text of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Therefore, anyone who follows in the footsteps of either the ideal reciter or the ideal hearer, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Mahārāja Parīkṣit respectively, will undoubtedly attain salvation like them.

O King, constant chanting of the holy name of the Lord after the ways of the great authorities is the doubtless and fearless way of success for all, including those who are free from all material desires, those who are desirous of all material enjoyment, and also those who are self-satisfied by dint of transcendental knowledge.

Srimad Bhagavatam
By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Second Canto, Chapter One, Text 10-11

The First Step in God Realization

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Srila Prabhupada Explains the Unique Position of Bhaktivinoda Thakura

…sometimes even a liberated person like Arjuna plays the part of a conditioned soul in order to play some important part. Similarly, Bhaktivinode Thakura for sometimes was associating with the impersonalists. And then he exhibited himself in his true color as pure devotee, exactly in the same way as Arjuna exhibited in the beginning as a conditioned soul, and then as a liberated soul. So there is nothing to be misunderstood in this connection. Krishna and His devotees sometimes play like that, as much as Lord Buddha although an incarnation of Krishna, preached the philosophy of voidism.

Letter to: Madhusudana
Los Angeles
20 November, 1968

My Dear Madhusudana,

Please accept my blessings. I am in due receipt of your letter of Nov. 16, 1968, and have noted the contents carefully. Your sentiment is very much appreciated by me, and your service attitude is very nice. It is very good that you are helping to put out our magazine Back To Godhead, and whenever I see the new magazine mailed to me each month, I am so pleased to go through its contents and see all the nice work you have done, and you are always in my thoughts as I read through it, as well as Rayarama, and all your other co-workers. To make this magazine a great success is very very important to the mission. And you along with your co-workers are doing it very nicely. And Krishna will bless you, please continue to do it.

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