The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Goloka Vrndavana

BY: SUN STAFF - 19.9 2019

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 57.

Following the passage from Jaiva Dharma presented in the last segment, in this chapter our main character, Vijaya-kumara becomes fully resolved in his understanding of the nature of Goloka Vrindavan and the Lord's pastimes there, having had his last doubts removed by his spiritual master in a dream.

Chapter Thirty-two

"Vijaya-kumara honoured prasadam and took rest at night. Vrajanatha completed his devotional activities, chanted the holy names of Lord on his beads, and went to sleep. 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. Their relationship is actually the perfection of svakiya-rasa, of the love of a husband and wife. That His potencies are married to others and Krsna is their paramour is only an idea created to nourish the bliss of Their pastimes in Vraja. This same idea also nourishes the Lord's pastimes in Goloka, which is far from the world of matter. In Gokula, which is manifested within the material world, Yogamaya creates the idea that Krsna's potencies are married to others and Krsna is their paramour."

Hearing this explanation in his dream, Vijaya-kumara threw all his doubts far away. He became fully convinced that Goloka beyond the material world, and Gokula situated within the material world are indeed the same place. Then the bliss of the rasas of Vraja appeared in his heart. He became firmly convinced of Krsna's eternal pastimes in Vraja during the eight periods of the day (asta-kalina). Rising the next morning, he thought, "My spiritual master has been merciful to me without any limit". From that time he had full faith in his spiritual master's descriptions of the rasas.

Vijaya-kumara honoured prasadam and, at the appropriate time, shedding tears of love, fell down before his spiritual master's lotus feet. Filled with spiritual love, the spiritual master picked him up and said, "Baba, you have attained Lord Krsna's mercy. Simply by seeing you, I have become fortunate." He hugged Vijaya-kumara and then he began to sing these verses from Prema-vivarta:

"A person who has attained Lord Krsna's mercy is the most fortunate person in the entire world.

"The spiritual love of Goloka is manifest in his heart. He sees Goloka and Gokula. Maya flees from him."

After singing this song for many minutes, the spiritual master again became aware of the external world. Then Vijaya-kumara offered dandavat obeisances to him.

Vijaya-kumara: O master, I do not know anything about Lord Krsna's mercy. I only know that everything has come from your mercy. Stopping all efforts to see Goloka directly, I am now content to place my eyes on Gokula."

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur brings his transcendental novel, Jaiva Dharma, to a close by offering this final illumination on the nature of Goloka Vrindavana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead's abode:

Chapter Forty
Sampatti-vicara (The Greatest Good Fortune)

"The nature of a soul situated in svarupa-siddhi is described by Srila Rupa Gosvami in these words (Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu 1.3.29 and 1.4.12):

"If a person is completely detached from material enjoyment and has developed pure ecstatic devotion, even if he is sometimes accidentally found not living up to the standard of devotional service, one should not be envious of him."*

"Only the most fortunate persons can achieve such success in life. Those who are simply academic students of the Vedic scriptures cannot appreciate how such a development takes place."*

Vijaya-kumara: If this is so, then why do the Brahma-samhita and other scriptures try to describe the world of Goloka?

Gosvami: When by the Lord's mercy they attain the stage of svarupa-siddhi, Brahma and the demigods speak many prayers to describe what they have seen. However, ordinary persons who are less spiritually advanced cannot understand these prayers very well. Still, there is no need for the devotees to understand all these points. By Lord Krsna's mercy His prakata pastimes are manifested, and you can worship Him. By doing that you will attain all perfection. Within a short time you will attain great spiritual faith, and then the spiritual world of Goloka will be manifested before you. Gokula is the same as Goloka. And why not? Gokula and Goloka are not different places. That spiritual realm is not seen by the eyes of materialists. Materialists do not attain the stage of svarupa-siddhi. Only persons who are qualified can see these spiritual truths. Please Krsna by engaging in His devotional service. Follow Krsna's commands. By following Krsna's commands, you will gradually attain His mercy. Then your vision will be pure and perfect.

Vijaya-kumara had no longer any doubts. He followed the eleven bhavas. He meditated on Lord Krsna's handsome form and pastimes. Staying in a cottage by the seashore, he always tasted the sweetness of pure spiritual love (prema)."