Different aspects of Absolute truth

Introduction: Understanding the confusion .

Sanskrit is the most intelligent language. A single text can be interpreted by the seers of impersonal Brahman and the followers of Sagun Brahman (Bhagavan Krishna ) to  reach different conclusion. However a broad minded study will reveal the secrets.

Say for example from Svetasvatara Upanishad chapter 5:
text 1:In the Immutable, infinite Supreme Brahman remain hidden the two: knowledge and ignorance. Ignorance leads to worldliness and knowledge, to Immortality. Brahman, who controls both knowledge and ignorance, is different from both.

text 2:He who rules over every position; who controls all forms and all sources; who, in the beginning, filled with knowledge the omniscient Hiranyagarbha, His own creation, whom He beheld when He (Hiranyagarbha) was produced-He is other than both knowledge and ignorance.

text 3:At the time of the creation the Lord spreads out individual nets in various ways and then at the time of the cosmic dissolution withdraws them into the great prakriti. Again the all-pervading Deity creates the aggregates of body and senses, both individual and collective and their controllers also and thus exercises His overlordship.

Note: Careful study of Brahma samhita and Srimad Bhagavatam will refer this statement to Karanyadakshayi Vishnu

text 4:As the sun, illuminating all the regions, above, below, and across shines, so too, That One God, glorious, adorable, rules over whatever creatures are born from a womb, who by themselves possess the nature of a cause.

text 5:He who is the cause of all and who enables all things to function according to their nature; who brings to maturity all that can be ripened; who, being non-dual, rules over the whole universe and engages the gunas in their respective functions.

(Note: Similar statements in various sastras like Bhagavat gita Brahma vaivarta puran, Brahma samhita refers to Lord Krishna as the cause of all causes. Though the impersonalists refer to Impersonal Brahman)

text 6:That which is hidden in the Upanishads, the secret part of the Vedas, Brahma knows that as the source of the Vedas. The gods and seers of olden times who knew it attained his nature and became immortal.

(Note: This text can be used to signify merging with imporsonal Brahman effulgence or attaining bodies similar to lord in his abode. If one reads Brahma’s glorification of Lord Krishna in Srimad Bhagavatam, Prayers by the vedas , Brahma Samhita and Bhagavat Gita will understand it is referring to Lord Krishna.  )

Devotees of Vishnu will say similar words for HIM. However there is no difference between them .There are three forms of the Lord Krishna(Cause of all causes)  particularly meant for the maintenance of the cosmic manifestation. They are (1) Karanodakasayi Vishnu who manifests all the universes, (2) Garbhodakasayi Vishnu who presides in each universe, and (3) Ksirodakasayi Vishnu, who presides in the hearts of all living entities, and is also known as the Paramatma. A careful study of Brahma samhita will reveal the secrets which will be presented later.

There is a separate blog with sastric references to resolve the conflict of Vishnu Tattwa. below is the link. It is a must read for all.

https://raganugaprembhakti.wordpress.com/srimati-radharanis-krishna-is-the-cause-of-all-causes/

Here we are presenting few references:

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda Chapter 4 states : Sri Krishna’s sperm fell into water. After one thousand years it appeared as an egg. From it emerged the great Virat Purush who is the foundation of the entire universe.Each pores of the hair of that virat purusha is the location of an universe. He is subtler than the subtle. No one is larger than him. He is the 16th ansh of Parmatma Sri Krishna. One should know him as Mahavishnu. He is the foundation of everyone. Just like a lotus leaf lies over the water similarly He lies in the Causal Ocean.

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda:chapter 13: Lord Shiva says to a brahmana: The krishna who is eternally residing in Goloka dham is also residing in vaikuntha and swetadwip. Just as there is no  difference between fire and its spark similarly there is no difference between Anshi and Ansh.

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda: Chapter 13 Lord Vishnu in a form of Brahmana says to devatas: You Brahma,Mahadev,Dharma and the lord of directions Dikpal are the resident of one loka . Brahma, Vishnu , Shiva , the other devatas and the living entities,there are many in many universes. Who is competent to count the numbers of universes and devatas ? The master of all of them is Sri Krishna who takes the form of a deity only to show mercy to the devotees. Everyone wants to attain  Satyaloka or the eternal Vaikuntha which is above all the universes. Even higher than Vaikuntha is Goloka . In vaikuntha he resides as four armed Lakshmipati. There Sri Hari and is surrounded by his associates like sunanda, nanda, kumuda. In Goloka he is eternally residing as two handed Radhaballabha Sri Krishna.There are many Gopis, cows and two handed gopas always engaged  in his service. That Golokadhipati Sri Krishna is the complete(purnatam) Brahman.

Srimad Bhagvatam 11.6.16 states : “My dear Lord, the original purusha-avatara, Maha-Vishnu, acquires His creative potency from You. Thus with infallible energy He impregnates material nature, producing the mahat-tattva. Then the mahat-tattva, the amalgamated material energy, endowed with the potency of the Lord, produces from itself the primeval golden egg of the universe, which is covered by various layers of material elements.”

Krsna and the Supreme Personality of Godhead are identical. Therefore Lord Krsna is referred to as Bhagavan throughout the Gita. Bhagavan is the ultimate in the Absolute Truth. Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding, namely Brahman, or the impersonal all-pervasive spirit; Paramātmā, or the localized aspect of the Supreme within the heart of all living entities; and Bhagavān, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Krsna.


 

Different path of sadhana to attain the Absolute truth is realized in three phases.

 

In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.2.11) this conception of the Absolute Truth is explained thus:
 vadanti tat tattva-vidas
 tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam
 brahmeti paramātmeti
 bhagavān iti śabdyate  (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 1.2.11)

 “The Absolute Truth is realized in three phases of understanding by the knower of the Absolute Truth, and all of them are identical. Such phases of the Absolute Truth are expressed as Brahman, Paramātmā, and Bhagavān.”

These three divine aspects can be explained by the example of the sun, which also has three different aspects, namely the sunshine, the sun’s surface and the sun planet itself. One can be satisfied in understanding the sunshine.  One who understands the sun’s surface is aware of sun’s shining effulgence and is happily satisfied in that. One who who has the complete knowledge of the sun as an entity is already aware of the knowledge of sun’s surface and the shining effulgence .

Students who are satisfied by understanding the sunshine—its universal pervasiveness and the glaring effulgence of its impersonal nature—may be compared to those who can realize  the Brahman feature of the Absolute Truth.

The student who  can know the sun disc, which is compared to knowledge of the Paramatma feature of the Absolute Truth.

The student who can enter into the heart of the sun planet is compared to those who realize the personal features of the Supreme Absolute Truth.


 

The conflict:

The vedic scriptures give us knowledge of all these three aspects of absolute truth. But the unfortunate part is that the followers of impersonal brahman deny the presence of spiritual lokas beyond the brahmajyoti as their realization is limited to brahmajyoti and they will not accept the sastric revelations about the different spiritual lokas . Some claim as one cannot meditate on impersonal aspect easily so a from is needed to meditate. Some claim that the forms of Lord are the manifestation of the supreme impersonal brahman.

Many followers of Vishnu tattwa claims that one cannot attain liberation by merging into the impersonal Brahman by doing astanga yoga or shakti sadhana or any other sadhanas . Unfortunately this claim is also wrong. One can attain impersonal liberation in Kaliyuga also even though  it is a very difficult process .

It is a major problem that followers of each marga thinks of other as idiots without any realizations which is a wrong idea. Both are authenticated path and one is attracted towards one path based on their previous samskaras.


 

Five kinds of liberation:

sālokya sārṣṭi sāmīpya sārūpyaikatvam apyuta dīyamānaṁ na gṛhnanti vinā mat sevanaṁ janaḥ

“My devotees do not accept the four types of liberation, like sālokya (living in the same world with Me), sārṣṭi (sharing My wealth), sāmīpya (being close to Me), sārūpya (having the same form as Me), what to speak of ekatva (merging with Me), even if I grant them, if it goes without devotional service.”Bhāgavata (3.29.13)
Here it is mentioned that the devotees does not wish impersonal liberation but nonetheless impersonal liberation is also a liberation from this worldy birth and death  cycles.
These five kinds of liberation is mentioned in many other scriptures like Brahmavaivarta puran and others. If anyone claims that  the liberation(impersonal) I am aiming is the only one liberation and other types are just bhava liberation then he seems to contradict the sastras and force his own philosophy. Same applies to anyone  who claims impersonal liberation is not permanent. He is also creating his own theory.
So it is better for one to follow one’s own process and not criticize others. Though the destination is different for different processes  but one thing is common in all the types of sadhanas if performed perfectly i.e . Liberation .

 

 

(1) Brahman (the All-pervading Spirit):

brahman

The non-differentiated aspect of the Divine is known as Brahman.The constitution of Brahman is immortality, imperishability, eternity, and happiness. Brahman is the beginning of transcendental realization. This all-pervading spiritual substance is known to be the support of all the worlds, and whatever exists is known to be of Brahman only in its various manifestations.Some yogis seek to merge with the formless Brahman effulgence of the Lord(ekatva liberation). In the Brahma-sutra, Brahman is explained to be like the rays of the sunshine. The impersonal Brahman is the effulgence of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is like the sun.

brahmaṇo hi pratiṣṭhāham
amṛtasyāvyayasya ca
śāśvatasya ca dharmasya
sukhasyaikāntikasya ca(Bhagavat Gita 14.27)
And I am the basis of the impersonal Brahman, which is immortal, imperishable and eternal and is the constitutional position of ultimate happiness.

 

 


 

 

(2) Paramatma (the SuperSoul):

paramatma

The localized aspect of the Divine is known as Paramatma. In this feature, the Absolute Truth manifests as four-handed, fully-bedecked persons, each known as Paramatma. These sub-atomic persons exist in the spaces between atoms and also within each atom. In His Paramatma feature, the Lord permeates the entire cosmos. Known as the Lord of the heart, this aspect of the Supreme has expanded within the hearts of all living entities, invoking inspiration, knowledge and forgetfulness in them. He is the silent witness in our hearts, the impartial overseer and permitter of everyone’s activities, and the one who keeps the world turning in accordance with the deeds of all living entities. He is an expansion of the Supreme Person for the maintenance of the cosmic manifestation who is none other than Khirodakshayi Vishnu

upadraṣṭānumantā ca
bhartā bhoktā maheśvaraḥ
paramātmeti cāpy ukto
dehe ‘smin puruṣaḥ paraḥ (Bhagavat Gita 13.23)

Yet in this body there is another, a transcendental enjoyer, who is the Lord, the supreme proprietor, who exists as the overseer and permitter, and who is known as the Supersoul.

His form is beyond material sense perception. No one can see Him with material eyes. Those who, by meditation, know him who is situated in the heart, attain liberation. (Svetasvatara Upanisad 4.20)


(3) Bhagavan (the Supreme Person):

bhagavan

The ultimate aspect of the Divine is known as Bhagavan. He is simultaneously transcendent and immanent, being situated in His own divine realm and simultaneously pervading everything through His infinite manifestations. This Supreme Person is the ultimate master, friend, father, son and beloved of all living entities. In His kindness, He manifests to everyone in accordance with their desires to serve Him, while remaining at the same time in His supremely attractive form of Sri Krishna, in whom all beauty and love find its pinnacle.

Sometimes the worshipers of impersonal Brahman says “Personal form is just an expansion of the impersonal Brahman but the absolute truth is impersonal Brahman ” to suit their motivation. But this statement is not supported by any Sastras.

Vedanta-darsana states (2.1.33): lokavat tu lila-kaivalyam, the Lord is, like a human being, absorbed exclusively in his own play.

apasyam gopam anipadyamana ma ca para ca pathibhis carantam
sa sadhricih sa visucir vasana avatirvati bhuvanesv antah

I saw a cowherd. He never falls from his position; sometimes he is near, and sometimes far, wandering on various paths. He is a friend, decorated with a variety of clothes. He comes again and again to the material world. (Rg Veda 1.164.31)

ta vam vastuny usmasi gamadhyai
yatra gavo bhuri-srnga ayasah
atraha tad urugayasya krsnah
paramam padam avabhati bhuri

“We wish to go to Your  beautiful houses, about which cows with large, excellent horns are wandering. Yet distinctly shining on this earth is that supreme abode of Yours that showers joy on all, O Urugaya [Krsna, who is much praised]Rig Veda samhita 1.154.6 (referring to Goloka)

yasmat param naparam asti kincid
yasman naniyo na jyayo’sti kascit
vrksa iva stabho divi tisthaty ekas
tenedam purnam purusena sarvam

There is no one greater than Him. There is no one smaller or larger than Him. By this person everything becomes complete. He is situated firmly like a tree, surrounded by effulgence. (Svetasvatara Upanisad 3.9)


 

In the scriptures the Highest aspect of absolute truth BHAGAVAN is sometimes referred as Soul also  it but indicate Bhagavan Himself not the parmatma aspect. 

esa atma ‘pahata-papa vijaro vimrtyu visoko
vijaghatso’pipasah satya-kamah satya-sankalpah

That soul is without sin, without old age, without death, without lamentation, without hunger, without thirst, fully truthful and whose wish is always fulfilled. (Chandogya Upanisad 8.1.5)

ayam atma sarvesam bhutanam madhu ayam atma sarvesam
bhutanam adhipatih sarvesam bhutanam raja

This soul is the honey for all living entities. He is the Lord of all living entities, the king of all living entities. (Brhadaranyaka Upanisad 2.5.14-15)

sa yadi sakhiloka kamo bhavati sankalpad evasya sakhayah
samuttisthanti tena sakhilokena sampanno mahiyate

If He desires friendship, by his wish, friends appear and with them He can obtain satisfaction. (Chandogya Upanisad 8.2.5)

na tatra suryo bhati na candra-tarakam
nema vidyuto bhanti kuto’yam agnih
tam eva bhantam anubhati sarvas
tasya bhasa sarvam idam vibhati

Neither sun, moon, stars, lightning, what to speak of fire, can reveal the Supreme. Rather all the luminary objects, in accordance with the Lord, receive their own existence. Everything rests on the existence of the Lord. (Katha Upanisad. 2.2.15)

vedaham etam purusam mahantam
aditya varnam tamasah parastat
tam eva viditvatimrtyum eti
nanya-pantha vidyate’yanaya
sarvatah pani padam tat sarvato’ksi siro mukham
sarvatah srutimatloke sarvam avrty atitisthati

I know that great person as transcendental to the material world, self illuminating like the sun. The jiva, knowing Him, surpasses death. There is no other path for crossing death. His hands and feet are spread everywhere. His eyes, head, mouth and ears are everywhere. He exists spreading himself in all things. (Svetasvatara Upanisad 3.8.16)

tam isvaranam paramam mahesvaram
tam daivatanam paramam ca daivatam
patim patinam paramam parastad
vidama devam bhuvanesam idyam

You are the Lord of all other controllers such as Brahma and Siva. You are the Lord of all the devatas such as Indra. You are the Lord of all the prajapatis. You are superior to the supreme. We know you as the ultimate object of all prayers and eulogies; the Supreme Personality who is keen on performing wonderful pastimes. (Svetasvatara Upanisad 6.7)

Rig-veda (1.22.20-21) relates that Lord Vishnu is that Supreme Being, the Absolute Truth whose lotus feet all the demigods are always eager to see. His most sublime region is only visible to those endowed with spiritual vision, accessed by ever-vigilant devotion.

The Rig-veda continues  (1.154.4-5): “Him whose three places that are filled with sweetness and imperishable joy, who verily alone upholds the threefold, the earth, the heaven, and all living beings. May I attain to His well-loved mansion where men devoted to the Gods are happy. For there springs the well of honey [or Soma] in Vishnu’s highest step.”


 

Understanding the topic of relation between  impersonal Brahman Supersoul and Swayam Bhagavan: 

Some people feel that Krishna is merely a representation of something higher, which is often mistaken for the impersonal Brahman. However, such texts as the Taittiriya Upanishad (2.1.2) explain that

“One who realizes Brahman attains the summum bonum, highest goal, of life. So who is Brahman? Who is to be known? What is the means to know Him? And what is the prospect? These are the four vital points in reference to which it has been declared: Brahman is eternally existent, source of all wisdom, and infinite or all-pervasive. One who realizes Brahman as such, he adores Him in the secret cavity of the heart which is converted into a transcendental plane, the replica of Vaikuntha, a resort of divine sports. Thereby he gets his objects fulfilled with the all-wisdom of Brahman i.e., he attains the summum bonum of life in rendering unalloyed devotion to Brahman, the Supreme Reality.”

From this point, the above verse continues to explain how the various aspects of the material creation are manifested from the Brahman, directed by a Supreme Will. Yet, we can see in this verse that the Brahman is indicated to be a person whom we can render loving service, which is the means to reach the supreme goal of life. He is in the cavity of the heart as the localized expansion of the Supreme known as the Supersoul, Paramatma. Through this devotion the person will transform his heart and consciousness into the spiritual strata of Vaikuntha, the residence of the Supreme Being wherein spiritual activities are constantly taking place. Thus, the ultimate meaning of the Brahman is the Supreme Person from whom the Brahman emanates.

The Brahma-samhita (5.40) explains how the Brahman is but Sri Krishna’s physical brilliance:

“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord who is endowed with great power. The glowing effulgence of His transcendental form is the impersonal Brahman, which is absolute, complete and unlimited, and which displays the varieties of countless planets with their different opulences in millions and millions of universes.”

The Isha Upanishad (15) also confirms this:

“O my Lord, sustainer of all that lives, Your real face is covered by Your dazzling effulgence. Kindly remove that covering and exhibit Yourself to Your pure devotee.”

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda is totally dedicated to the subject of understanding Brahman. Below we are presenting some sections .

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda Chapter 2:

“In Goloka there is extremely pleasent jyoti which is the cause of attainment of eternal happiness(param ahladjanak and nitya parmananda). The yogis by the power of their yoga and gyana(knowledge) always meditate on that jyoti. That jyoti is the provider of extreme happiness and is known as impersonal Brahman (nirakaar paratpar Brahman). Inside that Brahma jyoti a form is manifested which is capable of winning other’s minds(manohar) and whose colour is as shyama as a new flow of water(nutan jaladhara). His eyes are like red lotus and are always cheerful. His pure face despises the glory of moon of Sharad Purnima. Crores of Kamdeva can be sacrificed on his beauty. That manohar form is dham of different lilas. He has two hands.He holds a flute in one hand. He always has a mild smile on his lips.His divine parts are covered with a yellow garment which is decorated with a group of beautiful jeweled ornaments. He is very compassionate towards his devotees.His entire body is decorated with chandan kasturi and kumkum.His Srivastavabhushita chest is lightened by kantimaan Kastubha jewel. That shyamasundara is residing on jeweled throne and the garland which is made up of forest flower and extends upto his knees is increasing his glory. He is called the Parabrahma Parmatma Sanatan Bhagavan.”

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda Chapter 4:
Vedamata savitri Prays to Sri Krishna:

“Hey Bhagavan, You are the cause of all causes and the seed of everything. You are the eternal Brahma Jyoti. You are the greatest of all and you are the impersonal and pure Brahman.

BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda : Chapter 28: The explanation of Prabrahman Parmatma.

Narada Muni questions  Lord Shiva:

“Hey Lord of the world  by your mercy I have heard everything. Now kindly explain the swarupa of Brahman  Kindly present the Brahman tattwa.O Lord !”

“Is Brahman a person or impersonal ? Does it has any quality ? Or it is devoid of qualities(Nirvisesha) ? Can Brahman be seen with eyes ? What is its characteristics ? How is it presented in the vedas ? Is prakriti seperate from Brahman or it is the manifestation of Brahman ? How is the essensial characteristics of prakriti depicted in shruti ? Which of the Brahman and prakriti has more prominent role in creation process ? Which is the greater of the two ? O omniscient Lord  , Kindly analyse these things deeply and then please let me know the siddhanta.”

After hearing Narada’s words Bhagavan Panchamukh Mahadev laughed and started explaining the Parabrahma tattwa.

Mahadev ji replied:

Vatsa Narada! whatever you have asked is the subject of best and the most secret knowledge. This best of secret knowledge is rare in the vedas and the puranas. Me, Brahma, Vishnu, Seshanag, Dharma and Srutis have disclosed these things.That is with qualities and can be witnessed by eyes has been presented in the vedas. In ancient times Me Brahmaji and Dharma asked this question to Sri Hari. I am telling you what Sri Hari explained to us.That knowledge is the essence of all the  truth. This knowledge is like an eye to those who have been blinded by darkness of ignorance. This knowledge is like a shining lamp which removes the darkness caused  by dilemma and delusion .

That eternal parabrahman is the form of supersoul(parmatmaswaroop). He is present in the bodies of the living entities as a witness of their karma. Lord Vishnu is residing in the body of living entities as the five pranas(Prana, Apana, Udana, Vyana and Samana). Prajapati Brahma is residing in the form of mind. I am residing in the form of intelligence and the divine nature is residing in the form of power. We all are subordinate to the supersoul. We all reside in the bodies of living  entities when He resides and leave the body when He leaves. Just like the servents of a king always pursues the king similarly we are the followers of the Parmatma.

The living entities who enjoys or suffers according to his karma is an image/refection of the Parmatma . Just like a pot filled with water has an image of sun and moon seperately and when the pot is broken the image is merged in the sun and the moon. Similarly during the creation process the living entities manifests as an image or reflection of Parmatma and merges in that omnipotent Parmatma at the time of destruction of the universes.Vatsa! after the destruction of the material universes only Parabrahman Parmatma remains. We and the living entities are merged in Him.
(Translater’s note:Destuction of material universes is not to be confused with liberation which is of 5 types i.e.Salokya, Sarasti,Samipya,Sayujya and Nirvana. At the time of next cycle of creation of material universe the jivas are again cast back in the material world unline liberation when the jivas does not come back to the material world)

That Brahman is round shaped Jyotipunjaswarupa. Its brightness can be compared to the light emanated from crores and crores of midday summer sun. It is large as sky and  is omnipotent and indestructable. However it appears to be cool and pleasent as moon rays to the yogis and is the cause of great happiness to them. The yogis calls it as eternal ParaBrahman and meditates day and night on that all auspicious  absolute truth. That meek(niriha) parmatma appears as impersonal and is the master of all. It can take any form according to its wish. It is independent and is the cause of all causes.  It is superexcellent purushottama, devoid of any material qualities, beyond  the scope of three gunas and the material nature. Just like fire contains the burning property,sun contains the property of light, milk contains the property of
whiteness , water has cooling properties, similarly the seed giving material nature is contained in it at the time of pralaya(destruction of material universe).

Just like in the sky the sound and on the earth the smell is always present similarly impersonal prakriti is always positioned in impersonal Brahm. When Brahma is aspiring  for creation then by its expansion it is called purush(Mahavishnu). Vatsa when He establishes  the relation with the Gunas and matter then it is called material  nature(prakriti). Just like a potter is ever competent to make pot out of soil similarly Brahm is ever competent to initiate creation process via prakriti. Just like a goldsmith has the power to create earrings out of Gold similarly Parameshwar is ever competent to initiate creation via the productive prakriti. Just like the potter and the goldsmith never creates the soil and the gold as they are always eternal matter to them similarly the ParaBrahman Parmatma and the Prakriti is eternal . So many people consider the role of Brahman and Prakriti in creation process to be equal. Just like a potter and gold smith doesnot create soil and gold and just like the soil and gold cannot instruct the potter and goldsmith to come and create. So the role of soil and potter in pot making and gold and goldsmith in earring making is  considered equivalent.

So Narada ! in overall consideration the Brahman is proved to be superior to the Prakriti. So many scholars are of opinion that the Brahman itself is manifested as  prakriti and Purusha.Some people are also of the opinion that Prakriti is is different from Brahman. That Brahman’s paramdham swaroop and the cause of all the causes.

The carecteristics of that Brahman is heard in the srutis as ” Brahman is the soul of everyone. He is connected to everyone and is witness to everything. It is omnipotent and origin of everything. sarvabeejswarupini Prakriti is the shakti of that Brahma.In this consideration the Brahman is shaktimaan. So Shakti and shaktimaan are inseperable” .

The yogis always meditate on that Jyoti. But my devotee vaishnavas of superior intelligence(sukshma buddhi) do not think like this. The vaishnavas are  capable to look inside  the wonderful Brahmajyoti and meditate on the beautiful face of the person who is omnipotent and the Soul of everyone . Inside the Brahmajyoti which is bright as crores of sun lies hidden an eternal abode whose name is Goloka.

That wonderful abode is extended upto lakhs of crores yojanas from all 4 directions. The divine palaces of the abode is made up of the essence of the best of the divine jewels and is inhabitated by the gopa and gopis. That abode can be seen as full of happiness.  It is round shaped as the moon. That abode which is made up of the best of divine jewels is eternally present without any foundation as per the wish of Parmatma. The position of that eternal abode of 50 crore yojnas above the vaikuntha lokas. It is inhabitated by cows gopas and gopis.There are forests of wish fulfilling trees. Goloka is filled with kamdhenu cows and is beautfied by Rasa Mandala(where Rasa dance takes place). Hey muni ! it is covered by Vrindavan and is surrounded by the Viraja river.The king of mountains Giriraj is residing there with hundreds of peaks.There are lakhs of crores of mindblowing beautiful palaces due to which that abode which is desired by everyone looks very bright and prosporous. In the middle of the abode is a beautiful palace which is adorned with hundreds of temples.

[Then description of the personal beauty and appearence of Lord Krishna is stated by Lord Shiva as presented above in  BrahmavaivartaPurana BrahmaKhanda Chapter 2]

Lord Shiva Continues:

“The vaishnavas meditates on Him .We[Lord Shiva] all meditate on that form of Parmatma.It is He[Lord Krishna] who is actually called the indesructable Parabrahman. It is He[Lord Krishna] who is the selfwilling person and known as eternal Bhagavan.He is devoid of material qualities , meek and above the modes of material nature.He is the foundation of everything , seed of everything, knower of everything. He can take any form , is the Lord of all Lords, worshipped by all and He is the one who grants siddhi to others. That adipurush Bhagavan Himself resides in Goloka in his two handed form. His dress is also similar to the cowherd boys and is surrounded by his  associates. That most complete(paripurnatam) Bhagavan is known as Sri Krishna. He is always with Sri ji and is  the praneshwar of Sri Radha. He is omnipotent omniscient ,omnipresent and can give His darshan. The meaning of “Krs” is All and the meaning of “na” is Atma . That Parabrahman Parmatma is the atma of everyone. That omnipresent  super soul is the Adi Purusha .  That is why his name is Krishna [Translater’s note: The word krishna has many meaning as explained in other places of Brahmavaivarta purana].That same lord in one of his expansion in four handed form is residing in vaikuntha as Lakshmipati surrounded by four handed associates. He also expands and  resides in swetadwip as four handed Lord of the universe Vishnu as Ramapati. The daughter of ocean Rama is his consort. Thus I have explained you everything related to  the subject matter of Parabrahman.”

Analysis: From here we can understand that the spiritual abodes of Lord is surrounded by an effulgence of light coming from the Lord and the abodes . That effulgence appears as round shaped as the spirirtual abodes are also round shaped . That effulgence is capable of anything and is known as impersonal Brahman .The various aspects of material creation are manifestation from the impersonal Brahman by the will of Lord.  But it is Sri Krishna who is actually the cause of all causes and is referred as Parabrahman and purnatam Bhagavan. Supersoul (parmatma) is an expansion of Lord and sometimes identified as expansion of impersonal Brahman .


 

 

Supreme Abode of Bhagavan(Vaikuntha)

atho vibhūtiṁ mama māyayācitām
aiśvaryam aṣṭāṅgam anupravṛttam
śriyaṁ bhāgavatīṁ vāspṛhayanti bhadrāṁ
parasya me te’śnuvate tu loke

Thereafter, they do not hanker after any opulence stored for them by My māyā, nor for the eight ensuing yogic paranormal powers, nor even for the transcendental glory of God, and yet these benign gifts become effortlessly available to them in My supreme abode. (SB 3.25.37)

na karhicin mat-parāḥ śānta-rūpe
naṅkṣyanti no me’nimiṣo leḍhi hetiḥ
yeṣām ahaṁ priya ātmā sutaś ca
sakhā guruḥ suhṛdo daivam iṣṭam

In that abode of unalterable peace, are found only those who know themselves and feel themselves to belong to Me entirely. They will never meet with destruction; My unblinking wheel never devours those for whom I am the total Beloved, their very Self, son, friend, preceptor, relative, benefactor and worshipable Lord. (SB 3.25.38)

“Of unalterable peace” (śānta-rūpe) refers to the supreme abode, Vaikuṇṭha [mentioned in the previous verse], which is peaceful by nature, meaning that it is free from all change or alteration that could disrupt the continuity of peace. All those who reside there know themselves and feel themselves to belong to Me entirely (mat-parāḥ). They are never destroyed (no naṅkṣyanti), which means they are never bereft of the [aforementioned] experiential possibilities. “My unblinking wheel” (animiṣo me hetiḥ), i.e., My discus in the form of time, does not devour them (no leḍhi). As stated in the Śruti, “He does not return” (ChU 8.15.1).

O Arjuna, all planets up to the highest planet, Brahma-loka, are places of return, but one who attains to My abode never takes birth again. (Gītā 8.16)

In commenting on the name Parāyaṇa in his Sahasra-nāma-bhāṣya (75), Śaṅkarācārya writes, “That abode is supreme (param), or in other words, most excellent, from which there is no going (ayana), meaning, wherein there is no fear of return (punar-āvṛtti-śaṅkā-rahitam), and so it is called Parāyana. If the term appears in the masculine gender, then it should be taken as a bahuvrīhi compound, i.e., as an epithet of the Lord [rendering this sense, “the Lord, whose supreme abode is free from return”].

Freedom from the fear of fall or destruction is not the full extent of the devotees’ glories. Lord Kapila elucidates further in the second half of the verse: “those for whom I am the total Beloved, their very Self, son, friend, preceptor, relative, benefactor and worshipable Lord.” This means that for such devotees there is no Entity other than Me [the Lord], for whom their love exists. Alternatively, the statement can be taken as a reference to Goloka [instead of Vaikuṇṭha], because only there do the gopas, endowed with the full range of such attitudes, eternally reside.

Then again, the last two lines of the verse can be taken as a reply to the question, “What kind of people attain that abode after being freed from ignorance?” The idea is this: Some people, like the sages described in the Uttara-khaṇḍa of the Padma Purāṇa, desire Me as their beloved husband (priyaḥ), while others, like the four Kumāras, consider Me as “their very Self” (ātmā), i.e., directly as Brahman; yet others relate to Me in the other ways mentioned; only such persons [who know themselves as belonging to Me entirely, through any of these dispositions] can attain Vaikuṇṭha. The word suhṛdaḥ, “bosom friend,” is in the plural, because such friends are of various kinds.


 

Devatas including Mahadeva goes to the spiritual lokas after dissolution of the universe 

Śrī Nārada speaks in a similar vein in the Fourth Canto:

Those established in unalterable peace, who are equanimous, pure and who please all other living beings, effortlessly go to that abode from which no one falls down (acyuta-padam), for they keep friendship with the dear devotees of the infallible Lord. (SB 4.12.37)

Vaikuṇṭha is transcendental to the manifested cosmos (prapañcātītatvam). Rudra declares this truth to the Pracetas:

sva-dharma-niṣṭhaḥ śata-janmabhiḥ pumān
viriñcatām eti tataḥ paraṁ hi mām
avyākṛtaṁ bhāgavato’tha vaiṣṇavaṁ
padaṁ yathāhaṁ vibudhāḥ kalātyaye

A person scrupulously devoted to his occupational duty for one hundred births becomes eligible to occupy the post of Brahmā, and if he becomes yet more qualified, he can attain me (Lord Śiva). A worshiper of the complete Whole, Bhagavān, however, is immediately promoted to the abode of the Complete (vaiṣṇavaṁ padam), which is free of all divisions or modifications (avyākṛtam), just as the other gods and I go there after the destruction of our subtle bodies. (SB 4.24.29)

If one has a great deal more piety [than needed to attain the post of Brahmā], he attains my world. But a worshiper of the Complete Whole, Bhagavān, after giving up his body, attains the abode of the Complete, Lord Viṣṇu, which is known as Vaikuṇṭha. It is beyond the manifested cosmos and free from all modifications (avyākṛtam), such as those mentioned in the famous Śruti statement, “I shall bring into manifestation (vyākṛtam) the divisions or modifications of name and form” (ChU 6.3.2) .

 

Just as I, Rudra, exist as an office-bearer, so do other devas. At the end of our appointed duration, and when our subtle bodies are destroyed, we go to that place, in accordance with the principle stated in the Brahma-sūtra, “The office-holders remain in this world until their tenure is completed” (Vedanta Sutra  3.3.33).


 

Sri Jiva Goswami explains the tattva in  bhagavat sandarbha 50: Taken from Sri Satyanarayana Das Babaji Maharaj :

Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī now explains that Vaikuṇṭha is beyond the visible or manifested world (prapañca), beyond even Lord Brahmā’s realm, Satyaloka, which is considered to be the topmost planet in the universe. From the verse quoted in this section, it is clear that Lord Rudra’s world is superior even to that of Brahmā, since more pious merit is required to reach it.

One can achieve the world of Brahmā by pious acts or by adherence to religious principles. If one has even greater piety, he can attain the realm of Rudra. In the previous anuccheda, Kṛṣṇa described to Uddhava the various destinations attained by the followers of varṇāśrama, belonging to different āśramas. To reach Vaikuṇṭha, however, one has to be free from both the gross and subtle bodies, which means Vaikuṇṭha lies beyond both gross and subtle dimensions.

To prove this, Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī cites a verse spoken by Lord Rudra to the Pracetas in which Vaikuṇṭha is described as avyākṛtam, free from external divisions or modifications, or in other words, one, unmodified nondual Reality. The Chāndogya Upaniṣad uses the word vyākṛtam to mean “manifest from the state of non-manifestation,” or in other words, “a caused event”—I shall bring into manifestation (vyākṛtam) the divisions or modifications of name and form” (nāma-rūpe vyākaravāṇi, ChU 6.3.2). The subsequent Chāndogya mantra describes material objects produced by the three guṇas of nature, which have names and forms. Vaikuṇṭha is not a manifestation of the three guṇas, and is thus called avyākṛtam, not a caused event, not something brought into the state of manifestation, which is to say that it is eternally self-manifest. Jīva Gosvāmī gives the word, prapañcātītam, “beyond the visible or manifested cosmos,” as a synonym for avyākṛtam.

Vaiṣṇavaṁ padam means the abode of the Complete Whole, Lord Viṣṇu, known as Vaikuṇṭha. The presiding deities of universal affairs attain that abode after they complete their tenure and are free from the subtle body, kalātyaye. Kalā means the subtle body.
In his commentary on Vedānta-sūtra 3.3.33, Śrī Baladeva Vidyabhūṣana writes that the devas, like Brahmā, have burned their accumulated karma in the fire of transcendental knowledge, but some prārabdha-karma remains owing to their desire to assist the Lord in administering universal affairs. Brahmā becomes liberated at the end of his term. Other gods who are free from karma proceed to Brahmā’s planet after their tenure is over. They remain there until the end of Brahmā’s life, at which time they are liberated along with him. The Kūrma Purāṇa confirms this:

When Brahmā’s tenure is over and the great dissolution occurs, all perfected beings enter the abode of the Lord along with Brahmā. (KūrmaP 12.273)

This proves that Vaikuṇṭha is beyond Satyaloka and thus beyond the manifested cosmos. Incidentally, it should be noted that unlike devas or other pious beings who attain Brahmā’s post, a devotee fully established in the Lord’s internal potency and thus free from the guṇas does not have to wait until the end of Brahmā’s life span to enter into Vaikuṇṭha. After giving up the present body, he is immediately transferred to Vaikuṇṭha, having become one in nature and constitution with that transcendental realm.


 

Goloka

Goloka is the highest of the Vaikuntha planets and is the abode of Supreme Lord Krishna engrossed in his pure sweetness.The scriptural basis for this comes from texts like Narada Pancaratra , Garga Samhita, Brahma Samhita , Brahma vaivarta puran , Mahabharat, Srimad Bhagvatam , Gopala-tapani Upanisad, Skanda Purana, Sri Vaisnava khanda, Sri Vasudeva Mahatmya 14.10, Padma Purana, Bhagavata Mahatmya 5.72-77, Harivamsa (Visnu Parva 19 – gavam eva tu goloko) and many other places.

ta vam vastuny usmasi gamadhyai
yatra gavo bhuri-srnga ayasah
atraha tad urugayasya krsnah
paramam padam avabhati bhuri

“We wish to go to Your  beautiful houses, about which cows with large, excellent horns are wandering. Yet distinctly shining on this earth is that supreme abode of Yours that showers joy on all, O Urugaya [Krsna, who is much praised]Rig Veda samhita 1.154.6 (referring to Goloka)

Among all 18 puranas, Brahma vaivarta purana explicitly describes about Goloka vrindavan throughout its all contents.In Brahma Vaivarta purana, which is one of the 18 major puranas describes Goloka vrindavan to be 500 million yojanas(4000000000miles) above Vaikuntha loka and it expands till 30 million yojanas(240000000miles). This depiction could be similize with a verse found in brahma samhita 5.43. However Acharyas of Gaudiya Vaishnavaism explains it to be limitless. Further statements declares, Both Vaikuntha and Goloka to be Nitya Dhama or eternal realm of existence. Which are not prone to annihilation even after the whole cosmic dissolution.Lord Krishna  in his two-armed form eternally reside in the realm of Goloka and in his four-armed form, as Lord Vishnu he eternally resides in the realm of Vaikuntha loka.

In Narada Pancaratra Lord Sadasiva speaks  (tat sarvopari goloke; goloko nitya-vaikuntho yathakaso yatha disah – “The eternal spiritual world of Goloka is situated in the spiritual sky.”

Mention of Goloka is also found in other Puranas, such as Skanda puran and Markandeya Puran.

Evam bahu-vidhai rupais caramiha vasundharam brahmalokam ca kaunteya golokam ca sanatanam.

“O son of Kuntī, in many different forms I wander in the material world, in the spiritual world, and in the eternal realm of Goloka.”

In Brihad-bhagavatamrita , Srila Sanatana Goswami explains this verse is quoted from Skanda Purana and it is spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna.

In the Markandeya Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares:

Golokam ca parityajya lokanam trana-karanat kalau gauranga-rupena lila-lavanya-vigrahah.

“In the Kali-Yuga, I will leave Goloka and, to save the people of the world, I will become the handsome and playful Lord Gauranga.”

 


 

 

References:

  1. Articles of Sri Satyanarayana Das Babaji Maharaj.
  2. . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goloka
  3. Teachings of Lord Chaitanya.
  4. http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/tattvas1.htm
  5. http://www.stephen-knapp.com/sri_krishna.htm
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