pracura-siddhānta-ratna, saṁgrahe viśeṣa yatna
kari’ brahmā śrī-kṛṣṇe stavila
ei granthe sei stava, mānavera suvaibhava
pañcama adhyāye niveśila
(“Taking great care to compile this gem abundantly filled with siddhānta, Brahmā prayed unto Śrī Kṛṣṇa. This book is comprised of those prayers, which are the great opulence of mankind, and they have been added to its fifth chapter.”)
śr-gaurāṅga kṛpā-sindhu, kali-jīvera eka bandhu
dakṣiṇātya bhramite bhramite
e brahma-saṁhitā-dhana, karilena uddharaṇa
gauḍa-jīve uddhāra karite
(“That ocean of mercy, Śrī Gaurāṅga, the sole friend of the jīvas in the age of Kali, wandered throughout South India. He rescued this treasure, the Brahma–saṁhitā, in order to deliver the jīvas living in Gauḍa.”
nānā-śāstra vicāriyā, tāra ṭīkā viraciyā
śrī jīva gosvāmī mahodaya
śrī gauḍīya-bhakta-gaṇe, mahā-kṛpā-pūrṇa mane
e grantha arpilā sadāśaya
(“Deliberating upon various śāstra, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī composed a commentary to this work. Thinking in a most merciful way, he kindly presented this book to the Gauḍīya devotees.”)
sei vyākhyā anusāre, āra kichu balivāre
prabhu mora vipina-vihārī
ājñā dilā akiñcane, e dāsa harṣita mane
baliyāche kathā dui cāri
(“My master, Vipina-vihārī gave an order to this destitute person, to explain a little more in pursuance with this commentary. Thus, with a happy mind, this servant will say a few more things.”)
prākṛtāprākṛta bhedi, śuddha-buddhi-saha yadi
bhakta-gaṇa karena vicāra
kṛtārtha haibe dāsa, puribe manera āśa
śuddha-bhakti haibe pracāra
(“If those devotees with pure intelligence, who can differentiate between matter and spirit,* deliberate upon this, then that will favour this servant and his heart’s desire will be fulfilled, since śuddha-bhakti will have been propagated.”)
* Only those who have developed the power to discriminate between prākṛta (matter) and aprākṛta (spirit) in terms of bhakti are qualified to read this Gauḍīya commentary, Prakāśinī.
bhakta-jana-prāṇa-dhana, rūpa, jīva, sanātana
tava kṛpā samudra-samāna
ṭīkāra āśaya gūḍha, yāte bujhi āmi mūḍha
sei śakti karaha vidhāna
(“O Rūpa, Jīva and Sanātana! You are the life-treasure of the devotees, and your mercy is like a vast ocean. The nature of this commentary is most esoteric. I understand that I am a fool, but kindly provide me with the potency to comprehend it.”)
śrī jīva vacanacaya, puṣpakali śobhāmaya
prasphuṭita kariyā yatane
guru-kṛṣṇe praṇamiyā, śuddha-bhakta-kare diyā
dhanya hai – ei icchā mane
(“The words of Śrī Jīva are as beautiful as flower-buds, and I wish to carefully make those buds blossom. Offering obeisance unto guru and Kṛṣṇa, I will consider myself to be most fortunate if I can offer such flowers unto the hands of the pure devotees – that is my heart’s desire.”)
īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ
anādir ādir govindaḥ sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇam
The Supreme Lord, the form of sac-cid-ānanda (reality, existence and bliss) is Govinda Kṛṣṇa. He is anādi (without any beginning), the origin of all things, and the cause of all causes.
With His own eternal Name, eternal form, eternal attributes, and eternal outstanding līlā, Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone is the Supreme Truth who reigns over all. The Name ‘Kṛṣṇa’ is His eternal Name which demonstrates His Supreme Existence which is characterised by His all-attractive prema. His two-armed figure of condensed sat (cognisance), cit (consciousness), and ānanda (bliss) as Śyāmasundara, the beautiful dusky youth who plays the flute, is His eternal form. Despite possessing an infinitely majestic existence, by the power of His own transcendental acintya-śakti (inconceivable potency), His enchanting medium-sized form attracts all. In that eternal form, His nature as the Supreme Person possessing astonishing transcendental qualities, senses etc. is unique and is perceived as all-harmonising. Condensed sat, cit and ānanda find their beauty within Him. Paramātmā and Īśvara, or Viṣṇu, are expansions of His intrinsic form (svārūpa). Thus, Kṛṣṇa alone is the Supreme Controller (Parameśvara). Even though His unlimited spiritual senses and qualities are distinct, they are properly arranged by His acintya-śakti to eternally manifest in one supremely beautiful unparalleled eternally divine form. That divine form is the self of Kṛṣṇa, and Śrī Kṛṣna’s self is that form. That divine form is the concentrated reality of sac-cid-ānanda. Thus, the attributeless and formless Brahman, which has inert sac-cid-ānanda, is simply the bodily effulgence of that concentrated reality of sac-cid-ānanda (Kṛṣṇa). The original, concentrated sac-cid-ānanda form of Kṛṣṇa is anādi (beginningless), and is the origin of Brahman and Paramātmā. His characteristics are observed through His līlā as Gopati (Lord of the cows), Gopa-pati (Lord of the cowherds), Gopī-pati (Lord of the gopīs), Gokula-pati (Lord of Gokula), Goloka-pati (Lord of Goloka). That Govinda who is served by Goddess Śrī (Lakṣmī) is Kṛṣṇa. In the form of Puruṣa (the Supreme male principle) and Prakṛti (the supreme feminine principle), He is sarva-kāraṇa-kāraṇa, the cause of all causes. Impelled by the glance of the puruṣāvatāra of Paramātmā (kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu), His inferior potency gives birth to the material world. The infinite jīvas are the manifested rays of the taṭastha-śakti (marginal potency) of that Paramātmā. This book describes that Kṛṣṇa, thus the mention of His names herein forms the book’s maṅgalācaraṇa (auspicious invocation).
sahasra-patra-kamalaṁ gokulākhyaṁ mahat-padam
tat-karṇikāraṁ tad-dhāma tad-anantāṁśa-sambhavam
That supreme realm has the form of a thousand petaled lotus and is known as Gokula. Its centre is where the Lord’s abode is manifested by the potency of Ananta.
Goloka, which is a form of Gokula, is not created or material. It is of an eternal nature, being manifest through Kṛṣṇa’s śaiṣī-śakti (unlimited potency), and Baladeva, who is a vilāsa-vigraha (pastime expansion) manifest from Kṛṣna, is the foundation of that potency. Baladeva’s intrinsic infinite nature is of two types – namely transcendental infinity and material infinity. The one quarter of the Lord’s infinite material opulence (eka-pāda-vibhūti) will be discussed in the appropriate place. The three quarters of Bhagavān’s spiritual infinity, or tri-pāda-vibhūti, is free from lamentation, death, fear and is effulgent; in other words it is transcendental opulence. The form of that opulence assumes a state of great grandeur, manifesting as Mahā-Vaikuṇṭha or Para-Vyoma – it exists beyond material nature on the shore of the Virajā, surrounded by the eternal brahma-jyoti. The upper portion of that spiritual infinity is Gokula or Goloka-dhāma which is satiated with supreme sweetness, is splendorous, and eternally manifest with extreme beauty. Some call this the abode of Mahā-Nārāyaṇa, or Mūla-Nārāyaṇa. Thus, Goloka, which is the same as Gokula, is the topmost abode. That one dhāma is resplendently situated above and below as Goloka and Gokula respectively. In Śrī Bṛhat-Bhāgavatāmṛta, which is the embodiment of the deep deliberations of all the śāstra, Śrīmad Sanātana Gosvāmī says:
yathā krīḍati tad-bhūmau goloke’pi tathaiva saḥ
adha-ūrdhvatayā bhedo’nayoḥ kalpate kevalam
(“Just as He plays on earth, so also He plays in Goloka. In regards to them being above and below, the difference between the two realms are only imagined.” – Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛta 3.5.168)
In other words, the same way that Kṛṣṇa plays in Gokula is the same in Goloka. There is no difference between Goloka and Gokula, except that Goloka exists in the highest plane, and Gokula, the place of Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, exists in this physical world. Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī has also written in the glossary to the Ṣaṭ-Sandarbha – goloka-nirupaṇaṁ vṛndāvanadhināṁ nitya-kṛṣṇa-dhāmatvaṁ, goloka-vṛndāvanayor ekatvaṁ ca. Even though Goloka and Gokula are identical, due to the power of Kṛṣṇa’s acintya-śakti, Goloka is the highest plane within the spiritual realm, and Gokula of Mathurā-maṇḍala exists in the physical world of the eka-pāda-vibhūti (one quarter of the Lord’s manifestation) created by the mundane māyā potency. How did the spiritual abode of tri-pāda-vibhūti (three quarters manifestation) become situated in the inferior eka-pāda-vibhūti of the material world? This is beyond the petty thought and intellect of the jīva, and it is indicative of the influence of Kṛṣṇa’s acintya-śakti. Gokula is the divine abode. Therefore, even though it appears in the gross material world, it is not in any way confined by material space, time etc. and it exists in an unrestricted state of supreme unlimited reality. However, the mundane senses and intelligence of the bound jīvas perceive Gokula in a material way because they are bound by their engrossment in material nature. A cloud covers the eyes of an observer – it does not cover the sun. Nevertheless, by his mundane vision, a person who is covered by the cloud also thinks that the sun is covered by that cloud. Similarly, the bound jīvas, due to their senses and intellect being covered by māyika defects, impose such illusion upon Gokula also. Those possessed of extreme good fortune who are totally free from māyika nature, perceive Gokula in Goloka and Goloka in Gokula. Through knowledge stemming from the gradual eradication of matter which produces ātmā-rāmatā (bliss in the ātmā), one is never able to perceive the reality of Vaikuṇṭha which is above Brahman who only possesses a limited amount of the cit element found in sac–cid–ānanda. Therefore there is no possibility of perceiving Goloka or Gokula through the endeavours of such knowledge (jñāna). This is because the students of jñāna search for the truth by relying upon their own subtle intuition, but do not search for the mercy of Kṛṣṇa which is enriched with the acintya-śakti. Endeavours to attain Goloka-Vṛndāvana only through ādhyātmika-jñāna (knowledge of the ātmā) are futile. Endeavours in yoga, which is a division of karma, are likewise unworthy of attaining such mercy. Therefore, all these activities cannot lead to the search for cid–vilāsa (divine pastimes) which are different to and higher than kaivalya (oneness of Brahman). Only those who adopt pure bhakti achieve the mercy of Kṛṣṇam which is imbued with His acintya-śakti. Only by Kṛṣṇa’s mercy is the connection with the māyika nature removed, and the good fortune of perceiving Gokula arises. There are two types of bhakti-siddhi (perfection in bhakti), namely svarūpa-siddhi (the stage of awareness of one’s spiritual nature) and vastu-siddhi (the attainment of one’s spiritual nature). At the time of svarūpa-siddhi one sees Goloka in Gokula, and at the time of vastu-siddhi one perceives Gokula in Goloka – this is a confidential mystery. Svarūpa-siddhi means the attainment of prema. Later by the will of Kṛṣṇa, when both the gross and subtle bodies of the bound jīva are removed, as well as the veil of māyā, he attains vastu-siddhi. Be that as it may, until perfection in bhakti is achieved, one will perceive Goloka to be separate from Gokula. Gokula, the unparalleled transcendental seat of unlimited variegatedness, having thousands of petals, is the eternal abode of Kṛṣṇa.
karṇikāraṁ mahad-yantraṁ ṣaṭ-koṇaṁ vajra-kīlakam
ṣaḍ-aṅga-ṣaṭ-padī-sthānaṁ prakṛtyā puruṣeṇa ca
premānanda-mahānanda-rasenāvasthitaṁ hi yat
jyotī-rūpeṇa manunā kāma-bījena saṅgatam
In the middle, within that divine lotus is the abode of Kṛṣṇa. It is predominated over by Prakṛti and the Puruṣa (the Supreme Feminine Principle and the Supreme Male Principle) and is a yantra (mystical diagram) consisting of a ṣaṭ-koṇa (two interlocking triangles forming a hexagon in the middle). Like a diamond, the splendorous reality of Kṛṣṇa, the possessor of transcendental potencies, is stationed as the central support (kīlaka). The great mantra of eighteen syllables whose six parts reside in six divisions, is manifest within six sections within a hexagon.
Kṛṣna-līlā is of two types – prakaṭa (manifest) and aprakaṭa (unmanifest). The vṛndāvana-līlā which is visible to the common man is prakaṭa–kṛṣṇa-līlā, and that which is not visible to the physical eye is aprakaṭa-kṛṣṇa-līlā. In Goloka, the aprakaṭa-līlā is always manifest, and in Gokula the prakaṭa-līlā is manifest to the worldly eye if Kṛṣṇa wishes it to be. In Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva says, aprakaṭa-līlātaḥ prasūtiḥ prakaṭa-līlāyāṁ abhivyaktiḥ – that is, prakaṭa-līlā is the revelation of aprakrta-līlā. Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha further states, śrī-vṛndāvanasya prakāśa-viśeṣogolokatvam, tatra prāpañcika-loka-prakaṭa-līlā-vakāśatvenāvabhasamānaṁ prakāśo goloka iti samarthanīyam – in other words, when there is an interval in the prakaṭa-līlā within the material world, that līlā is still seen in an unmanifest way. That is the goloka-līlā. Thus, the words of Śrī Rūpa’s Bhāgavatāmṛta harmonise this point:
yat tu goloka-nāma syāt tac ca gokula-vaibhavam
tādātmya-vaibhavatvaṁ ca tasya tan-mahimonnateḥ
(Laghu Bhāgavatāmṛta 5.498)
In other words, Goloka is the identical manifestation of the higher opulence of Gokula. Thus, Goloka is simply the opulence of Gokula. The entirety of Śrī Kṛṣna’s līlā is not manifest in Gokula, but is eternally manifest within the realm of Goloka. In relation to the bound jīvas, the manifestation of the aprākṛta-līlā of Goloka, which is the opulent manifestation of Gokula, is of two types – namely, mantropāsanāmayī (worship through one’s guru-given mantra) and svārasikī (spontaneous worship according to one’s specific rasa). Śrī Jīva says, tat-tad-ekatara sthānādi-niyata-sthitika evaṁ tat-tan-mantra-dhyāna-mayī – mantropāsanāmayī means that regular meditation upon one specific līlā at one location is performed constantly through a mantra. By this meditation along with the worship of that līlā through the mantra, there is a revelation of Goloka. Then, the līlās that take occur in various places with different types of playful sporting, which are full of spontaneity are thus known as svārāsikī. This śloka has two meanings. One meaning is this – concerning the līlās found within the eighteen syllable mantra, the syllables of the mantra are fixed in different places which express one particular līlā of Kṛṣṇa. Thus – klīṁ kṛṣṇāya govindāya gopī-jana-vallabhāya svāhā. This mantra is called the ṣaḍāṅga ṣaṭ-padī mantra (a mantra consisting of six divisions and six syllables) – (1) kṛṣṇāya (2) govindāya (3) gopī-jana (4) vallabhāya (5) svā (6) hā – when these six divisions and six syllables are placed one after the other in sequence, the mantra is formed. The ṣaṭ-koṇa of this great yantra is like this – the bīja (seed), in other words the kāma-bīja ‘klīṁ’ is situated in the middle of the yantra as the kīlaka (support). By drawing such a yantra and meditating upon the divine Reality, one achieves knowledge of that Reality, just as Candradhvaja did.* Svā-śabdena ca kṣetrajño heti cit-prakṛtiḥ parāḥ (‘the word svā indicates the kṣetrajña, the knower of the field, and hā refers to the superior transcendental nature’) – this is the teaching of the Gautamīya Tantra. According to the opinion of the Śrī Hari-bhakti-vilāsa – uttarād govindāyety asmāt surabhiṁ gojātim, tad uttarād gopījānety asmād vidyāś caturdaśa, tad uttarād-vallabha etc. (‘from govindāya the Surabhi cow and the cowherds appeared, and from gopī-jana the fourteen kinds of knowledge was manifest etc.’). By means such as this, by worship through the mantra, one will perceive the līlā while situated in one place – this is the significance of worship through the mantra. The general meaning is that one who has a strong desire to enter into Kṛṣṇa’s divine līlā will engage in service to Kṛṣṇa by deliberating upon sambandha-jñāna (knowledge of one’s relationship with the Lord) which produces bhakti-rasa according to one’s own transcendental svarūpa.
One’s relationship with the Lord is established when the following knowledge of transcendental nature (svarūpa) arises:
- Kṛṣṇa-svarūpa – the nature of Kṛṣṇa.
- Kṛṣṇasya cinmaya-vraja-līlā-vilāsa-svarūpa – the nature of Kṛṣṇa’s divine vraja-līlā.
- Tat-parikara-gopījana-svarūpa – the nature of His gopī associates.
- Tad-vallabha gopī anugata-bhāve kṛṣṇe ātma-nivedana-svarūpa – the nature of self-surrender in the mood of His beloved, namely the gopīs.
- Śuddha-jīva cit-jñāna-svarūpa – the nature of the pure jīva’s transcendental cognizance.
- Cit-prakṛti kṛṣṇa-sevā-svabhāva – spiritual nature, in other words, the intrinsic nature of service to Kṛṣṇa.
When there is a firm conviction in bhakti, it’s intrinsic nature establishes the ātmā under the Supreme shelter, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Enjoyer, and the self (ahaṁ) is a maidservant of Śrī Rādhā. The bliss of such service to Bhagavān is the only mellow (rasa). This is the meaning. At the stage of sādhana, the līlās of Goloka or Gokula are worshipped via meditation on the mantra, and at the stage of perfection the līlās arise as spontaneous sporting – this is the position of Gokula. It will be revealed gradually.
The meaning of the words jyotī-rūpeṇa manunā is that the transcendental explanation is revealed within the mantra, and by combining aprākṛta-kāma (divine amorous love) with pure kṛṣṇa-prema and service, one becomes established in premānanda-mahānanda-rasa (the divine mellows of the highest bliss of prema). In this way, the eternal līlā of Goloka shines resplendently.
* Translator’s Note: Candradhvaja was the name of a king mentioned in the Gautamīya Tantra.
tat-kiñjalkaṁ tad-aṁśānāṁ tat-patrāṇi śriyām api
This centre of the eternal abode named Gokula is the hexagonal land of Kṛṣṇa. Its filaments, in other words, its stamens or petals, is the area where Kṛṣṇa’s expansions, the cowherd boys and the highest prema-bhaktas (devotees surcharged with prema) reside. That region is like an enclosure which is most effulgent. The extended petals of that lotus are the upa-vanas (secondary forests) which are the abodes of Śrī Rādhikā and the other gopīs who are dear to Kṛṣṇa.
The divine Gokula is in the shape of a lotus. Its centre is a hexagon (ṣaṭ-koṇa). In the middle of that are Śrī Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa who are the embodiment of the objective of the eighteen-syllable mantra. Their followers, bodily expansions who are all manifested from the svarūpa-śakti (the internal potency) are present there. Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa are the bīja (the seed, or origin of the mantra). The Gopāla Tāpanī states:
tasmād oṁkāra-sambhūto gopālo viśva-sambhavaḥ
klīm-oṁkārasya caikatvaṁ paṭhyate brahma-vādibhiḥ
(Thus, omkāra emanates with Gopāla, within whom the universe is situated. Those who are knowers of the Supreme chant the syllable klīm, considering it to be the same as oṁkāra. – Uttara Gopāla Tāpanī Upaniṣad)
Oṁkāra refers to the potency and Gopāla, the possessor of that potency. The word klīṁ means oṁkāra. Thus, the kāma–bīja (klīṁ, the seed of transcendental desire) denotes rādhā–kṛṣṇa–tattva.
catur-asraṁ tat-paritaḥ śvetadvīpākhyam adbhutam
catur-asraṁ catur-mūrteś catur-dhāma catuṣ-kṛtam
caturbhiḥ puruṣārthaiś ca caturbhir hetubhir vṛtam
śūlair daśabhir ānaddham ūrdhvādho dig-vidikṣv api
aṣṭabhir nidhibhir juṣṭam aṣṭabhiḥ siddhibhis tathā
manu-rūpaiś ca daśabhir dik-pālaiḥ parito vṛtam
śyāmair gauraiś ca raktaiś ca śuklaiś ca pārṣadarṣabhaiḥ
śobhitaṁ śaktibhis tābhir adbhutābhiḥ samantataḥ
(The surrounding area of Gokula is being described:) Gokula is surrounded by a wonderful quadrangular space called Śvetadvīpa. It is divided into four quarters on four sides. Each of these four divisions are the abodes of Vāsudeva, Saṅkarṣaṇa, Pradyumna and Aniruddha. These four divisions are surrounded by the four goals of human life – dharma (religion), artha (wealth), kāma (desire), and mokṣa (liberation), and also by the four Vedas – the mantras of the Ṛk, Sāma, Yajuḥ and Atharva, which are the cause of those four goals. The eight directions including the upper and lower directions are encompassed by ten tridents. Those eight directions are adorned with the eight jewels – mahāpadma, padma, śaṅkha, kacchapa, mukunda, kunda and nīla. Ten dikpālas (directional guardians) are present in the ten directions in the form of mantras. All the associates who are of dark, golden, red and white complexions, as well as all potencies such as Vimalā etc. are resplendent on all sides.
Gokula is primarily the seat of prema-bhakti, thus Yamunā, Govardhana, Śrī-kuṇḍa etc. of the earthly Vraja-maṇḍala are all within it. Moreover, the entire opulence of Vaikuṇṭha is visible in all directions. All the manifestations of the Catur-vyūha are present there in their appropriate places. From the manifestations of this Catur-vyūha, the great spiritual realm of Vaikuṇṭha expands. Vaikuṇṭha liberation, as well as dharma, artha and kāma pertaining to this world, are in the appropriate places in Gokula in their original seed-form. There the Vedas sing about the Lord of Gokula with great attention. Those who endeavour to reach Goloka without the grace of Kṛṣṇa, simply by their own contemplation, are prevented by the ten spears of disappointment which are in the ten directions. Arrogant persons that approach there, who follow the paths of yoga or jñāna, are defeated by those ten spears. Nirvāṇa (the extinguishing of one’s individual existence) is acceptable in the abode of Brahman – that is the covering of Goloka in the form of those spears. ‘Spear’ (śūla) means tridents (triśūla). These tridents represent the three material modes of nature and the three divisions of time (past, present and future). The aṣṭāṅga-yogīs or the followers of non-differentiated Brahman who run towards Goloka are cut to pieces by those tridents in the ten directions and fall into a pit of despair. Those approaching Goloka on the path of bhakti that see the eight mystic perfections (aṣṭa-siddhi) beginning with aṇimā etc., and the opulent qualities of mahā-padma etc., become enchanted by vaikuṇṭha-tattva, which is the surrounding area of Śrī Goloka. Those whose intelligence is not so steady return to the seven mundane realms governed by those deities that protect the ten directions (dikpālas) who appear in the form of mantras. In this way, Goloka has become unknowable and unattainable. All the forms of Bhagavān, that propagate the yuga–dharma, are always coming forward to give Their mercy to the devotees who only reach there through pure prema-bhakti. According to their particular natures, those forms of Bhagavān are surrounded by Their associates. Śvetadvīpa in Gokula is their abode. That is why the avatāra of Vyāsa (Vṛndāvana Dāsa Ṭhākura) has described it as, śvetadvīpa-nāma, navadvīpa-grāma (‘That which is called Śvetadvīpa is the town of Navadvīpa’). At the centre of this Śvetadvīpa, the līlā of Navadvīpa eternally exists as a supplement to gokula-līlā. Thus Navadvīpa-maṇḍala, Vraja-maṇḍala and Goloka are the same undivided reality (akhaṇḍa-tattva). Differences are only due to the unlimited varieties of bhāva (devotional sentiments) arising from prema-vaicitrya (the diverse nature of prema). There is another confidential truth that only those mahājanas that possess the greatest prema are acquainted with, by the direct mercy of Kṛṣṇa. It is this – in the material world there are fourteen realms ascending from upper to lower. The householders who engage in activities to fulfill selfish desires constantly move between the three realms of Bhūḥ, Bhuvaḥ and Svaḥ. Tranquil persons who execute the great vow of celibacy, austerity, who are devoted to the truth and engage in selfless duty move between Mahāloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka. In the above division of that (Satyaloka) is the abode of the four-headed one (Brahmā), and above that is Vaikuṇṭha of Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The paramahaṁsa sannyāsīs and the daityas (demons) killed by Hari cross beyond the Virajā, in other words, they go beyond the fourteen material abodes and achieve nirvāṇa when their ātmā merges into the effulgence of the abode of Brahman. Those devotees who are fond of the supreme majesty of Bhagavān, such as the jñāna-bhaktas (devotees motivated by jñāna), śuddha–bhaktas (pure devotees), premi–bhaktas (devotees with prema), premapara–bhaktas (devotees motivated prema) and premātura–bhaktas (devotees absorbed in prema) reside in Vaikuṇṭha, in other words, they attain residence in Paravyoma, the divine abode of Nārāyaṇa. Only those devotees who are fond of the supreme sweetness that is found in Vraja attain the abode of Goloka. According to their various rasas, these devotees are situated in different positions which is determined by the acintya-śakti of Kṛṣṇa. Those devotees who purely follow the mood of Vraja are located in Kṛṣṇa-loka, and those devotees who purely follow the mood of Navadvīpa are situated in Gaura-loka. Those devotees who are equally disposed towards Vraja and Navadvīpa achieve the bliss of service simultaneously in both Kṛṣna-loka and Gaura-loka. Therefore, Śrī Jīva states in the book Śrī Gopāla Campū:
yasya khalu lokasya golokas tathā go-gopāvāsa-rūpasya śvetadvīpatayā cānanya-spṛṣṭaḥ parama-śuddhatā-samudbuddha-svarūpasya tādṛṣa-jñānamaya-katipaya-mātra-prameya-pātratayā tat-tat-paramatā matā, parama-golokaḥ paramaḥ śvetadvīpa iti. (Gopāla Campū 1.1.22)
The meaning is that that supreme abode is called Goloka because it is the home to the cows and the cowherds, on other words, it is the seat of the rāsa-līlā which is of the very nature of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Furthermore, that supreme abode is known as Śvetadvīpa because it is a place of supreme purity, untouched by anything else. There, various objects of inherent rasa and full of transcendental knowledge are relished which are manifested by the inconceivable nature of that place.
The two forms of the supreme Goloka and the supreme Śvetadvīpa are indivisibly the abode of Goloka. The primary explanation of this is that even after relishing His līlā in Vraja, Kṛṣṇa is unable to attain the pleasure of relishing all the nuances of rasa. He thus accepts the bhāva (mood) and kānti (lustre) of Rādhikā who is the refuge of kṛṣṇa-rasa personified, and therefore eternally manifests Goloka as Śvetadvīpa where He engages in the eternal līlā of relishing that rasa. That bhāva is described thus:
śrī-rādhāyāḥ praṇaya-mahimā kīdṛśo vānayaivā-
svādyo yenādbhuta-madhurimā kīdṛśo vā madīyaḥ
saukhyaṁ cāsyā mad-anubhavataḥ kīdṛśaṁ veti lobhāt
tad-bhāvāḍhyaḥ samajani śacī-garbha-sindhau harīnduḥ
(Caitanya-caritāmṛta Ādi-līlā 1.6)
The meaning is this – “What is the nature and greatness of Śrī Rādhā’s love? What is My astounding sweetness that Śrī Rādhā relishes, and what type of pleasure arises in Śrī Rādhā when She experiences My sweetness?” Due to a greed to comprehend these three things, Kṛṣṇacandra took birth in the pure womb of Śacī. Herein, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmī’s esoteric intention (concerning the previous verse from Gopāla Campū) is revealed. The Vedas state:
rahasyasṁ te vadiṣyāmi—jāhnavī-tīre navadvīpe golokākhye dhāmni govindo dvi-bhujo gauraḥ sarvātmā mahā-puruṣo mahātmā mahā-yogī tri-guṇātītaḥ sattva-rūpo bhaktiṁ Ioke kaśyatīti. tad ete ślokā bhavanti (Caitanya Upaniṣad 5)
The meaning is, “Listen! I will tell you a secret. On the banks of the Jāhnavī River in Navadvīpa, which is known as Goloka, Govinda-Gauracandra will appear with two arms and a golden complexion. He who resides in all entities, the greatest of yogīs, the Supreme Person, the Supersoul, Who is beyond the jurisdiction of the three material modes of nature, Whose form is transcendental will manifest pure bhakti in this world. These verses will describe that.”
eko devaḥ sarva-rūpī mahātmā
caitanyātmā sa vai caitanya-śaktir
bhaktākāro bhakti-do bhakti-vedyaḥ
“He is the one Divinity who appears in innumerable forms, the Supreme Consciousness and as the yugāvatāra He appears as golden, red, blackish and white. He is the very nature of consciousness, possessing the cit-śakti, in the form of a devotee, bestowing bhakti and He is also knowable by bhakti.”
There are many statements of the śāstra such as āsan varṇas trayaḥ (Bhāg. 10.8.13), kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇam (Bhāg.11.5.32), yadā paśyaḥ paśyate rukma-varṇās trayaḥ (Muṇḍaka Up. 3.1.3), mahān prabhur vai (Śvetāśvatara Up.3.12) etc. that establish the non-difference between Gauracandra and Kṛṣṇa. That He exists in a golden form in the eternal Navadvīpa, which is Goloka, relishing the rasa of rādhā-kṛṣṇa-līlā is also stated in all the Vedas. Just as Śrī Kṛṣṇa took birth etc. in the Gokula of this world by the power of Yogamāyā, similarly, Śrī Gaura performs His līlā of birth from the womb of Śacī etc. in the Navadvīpa of this world by the power of Yogamāyā. This is an independent reality arising from transcendental science – not imagination born from thoughts dependent upon māyā.
evaṁ jyotirmayo devāḥ sad-ānandaḥ parāt paraḥ
ātmārāmasya tasyāsti prakṛtyā na samāgamaḥ
That Lord of Gokula is the transcendental Supreme Controller whose nature is eternally blissful. He is Superior to all and enjoys with His lovers in the realm of spiritual consciousness (cinmaya-ātma-jagat). He has no connection with māyā, the mundane potency.
Kṛṣṇa’s superior potency, His own cit-śakti manifests the līlā of Goloka or Gokula. By Her mercy, the marginal jīvas also achieve access to that līlā. The shadow of that cit-śakti is the inferior external māyā–śakti. Mahā-Vaikuṇṭha covers Goloka and its outer boundary is the abode of Brahman. Then the Virajā River is on the other side of that, which is where māyā has her location. Since He is in such a state of purity, the external potency of māyā does not associate with Kṛṣṇa, and even feels ashamed to come within the path of His sight.
māyayā’ramamāṇasya na viyogastaya saha
ātmanā ramayā reme tyakta-kālaṁ sisṛkṣayā
In relation to the external māyā potency, Kṛṣṇa is the aramamāṇa-puruṣa, in other words, He does not enjoy with Māyā. However, Māyā is not separate or severed from the Supreme Reality at any time. With a desire to create the physical world, He unites with His own cit-śakti, Ramā. His enjoyment (with Māyā) is through His glance which is the activating time-potency – that enjoyment is indirect.
Kṛṣṇa’s association with the māyā-śakti is not direct, but indirect. Then in the form of the puruṣāvatāra, Kāraṇārṇavaśāyī, who is an expansion of Mahā-Saṅkarṣaṇa of Vaikuṇṭha, the seat of divine pastimes, He glances over māyā. Even in that act of glancing He has no association with Māyā. This is because at that time, His cit-śakti Ramā, as His obedient and inseparable potency, carries the function of that glance. Along with Ramā, the external potency of Māyā, who is a maidservant of Ramā Devī, serves that expansion of Bhagavān who enjoys with Ramā. The function of time is Ramā’s potency of cause and effect. Therefore it is the creative potency, or pauruṣa (the influence of the Puruṣa, or the predominant Supreme Lord).
niyatiḥ sā ramā-devī tat-priyā tad-vaśaṁ tadā
tal-liṅgaṁ bhagavān śambhur jyotir-rūpaḥ sanātanaḥ
yā yoniḥ sāparā-śaktiḥ kāmo bījaṁ mahad dhareḥ
(The secondary process of association with Māyā is described) The cit-śakti, Ramā Devī, is the all-regulating potency and is dear to Bhagavān. At the time of creation, an effulgence from Kṛṣṇa’s expansion manifests which is inclined towards creating the material universe. That is the form of Bhagavān Śambhu, the Lord’s generative potency (liṅga) – in other words, it manifests as that specific symbol. This is but a glimmer of the eternal spiritual effulgence. This generative potency for creating the physical universe is subservient to the all-regulating potency (Ramā). The reproductive energy in the form of the female generative organ (yoni) manifests from that all-regulating potency, which is the inferior power of Māyā. The uniting of these (the liṅga and yoni) in the form of the mahat-tattva (the sum total of material energy) is a reflection of Hari’s kāma-bīja (the original desire-seed of transcendental procreation).
Saṅkarṣaṇa, the expansion of Kṛṣṇa, is endowed with the desire to create the physical universe. This first puruṣāvatāra rests on the Causal Ocean and glances at Māyā, and this glance is the immediate cause of creation. A glimmer of that effulgent glance is the generative potency of Śambhu (or liṅga) which unites with the reproductive instrument of Māyā, who is a shadow of the potency of Ramā. Then the mahat-tattva, which is but a semblance of the kāma-bīja, manifests and the act of creation proceeds. This first manifestation of desire created by Mahā-Viṣṇu is known as hiraṇmaya–mahat-tattva (the effulgent sum total of material elements). This is the mental principle of willingness to create. The esoteric consideration of this is that creation is due to the desire of the Puruṣa, the Supreme Predominator, who uses the efficient (nimitta) and material (upādāna) causes.* The efficient cause is Māyā, or the yoni, and the material cause is Śambhu, or the liṅga. Mahā-Viṣṇu is the Puruṣa, the Supreme Predominator, or the Instigator of His own will (icchāmaya-kartā). The ingredients of the primordial material nature (pradhāna-tattva) are the material cause, and the receptacle is Māyā, the prakṛti-tattva, or principle of material nature. The Desire Principle (icchāmaya-tattva) who unites them both is the Puruṣa, the Creator of the physical universe, who is an expansion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. These are the three creators. The kāma-bīja of Goloka is transcendentally pure and spiritual, and the kāma-bīja of the mundane realm is the desire-seed manifested from the shadow-potency along with energies such as time etc. The first kāma-bīja which is mentioned is the prototype of Māyā and is extremely far from her; the second kāma-bīja which is mentioned is a māyika reflection. The tenth and fifteenth ślokas describe the progressive origin of Śambhu.
* Translator’s Note: The efficient (nimitta) and material (upādāna) causes can be explained thus – to create a pot one needs clay and a potter. The clay itself is the upādāna-karaṇa, or material cause. The potter who fashions the clay is the nimitta-karaṇa, or efficient cause. In the case of creation, Māyā is the efficient cause (since she provides the raw ingredients of material nature) and Śambhu is the material cause (since he supplies the instruments, ie. the jīvas). The instrumental cause activates the ingredient cause.
liṅga-yony-ātmikā jātā imā maheśvarī-prajāḥ
All creatures in this world are the offspring of Maheśvarī (material nature) and are the embodiment of the male and female reproductive organs.
The four quarters of creation (catuṣ-pāda-vibhūti) are the opulence of Bhagavān. Within them, aśoka (freedom from suffering), amṛta (freedom from death) and abhaya (fearlessness) and the opulences found in the tri-pāda-vibhūti, or three quarters of Vaikuṇṭha, Goloka etc. In this māyika world, the Devas, humans etc., as well as all the various planets are the specific great opulences of Māyā. All things constitute the combination of the liṅga and yoni (the male and female reproductive organs) and are differentiated as efficient and material causes, in other words, they are produced by the uniting of the liṅga and yoni. Whatever information has been discovered through mundane science is all of nature of this combination. Trees, creepers and all other material objects are inherently the combination of puruṣa and prakṛti. There is some special significance in that although words such as liṅga, yoni etc. are all considered to be vulgar, in scientific textbooks however, all such statements pointing towards reality are most acceptable and meaningful. Vulgarity is merely a socio-behavioral concept. However, science and transcendental science cannot eliminate the real thing out of respect to social conformity. Therefore, when the māyika kāma-bīja, the foundational principle of the material world, is being shown, all these words are inevitably used. The puruṣa-śakti (or the predominating active potency) and the strī-śakti (or the predominated active potency) are to be understood by the use of all these words.
śaktimān puruṣaḥ so’yaṁ liṅga-rūpī maheśvaraḥ
tasminn āvirabhūl-liṅge mahā-viṣṇur jagat-patiḥ
The great controller Śambhu, in the form of the liṅga, is the predominator (puruṣa) who represents the material cause of creation. He unites with the potency in the form of Māyā who represents the efficient cause of creation. The Lord of the universe, Mahā-Viṣṇu partially manifests within him through His glance.
Śrī Nārāyaṇa, who is non-different from Kṛṣṇa, exists within Paravyoma (Vaikuṇṭha) which is predominated by transcendental splendour. His manifestation of Mahā-Saṅkarṣaṇa is an expansion of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s vilāsa-vigraha (pastime form).* By the power of His cit-śakti within one of His expansions, then at the time of creation, while eternally resting on the Virajā, which is between the spiritual world and the māyika world, He glances towards the shadowy māyā-śakti who is situated at a distance. At that time, Śambhu, the semblance of that spiritual glance, the form of Rudra, the presiding deity of pradhāna (the primordial material nature) who is endowed with dravya-śakti (the potency to produce the physical elements) unites with Māyā who represents the efficient cause of creation. However, without the influence of Mahā-Viṣṇu, who is Kṛṣṇa’s direct personification of divine strength, he cannot achieve anything. Therefore, the mahat-tattva can only manifest when Kṛṣṇa’s expansion, the first puruṣavatāra Mahā-Viṣṇu, who is an expansion of Mahā-Saṅkarṣaṇa, who is Himself an expansion of Kṛṣṇa, gives sanction to the endeavours of Śiva, Māyā-śakti and pradhāna. When favoured by Mahā-Viṣṇu, Śiva and Śakti gradually create the false-ego (ahaṅkāra), the five elements (pañca–bhūta), the five sense-objects (tanmātra) and the māyika senses of the jīva. All the jīvas are expansions, ray-like particles, that arise from Mahā-Viṣṇu. This will be explained later.
* Translator’s Note: Saṅkarṣaṇa is the expansion of Vāsudeva, the expansion of Baladeva, who is the expansion of Kṛṣṇa.