Even if in the future they are able to manufacture some machine whose speed may be accelerated to the velocity of the wind or mind, the mundaners will still be unable to imagine reaching the planets in the spiritual sky
SB Canto 2
Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto Him who is the associate of the members of the Yadu dynasty and who is always a problem for the nondevotees. He is the supreme enjoyer of both the material and spiritual worlds, yet He enjoys His own abode in the spiritual sky. There is no one equal to Him because His transcendental opulence is immeasurable.
There are two sides of the transcendental manifestations of the Supreme Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. For the pure devotees He is the constant companion, as in the case of His becoming one of the family members of the Yadu dynasty, or His becoming the friend of Arjuna, or His becoming the associate neighbor of the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, as the son of Nanda-Yaśodā, the friend of Sudāmā, Śrīdāmā and Madhumaṅgala, or the lover of the damsels of Vrajabhūmi, etc. That is part of His personal features. And by His impersonal feature He expands the rays of the brahma-jyotir, which is limitless and all-pervasive. Part of this all-pervasive brahma-jyotir, which is compared to the sun rays, is covered by the darkness of the mahat-tattva, and this insignificant part is known as the material world. In this material world there are innumerable universes like the one we can experience, and in each of them there are hundreds of thousands of planets like the one we are inhabiting. The mundaners are more or less captivated by the unlimited expansion of the rays of the Lord, but the devotees are concerned more with His personal form, from which everything is emanating (janmādy asya yataḥ (SB 1.1.1)). As the sun rays are concentrated in the sun disc, the brahma-jyotir is concentrated in Goloka Vṛndāvana, the topmost spiritual planet in the spiritual sky. The immeasurable spiritual sky is full of spiritual planets, named Vaikuṇṭhas, far beyond the material sky. The mundaners have insufficient information of even the mundane sky, so what can they think of the spiritual sky? Therefore the mundaners are always far, far away from Him. Even if in the future they are able to manufacture some machine whose speed may be accelerated to the velocity of the wind or mind, the mundaners will still be unable to imagine reaching the planets in the spiritual sky. So the Lord and His residential abode will always remain a myth or a mysterious problem, but for the devotees the Lord will always be available as an associate.
In the spiritual sky His opulence is immeasurable. The Lord resides in all the spiritual planets, the innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets, by expanding His plenary portions along with His liberated devotee associates, but the impersonalists who want to merge in the existence of the Lord are allowed to merge as one of the spiritual sparks of the brahma-jyotir. They have no qualifications for becoming associates of the Lord either in the Vaikuṇṭha planets or in the supreme planet, Goloka Vṛndāvana, described in the Bhagavad-gītā as mad-dhāma and here in this verse as the sva-dhāma of the Lord.
This mad-dhāma or sva-dhāma is described in the Bhagavad-gītā (15.6) as follows:
- na tad bhāsayate sūryo
- na śaśāṅko na pāvakaḥ
- yad gatvā na nivartante
- tad dhāma paramaṁ mama
The Lord's sva-dhāma does not require any sunlight or moonlight or electricity for illumination. That dhāma, or place, is supreme, and whoever goes there never comes back to this material world.
The Vaikuṇṭha planets and the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet are all self-illuminating, and the rays scattered by those sva-dhāma of the Lord constitute the existence of the brahma-jyotir. As further confirmed in the Vedas like the Muṇḍaka (2.2.10), Kaṭha (2.2.15) and Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣads (6.14):
- na tatra sūryo bhāti na candra-tārakaṁ
- nemā vidyuto bhānti kuto 'yam agniḥ
- tam eva bhāntam anu bhāti sarvaṁ
- tasya bhāsā sarvam idaṁ vibhāti
In the sva-dhāma of the Lord there is no need of sun, moon or stars for illumination. Nor is there need of electricity, so what to speak of ignited lamps? On the other hand, it is because those planets are self-illuminating that all effulgence has become possible, and whatever there is that is dazzling is due to the reflection of that sva-dhāma.
One who is dazzled by the effulgence of the impersonal brahma-jyotir cannot know the personal transcendence; therefore in the Īśopaniṣad (15) it is prayed that the Lord shift His dazzling effulgence so that the devotee can see the real reality. It is spoken thus:
- hiraṇmayena pātreṇa
- satyasyāpihitaṁ mukham
- tat tvaṁ pūṣann apāvṛṇu
- satya-dharmāya dṛṣṭaye
"O Lord, You are the maintainer of everything, both material and spiritual, and everything flourishes by Your mercy. Your devotional service, or bhakti-yoga, is the actual principle of religion, satya-dharma, and I am engaged in that service. So kindly protect me by showing Your real face. Please, therefore, remove the veil of Your brahma-jyotir rays so that I can see Your form of eternal bliss and knowledge."