Just as there are many orbs in the material world called stars or planets, in the spiritual world there are many spiritual planets called Vaikuṇṭhalokas. The spiritual universe, however, is situated far, far away from the cluster of material universes. Material scientists cannot even estimate the number of planets and stars within this universe. They are also incapable of traveling to other stars by spaceship. According to the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 8.20), there is also a spiritual world:
- paras tasmāt tu bhāvo ’nyo ‘vyakto ’vyaktāt sanātanaḥ
- yaḥ sa sarveṣu bhūteṣu naśyatsu na vinaśyati
“Yet there is another unmanifested nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is.” Thus there is another nature, which is superior to material nature. The word bhāva or svabhāva refers to nature. The spiritual nature is eternal, and even when all the material universes are destroyed, the planets in the spiritual world abide. They remain exactly as the spirit soul remains even after the annihilation of the material body. That spiritual world is called the aprākṛta (antimaterial) world. In this transcendental, spiritual world or universe, the highest planetary system is known as Goloka Vṛndāvana. That is the abode of Lord Kṛṣṇa Himself, who is also all-spiritual. Kṛṣṇa is known there as Aprākṛta-madana. The name Madana refers to Cupid, but Kṛṣṇa is the spiritual Madana. His body is not material like the body of Cupid in this material universe. Kṛṣṇa’s body is all-spiritual—sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (BS 5.1). Therefore He is called Aprākṛta-madana. He is also known as Manmatha-madana, which means that He is attractive even to Cupid. Sometimes Kṛṣṇa’s activities and attractive features are misinterpreted by gross materialists who accuse Him of being immoral because He danced with the gopīs, but such an accusation results from not knowing that Kṛṣṇa is beyond this material world. His body is sac-cid-ānanda-vigraha (BS 5.1), completely spiritual. There is no material contamination in His body, and one should not consider His body a lump of flesh and bones. The Māyāvādī philosophers conceive of Kṛṣṇa’s body as material, and this is an abominable, grossly materialistic conception. Just as Kṛṣṇa is completely spiritual, the gopīs are also spiritual, and this is confirmed in the Brahma-saṁhitā (BS 5.38):
- tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ
- goloka eva nivasaty akhilātma-bhūto
- govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi
“I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord. He resides in His own realm, Goloka, with Rādhā, who resembles His own spiritual figure and who embodies the ecstatic potency (hlādinī). Their companions are Her confidantes, who embody extensions of Her bodily form and who are imbued and permeated with ever-blissful spiritual rasa.” The gopīs are also of the same spiritual quality (nija-rūpatayā) because they are expansions of Kṛṣṇa’s pleasure potency. Neither Kṛṣṇa nor the gopīs have anything to do with lumps of matter or the material conception. In the material world the living entity is encaged within a material body, and due to ignorance he thinks that he is the body. Therefore here the enjoyment of lusty desires between male and female is all material. One cannot compare the lusty desires of a materialistic man to the transcendental lusty desires of Kṛṣṇa. Unless one is advanced in spiritual science, he cannot understand the lusty desires between Kṛṣṇa and the gopīs. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta the lusty desire of the gopīs is compared to gold. The lusty desires of a materialistic man, on the other hand, are compared to iron. At no stage can iron and gold be equated. The living entities—moving and nonmoving—are part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa; therefore they originally have the same kind of lusty desire as His. But when this lusty desire is expressed through matter, it is abominable. When a living entity is spiritually advanced and liberated from material bondage, he can understand Kṛṣṇa in truth. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 4.9):
- janma karma ca me divyam evaṁ yo vetti tattvataḥ
- tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti so ’rjuna
“One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna.” When one can understand the body of Kṛṣṇa as well as the Lord’s lusty desires, one is immediately liberated. A conditioned soul encaged within the material body cannot understand Kṛṣṇa. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 7.3):
- manuṣyāṇāṁ sahasreṣu kaścid yatati siddhaye
- yatatām api siddhānāṁ kaścin māṁ vetti tattvataḥ
“Out of many thousands among men, one may endeavor for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” The word siddhaye indicates liberation. Only after being liberated from material conditioning can one understand Kṛṣṇa. When one can understand Kṛṣṇa as He is (tattvataḥ), one actually lives in the spiritual world, although apparently living within the material body. This technical science can be understood when one is actually spiritually advanced.
In his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (1.2.187), Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī says:
- īhā yasya harer dāsye karmaṇā manasā girā
- nikhilāsv apy avasthāsu jīvan-muktaḥ sa ucyate
When a person in this material world desires only to serve Kṛṣṇa with love and devotion, he is liberated, even though functioning within this material world. As the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 14.26) confirms:
- māṁ ca yo ’vyabhicāreṇa bhakti-yogena sevate
- sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate
“One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus comes to the level of Brahman.” Simply by engaging in the loving service of the Lord one can attain liberation. As stated in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 18.54), brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati na kāṅkṣati. A person who is highly advanced in spiritual knowledge and who has attained the brahma-bhūta (SB 4.30.20) stage neither laments nor hankers for anything material. That is the stage of spiritual realization.
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura considers the brahma-bhūta stage in two divisions—svarūpa-gata and vastu-gata. One who has understood Kṛṣṇa in truth but is still maintaining some material connection is known to be situated in his svarūpa, his original consciousness. When that original consciousness is completely spiritual, it is called Kṛṣṇa consciousness. One who lives in such consciousness is actually living in Vṛndāvana. He may live anywhere; material location doesn’t matter. When by the grace of Kṛṣṇa one thus advances, he becomes completely uncontaminated by the material body and mind and at that time factually lives in Vṛndāvana. That stage is called vastu-gata.
One should execute his spiritual activities in the svarūpa-gata stage of consciousness. He should also chant such spiritual mantras as oṁ namo bhagavate vāsudevāya and the cin-mayī Gāyatrī—klīṁ kṛṣṇāya govindāya gopījana-vallabhāya svāhā and klīṁ kāma-devāya vidmahe puṣpa-bāṇāya dhīmahi tan no ’naṅgaḥ pracodayāt. These are the Kāma-gāyatrī or kāma-bīja mantras. One should be initiated by a bona fide spiritual master and worship Kṛṣṇa with these transcendental mantras.
As explained by Kṛṣṇadāsa Kavirāja Gosvāmī in the previous verse and the current verse:
- vṛndāvane ‘aprākṛta navīna madana’
- kāma-gāyatrī kāma-bīje yāṅra upāsana
- puruṣa, yoṣit, kibā sthāvara-jaṅgama
- sarva-cittākarṣaka, sākṣāt manmatha-madana
A person who is properly purified and initiated by the spiritual master worships the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, by chanting this mantra, the Kāma-gāyatrī with the kāma-bīja. As the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 18.65) confirms, one should engage in transcendental worship in order to be fit for being attracted by Kṛṣṇa, the all-attractive:
- man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru
- mām evaiṣyasi satyaṁ te pratijāne priyo ’si me
“Always think of Me and become My devotee. Worship Me and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend.” Since every living entity is part and parcel of Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa is naturally attractive. Due to the material covering, one’s attraction for Kṛṣṇa is checked. One is not usually attracted by Kṛṣṇa in the material world, but as soon as one is liberated from material conditioning, he is naturally attracted. Therefore it is said in this verse, sarva-cittākarṣaka: “Everyone is naturally attracted by Kṛṣṇa.” This attraction is within everyone’s heart, and when the heart is cleansed, that attraction is manifested (ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam (CC Antya 20.12)).