Santoṣa: "In a temple of jewels in Vṛndāvana, underneath a desire tree, Śrī Śrī Rādhā-Govinda, served by Their most confidential associates, sit upon an effulgent throne. I offer my humble obeisances unto Them."
- preṣṭālībhiḥ sevyamānau smarāmi
- (CC Adi 1.16)
So, description of Vṛndāvana, Vṛndāvana and Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa situated there. The Vṛndāvana... Vana means forest, and vṛnda means tulasī. Mostly there are tulasī plants and other trees also, but all the trees are living desire trees, spiritual. They can serve Kṛṣṇa in any way, desire. They have become trees by their voluntary desire. They're all spiritual beings—there is no force—but everyone has got a particular tendency to serve Kṛṣṇa in a different way. So these trees and plants, they are also living beings. They are not ordinary living beings, but they have decided to serve Kṛṣṇa by supplying fruits and flowers. They want that service. Everyone has got his particular propensity. So someone is serving as the land there, someone is serving as the throne, someone is serving as the supplying agent of fruits and flowers, someone is engaged in His service as the gopīs, confidential servitors. The cows, calves, everything—they are all different living entities. They are not made of these material things, material body. Ānanda-cinmaya-rasa-pratibhāvitābhis tābhir ya eva nija-rūpatayā kalābhiḥ (Bs. 5.37). They are all also expansion of Kṛṣṇa's pleasure potency. In one sense they are also Kṛṣṇa; they are not different from Kṛṣṇa. Śakti-śaktimatayor abheda: "The power and the powerful, they are not different, identical." Just like the sun and the sunshine. So in the sun globe there is heat and light, and the sunshine, there is heat and light. So, so far heat and light is concerned, they are one. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa and Kṛṣṇa's pleasure potency, ānanda-cinmaya, ahlādinī... It is already described, rādhā kṛṣṇa-praṇaya-vikṛtir hlādinī-śaktir asmāt.
So whatever description is there of Vṛndāvana, that is expansion of Kṛṣṇa's pleasure potency. They are not different. Therefore in the beginning it is said, dīvyad, "shining," or "divine," "transcendental." So we should not consider Vṛndāvana as ordinary forest. Here we have got Vṛndāvana on this planet. That is also not ordinary forest. The exactly the same Vṛndāvana as it is Goloka Vṛndāvana... There is no difference. Therefore Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura says that
- viṣaya chāḍiyā kabe śuddha ha 'be mana
- kabe hāma herabo, śrī-vṛndāvana
Viṣaya chāḍiyā. Our present position is that we are materially diseased, so we have to become free from the material disease. Material disease means sense gratification, and the most formidable disease is sex. This is called material disease. So viṣaya chāḍiyā. We have to be, become free from the contamination of viṣaya, material enjoyment. This is the statement of Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura.
- viṣaya chāḍiyā kabe śuddha ha 'be mana
- kabe hāma herabo śrī-vṛndāvana
"When my mind will be cleansed of all material desires, then I shall be able to see what is Vṛndāvana." It is very difficult to see Vṛndāvana with material desires. Bhakti means the first qualification is to become free from all material desires. Sarvopādhi-vinirmuktam.
- tat-paratvena nirmalam
- hṛṣīkena hṛṣīkeśa-
- sevanaṁ bhaktir ucyate
- (CC Madhya 19.170)
- ānukūlyena kṛṣṇānu-
- śīlanaṁ bhaktir uttama
- (Brs. 1.1.11)
You know all these definition of bhakti given in our Nectar of Devotion. So spiritual life means free from material desires. And material desires mean just to hanker after sense gratification. This is material desire. When we have no more desire for sense gratification, then we should think that we are on the spiritual platform.
So this description of Vṛndāvana is spiritually described; therefore in the beginning the word is used, dīvyad. Dīvyad means divine. Kṛṣṇa says, janma karma ca me divyam (BG 4.9). This is not ordinary material thing. So desire tree also described in the Brahma-saṁhitā: Cintāmaṇi-prakara-sadmasu kalpa-vṛkṣa (Bs. 5.29)—the same kalpa-vṛkṣa-lakṣāvṛteṣu surabhīr abhipālayantam, lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sambhrama-sevyamānam. This lakṣmī-sahasra-śata-sevyamānam is described here as preṣṭhālībhiḥ sevyamānau. Preṣṭha-ālībhiḥ. Preṣṭha means very dear, and ālī means gopīs, associates of Rādhārāṇī, friends. So they are all Lakṣmīs, goddess of fortune. Lakṣmī... You have heard the name Lakṣmī, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa, associates of Nārāyaṇa. Kṛṣṇa is Nārāyaṇa. So all these gopīs, they are expansion of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, the original Lakṣmī. This is spiritual world. It is not impersonal, neither nirākāra, formless. Everything form, but that form is different from this form. That form is sat-cid-ānanda form—eternal, full of bliss, full of knowledge. This is not this material form. When we speak of formless, that means without any material form. Formless does not mean Kṛṣṇa and His expansion, they are formless. They are not of material form. Aprakṛta, not material. Here everything is prakṛta. It is not, neither, eternal nor blissful nor full of knowledge. It is temporary, full of ignorance and always miserable, this form. We can understand it.