|NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Bhaktivinoda Thakura > Jaiva Dharma > Chapter-31|
Autumn came. After five hours of night, the moon rose. Vijaya-kumara thought, "I should see Shraddhavali and Sundaracala. Vijaya-kumara had studied the method of worshiping the Lord in pure madhura-rasa. He liked only Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vraja and nothing else. He was always rapt in thinking of Lord Krishna's pastimes with the gopis in Vraja. He had heard that Lord Mahaprabhu saw Sundaracala as the land of Vraja. Vijaya-kumara set out for Sundaracala. He crossed the Balagandi and began to proceed toward Shraddhavali. As he walked he saw gardens on both sides. Finally Vrindavana appeared before him. Plunged in an ocean of spiritual love, Vijaya-kumara said, "Ah! How fortunate I have become today! Today I can see Vraja-puri, which even Brahma and the demigods cannot easily attain. Here is a forest garden. Here, in a bower of malati and madhavi vines, Shri Krishna, the master of my life, is joking with the gopis." Pushing aside all feelings of awe and veneration, agitated Vijaya-kumara ran to that place. As he was running, Vijaya-kumara fainted and fell unconscious to the ground. A gentle breeze blew of Vijaya-kumara. After a short time Vijaya-kumara became conscious again. He looked in one direction and then another. Not seeing the Lord's pastimes, he became unhappy at heart. Eventually Vijaya-kumara returned home. He went to bed. He did not tell anyone what he had seen. The sight of Lord Krishna's pastimes in Vraja made Vijaya-kumara's heart blossom with joy. In his heart Vijaya-kumara thought, “Today I have seen something very confidential. Tomorrow I will tell my spiritual master." After a few moments he remembered that a person who sees the Lord's confidential pastimes should not reveal that fact to anyone. Thinking about this again and again, he gradually fell asleep. When he rose in the morning he could think of nothing else. He honored prasadam, went ot the home of Kashi-mishra, and offered dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master. His spiritual master respectfully embraced him and asked about his welfare. Vijaya-kumara kept his eyes on his spiritual master's lotus feet. With a steady heart he asked about the madhura-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, you have been merciful to me without limit. I would like to ask a question about the confidential truths of the splendid madhura-rasa. I have been reading Shri Ujjvala-nilamani, and some parts of it I do not understand." Hearing this, the spiritual master replied, "Baba, you are a very dear disciple of mine. You may place your questions before me. I will answer as far as I am able.
Vijaya-kumara said, "O master, it is said that among the five primary rasas, the madhura-rasa is the most confidential. And why not? Madhura-rasa eternally possesses all the virtues present in shanta, dasya, sakhya, and vatsalya rasas. madhura-rasa is the most wonderful and beautiful of all rasas. How can there be any doubt? Persons who follow the path of dry renunciation are completely unqualified to understand the truth of madhura-rasa. On the other hand, the path followed by the materialists is not a good path to follow. The Vraja madhura-rasa is completely different from material sexual activities. The madhura-rasa cannot be understood very easily. If the madhura-rasa is so wonderful, why is it so much like the affairs of ordinary men and women in the material world?
Gosvami: Baba Vijaya-kumara, you know very well that the wonderful variety present in the material world is only a perverted reflection of the wonderful variety present in the spiritual world. The confidential truth here is that in a reflection everything is the reverse of the original. Thus what is highest in the original is lowest in the reflection, and what is lowest in the original is highest in the reflection. When we look in a mirror, we see our limbs reflected in reverse. That is easy to understand. In the same way, when the shadow of the Supreme Lord's inconceivable potency is reflected in the material world, that reflected image is in reverse. Thus when the spiritual rasas are reflected in the material world, that reflected image is in reverse. The Absolute truth has a great variety of unprecedented and wonderful happinesses. The highest stage of those happinesses is the rasas. The conditioned souls think of these rasas only in terms of their material reflections. Some thinkers claim that the spiritual truth has no variety. These persons try to become one with the Supreme. They think variety exists only in the material world and in the world of spirit there is no variety. These persons cannot understand the truth about the spiritual world. However, a person who takes shelter of logic and simple common sense can easily understand the truth. The reality is that the Supreme is the resting place of all rasas. Therefore wonderful variety exists in Him. The great variety of material rasas are all reflected from Him. Therefore, by looking at the material rasas we can understand something of the original spiritual rasas, which cannot be perceived by the material senses. A great variety of rasas exist within the Supreme. That much may be understood. The lowest rasa in the spiritual world is the peaceful rasa called shanta-rasa. Above that is dasya-rasa. Above dasya-rasa is sakhya-rasa. Above sakhya-rasa is vatsalya-rasa. Then, above them all, is madhura-rasa. However, when these rasas are reflected in the material world, their positions are all inverted. Thus, in the material world the madhura-rasa is in the lowest position. Above that is vatsalya-rasa. Above vatsalya-rasa is sakhya-rasa. Above sakhya-rasa is dasya-rasa. Then, above them all, is shanta-rasa. They who analyze the different rasas in the material world come to the conclusion that madhura-rasa is the lowest of all. That is why the activities of madhura-rasa in the material world are very unimportant and are a source of embarrassment. However, in the spiritual world the madhura-rasa is the most pure of all rasas. It is filled with purity, splendor, and wonderful sweetness. In the spiritual world when Krishna, the supreme male, meets with His potencies, who are all female, Their activities are supremely pure. Their activities are the root of spiritual reality. However, the perverted reflection of those activities in the material world is degraded and a source of embarrassment. The truth is that Krishna is the only male, and His potencies are all female. Therefore, in this rasa in the spiritual world there is nothing that is impious or goes against the teachings of religion. In the material world one individual soul is the enjoyer and another individual soul is the enjoyed. In this way the material madhura-rasa contradicts the original spiritual reality. That is why the material madhura-rasa is the resting place of revulsion and embarrassment. The truth is that it is not possible for one individual soul to be the enjoyer of another individual soul. All individual souls are meant to be enjoyed, and Lord Krishna is the only enjoyer. It is because it is so much in opposition to the true nature of the individual soul that the material madhura-rasa is so abominable, repulsive, and embarrassing. How can there be any doubt? Look, consider the nature of a reflection in a mirror. There must be some similarity between the reflected material couples in the material world and their origin in Lord k's supreme pure transcendental pastimes. However, the difference between them is that one is the most abominable and the other is the most exalted.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, now my life is a success. I fully accept your very pleasing conclusion. Now my doubt is destroyed. Now I am able to understand the madhura-rasa present in the spiritual world. Ah, the very word "madhura-rasa" is sweet. It is spiritual and free from the touch of matter. It is the source of supreme transcendental bliss. Who is so unfortunate that he will prefer the happiness of shanta-rasa to the sweet happiness of madhura-rasa? O master, I am very eager to understand the madhura-rasa. Please be merciful to me.
Gosvami: Baba, please listen carefully, and I will speak. In madhura-rasa Krishna is the vishaya and His beloveds are the ashraya. Their meeting is the alambana.
Vijaya-kumara: What are the features of Krishna when He is the vishaya in madhura-rasa?
Gosvami: Ah! That is a very pleasing question. Krishna's complexion is the color of a new raincloud. He is charming. All His features are sweet and charming. He is the strongest. His youthfulness is always new and fresh. He speaks eloquently and sweetly. He is intelligent. glorious, sober, wise, clever, cheerful, grateful, expert, controlled by love, profound, the best, famous, charming to all women, always new and fresh, the enjoyer of incomparable transcendental pastimes, handsome, the most dear, and expert at playing the flute. The supreme male Krishna has many transcendental qualities like these. The glory of all the Kamadevas is at once eclipsed by a mere glimpse of the glory of Krishna's feet. Lord Krishna's sidelong glance enchants the hearts of all. Krishna is the great treasure of transcendental pastimes. He is the good fortune attained by the gopis.
Vijaya-kumara: Krishna has a great host of wonderful spiritual qualities. Krishna is the only hero of the wonderful and spiritual madhura-rasa. Now I can fully understand all this. Previously I studied many scriptures. I had praise only for material logic. Even though I would sometimes meditate on Lord Krishna, I did not have firm faith in Him. But now, by your mercy, a little bit of devotion, devotion that is the root of attraction to Krishna, has risen in my heart. Now that my heart has become purified by devotion, I have attained the direct perception of Lord Krishna. I turned away from Krishna. But still Krishna never left my heart. Ah, how merciful He is! Now I can understand these words (Bhakti-rasamrita-sindhu 2.5.131-132):
sarvathaiva duruho 'yam
"Nondevotees cannot understand the transcendental mellows experienced between the devotee and the Lord. In all respects, this is very difficult, but one who has dedicated everything to the lotus feet of Krishna can taste the transcendental mellows.*
hridi sattvojjvale badham
svadate sa raso matah
"When one transcends the status of ecstatic love and thus becomes situated on the highest platform of pure goodness, one is understood to have clensed the heart of all material contamination. In that pure stage of life, one taste this nectar, and this tasting capacity is called `rasa', or transcendental mood."*
O master, now I can directly understand that the true rasas are the splendid spiritual rasas in the heart. The so-called rasas in the material world are not the true rasas. The true rasas are in the spiritual world. Each living being is a tiny particle of spirit, a soul. When the soul becomes rapt in the meditation of devotional service (bhakti-samadhi), then the spiritual rasas are manifested in him. By the mercy of the spiritual master one is able to understand both the soul's pure original, spiritual identity, and the soul's conditioned existence in the material world. One who understands this has no doubts.
Gosvami: Baba Vijaya-kumara, all you say is true. To further remove any doubts you may still have, I will explain more about the spiritual truth. Tell me: What is the relationship of pure truth and mixed truth?
Vijaya-kumara: (offering dandavat obeisances to his spiritual master's feet) O master, only by your mercy I will be able to speak properly. If my explanations are faulty, then please be merciful and correct me. That which truly exists is called “existence" (satta). Thus it is said that there is “true existence of a particular place" (sthiti-satta), “true existence of a form" (rupa-satta), "true existence of certain qualities" (guna-satta), and "true existence of certain activities" (kriya-satta). True existence (satta) has neither beginning nor end. True existence is manifested in an eternal present, uncontaminated by past or future. It is filled with many great wonders and it is perfectly pure in nature. That is pure existence (shuddha-sattva). Pure existence is manifested by the Lord's pure spiritual potency (shuddha-cit-shakti). The material world of maya, where past and future are manifested, is only a shadow of the original spiritual potency (cit-shakti). When something is seen to begin its existence in the world of maya, that beginning comes from the material mode of passion. When something is seen to come to an end in the world of maya, that ending comes form the material mode of ignorance. These kinds of existence are all mixed. The pure spirit soul, however, is unmixed, pure existence (shuddha-sattva). The form, qualities, and activities of the pure soul are all pure existence (shuddha-sattva). However, when the individual spirit soul is imprisoned by maya, the the soul's qualities are seen to be mixed with the material modes of passion and ignorance.
Gosvami: Baba, your analysis is very subtle. Now please tell me: How does the living entity's heart become enlightened with pure existence?
Vijaya-kumara: As long as he remains imprisoned in the material world, the soul does not manifest its original, pure existence. Only the is the soul's original, pure form manifested. The soul's original form is not manifested as a result of impersonal speculation (jnana-ceshta) or fruitive work (karma-ceshta). How can one become clean if he washes himself with dirt? Spiritual knowledge is like fire. With the fire of knowledge one should burn away the contamination of materialism. How does one attain the spiritual happiness that comes from washing away the contamination of matter? By the mercy of Krishna and the Vaishnavas one attains devotional service. By engaging in devotional service one regains his original spiritual identity. When that original identity is regained, the heart becomes effulgent with pure spiritual existence.
Gosvami: Baba, I am very happy to teach a qualified student like you. What other questions do you have?
Vijaya-kumara: Previously you said that there are four kinds of heroes: dhirodatta, dhira-lalita, dhira-prashanta, and dhirodhatta. Which kind of hero is Krishna?
Gosvami: Krishna si all four of these heroes. If one asks how a personality can be beheld in four quite opposing ways, the answer is that the Lord is the reservoir of all transcendental qualities and activities. Therefore, His different aspects can be analyzed according to the exhibition of His limitless variety of pastimes, and as such there is no contradiction.*
Vijaya-kumara: If you are merciful, then please kindly explain all this. (speaking these words, Vijaya-kumara fell, with tears in his eyes, at the feet of his spiritual master. The saintly Gosvami lifted him up, embraced him, and, tears flowing from his own eyes, began to speak.
Gosvami: In madhura-rasa Krishna assumes two roles: that of husband and that of paramour.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, Krishna is our eternal husband. How can He be a paramour?
Gosvami: This is very confidential. In the realm of spiritual activities, madhura-rasa is a secretly hidden jewel. Among the many jewels of madhura-rasa, the jewel where Krishna assumes the role of paramour (parakiya) is the best, the Kaustubha jewel.
Vijaya-kumara: The devotees who have taken shelter of madhura-rasa worship Krishna as their husband. What is this secret, that Krishna can be a paramour?
Gosvami: If the Supreme is impersonal and without qualities, then there is no possibility of a rasa with Him. If He is impersonal, the Veda's declaration, "raso vai sah" (The Supreme Personality of Godhead is the reservoir of transcendental rasas) has no meaning. If the Supreme has neither qualities nor happiness, then He cannot have any contact with rasa. Only if He has qualities may He have contact with rasa. The rasas are manifested in the heart. The rasas cannot be manifested in relation to an impersonal qualityless Supreme. They are manifest only in relation to the Supreme Person. In santa-rasa the Lord's supreme power and opulence are prominent. The dasya-rasa, where the Lord's position as the supreme master is prominent, is above shanta-rasa. The sakhya-rasa, where the idea that one is the Lord's equal is prominent, is above dasya-rasa. The vatsalya-rasa, where the idea that one is the Lord's superior is prominent, is above sakhya-rasa. The madhura-rasa is above the vatsalya-rasa. It is above all the other rasas. In madhura-rasa, parakiya is above svakiya. These two are based on “atma" (myself) and "para" (another person). The one means that one is Krishna's, and the other means that one belongs to another. These two opposites are both manifested in relation to the Supreme Person. In one part of Krishna's pastimes, svakiya love is manifested, and in another part of His pastimes parakiya love is manifested. When the hero and heroine passionately meet, that is the wonderful parakiya-rasa. Parakiya-rasa is much greater than svakiya-rasa. The svakiya-rasa is dry in comparison, and the parakiya-rasa is blossoming with happiness. When Krishna is the hero, parakiya-rasa is not at all abominable. If an individual soul is the hero, then one can consider whether his actions follow the path of religion or oppose it. If an individual soul is the hero in parakiya love, then that is very abominable. Therefore philosophers affirm that an individual soul who becomes a paramour is very reprehensible. Shrila Rupa Gosvami explains that in books of ordinary material rhetoric (alankara-shastra) it is accepted that a paramour is in an inferior position. This is true for a material paramour, but it is not true for Shri Krishna, the spiritual Supreme Personality of Godhead, the origin of all incarnations.
Vijaya-kumara: Lord Krishna then appears as both husband and paramour. Please first explain His role as husband.
Gosvami: When He accepts a girl's hand in marriage, then He is the husband.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of His role as paramour and His parakiya-rasa?
Gosvami: When love becomes everything for Him, and when, When, passionately desiring another's wife, He jumps over the rules of religion, then He is a paramour.When He ignores the religious rules that govern this life and the next, and when He has only contempt for the institution of marraige, and when He thus offers Himself to a girl, then Lord Krishna enjoys the parakiya-rasa. In parakiya-rasa there are two kinds of heroines: 1. an unmarried girl, and 2. the wife of another.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the nature of svakiya-rasa?
Gosvami: When He accepts a girl's hand in marriage, becomes her husband, and protects her, and when she is always faithful to Him, that is svakiya-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: When does Shri Krishna accept the svakiya and parakiya rasas?
Gosvami: When He marries the queens in Dvaraka, He accepts svakiya-rasa, and when He becoems the lover of the girls of Vraja, He accepts the parakiya-rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: What is the position of these two kinds of beloveds in Lord Krishna's unmanifested pastimes?
Gosvami: That is very confidential. You know that Lord Krishna's opulences are four quarters. Three quarters are the spiritual world, and one quarter is the material world. Within that one quarter of the Lord's opulences exist the material universes that have fourteen planetary systems. On the boundary that divides the material and spiritual world flows the Viraja River. On the farther shore of the Viraja is the spiritual world. The spiritual world is enclosed by a wall of light called the Brahmajyoti. Beyond that wall may be seen the spiritual sky of Vaikuntha. In Vaikuntha the Lord's opulence is prominent. There Lord Narayanacandra, the king of kings, is served by numberless spiritual opulences. In Vaikuntha the Lord accepts only the svakiya-rasa. There Shri, Bhu, Nila, and the other wives serve their husband, Lord Narayana. Above Vaikuntha is Goloka. In Vaikuntha the Dvaraka queens serve Krishna according to svakiya-rasa. In Goloka the girls of Vraja serve Krishna according to their own rasa.
Vijaya-kumara: If Goloka is Lord Krishna's highest abode, why is Vraja glorified as the most wonderful place?
Gosvami: Vraja, Gokula, Vrindavana, and many other places are all situated within Mathura-mandala. Goloka is the highest abode. When it is manifested within the material world, Goloka is called Mathura-mandala. They are both the highest abode.
Vijaya-kumara: How is that possible? I don't understand.
Gosvami: It is possible by the power of Lord Krishna's inconceivable potency. Lord Krishna's inconceivable potency cannot be understood by material thought processes or material logic. When Lord Krishna manifests His transcendental pastimes in the material world, the spiritual realm called Goloka comes to the material world and is then called Mathura-mandala. In the Lord's unmanifested pastimes (aprakata-lila), that same world is called Goloka. Lord Krishna's transcendental pastimes are eternal. When one is qualified to see pure spirit, then he can see the world of Goloka. Then he sees that the Gokula present in the material world is the same as Goloka in the spiritual world. However, when a person's intelligence is tortured by material ideas, he cannot see that Goloka is the same as Gokula. He sees that they are different. He sees that Gokula is part of the material world.
Vijaya-kumara: How does one become qualified to see Goloka?
Gosvami: Shri Shukadeva Gosvami explains (Shrimad-Bhagavatam 10.28.14-15):
iti sancintya bhagavan
darshayam asa svam lokam
gopanam tamasah param
satyam jnanam anantam yad
yad dhi pashyanti munayo
"Krishna immediately thought that His devotees in Vrndavana should be informed of the spiritual sky and the Vaikuntha planets therein. Thus Krishna showed them the eternal, ever-existing spiritual sky, which is unlimited and full of knowledge. Information of the spiritual sky can be had only from great sages and saintly persons who have already surpassed the influence of the three material modes of nature."*
Baba, with Krishna's mercy, no one can see Goloka. It was by His mercy that the people of Vraja were able to see Goloka. Goloka is the supreme spiritual abode, far beyond the material world. It contains all wonders. It is eternal and spiritual. It is the home limitless spiritual pastimes. The spiritual effulgence called Brahmajoyti is the eternal effulgence emanating from Goloka. The devotees who have completely renounced the material world are able to see Goloka as it is.
Vijaya-kumara: Are all liberated souls able to see Goloka?
Gosvami: Among millions and millions of liberated souls it is hard to find a single devotee of the Supreme Lord. Persons who follow the path of astanga-yoga or the path of impersonal speculation may attain liberation, but in that kind of liberation their forget their original spiritual identity in the spiritual world of Vraja. Devotees who are attracted by the Supreme Lord's opulences also cannot see the world of Goloka. Following their hearts, they go to Vaikuntha and there they serve the Supreme Lord in His form of opulence and majesty. Among the devotees who worship Krishna according to the rasas of Vraja, only they who by Lord Krishna's mercy are released from Maya's prison are able to see Goloka.
Vijaya-kumara: Well, if only these few liberated souls can see Goloka, then why is Goloka described in Shri Brahma-samhita, Hari-vamsha, Padma Purana, and other scriptures? Simply by worshiping Him in Vraja one can easily attain Lord Krishna's mercy. Why, then, do all these scriptures describe Goloka?
Gosvami: A rasika devotee who worships Krishna according to the rasas of Vraja Lord Krishna lifts from the material world and places in Goloka. Such a person can see Goloka in full.Among the pure devotees who worship Krishna in Vraja some very few are also able to see Goloka. There are two kinds of devotees: siddha (perfect devotees) and sadhaka (aspiring devotees). The sadhaka devotees are not qualified to see Goloka. The siddha devotees are of two kinds: vastu-siddha (perfect in reality) and svarupa-siddha (perfect in conception). The vastu-siddha devotees are persons who by Lord Krishna's mercy are taken directly to Goloka. The svarupa-siddha devotees are persons who, although they are not taken, by Lord Krishna's mercy, from the material world and placed in Goloka, can still see the true form of Goloka. There are many kinds of devotees whose eyes of devotional service are gradually opened, by Lord Krishna's mercy. Some can see a little of Goloka, some can see more of Goloka, and some can see a great deal of Goloka. According to the degree they have attained Lord Krishna's mercy, to that degree they can see Goloka. In the stage of sadhana the devotee can have a brief glimpse of Goloka in Gokula in the material world. When a devotee leaves the stage of sadhana-bhakti and attains bhava-bhakti, then he can see Goloka to a greater extent. When a devotee attains the stage of prema, then he can see Goloka to a very great extent.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, what is the difference between Goloka and Vraja?
Gosvami: Whatever can be seen in Vraja can also be seen in Goloka. However, persons with different kinds of qualification may see Vraja differently. The truth is that Goloka and Vrindavana are not different in any way. However, there may differences in different persons' ability to see. A person tightly bound by the mode of ignorance will see Vraja as just another place in the material world. A person influenced by the mode of passion will see Vraja as a pleasant place. A person in the mode of pure goodness will see Vraja more clearly than the others. In this way different people are more or less able to properly see the land of Vraja.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, I can understand a little. Please give one or two examples to help me understand. Examples comparing things in the spiritual world to things in the material world are always imperfect. Still, they can be useful, for the nature of one thing can be hinted by comparing it to another.
Gosvami: This is a very difficult topic. If one has a direct spiritual vision, he is forbidden to reveal it to others. If by Krishna's mercy one is able to see directly, one must keep that revelation always a secret. I will repeat to you what the previous acaryas have taught about this. Anything more than that you will soon see for yourself by Lord Krishna's mercy. Pure spiritual perception exists in Goloka. Material ideas do not exist there at all. To nourish the rasas, the Lord's spiritual potency (cit-shakti) manifests all wonderful states of being (bhava). In this way many ideas and conceptions are manifested. In Goloka Krishna is beginningless. He is never born. Still, to help the Lord's pastimes, the Lord's spiritual potency convinces Nanda and Yashoda that they are Krishna's parents. In this way the vatsalya-rasa is manifested. In madhura-rasa the wonderful varieties of vipralambha (separation) and sambhoga (enjoying pastimes together) are also manifested by the Lord's spiritual potency. In this way the parakiya-rasa and svakiya-rasa are manifested in an eternal present (nitya-vartamana). Look, in this way many different ideas and beliefs are manifested by Yogamaya in Vraja. Yogamaya convinces Yashoda that Krishna was born in her maternity-room. Yogamaya convinces the gopis that they were married to Abhimanyu, Govardhana-gopa, and others. In this way the parakiya-rasa is nourished. These various ideas and beliefs created by Yogamaya are not really untrue. They are part of the total reality of Goloka. Thus the different residents of Goloka do indeed see things differently.
Vijaya-kumara: Should one purify his thoughts by meditating on tbe Lord's pastimes in the eight periods of the day (ashta-kalina-lila) and in this way be able to see the Lord in meditation?
Gosvami: It is not like that. One first sees the Lord's pastimes in Vraja, and then one remembers those pastimes of the eight periods of the day. By engaging in devotional service one obtains Krishna's mercy, and then the Lord's pastimes are manifested before one. There is no need to first purify one's thoughts by meditating on the Lord's pastimes.
Vijaya-kumara: It is said:
yadrishi bhavana yasya
siddhir bhavati tadrishi
"One attains a perfection that corresponds to his meditation."
Does this mean that when one attains perfection he will obtain what he meditated on during the period of sadhana-bhakti? therefore one should strive to meditate purely on Goloka.
Gosvami: What you say is true. All the ideas and beliefs present in Vraja are pure truths. There is nothing imperfect or wrong about them. If there were anything untrue about them, they would be faulty. When one perfectly practices sadhana-bhakti, he attains perfection. What one purely meditates on during the practice of sadhana-bhakti, one directly sees when one attains perfection. Try to perfrom the duties of sadhana-bhakti nicely. Do not try to purify these activities. To purify them is beyond your power. With His inconceivable potency, Lord Krishna Himself will purify them. If you try to purify them yourself, you will be pricked by the thorn of material ideas. If Krishna is merciful to you, the fruit you pick will not be bitter.
Vijaya-kumara: Today I have become fortunate. I have one more question. Do the Lord's wives in Dvaraka reside in Vaikuntha? If not, do they reside in Goloka?
Gosvami: All bliss is found in Viakuntha in the spiritual world. There is no attainment higher than Vaikuntha. Dvaraka and all the cities where the Lord resides are manifested in Vaikuntha. Each in her own abode, the Lord's wives in these different cities serve the Lord there. As far as madhura-rasa is concerned, only the girls of Vraja reside in Goloka. Whatever pastimes were manifested in Vraja in the material world are all manifested in Goloka. Also, in the Gopala-tapani Upanishad it is seen that Rukmini-devi, following the svakiya-rasa, enjoys pastimes in Mathura-puri in Goloka.
Vijaya-kumara: O master, the activities of parakiya-rasa are manifested in a certain sequence in Vraja in the material world. Are they all manifested in exactly the same sequence in Goloka?
Gosvami: They are all exactly the same. They are all spiritual. Only the beliefs created by Yogamaya are absent. Those beliefs do not remain there. Only the pure spiritual part remains there. I cannot explain that any more clearly. By the power of your devotional activities you will come to understand what I mean.
Vijaya-kumara: At the time of cosmic devastation the entire material world disappears. How, then, is it possible that the Supreme Lord enjoys pastimes eternally in His abode of Vraja in the material world?
Gosvami: The Lord's pastimes in Vraja are eternal in two ways. Traveling in a great circle through the numberless material universes, the Lord manifests all His pastimes, one after another. In this way the Lord's pastimes are manifested eternally. Also, the Lord's pastimes always exist in the spiritual eternal present (nitya-vartamana), even they they may be invisible to material eyes (aprakata).
Vijaya-kumara: If the Lord openly manifests (prakata-lila) His pastimes in every material universe, dos that mean that every universe has its own land of Vraja?
Gosvami: Yes, it does. Goloka has the power to manifest itself anywhere. In every material universe the abode of the Lord's pastimes is manifested. The world of Goloka also manifests itself in the heart of every devotee of the Lord. Why does the land of Mathura (Mathura-mandala) continue to exist in the material world, even though the Lord no longer manifests (prakata) His pastimes there?
Vijaya-kumara: The Lord continues to enjoy pastimes there eternally, even though those pastimes cannot be seen by material eyes (aprakata). Also, to show mercy to the devotees, the Lord keeps His abode manifested in the material world.
In that way the day's conversation ended. Again and again thinking of the Lord's pastimes during the eight periods of the day (ashta-kaliya-seva), Vijaya-kumara returned to his residence.