Sri Brhad Bhagatamrtam
Srila Sanatan Goswami

Chapter Two Jnana (knowledge)

1-2     Sri Gopa-kumara said: O best of Mathura brahmanas, I bathed at Visrama-tirtha and then went to Vrndavana. To Govardhana and other places wandering as I wished, drinking milk, unnoticed by my former friends, and chanting my mantra, I passed some days.
3     My longing to see Lord Jagannatha making me see everything as if it were a dessert, I remembered Purusottama-ksetra.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this verse may mean that Gopa-kumara saw everything as if it were a desert. Lord Krsna lives in Vrndavana eternally. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.8.42, 10.1.28, and 10.44.13.
4     Unhappy, I was returning to Orissa to see Lord Jagannatha when on the path by the Ganges shore I saw some brahmanas devoted to religious duties.
5     From those brahmanas learned in many scriptures I heard something wonderful: that in the sky above is a place named Svargaloka, where the demigods live.
6     That place is glorious with many airplanes. In it are no fears, sufferings, old-age, death, disease, or any other faults.
7     That very happy place, where the king is Indra, the elder brother of the Lord of the universes, is attained by performing many great pious deeds.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that King Indra is the elder brother of Lord Vamana.
8     That realm, named Divya-svarga, is better than the realm of Vila-svarga, which is decorated with the forms of Lord Vishnu, Lord Sesa, and other forms of the Lord, and it is also better than Bhauma-svarga, which in its continents, countries, and other places, is splendid with festivals of worship for Lord Krsna, who appears in many forms.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Vishnu is the Deity of Sutalaloka and Lord Sesa is the Deity of Saptamapatalaloka. The word "adi" refers to Deities described in the Ramayana, as well as to Lord Kapila, who is the Deity of Atalaloka, and the Rudras, who are the Deities of Vitalaloka.
    The word "dvipa" refers to continents, such as Jambudvipa, the word "varsa" refers to countries such as Bharata-varsa, and the word "adi" refers to other places, such as the ocean of milk. In Plaksadvipa the Deity is Lord Surya, in Ilavrta-varsa the Deity is Lord Sankarsana, and in Bhadrasva the Deity is Lord Hayagriva, Thus in the different places are different forms of Lord Krsna, as is described in the fifth canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam. Divya-svarga is the abode of the demigods. The other svargas here are the other planets, below that realm.
10-11     Then I heard the wonderful story of Aditi's son Upendra, who is the Lord of the universes personally present there, enjoying pastimes, travelling on the king of birds, killing demons, always pleasing the demigods with playful, beautiful words, and worshipped by them as their own brother.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the king of birds is Garuda.
12     Yearning to see Him, I chanted my mantra, and in a very short time an airplane came. I happily entered into it and went to the realm of the demigods.
13     There I saw Lord Vishnu, His form filled with eternity knowledge and bliss, sitting on the throne of Garuda's graceful shoulders, surrounded by demigods, and worshipped by Narada who very sweetly played a vina. He was the same Lord I had seen before in a king's palace by the Gange's shore.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this was the Lord four-armed form.
14     Now having attained the Lord I yearned to attain, seeing the Lord I yearned to see, and thinking I now had the goal of my life, from far away again and again I fell down as a stick to offer my respects. Then, with words melting with compassion, He called to me:
15     It is good, very good that you have come, O cowherd boy. Why should you fall down as a stick? Come close to Me without fear.
16     Respectfully brought before Him by demigods sent by Indra, I very carefully sat down.
17     Residing in the Nandana forest, and pleased with heavenly things, I was happy. I saw that there was no fear, lamentation, disease, death, withering, suffering, or old age.
18     There may have been some defects there but, enjoying the sight of the Lord of the universes, I did not consider them.
19     With the opulences of Svarga, day after day Indra worshipped the Lord as his brother, master and shelter.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives the parijata flower and the heavenly nectar as examples of the opulences of Svarga.
20-22     In my heart I thought: Indra is fortunate. Obtaining from Lord Vishnu fearlessness and mastery over the three worlds, he worships the Lord with celestial things, and the Lord personally accepts his offerings. Will the Lord be kind to me in this way?
    With this desire I chanted my mantra and lived there.
23     Then Indra, having raped the dear wife of a great sage, ashamed, and fearing a curse, hid somewhere.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this event occurred soon after Gopa-kumara's desire was manifest. Indra hid in a lotus stem in Manasa-sarovara.
24     Although they searched in many ways, the demigods could not find him. Because there was no king, the three worlds were overcome with calamities.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the calamities were caused by demons.
25     Then, on Lord Vishnu's order, the demigods sent by their guru, crowned me in Indra's place. I delighted Aditi and the others.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the guru here is Brhaspati. Why did Indra's mother Aditi, wife Saci, and many friends tolerate this? They were happy with this arrangement because it was the Lord's order.
26     I worshipped Aditi, Saci, Brhaspati, and the brahmanas. I made the three worlds always full of devotion to Lord Vishnu.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "jivam" here is a name of Brhaspati and the word "manayan" means "worshipping". Gopa-kumara made the worlds more full of Vishnu-bhakti than they had been under King Indra.
27     Although made king of Svarga by the Lord's order, I lived as before, a penniless man in the Nandana forest.
28     Fearing that I would become ungrateful, I did not give up my chanting. Thus I could never forget the land of Vraja.
29     Tormented by this, my face dried up. Noticing this, the Lord of the universes again and again pleased me with the touch of His lotus hand and the many nectars of His words.
30     Acting as if I were His elder brother, to please me He took and ate the food I offered Him.
31     With this I forgot my sufferings. I pleased Him with unprecedented worship and loved Him as one loves a younger brother.
32     Seeing that I had become well, glorious Upendra then went to His own abode. Then I could not always see Him.
33     Then I became very unhappy. I yearned to go and see Lord Jagannatha, the master of Nilacala, who out of love never leaves they who take shelter of Him.
34     When Lord Vishnu appeared, His great mercy and the hope it brought me made all my sufferings disappear.
35     O brahmana, living as Indra there, I happily passed one year of the demigods.
36     Then Bhrgu and other great sages, who were mercifully going on foot to purify the holy places of the earth, unexpectedly came to Svarga.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the sages in this group included Marici, Angira, Pulastya and Pulaha. The great devotee Bhrgu Muni is glorified in Bhagavad-gita (10.25) and Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.11.30). The Ganges and other holy places become contaminated by the very sinful people that visit them. These sages were going to purify them again with the touch of their feet.
37     I gazed on them with wonder as all the demigods and sages, Brhaspati, and Lord Vishnu Himself worshipped them.
38     I, a novice whose heart was charmed by the bliss of serving Lord Vishnu, did not know them. Pushed by my friends, I also worshipped them.
39     They blessed me and then left by their own wish. Lord Upendra also disappeared. Then I asked the demigods:
40     Who are these sages that they are worshipped by demigods who receive the worship of human beings? What are their splendid glories? Where do they live?
41     Their hearts filled with envy, the embarrassed demigods did not speak. Then Brhaspati said:
42     Sri Brhaspati said: Above this realm is splendid Maharloka, which is attained by great pious deeds, and which does not perish when the three worlds are destroyed.
43     As Indra's happiness is millions of times more than an earthly king's, so the Prajapatis' happiness is considered millions of times greater than of Indra's.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Prajapatis here are Bhrgu Muni, and the other residents of Maharloka.
44     Taking shelter of the Lord sacrifices, and worshipping Him at every step, they live there very happily.
45     Sri Gopa-kumara said: hearing this, and losing interest in Indra's post, I yearned to see the Lord worshipped by these great, supremely worshipable sages.
46-7     Desiring this as I chanted my mantra, very soon I went by airplane up to that planet and there I saw all was faultless and beyond description. The happiness, opulence and worship was not like that in the three worlds.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the happiness there is faultless because: 1. there is no fear it will perish at the arrival of Brahma's night, 2. it is free from material rivalry, and 3. it is not a cause of future suffering. The opulence there is faultless because it is free from diminution and other faults. The worship is faultless because it is done without material motives.
48     When thousands of devotee sages perform great fire sacrifices, the Lord of sacrifices rises from the fire and enjoys pastimes of eating the offerings.
49     Charming the world's hearts and splendid as millions of suns, He who is the personification of sacrifices extends His hands, accepts the offerings, and blesses the worshippers.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord of sacrifices is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.13.35-36.
50     To me, filled with awe and reverence and happily bowing before Him, with His own hand He gave His prasadam remnants and said in a voice melting with compassion:
51     By His great mercy I attained unprecedented bliss and all my desires were fulfilled.
52     Wandering with the kind sages, I saw in every home the Lord of the universes.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this was the form of the Lord appearing in the midst of the sacrificial fire and eating the offerings.
53     Thinking I had attained all success, I very happily lived there. Then the great sages said to me:
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara thought that his birth and his mantra-chanting were successful because now, by the Lord's grace, he could directly see the many forms of the Lord of the universes.
54     The great sages said: O son of a gopa-vaisya, please accept from us the status of a brahmana in these worlds.
55     Become one of the great sages and worship with sacrifices the Lord of the universes you long desired to see.
56     Sri Gopa-kumara said: O brahmana, when I heard this I thought: There is great happiness in being a vaisya, for then I can serve both the Lord and His brahmana devotees.
57     By staying with these sages devoted only to sacrifices, I will become lax in chanting the mantra, taught by my spiritual guru, that shows me such good results.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that from chanting this mantra came the results of kingdoms on earth, the kingship of Svarga, and the attainment of Maharloka.
58     Showing all respect to them, but not accepting the status of a brahmana, I continued to live there, enjoying the great happiness of the Prajapatis.
59     In that place is no fault, lamentation, or anxiety. There is nothing but festivals of sacrifices for the pleasure of the Lord of Sacrifices.
60     However, when the sacrifices are over, and the Lord disappears, there is suffering, and when the sacrifices are performed and the Lord appears, again there is happiness.
61     When the three worlds burn at the end of a thousand catur-yugas, a time that here is a single day, (the sages) go to Janaloka.
62     Then, when it was like night, and there were no sacrifices, the Lord of Sacrifices was not seen. For me this was a fire greater than the fire of devastation.
63     Then, going to Sri Purusottama-ksetra, which stands in the shade of an eternal banyan tree, I saw Lord Jagannatha. Thus I became happy.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that because it is shaded by that eternal banyan tree, Purusottama-ksetra is not destroyed at the time of cosmic devastation, but stays there eternally.
64     When I returned to Maharloka my chanting done in secret as before, made me unhappy, for I wished to see the earth.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that he wished to see Vrndavana.
65-6     When I worshipped Him, the Lord, who was an ocean of kindness, appeared, and when He affectionately called me and gracefully ate what I offered, all my unhappiness went away, as darkness goes with the rising of the sun. Now, bound by desires, I had no power to go anywhere else, even at night.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that, shackled by the desire to see and worship the Lord of sacrifices, Gopa-kumara would not go to Purusottama-ksetra, or any other place, at the time of (Brahma's) night.
67     One day a naked and very splendid boy, five or six years of age, came from the higher planets.
68     Leaving their sacrifices, standing up with devotion, and bowing down, the great sages worshipped that meditating sage as if he were the Lord of sacrifices.
69     After he left I asked the great sages: Who is he? Where is he from? Why do you worship him?
70     (The great sages said:) His name is Sanat-kumara. He is older than we. He is a great soul. He is the first guru of the atmaramas (they who take pleasure in the Supreme) and the apta-kamas (they who have attained all desires). He has taken the great vow (of celibacy).
71     He lives in a higher world named Tapoloka with three brothers, great yogi as he is.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Tapoloka is above Maharloka.
72     That place is attained only by the celibate sages. There the auspicious happiness of the celibate sages is millions of times greater than the happiness of the Prajapatis.
73     We householders abandoned our duties and worshipped Sanat-kumara because He is as much to be worshipped as the Lord of sacrifices Himself.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Sanat-kumara should be worshipped because: 1. He is a form of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, 2. He is an incarnation of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and 3. He is a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
74     Sri Gopa-kumara said: Then in my heart I thought: What happiness do they experience there? How many are like them? What form of the Lord do they worship?
75     Wishing to see them, and my heart fixed on them, I chanted, became very powerful, and quickly went to their world.
76     There I saw glorious Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanat-kumara, and the fourth Sanatana.
77     They were being worshipped by other sages like themselves. They were happily conversing, but those like myself could not understand their words.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that a sample of their conversation is found in the Prayers by the Personified Vedas chapter of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
78     Although they were not like the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself, still, simply by seeing them I felt great happiness.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that they did not have four armed-forms, or supreme power and opulence, as the Lord does.
79     To see the Lord of the universes as I had before, I wandered among the sages fixed in meditation.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that, expecting to find the Supreme Lord, as he had found Him in Svargaloka and Maharloka, Gopa-kumara visited many places in Tapoloka. He did not find the Lord, but instead found only yogis living alone, hardly talking to each other, and rapt in meditation.
80     Not seeing Him anywhere, I asked the sages about Him. As I bowed before them and recited prayers, they did not even see me.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that he asked the sages: "Where is the Supreme Lord?"
81     Almost always situated in ecstatic trance, finding pleasure in the Supreme, all their desires fulfilled, and served by the mystic perfections, all were perfect celibate sages.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the words "almost always" mean that sometimes they would converse amongst themselves, and sometimes they would perform external worship of the Lord.
82     My great desire to see the Lord did not bear fruit. Indeed, it seemed to be checked by associating with the sages.
83     Because of seeing their great power, I stayed among them, and because of respect for my guru's words, and also because I had seen the results it brings, I did not abandon my chanting.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara's guru had ordered him: "Never abandon your chanting."
84     Because this place is naturally very pleasing to the heart, my chanting increased, and with that, my desire to see the Lord also increased.
85     Seeing that I desired to go to Nilacala and see Lord Jagannatha, Pippalayana Muni said to Me:
86     Why do you wish to leave this great place and go to another? Why would you go to see the Supreme Lord with your eyes?
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that here the sage implies that the Supreme Lord is beyond the perception of the eyes and other senses.
87     Fix your mind in meditation and you will always see Him everywhere, within and without, as if He were always before you.
88     In this way, and not in another way, the Supreme Self, Lord Vasudeva, whose form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, will always appear in your purified heart.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this way to see the Lord is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.3.23. Pippalayana Muni here implies that because the Supreme Lord is all-pervading and is manifest only by His own wish, He cannot be seen with the eyes or other senses.
89     Because one cannot actually see without the action of the mind, the action of seeing the Lord with one's eyes is only perfectly done when the mind is also fixed on Him.
90     The happiness of all the senses rests in the happiness of the mind, and the actions of the words, eyes, ears, and other senses also rest in the actions of the mind.
91     Without the action of the mind, the actions of all the senses are fruitless. When the mind does not act, one cannot experience anything.
92     If sometimes, out of love for His devotee, the Lord appears and is seen with the eyes, He is actually seen with the eye of transcendental knowledge, although one may think He is seen with the physical eyes.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that someone may protest: "Dhruva, Prahlad, and others saw the Lord with their eyes!" To answer, Pippalayana Muni speaks this verse. He asserts that the senses are helpless without the mind.
93     Or if, by the power of His mercy, He is seen by the external eyes, the bliss of seeing Him is felt in the mind.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the power of the Lord's mercy is described in the following words (of Srila Sridhara Svami):
    "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has the form of sac-cid-ananda, transcendental bliss, knowledge and eternity. I offer my respectful obeisances unto He who turns the dumb into eloquent speakers and enables the lame to cross mountains. Such is the mercy of the Lord."*
94     After (He is no longer visible to the eyes) He still enjoys pastimes in the mind. The mind is the place where the happiness of seeing Him is felt.
95     By His mercy the happiness in the mind expands. The happiness in the senses has no power to expand in that way.
96     When one sees the Lord in meditation it is as if one sees Him directly. The demigod Brahma gives evidence for this special mercy of the Lord.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that, seen in meditation, the Lord grants benedictions, talks with the devotee, touches him, and relates to him in many ways. Lord Brahma's vision of the Lord is described in Srimad Bhagavatam 2.9.9, 2.9.14, 2.9.17-18, 2.9.37, 3.8.22-23, 3.8.33, 3.9.29, and 3.9.29.
97     It is said that the direct sight of the Lord delights the devotees, but fills Kamsa, Duryodhana, and those like them with fear and a host of faults.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that anger and envy are examples of some of the faults here.
98-9     Even though they directly saw Lord Narayana's handsome, glorious, blissful form, which with its virtues delights all the senses, Madhu, Kaitabha, and a host of other sinful demons would not abandon their wickedness, which tormented everyone.
100     To show the glories of devotional service, the blissful Lord delights His devotees and hides that delight from others.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that as a fire's heat is concealed by smoke, so the Lord conceals from the demons the bliss of seeing Him. This verse is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.18.
101     Of the nine ways of devotional service, remembering the Lord is the best, for it engages the mind, which is the best of the senses.
102     The mind is able, without stopping, and as much as it wishes, to give the Lord pure love, the most confidential of spiritual gifts.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that love for the Lord is more confidential than transcendental knowledge and renunciation. The word "avisramam" here means "without impediment".
103-5     Pure love, which is the goal to be attained by other spiritual practices, which is the best of the best of all goals of life, which is the only powerful way to bring the Supreme Lord under one's dominion, which is only attained by the Lord's mercy, which is the only treasure of the devotees, which is flooded with the sweetness of wonderful transcendental bliss, which is glorious beyond description, and which manifests the transformations of ecstasy, arises from the actions of the mind.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the other spiritual practices begin with transcendental knowledge and renunciation, and the goals of life are piety, sense gratification, economic development and liberation.
106-7     If you think meditation is difficult for the mind, or if you wish to see the Lord and thus make your eyes fruitful, then go to Bharata-varsa and on Gandha-madana Mountain see Lord Narayana, the friend of Nara.
108     Fixed in meditation, we see Him within and without. Therefore we never suffer separation from Him. That is why the Lord has gone there.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that someone may ask: "Why do the sages stay in Tapoloka if the Lord is not present? Someone may also ask: "How can the Lord who loves His devotees, leave that place and go somewhere else?" The answer is given in this verse.
109     As a very austere brahmacari archery-teacher with matter locks of hair, he stays there to benefit the world with His teachings.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "hita" means that His teachings brought auspiciousness to the people.
110     Seeing that I wished to go there, the four sages headed by Sanaka said to me: "Go there!" They showed me many forms of the Lord.
111     The first one became Lord Narayana. Another became the form of Vishnu. Another became the Lord of sacrifices. Another assumed many different forms.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the first one was perhaps Sanaka, or perhaps another of the Kumaras. The form of Lord Vishnu here was either Lord Upendra, whom Gopa-kumara had seen in Svargaloka or perhaps it was a form like His. The Lord of sacrifices is the Deity worshipped on Maharloka. The forms of Lord Nrsimha and Lord Vamana were among the many different forms.
112     Trembling with fear and bowing down, with folded hands I said to Them: "O Lords who love the poor, please forgive my horrible offenses."
113     They touched me on the head and I entered a trance of meditation and saw those forms again as before. Sometimes, by the power of meditation, I still see those forms as if They were right before my eyes.
114     As I chanted my mantra, I found happiness and faith. Then the sweetness of Vrajabhumi agitated my mind.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that by chanting he remembered Vrajabhumi and then became agitated with the suffering of separation from it.
115     Sometimes I experience a certain state like deep sleep, where I see many forms of the Lord. That state hinders my chanting.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the state described here is ecstatic trance (samadhi), where the mind and all the senses became inactive.
116     For this I lamented. I wished to go to Nilacala. Consoling me, the sages asked what had happened.
117     Hearing my lament, they praised me. I could not understand. I became unhappy.
118     Then, by the power of my regular practice, I saw, as if before my eyes, the Lord of the universes in many forms, everywhere, within and without.
119     Sometimes seeing Sanaka and the other sages so rapt in meditation that they manifested forms of the Lord, I became very happy.
120     Even when there were no such displays I did not lament with a desire to see them. In this way I happily lived there for many days.
121     One time, as on his swan he was kindly going to see his devotees at Puskaradvipa, four-headed Brahma came.
122     Humbly bowing down, Sanaka and the other sages respectfully worshipped the elderly, supremely opulent demigod.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Brahma's opulences included being accompanied by a great entourage. Although he had a white beard, he was not conquered by old age because, as an incarnation of the Personality of Godhead, his form was eternal and full of knowledge and bliss.
123     Blessing them, affectionately smelling their heads, and speaking some instructions, he quickly left for Puskaradvipa.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that he instructed them on the secrets of devotional service to the Lord.
124     When I asked about him, the sages laughed and said: "O cowherd, after coming here even now you don't know who he is!"
125     "He is our father, Brahma, who is the leader of the Prajapatis and the creator of the universe, who was self-born, who is most exalted, and who protects and teaches the universe.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Brahma by giving the universe the Vedas, teaches the principles of religion.
126     His realm, named Satyaloka, which is attained by those pure souls that follow religious principles for a hundred births, is splendidly manifest above all the worlds.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.24.29.
127     In his realm is Vaikunthaloka, where the thousand-headed Supreme Person, the Lord of the universes, stays eternally.
128     In the Sruti-sastra it is heard that Brahma is like the Supreme Lord's son. There is no difference. We think Brahma playfully appears in two forms.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the two forms are four-headed Brahma and the thousand-headed Lord of the universes.
129     Sri Gopa-kumara said: Hearing this, I chanted my mantra and, in a trance of meditation, went to Tapoloka to see the Supreme Person.
130     After a moment I opened my eyes and saw that i was in Brahmaloka and I also saw the Lord of the universes...
131     ...who was very great, who had a thousand handsome arms, heads, feet, who was splendid as a monsoon cloud, who was opulent with many tasteful ornaments, who was an ocean of splendour, whose navel was a lotus, who reclined on the couch of Lord Ananta's coils, who delighted every eye...
132     ...whose feet were massaged by the goddess of fortune, who glanced at Garuda standing with folded hands, who was worshipped by Brahma with great opulences and treated with great love, who placed His attention on Narada's loving devotion...
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the first way Brahma expressed his love was by touching the Lord's lotus hands. Narada expressed his devotion by singing and dancing.
133     ...who to Brahma was carefully teaching the path of devotional service, the great secret of the Vedas, who was splendidly manifest in His regal palace...
134     ...who happily heard jubilant Brahma humbly repeating what he had learned, whose feet Brahma worshipped again and again...
135     ...who is the husband of the goddess of fortune, and to whose side the goddess of fortune, seeing me faint in ecstasy, and reviving me, and being affectionate as if I were her own son, brought me.
136     Gazing at the Lord, and again and again bowing before Him, I said to my heart: "O heart, today you have attained your desire. Now you may enjoy eternal happiness.
137     "This place is free of all lamentation, fear and suffering. It is full of supreme opulence and supreme bliss. It is worshipped by the universes.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is a description of Satyaloka.
138     "O brother, here the Lord of the universes, situated at the highest pinnacle of all glory, shines with great splendour.
139     "Aware that the goddess of fortune is affectionate to you, gaze now on the Lord with your eyes. Conquer your grieving over Mathura and Vrajabhumi and your desire to go to another place.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the grief is out of separation from Mathura and Vrajabhumi. The other place is Nilacala.
140     "If you wish that the Lord of the universes love you as He does Brahma, the by the power of the mantra you learned from a great soul, your wish will be fulfilled."
141     Then the Lord enjoyed pastimes of sleep, and at a certain time the creation was again manifest on the lotus of worlds born from the Lord's navel. Seeing this, Brahma came out to perform His duties.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that because the Lord is spiritual He does not sleep. That is why the word "pastimes of sleep" is used. Brahma had been in the Lord's abode. He left and went to his own abode to perform his duties in the world.
142     Seeing both the Lord's wonderful form below and the universe on the lotus of His navel, and also seeing the currents of divine love flowing in four-headed Brahma as He heard confidential teachings from the Lord, I happily lived there.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Lord's teachings were about the secrets of pure devotional service.
143     During the night, when all the three worlds perished and all was flooded by an ocean accompanied by Brahma the Lord happily rested on Lord Ananta Sesa.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the night here is Brahma's night, which occurs after one thousand catur-yugas. The Lord here is the thousand-headed form of the Lord.
144     By Brahmaloka's power I saw the Lord as the residents of Janaloka and other planets glorified Him with many wonderful prayers.
145     If the Lord went somewhere we suffered. When He returned our suffering perished at its root.
146     After some days, one morning Brahma touched some foam and it suddenly became a demon.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this foam was on the ocean of cosmic devastation.
147     Brahma fled in fear. The Lord killed the demon. When terrified Brahma did not return, the Lord appointed me to his post.
148     I created Vaishnavas to increase the world's devotion to the Lord, and I appointed Vaishnavas to all the different administrative posts.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that these were the posts of the demigods, such as Prajapati, Candra, and Surya.
149     In place after place worshipping the Lord with asvamedha-yajnas and other sacrifices, I flooded the universe with happiness.
150-2     Although I was elevated to the post of Brahma, and although the personified Vedas, sacrifices, Puranas, Itihasas, Agamas, and holy places, as well as the maharsis and brahmarsis, again and again very happily offered prayers to me, I did not abandon my humility. Still, drowning in the waves of the ocean of a Brahma's duties, my heart became filled with anxieties, and I could not enjoy serving the Lord as before.
153     Although I heard that I would live for two parardhas (many millions of years), I was still afraid of time. My chanting also brought me great distress.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that to overcome his fears, Gopa-kumara chanted his mantra, but the chanting made him yearn for Vrajabhumi.
154     The Lord of the universes was affectionate to me as if I were His son. This made me happy and destroyed the sadness in my heart.
155     Serving Him, thinking of Him as my father, and staying near Him, I sometimes offended Him, but He forgave me.
156     Although I was anxious at heart, the goddess of fortune loved me as if she were my mother, and that made me happy. In this way I lived there for a long time.
157     One day, hearing the people of that planet praise a person about to attain impersonal liberation, I asked them about that wonderful thing.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this person had attained liberation in Bharata-varsa, Gopa-kumara asked: "What is liberation? How is it attained?"
158     I heard from them that impersonal liberation is very important and very difficult to attain. Again I asked those all-knowing sages: "When one desires it, by what method does he attain it?"
159     The goddesses of the Upanisads, accompanied by the personified Srutis and Smrtis, then said: "Impersonal liberation is attained by knowledge alone. It is not attained in any other way."
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is confirmed in the Svetasvatara Upanisad (6.8 and 6.15)
    By knowing the Supreme, one travels beyond death. There is no other way.
160     Some Puranas and Agamas then very gravely said that transcendental knowledge, which is so difficult to attain, is easily attained by devotional service to the Lord.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Puranas and Agamas, who were here accompanied by the Pancaratras and other scriptures, are very expert in preaching the service of the Lord. The word "gambhiryam" here means that they spoke without wavering. Although liberation is attained by transcendental knowledge, transcendental knowledge is difficult to attain save by devotional service to the Lord.
161     Then some Srutis and Smrtis were seen to agree with that idea, that transcendental knowledge is easily attained by devotional service to the Lord.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is confirmed by the following quotations:
    "For one who has firm devotion to Lord Janardana, the master of the demigods, all good things come. That is why the devotees are the best of all transcendentalists."
        -Brhan-Naradiya Purana
    "As all living entities take shelter of their mother, so all perfections take shelter of devotional service."
    "My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding."*
        -Bhagavad-gita 11.54
    "Good children, wealth, beautiful wife, precious necklaces, palaces, horses, elephants, pleasures, residence in Svargaloka and liberation are never far from devotional service."
        -Padma Purana
162     Refusing to hear these words, some great Upanisads, along with their Agamas and other scriptures became angry. They agreed with a more direct view.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the scriptures here are the great Upanisads very devoted to the glories of the Supreme Lord. The Agamas here are the scriptures that follow these Upanisads, and the other scriptures are some Puranas and other scriptures. The more direct view here is their opinion that only by devotional service can liberation easily be attained. This view is confirmed by the following quotations:
    "O best of brahmanas, they who are devoted to Lord Hari attain the goals of human life, namely: piety, economic development, sense gratification, liberation. Of this there is no doubt."
        -Brhan-Naradiya Purana
    "O Lord, liberation rests in the hand of a person devoted to You, the root from which all the universes have sprouted. What use does he have for piety, economic development, and sense gratification?"
        -Vishnu Purana
163     Some confidential Upanisads along with some confidential Agamas and Puranas, smiled and remained silent.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Srimad-Bhagavatam and Vaishnava-tantras were part of this group. Perhaps they were surprised that the Lord's glories, which are so clearly described in the scriptures, remained unknown to these so-called all-knowing sages. Therefore they were silent. Or perhaps they were silent because they were so convinced that devotional service grants liberation that they had only contempt for those who did not agree. Or perhaps they thought it not proper to reveal this confidential truth to such an unqualified audience. The truth is that pious works and rituals, cultivation of knowledge, and liberation are only steps leading to devotional service. The scriptures here thought it not the proper time to explain this.
164-5     Then the Agama-sastras debated with the Puranas and Amnayas whether or not liberation is attained simply by chanting mantras of the Supreme Lord. Not tolerating this, many Puranas, Agamas and Upanisads covered their ears and left.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the scriptures that left were the same ones that smiled and remained silent before. They left because the discussion was not even slightly touched by the slightest scent of the great glories of devotional service to the Lord.
166     Then, on the meditation of the great Puranas and great Upanisads, the Agamas were declared the victors. This pleased me.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the scriptures that left were considered neutral, not taking either side, and therefore they were called to decide the case. Hearing the arguments of both sides, they decided that the winners were the Agamas, whose opinion was that merely by chanting mantras of the Supreme Lord one may certainly become liberated. Their view is confirmed by the following quotations:
    "They who go to Candraloka, Suryaloka, and other material planets, return again, but they who chant the twelve-syllable mantra glorifying the Supreme Lord never return."
        -Vishnu Purana
    "The Supreme Lord is pleased when He is regularly glorified by mantra-chanting. He gives many great happinesses and eternal liberation to the chanter."
167     Understanding their exalted nature, I humbly glorified these Puranas and Agamas, and brought them to my own assembly.
168     When I respectfully asked them about the truth, the Srimad-Bhagavatam and other Agamas that teach the Vaishnava conclusion, accompanied by the crowns of the Sruti, spoke.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that he asked them why they smiled, remained silent, covered their ears, and left the assembly. The crowns of the Sruti are the confidential Upanisads.
169     The devotional scriptures said: O deva who has attained the Brahma's post, made willing to speak by your many virtues, we will tell you something more to be guarded than the greatest treasure.
170     We, who are intent on devotional service to the Lord, have sometimes discussed impersonal liberation and its associates. We have criticised it, and we say it should be completely rejected.
171     Sometimes, in order to describe the glory of devotional service, we have also described impersonal liberation. Impersonal liberation does not fulfil the purpose of life. In it is not the slightest scent of happiness.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the happiness of devotional service is many millions of millions of times greater than the happiness of impersonal liberation. Actually, there is no happiness in impersonal liberation.
172     The happiness in impersonal liberation is like the happiness in having good health or in sleeping soundly. The ignorant call it happiness. The ignorant are pleased by it.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the happiness in good health and sound sleep are not positive happiness, but merely the absence of pain. This is seen in the statement "I slept happily. I don't remember a thing." The happiness of impersonal liberation is like that. It is only some relief from the sufferings of the world of birth and death. Impersonal liberation is described by Lord Brahma in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.26.
173     Entering the ear, or spoken only once, even the dim reflection of the Lord's holy name brings prefect liberation.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that even if one chants as a joke, or even if one chants to mock the holy name, one still attains liberation. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.24
    "Ajamila, for example, was extremely sinful, but while dying he merely chanted the holy name, and although calling his son, he achieved complete liberation because he remembered the name of Narayana."*
    This is also described in the story of Satyatapa in the Varaha Purana:
    A demon once came to eat a brahmana who was chanting the holy name in the water. By hearing the holy name from his dying victim, the demon became liberated."
174     The Vedas, Puranas and other scriptures say that only they who have no good sense like impersonal liberation.
175     Impersonal liberation may vanquish all sufferings, or it may end actions done in ignorance, or it may, by enabling one to renounce the unreal forms made by the illusory potency, give direct perception of the self to the individual spirit soul, who is really eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss, but the happiness it gives is very slight.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that liberation is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.10.6.
177     (The proponents of impersonal liberation) say that the pure soul is in reality quality-less, solitary, formless, inactive Brahman.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that they say Brahman has no qualities, such as mercy, is alone and does not associate with the great devotees or anyone else, does not have wonderful forms, and does not enjoy any sweet pastimes. It is the personal form of the Lord, which is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, that is and does all this. By seeing Him one can experience happiness.
178     The Supreme Person, however, is the ultimate form of Brahman. He is the Supersoul. He is the Supreme controller. His form is eternal and full of knowledge and bliss. He is an ocean of glory.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that these statements are confirmed in Bhagavad-gita 10.12 and 14.27 and Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.87.1.
179     The presence and absence of all qualities, as well as a host of other contradictions, are all present in Him. He is famous as the opulent Supreme Person and the Brahma. He is both.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that as many rivers flow into the ocean, so many contradictory features are present in the Supreme Lord. As the Brahman, He has no qualities, and as the Supersoul and the Supreme Controller, He has qualities. Another example is that in some scriptures it is said He has no name, and in others His names are given. The Vedic literatures describe this in these words:
    "Because the Supreme Lord's qualities cannot be completely known, it is said He has no name. Because the Supreme Lord's form is not material, it is said He has no form."
    The Lord has spiritual qualities, but because His qualities are not material it may be said, in one sense, that He has no qualities.
180     Therefore, by devotional service one may see the Lord's intensely blissful, glorious lotus feet. In this way one experiences intense bliss.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the personal feature of the Supreme Lord is the origin of the impersonal Brahman. This is explained in Bhagavad-gita 14.27 and Brahma-samhita 5.40
181     Sri Krsna's feet are the personification of happiness. They are a great reservoir of happiness. They are as sweet as sugar. Impersonal Brahman has only slight happiness.
182     If the individual spirit soul is Param Brahman (spirit) then he must also be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is full of eternity, knowledge and bliss.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Srimad-Bhagavatam (2.7.11) explains that Brahman is a feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. If the individual spirit souls are Brahman, then they are also a feature of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
183     The truth is that the individual spirit souls are parts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead as rays of light are parts of the sun.
184     The individual spirit souls are eternally different from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. They are different as rays of light are different from the sun, sparks are different from a fire, and waves are different from the ocean.
185     By the Lord's eternal potency, which is full of spiritual pastimes and opulences, and which is called Mahamaya and Yogamaya, the difference between the individual spirit souls and the Supreme Personality of Godhead is established eternally.
186     Therefore the devotees consider that the individual spirit souls are both different from the Lord and not different from Him. In the liberated condition the difference is prominent.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that because the individual spirit souls are Brahman they are not different from the Supreme and because they are only parts of Him they are different from Him. Even Sankaracarya agrees that the liberated souls are different from the Lord, for he says:
    "Even the liberated souls have form. They worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead and enjoy pastimes with Him."
    That the liberated souls worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead is also confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.5.
187     Although the individual spirit souls have forms that are eternal and full of knowledge and bliss, by the influence of Lord Krsna's maya, which places them in ignorance without beginning and makes them forget the truth, they become bewildered and wander in the world of birth and death.
188     When he understands his own nature, material illusion departs, and he becomes liberated. Then he understands that he is an intensely blissful part and parcel of the Supreme Brahman.
189     In every circumstance one reaps the fruit of his actions. In the liberation attained by knowledge of one's own self, the fruit is only slight happiness.
190     Persons who yearn for Svargaloka praise the celestial worlds. In the same way persons who, because they are tormented by the world of birth and death and cannot taste nectar, yearn for impersonal liberation, again and again praise impersonal liberation.
191     The ultimate happiness is in devotional service. That happiness is attained by they who serve the Lord's glorious lotus feet.
192     To describe the greatness of the happiness in devotional service we have spoken the word "ultimate". This means it has no limit.
193     The happiness of devotional service increases at every moment. Its greatness has no limit. However the Brahman happiness in impersonal liberation does not increase. It stays within its limits.
194     There are the Supersoul, the impersonal Brahman, and the Supreme Controller. Because these three are one the difference between them is destroyed.
195     In truth, the individual spirit souls are eternally different from the Supreme. Then again, because they are His parts and parcels they are not different from Him. Then the difference is destroyed.
196     In this, our final conclusion, which is perfectly logical, and which proclaims that the individual spirit souls and the Supreme are simultaneously one and different, there is no flaw.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that even Sankaracarya admitted that the individual spirit souls are subordinate to the Supreme. Sankara prayed:
    "O Lord, even when all differences between us have gone, still I am Yours, but You never become mine. A wave is the property of the ocean, but the ocean never becomes the property of the a wave."
197     As the words of great souls quoted here by us are always conclusive evidence, so the actions of great souls are also evidence.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this evidence includes Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.10, 6.17.28 and 10.87.21, as well as the statement of Hanuman:
    "I have no desire for any liberation from the bonds of birth and death that will break the relationship where You are the Master and I the servant."
198     Many histories support this view. They are not myths or fables.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami gives Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.20.31-32 as an example.
199     They who think these stories myths become offenders and are thrown into a terrible hell.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami quotes the Naradiya Purana:
    "O best of brahmanas, they suffer in hell who claim that the stories in the Puranas, which teach the path of religion, are myths."
200     How can impersonal liberation be worthy of praise when even the demons, who are criticised by the scriptures, and who kill cows, brahmanas and others, attain it?
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the demons' killing of others is described in the advice given by Kamsa's ministers in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.4.40.
201     The devotees and demons are opposite in all respects. Therefore their destinations and the ways they attain it must also be opposite.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the goal of the devotee is to love the Supreme Lord and the devotees attain it by worshipping the Lord's lotus feet. The goal of the demons is impersonal liberation and the demons attain it by following the theory of impersonalism. Sometimes anger or other vices may also lead to the devotee's goal. This is explained in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.97.23:
    "By practising the mystic yoga system and controlling their breath, the great sages conquered the mind and senses. Thus engaging in mystic yoga, they saw the Supersoul within their hearts and ultimately entered into the impersonal Brahma. However, even the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead attain that position simply by thinking of the Supreme Lord. The damsels of Vraja, the gopis, simply wanted to embrace Krsna and hold His arms, which are like serpents. Being attracted by the beauty of Krsna they ultimately acquired a taste for the nectar of the Lord's lotus feet. We can also taste the nectar of Krsna's lotus feet by following in the footsteps of the gopis."*
    This is also described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.1.30
    "Many, many persons have attained liberation simply by thinking of Krsna with great attention and giving up sinful activities. This great attention may be due to lusty desires, inimical feelings, fear, affection, or devotional service. I shall now explain how one receives Krsna's mercy simply by concentrating one's mind upon Him."*
202     By devotional service to Lord Krsna one becomes saintly. Devotional service is the best way to progress in spiritual life. By devotional service one attains the Lord's two lotus feet as the result of his efforts.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Krsna Himself glorifies the devotee in these words (Srimad-Bhagavatam 9.4.63-68):
    "I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are devoid of all material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotees are very dear to Me.*
    "O best of the brahmanas, without saintly persons for whom I am the only destination, I do not desire to enjoy My transcendental bliss and My supreme opulences.*
    "Since pure devotees give up their homes, wives, children, relatives, riches and even their lives simply to serve Me, without any desire for material improvement in this life or in the next, how can I give up such devotees at any time?*
    "As chaste women bring their gentle husbands under control by service, the pure devotees, who are equal to everyone and completely attached to Me in the core of the heart, brings Me under their full control."*
    "My devotees, who are always satisfied to be engaged in My loving service are not interested even in the four principles of liberation (salokya, sarupya, samipya and sarsti), although these are automatically achieved by their service. What then is to be said of such perishable happiness as elevation to the higher planetary systems?*
    "The pure devotee is always within the core of My heart, and I am always in the heart of My pure devotee. My devotees do not know anything else but me, and I do not know anyone else but them."*
203     The great souls who know the truth and relish the nectar of devotional service to the Lord attain the nectar of the Lord's lotus feet as the result of their efforts.
204     The nectar of Lord Krsna's lotus feet is attained only by Lord Krsna's mercy. It is not attained by pious fruitive work, philosophical speculation, or renunciation.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8, 5.19.19, 11.20.35-36, 11.20.9, and 5.5.2-3.
205     Pious fruitive work interferes with devotional service and dry renunciation destroys it. However when these two are purified they help it.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami says this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.2.42 and 11.20.31-33.
206     Because of the Lord's mercy and the devotees' association, the self-satisfied sages abandon their faith in impersonal Brahman and enter the path of devotional service.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 11.19.3.
207     They become liberated and by the Lord's potency they attain bodies of eternity, knowledge and bliss. With spiritual senses they serve Lord Hari.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the exalted position of the devotees is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.14.5.
208     The happiness of the impersonalists is attained by renunciation of false-ego. That renunciation is easily done by they who know the truth.
209     Although impersonal liberation may come from devotional service, the devotees never accept the happiness of the impersonalists, for it checks their love for the Lord.
210     Love that can never be satisfied is the great result of devotional service. The devotees think all other results should be given up.
211     Because the happiness of the impersonalists comes without devotional service, it does not satisfy the heart. The great devotees do not think it very good.
212     By devotedly performing one's own religious duties one attains the purity of heart that brings the happiness of the impersonalists. By performing this external devotional service one attains a slight result, but by performing internal devotional service one attains a very great result.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that internal devotional service consists of hearing and chanting the Lord's glories.
213     Leaving the happiness of the impersonalists behind, the devotees worship the Lord's lotus feet without stop and quickly attain great happiness and faith in devotional service.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that this is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.14.8.
214     In devotional service the person who experiences, what he experiences, and the activities of the senses by which he experiences, are all manifested in many different ways.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the person who experiences is the devotee, who thinks "I am the Lord's servant", or who thinks himself related to the Lord in any one of a number of ways. What he experiences is the Lord, who manifests many very wonderful and sweet transcendental forms pastimes, and other features. The devotee experiences through the activities of the senses, which include a host of devotional activities beginning with hearing and chanting.
215     Because the mind remains inactive, no happiness can be perceived in the meditative trance of the impersonalists. However, when the mind is active happiness shines through as light shines through a crystal mountain.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that in the trance of the impersonalists the mind and senses are inactive, and therefore neither happiness nor anything else can be perceived. In that state there is only void. This is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam 10.84.29. However, for the devotees, who with love and devotion actively serve the Lord's blissful lotus feet, great happiness is experienced in the mind, intelligence and senses.
216     Therefore the happiness of devotional service, which comes from the sweetness of the mercy of the Lord who loves His devotees, is greater than the happiness created by the meditative trance of the impersonalists.
217     The happiness in impersonal liberation is of only one kind, but the happiness in devotional service is of a wonderful variety of kinds. Therefore the happiness in devotional service is different from the happiness in impersonal liberation. The impersonalists cannot guess how great is the sweetness of the pastimes of devotional service to Lord Hari.
218     Lord Vishnu, whose form is one, by employing His transcendental potency, which is beyond the understanding of the non-devotees, creates at every moment hundreds of newer and newer wonderful sweetnesses of devotional service.
219     The Supreme Personality of Godhead is much sweeter than the impersonal Brahman. The Lord gives His greatest mercy to His devotees, who experience the highest bliss of the most intense sweetness, a bliss that reviles and eclipses the happiness in impersonal Brahman.
220     To splash His devotees with the waves of bliss of His many kinds of sweetness, the Lord appears in many ways. His Brahman feature has no variety, but His feature as the Supreme Person eternally presents a wonderful variety to His devotees' senses.
221     May Lord Krsna, whose opulence is eternal, whose great variety of many features is eternal, whose handsomeness is eternal, who is eternally surrounded by His eternal servants, who is worshipped eternally, whose realm is eternal, and who appears as the eternal, non-dual Brahman, protect you.
222     Although the wise do not push the hard thorns of logic into the very soft nectar of devotional service, to please the new devotees they do use those thorns against they who are attached to impersonal liberation.
223-4     If you can see that impersonal liberation is very insignificant, and if you desire the treasure that is faith in pure devotional service to the Lord, then worship your maha-mantra, and now hear a great secret that will please your heart.
225     Outside the material universe, which is four billion miles in diameter, are eight coverings, each one ten times greater than the one before.
226     Crossing these coverings, one attains eternal liberation, which is called Maha-kala-pura because the subtle and gross material elements are not manifested there.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the Mahakala-pura here may also be interpreted to mean the place Krsna and Arjuna visited to rescue a brahmana's sons. The words "karya" and "karana" may also be interpreted to mean "the material senses" and "the gross material elements".
227     Each according to his own idea, the wise say that indescribable place either has form or has no form.
228     By their own wish the Lord's servants go there and see the Lord's pleasing, intensely spiritual form.
229     By the power of your maha-mantra you will attain the result you so long desired.
230     If you are waiting here for a long time to pass, don't continue to wait. Go to Sri Mathura's Vrajabhumi at once.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara was waiting for his lifetime as Brahma to end.
231     Sri Gopa-kumara said: O brahmana of Mathura in my heart their words increased my devotion for the Lord.
232     The Supreme Person to whom I should be devoted is present here as my father. Why should I leave and go to some other place?
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Lord Vishnu acted as Brahma's affectionate father.
233     Then, to me, who was very anxious at heart, the merciful Lord, knowing my thoughts, personally spoke the following words of instruction:
234     The Supreme Lord said: Go to Mathura's Vrajabhumi, which is most dear to Me, and which is decorated with the places of My transcendental pastimes.
235     There a Lord Brahma prayed to become a blade of grass. Unchanged after all this time, it is splendidly manifest as it was before.
236     Again you will find your guru, who is very dear to Me. By his mercy you will understand everything.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that the word "nitaram" here means "everything."
237     In the spiritual world of Maha-kala-pura you will see Me at once. There you will attain transcendental bliss that will please your heart.
238     By the power of my mercy wandering as you wish, you will see hundreds of great wonders.
    Srila Sanatana Gosvami explains that Gopa-kumara will wander in the spiritual realms of Vaikunthaloka.
239     After some time all your desires will be fulfilled and you will enjoy pastimes with Me in Vrndavana as you wish.
240     Sri Gopa-kumara said: Filled with both joy and grief, by His order I at once came, travelling by the mind's power, to beautiful Vrndavana.

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