Srimad-Bhagavatam 2.2.18

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ŚB 2.2.18

परं पदं वैष्णवमामनन्ति तद्
यन्नेति नेतीत्यतदुत्सिसृक्षव: ।
विसृज्य दौरात्म्यमनन्यसौहृदा
हृदोपगुह्यार्हपदं पदे पदे ॥ १८ ॥
paraṁ padaṁ vaiṣṇavam āmananti tad
yan neti netīty atad utsisṛkṣavaḥ
visṛjya daurātmyam ananya-sauhṛdā
hṛdopaguhyārha-padaṁ pade pade


param — the supreme; padam — situation; vaiṣṇavam — in relation with the Personality of Godhead; āmananti — do they know; tat — that; yat — which; na iti — not this; na iti — not this; iti — thus; atat — godless; utsisṛkṣavaḥ — those who desire to avoid; visṛjya — giving it up completely; daurātmyam — perplexities; ananya — absolutely; sauhṛdāḥ — in good will; hṛdā upaguhya — taking them into his heart; arha — that which is only worshipable; padam — lotus feet; pade pade — at every moment.


The transcendentalists desire to avoid everything godless, for they know that supreme situation in which everything is related with the Supreme Lord Viṣṇu. Therefore a pure devotee who is in absolute harmony with the Lord does not create perplexities, but worships the lotus feet of the Lord at every moment, taking them into his heart.


In the Bhagavad-gītā, mad-dhāma (“My abode”) is mentioned several times, and according to the version of the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa there exists the unlimited spiritual sky, wherein the planets are called Vaikuṇṭhas, or the abode of the Personality of Godhead. In that sky, which is far, far beyond the material sky and its sevenfold coverings, there is no need of the sun or the moon, nor is there necessity of electricity for illumination, because the planets are self-illuminating and more brilliant than the material suns. Pure devotees of the Lord are absolutely in harmony with the Personality of Godhead, or in other words, they always think of the Lord as their only dependable friend and well-wisher. They do not care for any mundane creature, up to the status of Brahmā, the lord of the universe. Only they can definitely have a clear vision of the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Such pure devotees, being perfectly directed by the Supreme Lord, do not create any artificial perplexity in the matter of transcendental understanding by wasting time in discussing what is Brahman and what is non-Brahman, or māyā, nor do they falsely think of themselves as one with the Lord, or argue that there is no existence of the Lord separately, or that there is no God at all, or that living beings are themselves God, or that when God incarnates Himself He assumes a material body. Nor do they concern themselves with many obscure speculative theories, which are in actuality so many stumbling blocks on the path of transcendental understanding. Apart from the class of impersonalists or nondevotees, there are also classes who pose themselves as devotees of the Lord but at heart maintain the idea of salvation by becoming one with the impersonal Brahman. They wrongly manufacture their own way of devotional service by open debauchery and mislead others who are simpletons or debauchees like themselves. All these nondevotees and debauchees are, according to Viśvanātha Cakravartī, durātmās, or crooked souls in the dress of mahātmās, or great souls. Such nondevotees and debauchees are completely excluded from the list of transcendentalists by the presentation of this particular verse by Śukadeva Gosvāmī.

So the Vaikuṇṭha planets are factually the supreme residential places called the paraṁ padam. The impersonal brahmajyotiis also called the paraṁ padam due to its being the rays of the Vaikuṇṭha planets, as the sun rays are the rays of the sun. In the Bhagavad-gītā (14.27) it is clearly said that the impersonal brahmajyoti rests on the person of the Lord, and because everything rests on the brahmajyoti directly and indirectly, everything is generated from the Lord, everything rests on Him, and after annihilation, everything is merged in Him only. Therefore, nothing is independent of Him. A pure devotee of the Lord no longer wastes valuable time in discriminating the Brahman from non-Brahman because he knows perfectly well that the Lord Parabrahman, by His Brahman energy, is interwoven in everything, and thus everything is looked upon by a devotee as the property of the Lord. The devotee tries to engage everything in His service and does not create perplexities by falsely lording it over the creation of the Lord. He is so faithful that he engages himself, as well as everything else, in the transcendental loving service of the Lord. In everything, the devotee sees the Lord, and he sees everything in the Lord. The specific disturbance created by a durātmā, or crooked soul, is due to his maintaining that the transcendental form of the Lord is something material.

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