Vaikuntha

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Vishnu (Narayana), Lord of Vaikuntha
A Vision of Vishnu (Vaikuntha Darshana) - Brooklyn Museum
For aspect of Vishnu, see Vaikuntha Chaturmurti.

Vishnuloka, Vaikuntha (Sanskrit वैकुंठ, vaikuṃṭha), Vaikuntha-loka, Brahmaloka-sanatana or Abode of Brahman, Brahmajyoti, Param Padam (‘supreme abode’), or Paramapadam is the home of the Supreme Lord Vishnu. It is the eternal abode of Narayana or Vishnu or Hari, his consort Lakshmi, and Shesha, upon whom they rest.[1] In most of the extant Puranas, and Vaishnava traditions, Vaikuntham (Vishnuloka) is located in the direction of the Makara Rashi (Shravana Zodiac) which coincides with the Capricorn constellation. Vishnu's eye is supposed to be located at the South Celestial Pole as well.

The Rigveda (1.22.20) states, Oṃ tad viṣṇoḥ paramam padam sadā paśyanti sūrayaḥ: "All the suras (devas) look towards the Supreme Abode of Lord Vishnu", referring to Vaikuntha, the Supreme Abode. Vaikuntha is considered by Vaishnavites to be the ultimate destination of souls who attain moksha or liberation.

Vaikuntha is known as Paramdhama where liberated souls dwell for eternity enjoying pure bliss and happiness in the company of God Narayana or Vishnu. Vaikuntha is beyond the periphery of the material universe and hence, cannot be perceived or measured by material science and logic.

Ksheera Sagara or Ocean of milk is known to be the topmost realm in the material universe where Sheshashayee Lord Vishnu rests on Ananta Shesha. Cosmologically, the Ksheera Sagara is supposed to be situated to the South of the Jambudvipa-globe (the Earth-sphere), and is depicted as being in the Southern Hemisphere in related Hindu Cosmography (Cartography). It is also sometimes known as local Vaikuntha of the material universe which is approachable by devas or demigods in order to meet Lord Vishnu in case of any emergency or disturbance in the equilibrium of the universe. Vaikuntha itself, is beyond the material universe and so is free from the universal creation and annihilation which happens again and again.

Bhagavata Purana[edit]

Lord Brahma was shown a glimpse of the eternal and supreme abode Vaikuntha, by Supreme Lord Narayana at the time of the creation of the cosmos when Brahma satisfied Lord Narayana by the penance after being born on the lotus emanated from the navel of Lord Narayana (Vishnu). According to the Bhagavata Purana, which is considered to be the essence of vedic knowledge and the greatest of all puranas,[2][3] this event is described as follows:[4]

The Supreme Lord Narayana, being thus very much satisfied with the penance of Lord Brahma, was pleased to manifest his personal abode, Vaikuntha, the supreme abode which is the final destination of the liberated souls beyond which there is no supreme abode. This transcendental abode of the Lord is adored by all self-realized liberated souls freed from all kinds of miseries and fear of illusory existence.[5] In that personal abode of the Lord, the material modes of ignorance and passion do not prevail, nor is there any of their influence in goodness. There is no predominance of the influence of time, so what to speak of the illusory, external energy; it cannot enter that region. Without discrimination, both the demigods and the demons worship the Supreme Lord as devotees.[6] The inhabitants of the Vaikuntha are described as having a glowing sky-bluish complexion. Their eyes resemble lotus flowers, their dress is of yellowish color, and their bodily features very attractive.

They are just the age of growing youths,they are all nicely decorated with pearl necklaces with ornamental medallions, and they all appear to be effulgent.[7] Some of them are effulgent like coral and diamonds in complexion and have garlands on their heads, blooming like lotus flowers, and some wear earrings.[8] The Vaikuntha are also surrounded by various airplanes, all glowing and brilliantly situated. These airplanes belong to the great mahatmas or devotees of the Lord. The ladies are as beautiful as lightning because of their celestial complexions, and all these combined together appear just like the sky decorated with both clouds and lightning.[9]

The Goddess of fortune Lakshmi in her transcendental form is engaged in the loving service of the Lord's lotus feet, and being moved by the black bees, followers of spring, she is not only engaged in variegated pleasure—service to the Lord, along with her constant companions—but is also engaged in singing the glories of the Lord's activities.[10] Lord Brahma saw in the Vaikuntha, the Supreme Being Narayana, who is the Lord of the entire devotee community, the Lord of the goddess of fortune, the Lord of all sacrifices, and the Lord of the universe, and who is served by the foremost servitors like Nanda, Sunanda, Prabala and Arhana, his immediate associates.[11] The Lord, seen leaning favorably towards His loving servitors, His very sight intoxicating and attractive, appeared to be very much satisfied. He had a smiling face decorated with an enchanting reddish hue. He was dressed in yellow robes and wore earrings and a crown on his head. He had four hands, and His chest was marked with the lines of the goddess of fortune.[12] The Lord was seated on His throne and was surrounded by different energies like the four, namely the principles of prakṛti, puruṣa, mahat-tattva and ego, He is also served by the sixteen, namely the five elements (earth, water, air, fire and sky), the five perceptive sense organs (the eye, ear, nose, tongue and skin), and the five working sense organs (the hand, the leg, the speech organ, the evacuation outlet and the genitals), and the mind. The five includes the sense objects, namely form, taste, smell, sound and touch. All these twenty-five items serve the Lord in the material universe, and all of them are personally present to serve the Supreme Lord. The insignificant opulences numbering eight (the aṣṭa-siddhis, attained by yogīs for temporary overlordship) are also under his control, but he is naturally full with all such powers without any effort, and therefore He is the Supreme Lord enjoying in his Supreme Abode.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vaikuntaa divyadesam". www.divyadesamonline.com. Archived from the original on 2007-07-04. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  2. ^ Bhagavata Purana 12.13.16
  3. ^ http://www.krishna.com/bhagavatam-major-contribution-understanding-god
  4. ^ http://srimadbhagavatam.com/2/9/en1
  5. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.9
  6. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.10
  7. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.11
  8. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.12
  9. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.13
  10. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.14
  11. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.15
  12. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.16
  13. ^ Bhagavata Purana 2.9.17

Bibliography[edit]

  • Dictionary of Hindu Lore and Legend (ISBN 0-500-51088-1) by Anna Dallapiccola
  • On the Symbolism of Three- and Four-Faced Vishnu Images: A Reconsideration of Evidence. by Adalbert J. Gail, In: Artibus Asiae, Vol. 44, No. 4. (1983), pp. 297–307. p. 298-99