Goloka

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Goloka (Sanskrit: गोलोक) also known as Goloka Vrindavana, Krsnaloka or Gokula, is the eternal supreme abode of Lord Krishna and Radha.[1] In the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna, an avatar of Lord Vishnu, is especially portrayed as the highest person who resides in Goloka.[2]

The terms "Goloka" and "Vaikunta" are often synonymously used. All the Vaikunta lokas are said to be like petals of a lotus flower, and the centre is called Krishna Loka or Goloka Vrindavan, the topmost of all the lokas, and rare is the soul who is allowed to go there. [3] Goloka is mentioned in vaishnavism schools such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Swaminarayan Sampraday and in scriptures such as Pancharatra[4], Garga Samhita[5], Brahma Samhita and Brahma vaivarta.

Etymology[edit]

Goloka means World of cows[6] or Krishna's heaven[7] The Sankrit word go can refer to either "cows" or "star" and loka is translated to as "world" or "planet".

Lord Krishna is also known as Gaulokvihari (vihari means "a resident of") since he is a resident of Goloka and his consort Radha is called Radhika. The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mumbai has two murtis dedicated to this particular form of the gods.

Description[edit]

A description of Goloka can be found in the Brahma Samhita on verse 5.29,

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor, who is tending the cows, yielding all desires, in abodes built with spiritual gems and surrounded by millions of purpose trees. He is always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds and thousands of devotees resembling goddesses of fortune."

Sanatana Goswami, an author of a number of important works in the bhakti tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, states, "Sri Goloka is considered the ultimate destination of spiritual endeavour."[8]

Among all the eighteen puranas, The Brahma Vaivarta Purana explicitly describes Goloka Vrindavan to be about 500 million yojanas (4000000000 miles) above Vaikuntha loka and expands till 30 million yojanas (240000000 miles). The depiction is similar with a verse found in brahma samhita 5.43.[citation needed]

Acharyas of Gaudiya Vaishnavaism explains it to be limitless. Both Vaikuntha and Goloka are considered to be Nitya Dhama (eternal realm of existence) which are not prone to annihilation even after the whole cosmic dissolution. Lord Krishna in his two-armed form eternally reside in the realm of Goloka and in his four-armed form, as Lord Vishnu he eternally resides in the realm of Vaikuntha loka.[citation needed]

Literary sources[edit]

Mention of Goloka is also found in other Puranas, such as Skanda Purana and Markandeya Purana. In Brihad-bhagavatamrita, Srila Sanatana Goswami explains this verse is quoted from Skanda Purana and it is spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna,

Evam bahu-vidhai rupais caramiha vasundharam brahmalokam ca kaunteya golokam ca sanatanam.

"I move about in many forms on earth, in Vaikuntha, and in eternal Goloka, O Kaunteya."[9]

In the Markandeya Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares,

Golokam ca parityajya lokanam trana-karanat kalau gauranga-rupena lila-lavanya-vigrahah.

"In the Kali-Yuga, I will leave Goloka and, to save the people of the world, I will become the handsome and playful Lord Gauranga."

Krsnaloka structure[edit]

All the Vaikuntha planets are said to be like petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that lotus, called Krsnaloka or Goloka Vrndāvana, is the center of all the Vaikunthas. Thus the expansions of Krsna in various forms, as well as His various abodes on the spiritual planets in the spiritual sky, are unlimited. Krsnaloka is divided into three different portions: Gokula, Mathurā and Dvārakā. As stated in Brahma-samhitā (5.43), all the Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual sky (known as Vishnuloka) emanate from the predominating Deity of Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndāvana, known as Bhagavan.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Asiatic Researches or Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal for inquiring into the History and Antiquities, Arts, Sciences and Literature of Asia. Volume 16. Bengal Military Orphans Press. 1828. p. 126. 
  2. ^ SCHWEIG, G.M. (2005). Dance of divine love: The Rasa Lila of Krishna from the Bhagavata Purana, India's classic sacred love story (PDF). Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; Oxford. p. 10. ISBN 0-691-11446-3. 
  3. ^ Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda (2017). Shreemad Bhagavad Gita: The Song Of Love. PublishDrive. 
  4. ^ goloko nitya-vaikuntho yathakaso yatha disah
  5. ^ 1.23, 2.14, etc.
  6. ^ Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda (2017). Shreemad Bhagavad Gita: The Song Of Love. PublishDrive. 
  7. ^ (http://sanskritdictionary.com/goloka/74723/1)
  8. ^ Śrĩla Sanãtana Goswãmĩ, Śrĩ Bṛhad Bhãgavatãmṛta, Dig-darśinĩ commentary to Part Two (Śrĩ-goloka-mãhãtmya) 1.24 (tr. Gopiparanadhana Dasa, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, p. 39) ISBN 0-89213-346-5
  9. ^ Sri Brahma Samhita: with the commentary Dig-darsani-tika of Sri Jiva Gosvami. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.