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Re: Vibhava lokas

From: Venkatesh Elayavalli (
Date: Mon Sep 06 1999 - 09:11:26 PDT

Dear Sri Srinivasan & Sri Mani,

The Following comments are based on an Archiraadi of Sri Pillai Lokacharya. 
Pillai lokacharya in his Archiraadi, outlines the path a mummukshu takes to 
attain moksha. The text is in four parts (or chapters). The first chapter 
deals with the ills of the Leela World (entire world outside Viakuntam) and 
provides some insight into the lifes of nityas in Vaikuntham. The second 
chapter covers the detail the path to Viakuntha (or Paramapadam).  The 
chapter describes in detail how the soul that was guided by Perumal in the 
Leela world is received by all the Nityas in the Nitya Vibhooti (Vaikuntha). 
The third chapter describes the devine couch (Adisesha), Sri and Perumal 
Himself. In this chapter Pillai Lokacharya starts with the Hair and 
concludes with the nails on His toes, when describing the beauty of Perumal. 
In the final chapter, he describes the conversation between Perumal and the 
soul aspiring for Moksha.


>I can appreciate that Vaikuntha is more of a state than a place where
>the dharma-bhuta-jnana of the jiva expands to infinity and covers the
>whole of existence. In this context, I have 3 questions:

Many of our poorvaachaaryas, such as Sri Pillai Lokacharya, Sri 
Koorathaazhvaan (in his Vaikuntastavam) and Sri Ramanuja (in his Vaikuntha 
gadyam) all address vaikuntha as a place (desam). There is no where in their 
works or the commentaries on these texts, Vaikuntha is refred to as a state 
of moksha. I believe that the d-b-jnana of the soul merges with Bhagavan and 
the soul performs kainkaryam to perumal at His side.

>1) Does the expansion of dharma-bhuta-jnana mean that the mukta is
>omniscient like Bhagavan?


>2) Why cannot this happen while the jiva is here on earth, by the grace
>of Bhagavan?

If q2 is a follow up of q1, there is no answer. However, to expand on a 
different path, in Archiradi, Pillai Lokacharya says that Perumal appears in 
front of the soul, only when the soul is freed from the body (or is about to 
be freed). The reason he gives is that Perumal wants to teach patience to 
the mummukshu desiring salvation. He also wants to teach the person that the 
same body that he hates can be made to adopt prctices which will take him 
towards salvation.

>3) Does this dharma-bhuta-jnana reveal the jnanaanandaika-nature of
>Bhagavan also? In other words, does the mukta directly perceive the
>swarupa (essential substantive nature) of Bhagavan (apart from his

Yes, but not in the Leela world of Perumal.

> >Ramanuja beautifully explains the multiple notions
> >implied by the term parama-padam. He writes in the
> >Vedarthasangraha:
> >  In some texts, the term "parama-pada" is used to
> >mean the highest state.  In others, it means the true
> >nature of the individual self, freed from contact
> >with matter, and in still some other texts, it refers
> >to the true nature of Bhagavan. ...
>It is interesting to note that in all the three meanings, the notion of
>a physical place is not present.

On the contarary, Ramanuja in his Vaikuntha gadya, gives a good description 
of Vaikuntha, and Pillai Lokacharya expands on this into minute details. If 
we take into account the works of Azhwaars, 8 of whom have composed paasuram 
on this divya desam (Vaikuntham), acharyas works, starting with 
Koorathaazhwaan, Ramanuja and Pillai Lokacharya, they all seem to be 
consistent in their perception of Vikuntha.

aazhwaar emperumaanaar jeeyar thiruvadikalE Saranam

Venkatesh K. Elayavalli             Cypress Semiconductor
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