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Re: Vibhava lokas

From: R. Srikanth (srik_at_iiap.ernet.in)
Date: Wed Sep 08 1999 - 01:32:22 PDT

Hi,

On Tue, 7 Sep 1999, Murali Kadambi wrote:

> Mani, the existence of the VishNu lOka is unmistakable according to the
> pAncarAtra texts and also in the vEdas.  e.g.,
> 1.  "na tatra suryObhAti, na candra tArakam ...":  In that lOka of
> vishNu, there are no suns, moons, and stars.

To comment from the infinitessimalitude of my personal experience and
reflection upon this topic, rather than from actual erudition of the
relevant scriptures, I suggest that the above description need not be
taken to imply solely the spatio-physical character of Sri VaikunTham. 

Those lines are no more indicative of Sri VainkunTham as a place than
is Sri Krishna's elucidation of the Atman, when He asserts "na enam
cindanti SastrAni, na ca enam kledayati apaH..." (weapons do not cleave
it, water does not wet it, the Wind does not dry it...), indicative of 
the Atman as a physical thing!

In both instances, it is purely a case of resorting to a picturesque and
at the same time functional explanation of the highest order in the face
of verbal description being unsuitable to express a profound,
reference-less experience,

For example, how do we describe the sweetness of a sugarcane to a person
devoid of the sense of taste? We could adopt the mundane approach to
elaborate its orthogonality to senses like vision, touch, etc., or adopt
the vividness of the Vedas' and Sri Krishna's technique, by negating
specific spatial, visual etc. experiences.

However, I think that visualization of Paramapadam as a spatial realm
might be felt to be an aid to meditation. I strongly suspect that it is in
this sense that the more physical descriptions are to be rightly viewed.

Hari Om,
Srikanth