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Re: Vibhava lokas

From: Murali Kadambi (
Date: Wed Sep 08 1999 - 11:39:53 PDT

Dear Srikanth,

Some excerpts of our discussion:

I 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.

You wrote in reply to my e-mail:
> I suggest that the above
> description need not be
> taken to imply solely the spatio-physical character
> of Sri VaikunTham. 

( ... deleted for brevity ...)

> 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.

While I have to admit I did not understand the intent of some parts of
your reply to my e-mail, I suspect that your point is exactly my point.

For more clarifications on my views or if your point is that
paramapadam is actually only an avasthA (a state of consciousness) and
that paramapadam should be viewed as a "spatial realm only for purposes
of meditation," please read on.

If vaikunTam were avasthA alone, how would you even start describing
It?  Besides, whose consiousness is it an avasthA of?  The paramAtma's
or the mukta's?  Also, is it only one avasthA or a multitude of
avasthAs, and what is the substratum for these avasthAs?

While I do agree that the conventional spatial and temporal
descriptions that we are used to here on earth do not apply in
VaikunTam, some other spatial and temporal coordinates have to be valid
in order to even say that the Lord *sits* on the Adisesha, or that
VaikunTam in manned on *all four sides* by four pairs of dwArapAlas, or
for that matter that the jIvAtma *performed* cAmara service to the
Lord.  It is for this purpose that VaikunTam is made of a spiritual
substance (one of the dravyas according to RAmAnuja) called nitya
vibhuthi.  One property of a dravya is that it is a substratum for
modification (see Desika's definitions in nyAya siddhAn~jana or
tattva-mukta-kalApa).  VaikunTam exists the way it does because of
Lord's nithya and anithya sankalpa.  The jIvAtma and (obviously) the
paramAtma use time and space to serve and be served respectively
without at the same time being conditioned by them.

So, to summarize, VaikunTam is definitely a state of a mukta's
consciousness, but only to the extent that it (vaikunTam) has become
the object of the mukta's knowledge.  VaikunTam with all its multitude
of avasthAs of streams flowing, of the various jIvAtmas serving the
Lord in infinite number of ways, and with an infinite other dynamic
occurences is far easier described as a lOka than an avasthA.

|| sarvam sree krSNArpaNam astu ||

-- aDiyEn, muraLi kaDAmbi

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