The Opulences of Krsna
Since Lord Caitanya is especially merciful to innocent, unsophisticated persons, His name is also Patitapavana, the deliverer of the most fallen conditioned souls. Although a conditioned soul may be fallen to the lowest position, it is possible for him to advance in spiritual science if he is innocent. Sanatana Gosvami was considered to be fallen according to the Hindu social system because he was in the service of the Mohammedan government. Indeed, he had even been excommunicated from brahminical society due to his employment. But because he was a sincere soul, Lord Caitanya showed him special favor by granting him a wealth of spiritual information.
The Lord next explained the situation of different spiritual planets in the spiritual sky. The spiritual planets are also known as Vaikuntha planets. The universes of the material creation have a limited length and breadth, but as far as the Vaikuntha planets are concerned, there is no limitation to their dimensions because they are spiritual. Lord Caitanya informed Sanatana Gosvami that the length and breadth of each and every Vaikuntha planet is millions and billions of miles. Each of these planets is unlimitedly expanded, and in each and every one of them there are residents who are full in all six opulences-wealth, strength, knowledge, beauty, fame and renunciation. In each and every one of these Vaikuntha planets an expansion of Krsna has His eternal abode, and Krsna Himself has His original, eternal abode called Krsnaloka or Goloka Vrndavana.
In this universe even the largest planet lies in one corner of outer space. Although the sun is thousands of times larger than the earth, it still lies in one corner of outer space. Similarly, each of the infinite planets, although unlimited in length and breadth, lies in a corner of the spiritual sky known as the brahmajyoti. In the Brahma-samhita this brahmajyoti is described as niskalam anantam asesa-bhutam, or undivided and unlimited and without a trace of the material modes of nature. All the Vaikuntha planets are like petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that lotus, called Krsnaloka or Goloka Vrndavana, is the center of all the Vaikunthas. Thus the expansions of Krsna in various forms, as described herein, as well as His various abodes on the spiritual planets in the spiritual sky, are unlimited. Even demigods like Brahma and Siva cannot see or even estimate the extent of the Vaikuntha planets. This is confirmed in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.21): "No one can estimate the length and breadth of all the Vaikuntha planets." It is also stated there that not only demigods like Brahma and Siva are unable to make such an estimate, but even Ananta, the very incarnation of the Lord's opulence of strength, cannot ascertain any limit to the Lord's potency or to the area of the different Vaikuntha planets.
The prayers of Brahma, mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.14.21), are very convincing in this connection, for therein Lord Brahma says:
ko vetti bhuman bhagavan paratman
yogesvarotir bhavatas tri-lokyam
kva va katham va kati va kadeti
vistarayan kridasi yoga-mayam
"O my dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Supersoul, O master of all mystic powers, no one can know or explain Your expansions, which You manifest by Your yogamaya energy. These expansions extend throughout the three worlds." Brahma also says in his prayers:
gunatmanas te 'pi gunan vimatum
hitavatirnasya ka isire 'sya
kalena yair va vimitah sukalpair
bhu-pamsavah khe mihika dyubhasah
"Scientists and learned men cannot even estimate the atomic constitution of a single planet. Even if they could count the molecules of snow in the sky or the number of stars in space, they cannot estimate how it is You descend on this earth or in this universe with Your innumerable transcendental potencies, energies and qualities." (SB 10.14.7) Lord Brahma informed Narada that none of the great sages, including himself, could estimate the potential strength and energy of the Supreme Lord. He admitted that even if Ananta with His thousands of tongues tried to estimate the Lord's energies, He would fail. Therefore the Personified Vedas also prayed:
dyupataya eva te na yayur antam anantataya
tvam api yad antaranda-nicaya nanu savaranah
kha iva rajamsi vanti vayasa saha yac chrutayas
tvayi hi phalanty atannirasanena bhavan-nidhanah
"My Lord, You are unlimited, and no one has estimated the extent of Your potencies. I think that even You do not know the range of Your potential energies. Unlimited planets float in the sky just like atoms, and great Vedantists, who are engaged in research to find You, discover that everything is different from You. Thus they finally decide that You are everything." (SB 10.87.41)
When Lord Krsna was within this universe, Brahma played a trick on Him in order to confirm that the cowherd boy in Vrndavana was actually Krsna Himself. By his mystic power, Brahma stole all the cows, calves and cowherd friends of Krsna and hid them. However, when he returned to see what Krsna was doing alone, he saw that Krsna was still playing with the same cows, calves and cowherd boys. In other words, by His Vaikuntha potency, Lord Krsna had expanded all the stolen cows, calves and friends. Indeed, Brahma saw millions and billions of them, and he also saw millions and billions of tons of sugarcane and fruit, lotus flowers and horns. The cowherd boys were decorated with various clothes and ornaments, and no one could count their vast numbers. Indeed, Brahma saw that each of the cowherd boys had become a four-handed Narayana like the predominating Deity of each brahmanda, and he also saw that innumerable Brahmas were engaged in offering obeisances to the Lord. He saw that all of them were emanating from the body of Krsna and, after a second, also entering into His body. Lord Brahma became struck with wonder and in his prayer admitted that although anyone and everyone could say that they knew about Krsna, as far as he was concerned, he did not know anything about Him. "My dear Lord," he said, "the potencies and opulences which You have exhibited just now are beyond the ability of my mind to understand."
Lord Caitanya further explained that not only Krsnaloka but even Vrndavana, Lord Krsna's abode on this planet, cannot be estimated as far as potency is concerned. From one point of view, Vrndavana is estimated to be thirty-two square miles in area, yet in one part of this Vrndavana all the Vaikunthas exist. The area of the present Vrndavana miles in area, and Vrndavana City is estimated to be about sixteen krosas, or thirty-two miles. How it is all the Vaikunthas exist there is beyond material calculation. Thus Caitanya Mahaprabhu proclaimed the potencies and opulences of Krsna to be unlimited. Whatever He told Sanatana Gosvami was only partial, but by such a partial presentation one can try to imagine the whole.
While Lord Caitanya was speaking to Sanatana Gosvami about the opulences of Krsna, He was deep in ecstasy, and in that transcendental state He cited a verse from Srimad-Bhagavatam (3.2.21) in which Uddhava, after the disappearance of Krsna, told Vidura:
svayam tv asamyatisayas tryadhisah
balim haradbhis cira-lokapalaih
"Krsna is the master of all demigods, including Lord Brahma, Lord Siva and the expansion of Visnu within this universe. Therefore no one is equal to or greater than Him, and He is full in six opulences. All the demigods engaged in the administration of each universe [brahmanda] offer their respectful obeisances unto Him. Indeed, the helmets on their heads are beautiful because they are decorated with the imprints of the lotus feet of the Supreme Lord." It is similarly stated in Brahma-samhita (5.1) that Krsna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and no one can be equal to or greater than Him. Although masters of each and every universe, Brahma, Siva and Visnu are servants of the Supreme Lord Krsna. That is the conclusion. As the cause of all causes, Lord Krsna is the cause of the Maha-Visnu, the first incarnation and controller of this material creation. From the Maha-Visnu, the Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu come; thus Krsna is master of the Garbhodakasayi Visnu and Ksirodakasayi Visnu, and He is also the Supersoul within every living entity in the universe. In Brahma-samhita (5.48) it is stated that by the Maha-Visnu's breathing, innumerable universes are produced, and in each universe there are innumerable Visnu-tattvas, but it should be understood that Lord Krsna is the master of them all, and they are but partial plenary expansions of Krsna.
From revealed scriptures it is understood that Krsna lives in three transcendental places. The most confidential residence of Krsna is Goloka Vrndavana. It is there that He stays with His father, mother and friends, exhibits His transcendental relationships and bestows His mercy amongst His eternal entourage. There yogamaya acts as His maidservant in the rasa-lila dance. The residents of Vrajabhumi think, "The Lord is glorified by particles of His transcendental mercy and affection, and we, the residents of Vrndavana, have not the slightest anxiety due to His merciful existence." As stated in Brahma-samhita (5.43), all the Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual sky (known as Visnuloka) are situated in the planet known as Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndavana. In that supreme planet the Lord enjoys His transcendental bliss in multiple forms, and all the opulences of the Vaikunthas are fully displayed in that one planet. The associates of Krsna are also full with six opulences. In the Padmottara-khanda (225.57) it is stated that the material energy and the spiritual energy are separated by water known as the Viraja River. That river flows from the perspiration of the first purusa incarnation. On one bank of the Viraja is the eternal nature, unlimited and all-blissful, called the spiritual sky, and this is the spiritual kingdom, or the kingdom of God. The spiritual planets are called Vaikunthas because there is no lamentation or fear there; everything is eternal. The spiritual world has been calculated to comprise three-fourths of the energies of the Supreme Lord, and the material world is said to comprise one-fourth of His energy, but no one can understand what this three-fourths is, since even this material universe, which comprises only one-fourth of His energy, cannot be described. Trying to convey to Sanatana Gosvami something of the extent of one-fourth of Krsna's energy, Caitanya Mahaprabhu cited an incident from Srimad-Bhagavatam in which Brahma, the lord of the universe, came to see Krsna at Dvaraka. When Brahma approached Krsna, the doorman informed Krsna that Brahma had arrived to see Him. Upon hearing this, Krsna inquired as to which Brahma had come, and the doorman returned to Brahma and asked, "Which Brahma are you? Krsna has asked."
Brahma was struck with wonder. Why did Krsna ask such a question? He informed the doorman, "Please tell Him that Brahma, who is the father of the four Kumaras and who has four heads, has come to see Him."
The doorman informed Krsna and then asked Brahma inside. Brahma offered his obeisances unto the lotus feet of Krsna, and after receiving him with all honor, Krsna inquired about the purpose of his visit.
"I shall tell You of my purpose in coming here," Lord Brahma replied, "but first I have a doubt which I ask You to kindly remove. Your doorman told me that You asked which Brahma has come to see You. May I inquire if there are other Brahmas besides me?"
Upon hearing this, Krsna smiled and at once called for many Brahmas from many universes. The four-headed Brahma then saw many other Brahmas coming to see Krsna and to offer their respects. Some of them had ten heads, some had twenty, some had a hundred and some even had a million heads. Indeed, the four-headed Brahma could not even count the Brahmas who were coming to offer their obeisances to Krsna. Krsna then called many other demigods from various universes, and they all came to offer their respects to the Lord. Upon seeing this wonderful exhibition, the four-headed Brahma became nervous and began to think of himself as no more than a mosquito in the midst of many elephants. Since so many demigods were offering obeisances unto the lotus feet of Krsna, Brahma concluded that the unlimited potency of Krsna could not be estimated. All the helmets of the various demigods and Brahmas shone brightly in the great assembly, and the prayers of the demigods made a great sound.
"Dear Lord," the demigods said, "it is Your great mercy that You have called us to see You. Is there any particular order? If so, we will carry it out at once."
"There is nothing especially required of you," Lord Krsna replied. "I only wanted to see you together at one time. I offer My blessing to you. Don't fear the demons."
"By Your mercy, everything is all right," they all replied. "There are no disturbances at present, for by Your incarnation everything inauspicious is vanquished."
As each of the Brahmas saw Krsna, each thought that He was only within his universe. After this incident, Krsna wished all the Brahmas farewell, and after offering respects to Him, they returned to their respective universes. Upon seeing this, the four-headed Brahma at once fell down at the feet of Krsna and said, "What I thought about You at first was all nonsensical. Everyone may say that they know You in perfection, but as far as I am concerned, I cannot begin to conceive how great You are. You are beyond my conception and understanding."
"This particular universe is only four thousand million miles broad," Krsna then informed him, "but there are many millions and billions of universes which are far, far greater than this one. Some of these are many trillions of miles broad, and all these universes require strong Brahmas, not just four-headed." Krsna further informed Brahma, "This material creation is only a quarter manifestation of My creative potency. Three quarters of My creative potency is in the spiritual kingdom."
After offering obeisances, the four-headed Brahma parted from Krsna, and he could understand the meaning of the Lord's "three-quarters energy."
The Lord is therefore known as Tryadhisvara, a name indicating His principal abodes-Gokula, Mathura and Dvaraka. These three abodes are full of opulences, and Lord Krsna is the master of them all. Situated in His transcendental potency, Lord Krsna is master of all transcendental energies, and He is full with six opulences. Because He is master of all opulences, all Vedic literatures acclaim Krsna to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Lord Caitanya then sang a nice song about the opulences of Krsna, and Sanatana Gosvami listened. "All the pastimes of Krsna are exactly like the activities of human beings," the Lord sang. "Therefore it is to be understood that His form is like that of a human being. Indeed, a human being is but an imitation of His form. Krsna's dress is just like that of a cowherd boy's. He has a flute in His hand, and He seems to be just like a newly grown youth. He is always playful, and He plays just like an ordinary boy." Lord Caitanya then told Sanatana Gosvami about the beautiful aspects of Krsna. He said that one who understands these beautiful qualities enjoys an ocean of nectar. The yogamaya potency of Krsna is transcendental and beyond the material energy, but the Lord exhibits His transcendental potency even within this material world just to satisfy His confidential devotees. Thus He appears in the material world to satisfy His devotees, and His qualities are so attractive that Krsna Himself becomes eager to understand Himself. When He is fully decorated and stands with His body curved in three ways-His eyebrows always moving and His eyes so attractive-the gopis become enchanted. His spiritual abode is at the top of the spiritual sky, and He resides there with His associates, the cowherd boys, the gopis, and all the goddesses of fortune. It is there that He is known as Madana-mohana.
There are many different pastimes of Krsna-such as His pastimes in the forms of Vasudeva and Sankarsana-and in the material sky His pastimes are carried on as the first purusa incarnation, the creator of the material world. There are also pastimes in which He incarnates as a fish or a tortoise, and there are pastimes in which He takes the forms of Lord Brahma and Lord Siva, as incarnations of the material qualities. In His pastimes as an empowered incarnation, He takes the form of King Prthu, and He also carries on His pastimes as the Supersoul in everyone's heart and as the impersonal Brahman as well. Although He has innumerable pastimes, the most important is that of Krsna in human form frolicking in Vrndavana, dancing with the gopis, playing with the Pandavas on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra and playing in Mathura and Dvaraka. Of His important pastimes in human form, the most important are those pastimes in which He appears as a cowherd boy, a newly grown youth who plays a flute. It is to be understood that a mere partial manifestation of His pastimes in Goloka, Mathura and Dvaravati, or Dvaraka, can overflood the whole universe with love of Godhead. Every living entity can be attracted by the beautiful qualities of Krsna.
The manifestation of His internal potency is not even exhibited in the kingdom of God or on the planets of Vaikuntha, but He does exhibit that internal potency within the universe when, through His inconceivable mercy, He descends from His personal abode. Krsna is so wonderful and attractive that He Himself becomes attracted by His own beauty, and this is proof that He is full of all inconceivable potencies. As far as Krsna's ornaments are concerned, when they decorate His body it appears that they do not beautify Him, but the ornaments themselves become beautiful simply by being on His body. When He stands in a three-curved way, He attracts all living entities, including the demigods. Indeed, He even attracts the Narayana form which presides in each and every Vaikuntha planet.
Link to this page: http://prabhupadabooks.com/tlc/9