yad arinam priyanam ca
prapyam ekam ivoditam
tad brahma-krsnayor aikyat
yat—that; arinam—of the enemies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead; priyanam—of the devotees, who are very dear to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ca—and; prapyam—destination; ekam—one only; iva—thus; uditam—said; tat—that; brahma—of impersonal Brahman; krsnayoh—and of Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; aikyat—due to the oneness; kirana—the sunshine; arka—and the sun; upama—the comparison; jusoh—which is understood by.
"Where it has been stated that the Lord's enemies and devotees attain the same destination, this refers to the ultimate oneness of Brahman and Lord Krsna. This may be understood by the example of the sun and the sunshine, in which Brahman is like the sunshine and Krsna Himself is like the sun."
This verse is from the Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.278) of Srila Rupa Gosvami, who further discusses this same topic in his Laghu-bhagavatamrta (Purva 5.41). There he refers to the Visnu Purana (4.15.1), where Maitreya Muni asked Parasara, in regard to Jaya and Vijaya, how it was that Hiranyakasipu next became Ravana and enjoyed more material happiness than the demigods but did not attain salvation, although when he became Sisupala, quarreled with Krsna and was killed, he attained salvation and merged into the body of Lord Krsna. Parasara replied that Hiranyakasipu failed to recognize Lord Nrsimhadeva as Lord Visnu. He thought that Nrsimhadeva was some living entity who had acquired such opulence by various pious activities. Being overcome by the mode of passion, he considered Lord Nrsimhadeva an ordinary living entity, not understanding His form. Nevertheless, because Hiranyakasipu was killed by the hands of Lord Nrsimhadeva, in his next life he became Ravana and had proprietorship of unlimited opulence. As Ravana, with unlimited material enjoyment, he could not accept Lord Rama as the Personality of Godhead. Therefore even though he was killed by Rama, he did not attain sayujya, or oneness with the body of the Lord. In his Ravana body he was too much attracted to Rama's wife, Janaki, and because of that attraction he was able to see Lord Rama. But instead of accepting Lord Rama as an incarnation of Visnu, Ravana thought Him an ordinary living being. When killed by the hands of Rama, therefore, he got the privilege of taking birth as Sisupala, who had such immense opulence that he could think himself a competitor to Krsna. Although Sisupala was always envious of Krsna, he frequently uttered the name of Krsna and always thought of the beautiful features of Krsna. Thus by constantly thinking and chanting of Krsna, even unfavorably, he was cleansed of the contamination of his sinful activities. When Sisupala was killed by the Sudarsana cakra of Krsna as an enemy, his constant remembrance of Krsna dissolved the reactions of his vices, and he attained salvation by becoming one with the body of the Lord.
From this incident one can understand that even a person who thinks of Krsna as an enemy and is killed by Him may be liberated by becoming one with the body of Krsna. What then must be the destination of devotees who always think favorably of Krsna as their master or friend? These devotees must attain a situation better than Brahmaloka, the impersonal bodily effulgence of Krsna. Devotees cannot be situated in the impersonal Brahman effulgence, into which impersonalists desire to merge. The devotees are placed in Vaikunthaloka or Krsnaloka.
This discussion between Maitreya Muni and Parasara Muni centered on whether devotees come down into the material world in every millennium like Jaya and Vijaya, who were cursed by the Kumaras to that effect. In the course of these instructions to Maitreya about Hiranyakasipu, Ravana and Sisupala, Parasara did not say that these demons were formerly Jaya and Vijaya. He simply described the transmigration through three lives. It is not necessary for the Vaikuntha associates of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to come to take the roles of His enemies in all the millenniums in which He appears. The "falldown" of Jaya and Vijaya occurred in a particular millennium; Jaya and Vijaya do not come down in every millennium to act as demons. To think that some associates of the Lord fall down from Vaikuntha in every millennium to become demons is totally incorrect.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead has all the tendencies that may be found in the living entity, for He is the chief living entity. Therefore it is natural that sometimes Lord Visnu wants to fight. Just as He has the tendencies to create, to enjoy, to be a friend, to accept a mother and father, and so on, He also has the tendency to fight. Sometimes important landlords and kings keep wrestlers with whom they practice mock fighting, and Visnu makes similar arrangements. The demons who fight with the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the material world are sometimes His associates. When there is a scarcity of demons and the Lord wants to fight, He instigates some of His associates of Vaikuntha to come and play as demons. When it is said that Sisupala merged into the body of Krsna, it should be noted that in this case he was not Jaya or Vijaya; he was actually a demon.
In his Brhad-bhagavatamrta, Srila Sanatana Gosvami has explained that the attainment of salvation by merging into the Brahman effulgence of the Lord cannot be accepted as the highest success in life, because demons like Kamsa, who were famous for killing brahmanas and cows, attained that salvation. For devotees such salvation is abominable. Devotees are actually in a transcendental position, whereas nondevotees are candidates for hellish conditions of life. There is always a difference between the life of a devotee and the life of a demon, and their realizations are as different as heaven and hell.
Demons are always accustomed to be malicious toward devotees and to kill brahmanas and cows. For demons, merging in the Brahman effulgence may be very glorious, but for devotees it is hellish. A devotee's aim in life is to attain perfection in loving the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Those who aspire to merge into the Brahman effulgence are as abominable as demons. Devotees who aspire to associate with the Supreme Lord to render Him transcendental loving service are far superior.
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