TEXT 20
tathaiva cānye nara-loka-vīrā
ya āhave kṛṣṇa-mukhāravindam
netraiḥ pibanto nayanābhirāmaṁ
pārthāstra-pūtaḥ padam āpur asya
SYNONYMS
tathā—as also; eva ca—and certainly; anye—others; nara-loka—human society; vīrāḥ—fighters; ye—those; āhave—on the battlefield (of Kurukṣetra); kṛṣṇa—Lord Kṛṣṇa’s; mukha-aravindam—face like a lotus flower; netraiḥ—with the eyes; pibantaḥ—while seeing; nayana-abhirāmam—very pleasing to the eyes; pārthaArjuna; astra-pūtaḥ—purified by arrows; padam—abode; āpuḥ—achieved; asya—of Him.
TRANSLATION
Certainly others who were fighters on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified by the onslaught of Arjuna’s arrows, and while seeing the lotuslike face of Kṛṣṇa, so pleasing to the eyes, they achieved the abode of the Lord.
PURPORT
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, appears in this world for two missionary purposes: to deliver the faithful and to annihilate the miscreants. But because the Lord is absolute, His two different kinds of actions, although apparently different, are ultimately one and the same. His annihilation of a person like Śiśupāla is as auspicious as His actions for the protection of the faithful. All the warriors who fought against Arjuna but who were able to see the lotuslike face of the Lord on the battlefront achieved the abode of the Lord, exactly as the devotees of the Lord do. The words “pleasing to the eyes of the seer” are very significant. When the warriors from the other side of the battlefield saw Lord Kṛṣṇa at the front, they appreciated His beauty, and their dormant instinct of love of God was awakened. Śiśupāla saw the Lord also, but he saw Him as his enemy, and his love was not awakened. Therefore Śiśupāla achieved oneness with the Lord by merging in the impersonal glare of His body, called the brahmajyoti. Others, who were in the marginal position, being neither friends nor enemies but slightly in love of Godhead by appreciating the beauty of His face, were at once promoted to the spiritual planets, the Vaikuṇṭhas. The Lord’s personal abode is called Goloka Vṛndāvana, and the abodes where His plenary expansions reside are called the Vaikuṇṭhas, where the Lord is present as Nārāyaṇa. Love of Godhead is dormant in every living entity, and the entire process of devotional service unto the Lord is meant for awakening this dormant, eternal love of Godhead. But there are degrees of such transcendental awakening. Those whose love of God is awakened to the fullest extent go back to the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet in the spiritual sky, whereas persons who have just awakened to love of Godhead by accident or association are transferred to the Vaikuṇṭha planets. Essentially there is no material difference between Goloka and Vaikuṇṭha, but in the Vaikuṇṭhas the Lord is served in unlimited opulence, whereas in Goloka the Lord is served in natural affection.
This love of God is awakened by the association of pure devotees of the Lord. Here the word pārthāstra-pūtaḥ is significant. Those who saw the beautiful face of the Lord on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra were purified first by Arjuna when he made his onslaught with arrows. The Lord appeared for the mission of diminishing the burden of the world, and Arjuna was assisting the Lord by fighting on His behalf. Arjuna personally declined to fight, and the whole instruction of the Bhagavad-gītā was given to Arjuna to engage him in the fight. As a pure devotee of the Lord, Arjuna agreed to fight in preference to his own decision, and thus Arjuna fought to assist the Lord in His mission of diminishing the burden of the world. All the activities of a pure devotee are executed on behalf of the Lord because a pure devotee of the Lord has nothing to do for his personal interest. Arjuna’s killing was as good as killing by the Lord Himself. As soon as Arjuna shot an arrow at an enemy, that enemy became purified of all material contaminations and became eligible to be transferred to the spiritual sky. Those warriors who appreciated the lotus feet of the Lord and saw His face at the front had their dormant love of God awakened, and thus they were transferred at once to Vaikuṇṭhaloka not to the impersonal state of brahmajyoti as was Śiśupāla. Śiśupāla died without appreciating the Lord, while others died with appreciation of the Lord. Both were transferred to the spiritual sky, but those who awakened to love of God were transferred to the planets of the transcendental sky.
Uddhava seemingly lamented that his own position was less than that of the warriors on the Battlefield of Kurukṣetra because they had attained to Vaikuṇṭha whereas he remained to lament the disappearance of the Lord.

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