TEXT 11
tatrapi bharatam eva varsam karma-ksetram anyany asta varsani svarginam punya-sesopabhoga-sthanani bhaumani svarga-padani vyapadisanti.
SYNONYMS
tatra api—out of all of them; bharatam—known as Bharata-varsa; eva—certainly; varsam—the tract of land; karma-ksetram—the field of activities; anyani—the others; asta varsani—eight tracts of land; svarginam—of the living entities elevated to the heavenly planets by extraordinary pious activities; punya—of the results of pious activities; sesa—of the remainder; upabhoga-sthanani—the places for material enjoyment; bhaumani svarga-padani—as the heavenly places on earth; vyapadisanti—they designate.
TRANSLATION
Among the nine varsas, the tract of land known as Bharata-varsa is understood to be the field of fruitive activities. Learned scholars and saintly persons declare the other eight varsas to be meant for very highly elevated pious persons. After returning from the heavenly planets, they enjoy the remaining results of their pious activities in these eight earthly varsas.
PURPORT
The heavenly places of enjoyment are divided into three groups: the celestial heavenly planets, the heavenly places on earth, and the bila heavenly places, which are found in the lower regions. Among these three classes of heavenly places (bhauma-svarga-pada-ni), the heavenly places on earth are the eight varsas other than Bharata-varsa. In Bhagavad-gita (9.21) Krsna says, ksine punye martya-lokam visanti: when the persons living in the heavenly planets exhaust the results of their pious activities, they return to this earth. In this way, they are elevated to the heavenly planets, and then they again fall to the earthly planets. This process is known as brahmanda bhramana, wandering up and down throughout the universes. Those who are intelligent—in other words, those who have not lost their intelligence—do not involve themselves in this process of wandering up and down. They take to the devotional service of the Lord so that they can ultimately penetrate the covering of this universe and enter the spiritual kingdom. Then they are situated on one of the planets known as Vaikunthaloka or, still higher. Krsnaloka (Goloka Vrndavana). A devotee is never caught in the process of being promoted to the heavenly planets and again coming down. Therefore Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu says:
Among all the living entities wandering throughout the universe, one who is most fortunate comes in contact with a representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead and thus gets the opportunity to execute devotional service. Those who are sincerely seeking the favor of Krsna come in contact with a guru, a bona fide representative of Krsna. The Mayavadis indulging in mental speculation and the karmis desiring the results of their actions cannot become gurus. A guru must be a direct representative of Krsna who distributes the instructions of Krsna without any change. Thus only the most fortunate persons come in contact with the guru. As confirmed in the Vedic literatures, tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet: [MU
tad-vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet
samit-panih srotriyam brahma-nistham
“To understand these things properly, one must humbly approach, with firewood in hand, a spiritual master who is learned in the Vedas and firmly devoted to the Absolute Truth.”
[Mundaka Upanisad 1.2.12]
1.2.12] one has to search out a guru to understand the affairs of the spiritual world. Srimad-Bhagavatam also confirms this point. Tasmad gurum prapadyeta jijnasuh sreya uttamam: [SB 11.3.21] one who is very interested in understanding the activities in the spiritual world must search out a guru—a bona fide representative of Krsna. From all angles of vision, therefore, the word guru is especially meant for the bona fide representative of Krsna and no one else. Padma Purana states, avaisnavo gurur na syat: one who is not a Vaisnava, or who is not a representative of Krsna, cannot be a guru. Even the most qualified brahmana cannot become a guru if he is not a representative of Krsna. Brahmanas are supposed to acquire six kinds of auspicious qualifications: they become very learned scholars (pathana) and very qualified teachers (pathana); they become expert in worshiping the Lord or the demigods (yajana), and they teach others how to execute this worship (yajana); they qualify themselves as bona fide persons to receive alms from others (pratigraha), and they distribute the wealth in charity (dana). Yet even a brahmana possessing these qualifications cannot become a guru unless he is the representative of Krsna (gurur na syat). Vaisnavah sva-paco guruh: but a Vaisnava, a bona fide representative of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Visnu, can become a guru, even if he is sva-paca, a member of a family of dog-eaters. Of the three divisions of heavenly planets (svarga-loka), bhauma-svarga is sometimes accepted as the tract of land in Bharata-varsa known as Kashmir. In this region there are certainly good facilities for material sense enjoyment, but this is not the business of a pure transcendentalist. Rupa Gosvami describes the engagement of a pure transcendentalist as follows:
anyabhilasita-sunyam
jnana-karmady-anavrtam
anukulyena krsnanu-
silanam bhaktir uttama
[Madhya 19.167]
“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Krsna favorably and without desire for material profit or gain through fruitive activities or philosophical speculation. That is called pure devotional service.” Those who fully engage in devotional service to Krsna just to please Him are not interested in the three divisions of heavenly places, namely, divya-svarga, bhauma-svarga and bila-svarga.

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