tatrāpi bhāratam eva varṣaṁ karma-kṣetram anyāny aṣṭa varṣāṇi svargiṇāṁ puṇya-śeṣopabhoga-sthānāni bhaumāni svarga-padāni vyapadiśanti.
tatra api—out of all of them; bhāratam—known as Bhārata-varṣa; eva—certainly; varṣam—the tract of land; karma-kṣetram—the field of activities; anyāni—the others; aṣṭa varṣāṇi—eight tracts of land; svargiṇām—of the living entities elevated to the heavenly planets by extraordinary pious activities; puṇya—of the results of pious activities; śeṣa—of the remainder; upabhoga-sthānāni—the places for material enjoyment; bhaumāni svarga-padāni—as the heavenly places on earth; vyapadiśanti—they designate.
Among the nine varṣas, the tract of land known as Bhārata-varṣa is understood to be the field of fruitive activities. Learned scholars and saintly persons declare the other eight varṣas 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 varṣas.
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 varṣas other than Bhārata-varṣa. In Bhagavad-gītā (9.21) Kṛṣṇa says, kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaṁ viśanti: 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 brahmāṇḍa bhramaṇa, 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 Vaikuṇṭhaloka or, still higher. Kṛṣṇaloka (Goloka Vṛndāvana). A devotee is never caught in the process of being promoted to the heavenly planets and again coming down. Therefore Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu 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 Kṛṣṇa come in contact with a guru, a bona fide representative of Kṛṣṇa. The Māyāvādīs indulging in mental speculation and the karmīs desiring the results of their actions cannot become gurus. A guru must be a direct representative of Kṛṣṇa who distributes the instructions of Kṛṣṇa without any change. Thus only the most fortunate persons come in contact with the guru. As confirmed in the Vedic literatures, tad-vijñānārthaṁ sa gurum evābhigacchet: [MU
“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.”
[Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad 1.2.12]
“One should render transcendental loving service to the Supreme Lord Kṛṣṇa 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 Kṛṣṇa 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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