The Visnudutas exactly resembled Lord Visnu. The Yamadutas had never seen them before, because the Yamadutas stay in an atmosphere where only sinful activities are executed. Therefore they were astonished at the presence of these beautiful personalities and said, “By your bodily features you appear to be very exalted gentlemen, and you have such celestial power that you have dissipated the darkness of this material world with your effulgence. Why then should you endeavor to stop us from executing our duty?” It will be explained that the Yamadutas, the order-carriers of Yamaraja, mistakenly considered Ajamila sinful. They did not know that although he was sinful throughout his entire life, he was purified by constantly chanting the holy name of Narayana.
The Visnudutas were so effulgent because they were residents of the spiritual world, where everyone and everything is self-effulgent. As Lord Krsna says in the Bhagavad-gita (15.6), na tad bhasayate suryo na sasanko na pavakah: “My abode is not illuminated by the sun, the moon, fire, or electricity.” The Yamadutas did not know where the Visnudutas had come from, but they could see that the Visnudutas were not ordinary, since they were so effulgent, they had four arms, and they were extremely beautiful.
The dress and bodily features of the residents of Vaikuntha are accurately described in these verses. The residents of Vaikuntha, who are decorated with garlands and yellow silken garments, have four arms holding a disc, flower, club, and conchshell. Thus they exactly resemble Lord Visnu—except for one very prominent feature: the Kaustubha jewel, which the Lord wears on His chest. The residents of Vaikuntha have the same bodily features as Narayana because they have attained the liberation of sarupya, but they nevertheless act as servants. All the residents of Vaikunthaloka know perfectly well that their master is Narayana, or Krsna, and that they are all His servants. They are all self-realized souls who are nitya-mukta, everlastingly liberated. Although they could conceivably declare themselves Narayana, they never do so; they always remain Krsna conscious and serve the Lord faithfully. Such is the atmosphere of Vaikunthaloka. Similarly, one who learns the faithful service of Lord Krsna through the Krsna consciousness movement will always remain in Vaikunthaloka and have nothing to do with the material world.
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