Bhagawatam 125: Devatas pray to Lord Brahma; Brahma describes the beauty of Vaikuntha

Yasya vācā prajāḥ sarvā gāvas tantyeva yantritāḥ

Haranti balim āyattās tasmai mukhyāya te namaḥ

O Lord! Just as a rope tied to its nose binds and controls the bull, Your words known as the Vedas, bind living beings to the rules of righteousness and thus controls them. Living beings controlled by You worship You with faith and devotion. They reverentially serve You. You exist in the form of the primary life-force known as breath within all living beings. To such a Lord, we offer our obeisance.

O personification of the Supreme! Please ensure the welfare of all living beings. As darkness has enveloped the universe, all their activities have come to a stop. As a result of this, we too are trapped in difficulties. Please direct your flow of compassion towards us.

O Lord! Maharishi Kashyapa has retained his radiance in Diti’s womb. Due to his radiance, the fetus within her womb is prospering like fire in a haystack. It has rendered all the directions lusterless”.

Maitreya Maharishi said, “Vidura, Brahma is a Self-created form who can be known only through Vedic sounds. Brahma, who heard the prayers of the Devatas smiled and trying to satisfy them with his pleasing words said,

“O Devatas! Sanaka and other Kumaras were born earlier than you all. There is nothing that they seek in this creation. Through the medium of space (akaśa) they travel across the different planes of existence.

Ta ekadā bhagavato vaikuṇṭa-syāmalātmana

Yayur vaikuṇṭa-nilayaṁ sarva-loka-namaskṛtam

In the form of pure illumination, Srihari remains in the cave known as the intellect of living beings who are replete with traits of goodness (sattva). This Lord Srihari has His residence in Vaikunṭha.  For this reason, inhabitants of all different planes offer reverential obeisance to this Vaikunṭha loka.

Sanaka and other Maharishis, who were travelling in space, desired to meet Lord Srihari and hence they reached Vaikunṭha. All the beings who reside in Vaikunṭha resemble Srihari in appearance. Free from any form of desire, they eternally worship Srihari considering it to be their dharma.

The Supreme Lord Srihari is a form of completeness. He is the cause for all causes. He is known through the medium of the Vedas and is an embodiment of righteousness. Such a Lord has taken on the traits of goodness (sattva guna) as his carrier (body) and resides in Vaikunṭha. He bestows happiness and comforts upon us, his devotees.

A supreme garden by name Naiśreyasam exists in Vaikunṭha. This garden glows resplendently, being abundant in trees laden with fruits and flowers belonging to all different seasons. Together with Kalpavriksha, the wish fulfilling tree, which are found in plenty, this garden appears like a representation of liberation. In other words, it appears as if liberation (moksha) has assumed the form of this garden.

Within this garden is a sacred pond. Within this pond are exquisite Madhavi lotuses that shower honey. Their sweet fragrance disturbs the concentrative/ meditative mood of the mind. It implies that it attracts the mind. Despite that, Gandharvas (celestial beings) roam about in aircrafts together with their spouses and without getting distracted by these fragrances, focus exclusively on Srihari and render His glories. They are able to restrain the wind which carries to them these intoxicating fragrances. They spend their time glorifying the deeds of their Lord Srihari. The stories of this Supreme Lord destroy sins of living beings.

Birds such as cuckoo, pigeon, crane, lark, parrots, swan, partridge, peacock and others chirp noisily in that garden. Yet, when the bee begins to hum loudly as if it is singing the glories of the Lord, there will be a temporary silence, as all the birds stop chirping.

Tulasi (basil) leaves are very dear to Lord Srihari so much so that He adorns His neck with a Tulasi garland and admires its fragrance. For this reason, the other flowering plants in that garden viz., hibiscus, jasmine, mehendi, water lily, arna flower, suraponna, nāgakesari, pogada, lotus, pārijata and others extol the penance performed by Tulasi. After all, Mother Tulasi undertook severe austerities to earn the grace of that Lord. Hence they extol her greatness. These flowering plants also direct their fragrances towards Tulasi plant in their attempt to reach the Lord.

An infinite number of aircrafts made of cat’s eye, emerald and gold exist in Vaikunṭha within which supreme devotees are seated. Yet, these airplanes are visible only to those who have totally sought shelter in His lotus feet. Srihari fixes himself eternally in the hearts of the supreme devotees who travel in these airplanes. For this reason the charming looks, laughter, jokes, smiling faces, or other actions of beautiful damsels cannot attract the minds of these devotees. They are untouched by lust and other desires that originate out of Rajo guṇa (traits of action/ passion).

The abode of Lord Srihari is made of gold and has crystal walls. Lakshmi Devi, the Goddess of fortune, gives up her natural tendency of fickleness and remains steadily in this splendorous mansion. As She walks in her husband Srihari’s mansion playing with a lotus in her hand, the jingling of her anklets, which are made up of precious stones, can be heard. When the reflection of Goddess Lakshmi, who walks with a lotus in her hand, falls on these crystal walls it appears as if She is sweeping the floor with that lotus.

In this world everyone strives to obtain the grace of Goddess Lakshmi. Lakshmi Devi however, together with her attendants, sits in her garden and reverentially worships Lord Srihari with Tulasi leaves.

In that garden are wells which contain nectar in lieu of water. The walls of these wells are made of rubies. When Lakshmi Devi sees the reflection of her beautiful face, with her raised nose and long braids, in those waters, it appears to Her that the dark blue complexioned Lord is kissing her face making it more beautiful. With this she becomes bashful.

O Devatas! It is truly unfortunate that the dull-witted humans do not listen to these divine transcendental stories of Lord Srihari, which are capable of destroying sins. Instead they while away their time in worthless, wasteful topics, useless friendships which are devoid of essence and which spoil the mind. They have deep inclination towards such useless matters. Such beings can never reach Vaikunta. Bad associations drive them towards ignorance and hell. In those planes there will be none to rescue them.

Human birth is extremely important as in it there is an opportunity to practice dharma and also to obtain supreme knowledge. For this reason all celestials, including me, seek human birth.  Yet those, who even after obtaining a human birth fail to understand or worship Srihari, fall into his trap of illusion.

Devatas seek human birth so that they can profusely sing divine glories”.

Vishṇave namah

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