By Patita Pavana das
We will analyze the verses of scripture or statements of our acaryas quoted in the articles on fall-vada, which seem to say souls don’t fall from the Vaikuntha planets.
Srila Prabhupada said in his Srimad Bhagavatam 3. 16.26 purport that “no one falls from the spiritual world.”
No one means no devotees descend. But “sometimes, as the Lord desires, devotees come into the material world as preachers (Lord Buddha) or atheists (like Jaya and Vijaya). Of course, the fools and crazies who disturb the society, friendship and love of Vaikuntha are to fall and will be imprisoned in the lunatic asylum of the material world. The context of this statement and purport should be studied. That rebels are expelled, Srila Prabhupada will state in SB. 3.16.35: “Here is clear proof of how a living entity coming originally from Vaikunthaloka (=planets) is encaged in material elements.”
And in SB 3.16.37…will go back to Godhead, back to the Vaikuntha planets.
In the Vedabase we find this concept 6453 times.
back to Goloka Vrndavana – 2 times
back to Krsnaloka – 2 times
back to Krsna’s loka, back to home – 1 time
go back to my planet – 1 time
back to the rasa dance – 5 times
go back to Jagannatha – 1
back to the Vaikuntha planets – 7 times
back to Krsna – 97 times
back to Krishna – 9 times
back to the kingdom of Krsna – 1 time
back to our eternal home in the kingdom of Krsna – 1 time
return to the kingdom of God – 8 times
back to the kingdom of God – 16 times
back to the kingdom of Godhead – 5 times
back to Godhead – 2921 times
back to home back to godhead – 970 times
return to the spiritual world – 8 times
back home – 691 times
back home back to godhead – 528 times
all spirit souls are coming from Vaikuntha – 1
back to home – 1137 times
back to our permanent home – 1 time
back to our original home, back to God – 2 time
back to our original home, back to Godhead – 1 time
back to the spiritual world – 21 times
back to Vaikuntha – 9 times
back to the Vaikuntha – 1 time
Srila Prabhupada uses these different terms but describes in these ways the same concept. For example in the philosophy discussion on Schopenhauer Srila Prabhupada says:
“There are two kinds of sects: this Mayavadi and the Vaishnava. So both of them know that this material world is flickering, and sometimes they say it is false, unreal. So there is another life; that is spiritual world. So the Mayavadi philosopher, their spiritual life means to merge into the Brahman effulgence, and the Vaishnava philosopher to go back to Goloka Vrindavana, Vaikuntha, where God is situated, and become His associate person. So both the ideas, spiritual ideas, that is attained after death.”
Back to Goloka Vrindavana where we came from.
In the same discussion he also says three times back to home, back to Godhead. Back to Godhead is thus very specific Krishna’s planet, Goloka Vrindavana. Not the outskirts of the brahmajyoti. That is what he says here.
“If you simply try to have full knowledge about Krishna, then his willing, this material willing is purified, and after giving up this body he goes back to home, back to Godhead.”
“If I meet death in sound health, then I can think of my next life, go back to home, back to Godhead, and I achieve it. Because at the time of death my thinking will be taken into consideration. So if by thinking of Jagannatha if I die, then I go back to Jagannatha.
Prabhupada: That is not suicide. That is voluntarily accepting death so that immediately he can return back to the spiritual world.”
“Go back to Jagannatha” means we have fallen down from Jagannatha, we have not come originally from brahmajyoti.
“Return back to the spiritual world” means thus that we come originally from Narayana’s or Krishna’s loka (=planet) not from the brahmajyoti. Srila Prabhupada uses this word “returning” to our original position 3 times; “return back to the spiritual world” 2 times and “original position” 205 times.
In all his writings and speeches Srila Prabhupada uses the following list of words to describe the fall of the soul from the spiritual planets 12,527 times.
Forget Krishna or Krishna consciousness – 637; Forgotten – 674; Forgetful – 119; Forgetfulness – 315; Reclaim – 81; Regain – 89; Revival – 46; Revive – 407; Reinstate – 10; Renovate – 20; Averse – 73; Misuse his independence – 57; Reestablished – 20; Lost – 322; Paradise lost – 19; Dormant – 428; Disagreed – 6; Sleep – 58; Sleeping – 62; Awakened – 297; Imprisoned – 26; Prison – 88; Condemned – 86; Unfettered – 1; Regain – 89; falls down – 86; original Krsna consciousness – 581; original consciousness – 149; original position – 207; come down – 57; return – 171; recover – 25; revert – 15; reunion – 6; again (to Krishna or Krishna consciousness) – 68; fallen conditioned – 65; fallen souls – 465; Back to Krishna consciousness – 7; Back to Krishna – 99; Rebel – 11; Rebellious – 32; back to Goloka Vrndavana – 1; back to Krsna loka – 2; back to the rasa-lila – 5; go back to Jagannatha – 1; go back to my planet – 1; back to the Vaikuntha planets – 7; back to Krishna – 9 times; back to the kingdom of Krsna – 1 time; back to our eternal home in the kingdom of Krsna – 1 time; return to the kingdom of God – 8 times; back to the kingdom of God – 16 times; back to the kingdom of Godhead – 5 times; back to Godhead – 2921 times; back to home back to godhead – 970 times; return to the spiritual world – 8 times; back home – 691 times; back home back to godhead – 528 times; all spirit souls are coming from Vaikuntha – 1; back to home – 1137 times; back to our permanent home – 1 time; back to our original home, back to God – 2 time; back to our original home, back to Godhead – 1 time; back to the spiritual world – 21 times; back to Vaikuntha – 9 times; back to the Vaikuntha – 1 time.
In this SB 3.16.26 purport Srila Prabhupada discusses the descent or fall of devotees.
The text translation makes this clear immediately.
Krishna speaks: “O Kumaras, know that the punishment inflicted on these two gatekeepers was originally ordained by Me and therefore these two (devotees, for pastimes) will “fall” to a birth in a demoniac family…”
Then the whole of the purport is explaining that the Lord wanted to sport, mock fight and to exercise the muscles. As Srila Prabhupada jokingly explains; to keep the body fit to work out on a devotee taking the role of a demon. No one but a devotee can be a proper opponent; they have similar powers (see Brihad Bhagavamrta 2.4.200-201 / 1.3.45, 57)
Then Srila Prabhupada writes “that a devotee should come into an atheist family is surprising“ because “no one (of the devotees) falls from the Vaikuntha planets” but “sometimes, as the Lord desires devotees come into the material world…”
All the chapters and commentaries of our sampradaya-acarya’s on this lila explain fall-vada from the spiritual planets.
In SB 3.16.26 Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti writes on the 4 Kumaras who offered 10 beautiful, prayers. They didn’t know of the fighting rasa between the Lord and Jaya and Vijaya’s expansions (the 2 Hiranyas, Ravana and Kumbhakarna, Sisupala and Dantavakra, Jagai and Madhai). But they know the philosophy of Krishna consciousness.
They thought: “Even the greatest devotees can fall from Vaikuntha because of great offense! What then to speak of where we, who are just dull reflections of sadhakas, can fall from this earth planet!”
Our comment: I.o.w it is common knowledge that devotees becoming demoniac fall from Vaikuntha-loka. As we here in our worlds know that if we do crime or break the law we get jail or a fine.
Srila Prabhupada in the purport to SB 3.15.33 writes:
“Just as there are different departments in each state in this material world—the civil department and the criminal department—so, in God’s creation, there are two departments of existence. All living entities who are residents of the material universes are considered to be more or less criminals because they do not wish to abide by the order of the Lord or they are against the harmonious activities of God’s will. The principle of creation is that the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is by nature joyful, and He becomes many in order to enhance His transcendental joy. The living entities like ourselves, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, are meant to satisfy the senses of the Lord. Thus, whenever there is a discrepancy in that harmony, immediately the living entity is entrapped by maya, or illusion.”
“Discrepancy in that harmony of satisfaction and transcendental joy”
This cannot refer to the causal ocean, as Brahmajyoti fall-vadis try to insert, because huge waves and mighty winds give no joyful harmonious home. The causal ocean is especially in a turmoil at the time of creation; millions of universes and souls come from Maha-Visnu’s pores.
The subtle forms of all these souls and universes (golden cosmic eggs) enter the womb chamber of maya or causal ocean to be clothed or enveloped with the eight mundane elements (see Brahma samhita txt 13)
Conclusion No one falls from Vaikuntha, we also read in SB 7.1.35 purport.
The chapter’s subject is on Yudhisthira’s cousins Sisupala and Dantavakra, who were formerly associates of Lord Visnu, falling from Vaikuntha to the material world, due to a curse by the Kumaras.
Then Yudhisthira inquires in text 34, how can devotees fall to this material world.
“Maharaja Yudhishthira inquired: What kind of great curse could affect even liberated vishnu-bhaktas, and what sort of person could curse even the Lord’s associates? For unflinching devotees of the Lord to fall again to this material world is impossible. I cannot believe this.” (34)
“The bodies of the inhabitants of Vaikuntha are completely spiritual, having nothing to do with the material body, senses or life air. Therefore, kindly explain how associates of the Personality of Godhead were cursed to descend in material bodies like ordinary persons.” (35)
It is impossible that unflinching ekantika devotees fall. Only rebels fall. Also devotees cannot be cursed. No evil can happen to devotees. Only if they turn rebel, then they are not unflinching devotees. Or for pastimes as in the case of Jaya and Vijay. Nor are there demons who curse.
One cannot take text 35 “the bodies of the Vaikuntha inhabitants are spiritual how they were cursed to descend in material bodies” to mean that spiritual bodies can’t fall into material bodies.
Other translations of this verse also don’t give this understanding.
Yudhisthira said: What kind of and whose curse was it that prevailed (even) against the servants of Lord Sri Hari? The incarnation of those exclusively devoted to Sri Hari appears as something incredible. (33)
Be pleased to narrate the episode connected with the corporeal existence of the denizens of Vaikunthapura (the abode of Lord Visnu), devoid (as they are) of a (material) body, indriyas and life-breath. (34) (SB by Gitapress)
33. It appears certainly incredible that those who are exclusively devoted to Hari, were compelled to be born again. Therefore (please tell us) whose curse it was and what was the nature of the imprecation which overpowered the servants of Hari.
34. The residents of the city or region called Vaikuntha are of pure sattvic form and are devoid of material body, senses and the like. You should narrate to us how it led to the assumption of corporeal existence (in the case of such residents of Vaikuntha). (Bhagavata Purana, Motilal edition by board of translators)
Sri Yudhishthira said: Who pronounced the curse against them which was so powerful that it could affect the downfall of the devotees of Lord Vishnu and what was the nature of that curse as it appears unthinkable? Be gracious to enlighten us in this matter that how those dwellers in Vaikuntha, who had no physical bodies and physical organs of sense and action, came to be saddled with corporeal bodies. 34-35 (SB by Bhakti Prajnana Yati )
The auspicious Yudhisthira asked:—Who was he that imprecated the said curse, and what was its nature that it was able to overpower even the servants of Lord Sri Hari? That even those worshippers of Lord Sri Hari, who adored Him with a singleness of purpose, were compelled to be born, seems unworthy of belief. Thou ought to relate to us all, as to how they, the dwellers of excellent Vaikuntha and devoid of the material body, senses and life, became possessed of bodies. (SB by Sanyal)
Spiritual bodies can fall because even in Brahmajyoti-fall-vada the eternally folded up or contracted spiritual body is said to descend (sometimes, if the soul chooses for maya at the viraja-river) into a material body. The wrong choice at the border means the contracted body develops to see Krishna, the soul refuses and becomes shrunk and dormant.
And even those who developed their spiritual body (their nitya svarupa) dwell in (spiritualized) material bodies. So those with a spiritual body in Vaikuntha can descend in material bodies.
Thus the inquiry is on how spirit can be incorporated into matter and on how devotees can fall for the material world. So devotees don’t fall, rebels fall.
That rebels in the spiritual world are imprisoned in the prison house (=Durga) of the material world is already understood from previous purports.
In SB 7.1.25 purport Srila Prabhupada says:
“…takes the conditioned soul back home, back to Godhead and…Vritrasura was taken back to Godhead.
…and a demon or conditioned soul becomes completely pure, the Lord takes him back to Godhead.”
SB 7.1.26 purport:
“…Jaya Vijaya…then returned home, back to Godhead. They came from the Vaikuntha planets and they returned home, back to Godhead.”
Similarly the conditioned souls, described in the purport before 7.1.25 came from that home the spiritual planets and went back to their home.
Later in 7.1.26 purport again he says about conditioned souls:
“…desire to return home, back to Godhead.”
And in 7.1.33 purport he writes:
“…Sisupal and Dantavakre were formerly personal associates of Lord Visnu. They apparently fell to this material world, but actually they came to assist Krishna in His pastimes.”
“Apparently they fell to this material world.” This is ABCD.
As all souls we find in this world have fallen down from above down; because renegades are send off or out to the penal colony of the material world. But no, not these ones, they came to assist Krishna in His pastimes.
And in the previous verse to 7.1.33, in 7.1.32 he translates:
“for unflinching devotees of the Lord to fall again to this material world I can’t believe.”
“Fall again” means they already once had fallen down. They had returned. To fall again is unbelievable. I.o.w the soul can fall away one time, easily or generally from the spiritual world. But once burnt twice shy. Who would go again into the nightmare of the material world.
Then in the purport he repeats this point:
“…he was surprised that a pure devotee could return to this material world.”
“…one purified returns home, back to Godhead.”
And in this 7.1.35:
“Associates of Lord Visnu who descend from Vaikuntha do not actally fall” as associates who became rebels actually fall.
It is understood from this sentence phrased like this that fall does take place but associates of Lord Visnu, who remain servants, do not fall.
In the purport to 7.1.35 Srila Prabhupada writes that “associates of the Lord Visnu who descend from Vaikuntha don’t actually fall. They come with the purpose of fulfilling the desires of the Lord…When Jaya and Vijaya descend, there was something to be done for Krsna. Otherwise it is a fact that no one (of the Lord’s associates, who don’t become envious, – ed.) falls from Vaikuntha.” How can it be otherwise. Srila Prabhupada explains the fall of the soul 1000s of times.
This “otherwise it is a fact that no one falls from Vaikuntha,” Srila Prabhupada faithfully repeats from the verse – loyal associates don’t fall -. He reveals and repeats this at the end of the purport to SB 7.1.35.
““…Jaya and Vijaya descended to the material world to serve the Lord by fulfilling His desire to fight. Otherwise that an unflinching servant of the Lord could fall from Vaikuntha seems unbelievable, as Maharaja Yudhishthira says, asraddheya ivabhati harer ekantinam.” Because ekantika unflinching servants don’t fall. But, of course, demons are exiled, rascals are kicked out.
So, this verse means ekantika one-minded unflinching devotees don’t fall. Those who don’t want to surrender any longer to ekala isvara krsna the only Lord Krishna, fall from grace.
Yuddhistira knows that spiritual bodies get contracted and in this way the spiritual bodies, 1/10000 part of the tip of the hair (kesagra-sata-bhagasya) as a small spiritual atom get into a material body. Of course the soul is spiritual and of another dimension; it fits everywhere in matter. Yuddhistira asks this question to Narada Muni on behalf of the common ignorant man, to be published and broadcasted in the Bhagavatam. How spiritually developed big bodies get into small baby bodies.