Not by magnitude but by attitude

by Sankirtan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

SB 01.19.05
atho vihāyemam amuṁ ca lokaṁ
vimarśitau heyatayā purastāt
kṛṣṇāṅghri-sevām adhimanyamāna
upāviśat prāyam amartya-nadyām

Mahārāja Parīkṣit sat down firmly on the banks of the Ganges to concentrate his mind in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, rejecting all other practices of self-realization, because transcendental loving service to Kṛṣṇa is the greatest achievement, superseding all other methods.

For a devotee like Mahārāja Parīkṣit, none of the material planets, even the topmost Brahmaloka, is as desirable as Goloka Vṛndāvana, the abode of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the primeval Lord and original Personality of Godhead. This earth is one of the innumerable material planets within the universe, and there are innumerable universes also within the compass of the mahat-tattva. The devotees are told by the Lord and His representatives, the spiritual masters or ācāryas, that not one of the planets within all the innumerable universes is suitable for the residential purposes of a devotee. The devotee always desires to go back home, back to Godhead, just to become one of the associates of the Lord in the capacity of servitor, friend, parent or conjugal lover of the Lord, either in one of the innumerable Vaikuṇṭha planets or in Goloka Vṛndāvana, the planet of Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa. All these planets are eternally situated in the spiritual sky, the paravyoma, which is on the other side of the Causal Ocean within the mahat-tattva. Mahārāja Parīkṣit was already aware of all this information due to his accumulated piety and birth in a high family of devotees, Vaiṣṇavas, and thus he was not at all interested in the material planets. Modern scientists are very eager to reach the moon by material arrangements, but they cannot conceive of the highest planet of this universe. But a devotee like Mahārāja Parīkṣit does not care a fig for the moon or, for that matter, any of the material planets. So when he was assured of his death on a fixed date, he became more determined in the transcendental loving service of Lord Kṛṣṇa by complete fasting on the bank of the transcendental river Yamunā, which flows down by the capital of Hastināpura (in the Delhi state). Both the Ganges and the Yamunā are amartyā (transcendental) rivers, and the Yamunā is still more sanctified for the following reasons.

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