Vaikunta, Heaven and Chanting the Divine Name

Satsang at The Ashram
Shree Peetha Nilaya, 08 September 2019

In His Satsang, Paramahamsa Vishwananda reminded us of the importance of saturating our minds with the Divine Name in order to reach our ultimate destination.

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When you are dying, what will be in your mind? You will not have time to think of anything other than Him. So, when you die, achieving that state, you will reach His abode. And once you reach His abode, you don’t come back here. Because His abode is beyond the realm of Maya.

But Heaven, Hell and Brahma Loka are all under the influence of Maya. That’s why He said, ‘Surrender your mind to Me.’ That word ‘surrender’ is not just a simple thing. It is something that is deep. Why do you think He keeps reminding you that you should do your japam, and transform this mind?

But no, you like to be in control of everything. You think that your life will carry on, that you will never die. And this is a misunderstanding of people. They think that they will live here in this physical plane eternally. No, you will die. And you don’t know when. It can be tomorrow. Has your mind been attached to the Divine? No! You are very busy remembering your problems. You are very busy remembering what kind of clothes to wear and how to put on your makeup. Because you look for happiness in the outside, you are losing this opportunity when the mind should really be absorbed in chanting. Then you would be free.

Story of the Gopi and her Chanting

Once one gopi went to Radha. She was very happy and very excited to tell Radharani how she was doing her japam. She asked Radha, and Radha said, ‘Okay, yes, you can tell me.’

The gopi said, ‘I am doing my japam, and when I’m doing my japam, I am so absorbed into that meditation on the Lord that all of a sudden He just comes in front of me. And by looking at Him, I stop my japam, I am so mesmerised by His beauty. Then I remember that I am doing my japam, so I again start doing my japam.’

Radharani was very happy and said, ‘It’s very good! You should carry on chanting the Lord’s Name. You see how lucky you are that He comes to you?!’

After a few days again she came to Radha, again very excited. She said, ‘Listen, I have to tell you something. Just now while I was doing my japam, Lord Krishna came and He stood at my door looking at me and called, “Come with Me!” And I replied to Him, “No, I can’t come, I’m doing my japam.”’

Radharani was perplexed, said, ‘Why you didn't just let go of everything and run to Him?’

The gopi said, ‘You told me to do japam, no? I was doing japam.’

Then Radha said, ‘For whom are you doing the japam? You are doing your japam for Him! And if He is coming to you, you should go!’

Then the gopi thought, said, ‘Yes, that’s right. The next time He comes, I will go.’

The next day, she was busy doing her japam, but Krishna didn't come and she started to get worried. So she ran back to Radha and said, ‘Radha, I’ve been doing my japam, but now why doesn’t He come?’

Radha smiled and said, ‘What was in your mind while you were doing your japam?’

The gopi replied, ‘I was feeling very special because Krishna was going to come to me.’

(You see, due to that thought itself, Krishna had stopped coming. Because that is a personal thought; that is the pride.)

Radha said to her, ‘Listen, my dear sakhi, you should do your japam and say to yourself that even if He doesn’t come, you will never stop chanting His Name.’

The gopi was very happy and so she said to herself, ‘Even if You don’t come, I will not stop chanting Your Name.’ And at that moment Krishna came and took her with Him.

As long as there is space between you and Him, you will never see Him, you will never attain Him. All that space prevails within your mind. And that’s what He wants to remove.

Paramahamsa Vishwananda

So, you see how a thought itself can influence? When we are talking about Vaikunta, we are not talking about just a random heaven where you see angels dancing around on a cloud or whatever. We are talking about the supreme place, you know. We are talking about the Supreme Lord Himself. So, as He is perfect in everything, He wants you also to be like that. But of course, perfection is not on the outside. He wants the perfection of the inside, of that mind.

That’s why He continuously reminds us in the Bhagavad Gita. What do you think He was doing with Arjuna? Up until Chapter 10, He gave a whole package to Arjuna to fill his mind completely. He told him everything and Arjuna’s mind was changed. That’s why at the beginning of Chapter 11 you see that Arjuna said, ‘My mind has changed. How I was seeing things has changed.’ Then he asked Him, ‘I want to see.’ ...

At all times, He is ever-present, but what separates the mind and the reality is that space. Through the space in your mind, you have given forms, individuality and so on. But for Arjuna, when that space disappeared, when it was fully saturated with Krishna, then he was ready and then he asked. Arjuna was ready and Krishna was ready to show. But as long as there is space between you and Him, you will never see Him, and you will never attain Him. All that space prevails within your mind. And that’s what He wants to remove. Once that is removed, the reality shows itself.

It’s not going to heaven. Heaven can come to you. That’s why He said, ‘My devotees don’t need to long for anything, they don’t need to pray for anything. Everything will come running to them.' Why doesn’t this happen? Because of your insincerity. You are not sincere with yourself, and yet, you want something that is supreme. He Himself will run to you. Look at all the saints whose minds were saturated with Him; they don’t go to Him, He comes to them! So, wherever they are, this becomes their heaven.

So, as much as space you create, that mind will delude you. And that mind will bring you to your hell or heaven. When you do good, of course, you will have good punya. But to go to heaven, like Krishna said, you have to rise above even the sattvic guna, you have to rise above the three gunas themselves. So, what quality does this good hold for you to reach to Him? It’s a supreme goodness where you are devoid of your ego identity. That ‘I’, ‘mine’ which continuously you chant is not present. It's only Him. Then you can assure yourself that you will be with Him.

He gave this assurance, no? He said it. Do you believe in that assurance of His or do you believe in your limitation? That’s why, if you are a devotee, your concern is about attaining Him. He must be your aim! Why are you bothered about heaven and hell? You want to go there to tan yourself a little bit? Or do you want to attain your spiritual body and dwell with Him?

The choice is yours.

Jai Gurudev!