Spiritual World

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The spiritual world is the greater reality beyond the limited material world of our experience. The world we know is made of temporary matter, but the permanent, spiritual world is made of spirit, which is the essence of all life. The spiritual world is also known as Vaikuntha, the place of no anxiety, where there's no death, disease, or enmity. Life is harmonious because everyone has a common purpose—transcendental, loving service to the Supreme Person.

The Supreme Person has unlimited energies, both spiritual and material. The spiritual world is made completely of His spiritual energy, which is characterized by complete happiness, full consciousness, and permanence. He lives on each Vaikuntha planet, either in His original form as Krishna or in a Vishnu form. The innumerable Vaikuntha planets are all self-luminous, and beautiful beyond our imagination.

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Such descriptions of the spiritual world may sound fantastic to us. But it is said that everything there is fully conscious, all speech is song, every step is a dance, and the effect of time is conspicuous by its absence. The trees there provide whatever one may wish for. There is no death, disease, or old age, and everyone enjoys a perpetual festival of loving service to the Supreme Person. All of us are spiritual by nature. We can never feel truly at home anywhere except the spiritual world.

Everyone there is free to stay or go as they like, but most are so satisfied in their relationships with Krishna that they never want to leave. The spiritual world is all-pervading, so it's not actually possible to "leave," but whoever wants to is put into maya, the illusion of separateness from Krishna. This is also known as the material world. We can return to the spiritual world when we decide we've had enough of this material world's troubles, such as repeated birth and death, disease, violence, taxation, and mosquitoes.

We re-enter spiritual reality by reawakening our original, spiritual, Krishna consciousness. When our spiritual consciousness becomes mature, we can see that everything is actually spiritual, and everything is Krishna's energy. Then, our imagined separateness from Krishna is over. Krishna promises that those who develop their natural affection for Him return to the spiritual world. Such persons never come back to this material world, which occupies an insignificant fraction of the unlimited spiritual sky.

(Image is a painting of the Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual world, based on descriptions found in the Srimad-Bhagavatam.)

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We like to quote our sources. This page is based on the following:

  • Bhagavad-gita, 8.21:

    "That which the Vedantists describe as unmanifest and infallible, that which is known as the supreme destination, that place from which, having attained it, one never returns - that is My supreme abode."

  • Bhagavad-gita, 8.20:

    "Yet there is another unmanifest nature, which is eternal and is transcendental to this manifested and unmanifested matter. It is supreme and is never annihilated. When all in this world is annihilated, that part remains as it is."

  • Brahma-samhita, 5.29:

    "I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor who is tending the cows, yielding all desire, in abodes built with spiritual gems, surrounded by millions of purpose trees, always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds of thousands of laksmis or gopis."

  • Srimad-Bhagavatam, 2.2.14, Purport:

    "The spiritual world is the manifestation of His [Krishna's] internal potency, and the material world is the manifestation of His external potency. The living entities are also His marginal potency, and by their own choice they can live in either the transcendental or material worlds. The material world is not a fit place for living entities because they are spiritually one with the Lord and in the material world the living entities become conditioned by the laws of the material world. The Lord wants all living entities, who are His parts and parcels, to live with Him in the transcendental world, and for enlightening conditioned souls in the material world, all the Vedas and the revealed scriptures are there—expressly to recall the conditioned souls back home, back to Godhead."

  • Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Introduction:

    "The symptom of that superior nature is consciousness. Thus in the spiritual world, where everything is composed of the superior nature, everything is conscious. In the material world there are inanimate objects that are not conscious, but in the spiritual world nothing is inanimate. There a table is conscious, the land is conscious, the trees are conscious—everything is conscious."

  • Teachings of Lord Chaitanya, 31:

    "That spiritual land is populated by goddesses of fortune, who are known as gopis. These are all beloved of Krishna, and Krishna is the only lover of all those gopis. The trees of that land are kalpa-vriksha, wish fulfilling trees, and one can have anything he wants from them. The land is made of touchstone and the water of nectar. In that land all speech is song, and all walking is dancing, and one's constant companion is the flute. Everything is self-luminous, just like the sun in this material world."

  • Chaitanya Charitamrita, Adi-lila, Introduction:

    "The more Krishna conscious we become and the more we advance, the more everything is revealed as spiritual."

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