“As the director of different kinds of clouds, Indra called for the samvartaka. This cloud is invited when there is a need to devastate the whole cosmic manifestation. The samvartaka was ordered by Indra to go over Vrindavana and inundate the whole area with an extensive flood. Demonically, Indra thought himself to be the all-powerful supreme personality.” (Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Vol 1, Ch 25)
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“In the modern world we have significant advancements in medication. Injections given to children, sometimes immediately after they are born. They administer some of the concoctions multiple times to be sure, though in truth probably because they aren’t effective, but the visual evidence of success is the lack of prevalence of the disease. Up to twenty injections before a child even enters school.
“Sure, so many other diseases went away on their own, without a medically approved injection created by the drug companies, but don’t ask too many questions. Otherwise, you will be tarred and feathered in society, at least verbally. They will label you a nut, someone who wants to reintroduce witchcraft. You are anti-science, even though all of your reservations are rooted in science.
“I intentionally use that as a reference point to illustrate that in this world in which we live, earth, we have remedies for problems. At least we think we do. Identify an issue and you can consult a reference book to decipher a mitigation attempt moving forward.
“If that is the case on earth, shouldn’t heaven be superior? If you achieve that destination, shouldn’t you be immune to so many problems that the earthly experience carries? I mention this in reference to the first Govardhana Puja. We know there was trouble from up above, that the leader of heaven became upset. What gives?”
An acharya in the Vedic tradition, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada does not place much importance on reaching the heavenly planets. There is fidelity to the disciplic succession and also a proper appearance within the link; listening to the acharya is as good as receiving the word from God Himself.
As Krishna says the worshipers of the devas have had their intelligence stolen, so Krishna’s representative in the modern day confirms the truth, explaining in ways suited to the time and circumstance.
कामैस् तैस् तैर् हृत-ज्ञानाः
तं तं नियमम् आस्थाय
प्रकृत्या नियताः स्वया
kāmais tais tair hṛta-jñānāḥ
taṁ taṁ niyamam āsthāya
prakṛtyā niyatāḥ svayā
“Those whose minds are distorted by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.20)
The Sanskrit for this heaven is svarga-loka. It is a collection of planets, each with different features. The type of behavior on earth determines the exact destination. Punya, or pious credits, accumulate through a variety of recommended practices and observances while on earth in a human body.
The general dismissal by the wise spiritual leader is ultimately due to the notable lack of distinction from earth. That is to say reaching heaven is really no different than taking birth here. The stay is surely longer. There is enhanced enjoyment, meaning the experience suits the name: heavenly.
Yet we see similar defects. Evidence is in the king of that region, no less. Indra should be the happiest person in the world. He lives in the place everyone desires to reach. He has full control. He should not have any attention directed to the inferior realm.
In the first Govardhana Puja we see that he can’t help himself. He feels compelled to attack innocent villagers. Not with ordinary weapons. Not with a large infantry. Not with the full weight and might of military force.
Rather, just the elements of nature, but in grand proportion. Dark clouds. Heavy winds. Intense rain. Wash the people away, for the crime of having worshiped a nearby hill, at the insistence of Shri Krishna. He is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the same Vishnu that the demigods had recently petitioned to visit earth and relieve the situation caused by the atheist class, the asuras.
Indra in this case behaved worse than the best of the asuras. The saving grace was the location and purpose. He attacked specifically to get revenge at Krishna, to prove that a young child is no match for the force sourced in the demigods.
The clever son of Nanda Maharaja simply lifted the just worshiped hill and turned it into the largest and most amazing umbrella. That coverage remained aloft for seven straight days, and Indra had no choice but to give up and admit embarrassment in defeat.
This is clear evidence that the shelter of the Divine is a million times superior to reaching the heavenly realm, that only Krishna’s devotees are truly protected. They have the Vaikuntha atmosphere wherever they live, including after the completion of the current life.
Vaikuntha features the benefits one would expect of genuine spiritual life. Peace, calm, tranquility, immunity from the influence of the false ego, protection against the onslaught of time. Most importantly, there is endless ananda. This bliss is only possible in devotion, the kind the people of Vrindavana felt in a never-ending current.
Spontaneous devotion to display,
When directed Govardhana’s way.
So that to heaven even superior,
Indra feeling ignored and inferior.
Defects of heavenly realm showing,
That quickly into envious fit going.
More emphasis on Vaikuntha place,
Teachings of acharyas and His Divine Grace.
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