Going to Vaikuntha. We had a very interesting discussion on today’s SB verse 4.12.36: “The self-effulgent Vaikuntha planets, by whose illumination alone all the illuminating planets within this material world give off reflected light, cannot be reached by those who are not merciful to other living entities.
Only persons who constantly engage in welfare activities for other living entities can reach the Vaikuntha planets.” I started the class by explaining the term Vaikuntha indicated that the spiritual planets were free from anxiety, but in actuality when one become Krishna conscious anxiety (of a different sort) increases and the method for becoming Kcon is to put oneself in anxiety. The residents of Goloka experience extreme anxiety when they can not see Krishna or when Krishna goes to the forest with His cowherd boy friends or appears to go to Mathura. Even the Gopis experience anxiety when they are separated from Krishna by the blinking of their eyes. They experience so much anxiety that a moment is like twelve years or more.
Of course this anxiety is transcendental ecstasy and should not be confused with material anxiety that is based upon selfish considerations. But spiritual anxiety naturally arises because of love. Just like when mother loves a child, she is in anxiety when he/she cries. If there is no love the crying of a child is simply a botheration. When I am in a plane and there is a mother with a screaming child everyone except the mother is angry at the child because there is no love for the child. So, when there is love for Krishna one is always in anxiety about seeing Him, serving Him nicely, His safety, His happiness, etc. That is the Goloka mood.
In addition one is in anxiety about the plight of those parts and parcels of Krishna who are not serving Him at present. In the 5th Canto of the Bhagavatam, Pariksit Maharaja is presented with a description of the hellish planets. His response is to feel anxiety for the souls that are being punished and to enquire from Sukadeva Goswami as to the remedial measure for alleviating the suffering of these poor souls. Sukadeva Goswami tests his disciple Pariksit by first describing the process of atonement (prayascitta), but Pariksit (who is not a blind follower but an independently thoughtful pure devotee-not caught up in a hierarchical dynamic) rejects Sukadeva Goswami’s prescription of atonement because atonement does not effect a change in the heart and a change in the counterproductive behavior of the materialist.
Sukadeva therefore describes the actual cure for material suffering in the famous verse SB6.3.31: “Sukadeva Gosvami continued: My dear King, the chanting of the holy name of the Lord is able to uproot even the reactions of the greatest sins. Therefore the chanting of the sankirtana movement is the most auspicious activity in the entire universe. Please try to understand this so that others will take it seriously.”