Goloka (Sanskrit: गोलोक) also known as Gauloka, Goloka Vrindavana, Krishnaloka or Gokula, is the eternal supreme abode of Lord Krishna and Radha.[1] In the Bhagavata Purana, Krishna is especially portrayed as the highest person who resides in Goloka.[2]

According to Brahma Vaivarta Purana, Krishna is the highest supreme lord and eternal one whose loka is above all. It is said that Goloka never vanishes and remains eternal like the Lord himself. Goloka is spread across a diameter of 3 crore yojanas; here, Krishna resides in his teenage form with all gop and gopies. Vaikunta is just south of Goloka and 5 crore yojanas away from it; here, four-handed Narayana resides with his wife Lakshmi. Shiva loka is situated to the north of Goloka; here, Shiva resides with his consort and devotees. Both Vaikunta and Shiva loka are 1 crore yojanas in diameter. However, some texts point to the possibility that Vaikunta and Goloka are in fact equal in diameter.

All the Vaikunta[3]Goloka is mentioned in Vaishnavite schools such as Gaudiya Vaishnavism, Swaminarayan Sampraday, Pranami, Vallabha, Nimbarka Sampradaya, and in scriptures such as Pancharatra[4], Garga Samhita[5], Brahma Samhita, Brahma vaivarta, Devi Bhagvat puran (ninth book) in which Sri Krishna is depicted as the para Brahman who is the male form of Devi and the master of Goloka.

EtymologyEdit

Goloka means World of cows[6] or Krishna's heaven[7] The Sanskrit word go refers to "cow" and "loka" is translated to as "realm" and not "planet".

Lord Krishna is also known as Gaulokvihari (vihari means "a resident of") since he is a resident of Goloka and his consort Radha is called Radhika. The Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Mumbai has two murtis dedicated to this particular form of the gods.

DescriptionEdit

A description of Goloka can be found in the Brahma Samhita on verse 5.29,

"I worship Govinda, the primeval Lord, the first progenitor, who is tending the cows, yielding all desires, in abodes built with spiritual gems and surrounded by millions of purpose trees. He is always served with great reverence and affection by hundreds and thousands of devotees resembling goddesses of fortune."

Sanatana Goswami, an author of a number of important works in the bhakti tradition of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, states, "Sri Goloka is considered the ultimate destination of spiritual endeavour."[8]

Among all the eighteen puranas, The Brahma Vaivarta Purana explicitly describes Goloka Vrindavan to be about 500 million yojanas (4 billion miles) above Vaikuntha loka and expands till 30 million yojanas (240 million miles). The depiction is similar with a verse found in brahma samhita 5.43.[citation needed]

Acharyas of Gaudiya Vaishnavaism explains it to be limitless. Both Vaikuntha and Goloka are considered to be Nitya Dhama (eternal realm of existence) which are not prone to annihilation even after the whole cosmic dissolution. Lord Krishna in his two-armed form eternally reside in the realm of Goloka and in his four-armed form, as Lord Vishnu he eternally resides in the realm of Vaikuntha loka.[citation needed]

Literary sourcesEdit

Mention of Goloka is also found in other Puranas, such as Skanda Purana and Markandeya Purana. In Brihad-bhagavatamrita, Srila Sanatana Goswami explains this verse is quoted from Skanda Purana and it is spoken by Lord Krishna to Arjuna,

Evam bahu-vidhai rupais caramiha vasundharam brahmalokam ca kaunteya golokam ca sanatanam. "I move about in many forms on earth, in Vaikuntha, and in eternal Goloka, O Kaunteya."[9]

In the Markandeya Purana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead declares,

Golokam ca parityajya lokanam trana-karanat kalau gauranga-rupena lila-lavanya-vigrahah. "In the Kali-Yuga, I will leave Goloka and, to save the people of the world, I will become the handsome and playful Lord Gauranga."

Krsnaloka structureEdit

All the Vaikuntha planets are said to be like petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that lotus, called Krsnaloka or Goloka Vrndāvana, is the center of all the Vaikunthas. Thus the expansions of Krsna in various forms, as well as His various abodes on the spiritual planets in the spiritual sky, are unlimited. Krsnaloka is divided into three different portions: Gokula, Mathurā and Dvārakā. As stated in Brahma-samhitā (5.43), all the Vaikuntha planets in the spiritual sky (known as Vishnuloka) emanate from the predominating Deity of Krsnaloka, Goloka Vrndāvana, known as Bhagavan.

See alsoEdit

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ Asiatic Researches or Transactions of the Society Instituted in Bengal for inquiring into the History and Antiquities, Arts, Sciences and Literature of Asia. Volume 16. Bengal Military Orphans Press. 1828. p. 126.
  2. ^ SCHWEIG, G.M. (2005). Dance of divine love: The Rasa Lila of Krishna from the Bhagavata Purana, India's classic sacred love story (PDF). Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ; Oxford. p. 10. ISBN 0-691-11446-3.
  3. ^ Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda (2017). Shreemad Bhagavad Gita: The Song Of Love. PublishDrive.
  4. ^ goloko nitya-vaikuntho yathakaso yatha disah
  5. ^ 1.23, 2.14, etc.
  6. ^ Paramahamsa Sri Swami Vishwananda (2017). Shreemad Bhagavad Gita: The Song Of Love. PublishDrive.
  7. ^ (http://sanskritdictionary.com/goloka/74723/1)
  8. ^ Śrĩla Sanãtana Goswãmĩ, Śrĩ Bṛhad Bhãgavatãmṛta, Dig-darśinĩ commentary to Part Two (Śrĩ-goloka-mãhãtmya) 1.24 (tr. Gopiparanadhana Dasa, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, p. 39) ISBN 0-89213-346-5
  9. ^ Sri Brahma Samhita: with the commentary Dig-darsani-tika of Sri Jiva Gosvami. The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust.