Spiritual World

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.)