The Holy Places of Jaiva Dharma: Bhuh


BY: SUN STAFF - 29.7 2019

Mother Kamadhenu, the Wish-fulfilling Cow

A serial presentation of the holy places mentioned in the Jaiva Dharma of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur - Part 31.

The next holy place mentioned on the 'Glossary of Places' in Srila Bhaktivinoda's Jaiva Dharma is Bhuh:

Bhuh - (Bhu-loka) the planet earth.

There is little mention of Bhuh found in Jaiva Dharma. In fact, we find only one mention specifically referring to the earth planet, in chapter twelve:

Nitya-dharma O Sadhana - Eternal Religion and Devotional Service in Practice

"According to their different qualifications, the spirit souls proclaim three different goals of life. They are: 1. bhukti (material sense gratification), 2. mukti (impersonal liberation), and 3. bhakti (devotional service). They who yearn for material pleasures and are bound by ropes of material karma affix that bhukti is the true goal of life. The scriptures are a kamadhenu cow that fulfils all desires. Whatever one desires, there is a description somewhere in the scriptures of how to attain it. For they who desire material pleasures, the scriptures give the karma-kanda section of the Vedas. The residents of the material world generally yearn for material pleasures, so the scriptures gives certain specific instructions to them.

They who have material bodies generally think sense pleasures are the best and most important attainment. The material world is, after all, the abode of material sense pleasures. The material sense pleasures the soul attains from the time of birth until the time of death are called 'pleasures this world', and the material sense pleasures one may attain after dying are called 'pleasures of the next world'. There are many different kinds of pleasure in the next world. In Svargaloka and Indraloka there are the pleasures of seeing the apsaras' dancing, the pleasure of drinking heavenly nectar, smelling the flowers and other scented objects in the Nandana gardens, seeing the beauty of Indrapuri and the Nandana gardens, hearing the singing of the gandharvas and others, and living with the Vidyadharis are all pleasures attainable in Svargaloka. To a lesser degree these same kinds of material sense pleasure are also available in Tapoloka and Maharloka.

In Bhuloka (the earth) the material sense pleasures are gross. As one goes to higher and higher planets, the sense pleasures become more and more subtle. In this way they are different. Still, they are all material sense pleasure. It is not that any of them are not material sense pleasures. None of these planets are spiritual. The subtle body of mind, intelligence and false ego is a perverted reflection of spirit. In the higher planets the pleasures are pleasures of the subtle body. All these different kinds of material pleasures are called 'bhukti'. The conditioned souls trapped in the circle of karma take shelter of karmic activities in order to attain material sense pleasures. That is called their 'sadhana', the means they adopt to attain what they see is the true goal of life."

Vaikunthanatha Vishnu with Sri Devi (left) and Bhu Devi (right) 
Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, c. 1800 
British Museum Collection


The next reference is to Sri Bhudevi, the consort of Lord Narayana. The goddess Bhudevi is the embodied personality of the Earth planet. In chapter thirty-one of Jaiva Dharma Her eternal abode is described:

Madhura-rasa-vicara - Madhura-rasa

"Gosvami: This is very confidential. You know that Lord Krsna's opulences are four quarters. Three quarters are the spiritual world, and one quarter is the material world. Within that one quarter of the Lord's opulences exist the material universes that have fourteen planetary systems. On the boundary that divides the material and spiritual world flows the Viraja river. On the father shore of the Viraja is the spiritual world. The spiritual world is enclosed by a wall of light called the Brahmajyoti. Beyond that wall may be seen the spiritual sky of Vaikuntha. In Vaikuntha the Lord's opulence is prominent. There Lord Narayanacandra, the king of kings, is served by numberless spiritual opulences. In Vaikuntha the Lord accepts only the svakiya rasa. There Sri, Bhu, Nila and the other wives serve their husband, Lord Narayana. Above Vaikuntha is Goloka. In Vaikuntha the Dvaraka queens serve Krsna according to svakiya rasa. In Goloka the girls of Vraja serve Krsna according to their own rasa."

Finally, there is an interesting mention of Bhu in the fourteenth chapter of Jaiva Dharma, giving instruction on the embodiment of Bhu-sakti:

Nitya-dharma O Sambandhabhidheya-prayojana (Prameyantar-gata Sakti-vicara) - Eternal Religion and Sambandha, Abhidheya, and Prayojana (The Lord's Potencies)

"Vrajanatha: Which potency of Lord Gauranga is Sri Visnupriya?

Babaji: Generally the devotees say she is the Lord's Bhu-sakti. But the truth is that she is samvit-sakti accompanied by the essence of the hladini-sakti. This means that she is the Goddess of Devotion, Bhakti-devi and during Lord Gauranga's advent she comes to help Him preach the glories of the holy name. As the nine islands of Sri Navadvipa-dhama embody the nine kinds of devotional service, so Srimati Visnupriya is also the nine kinds of devotional service personified."


(Bhuh, to be continued…)