How Far is Vaikuntha?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Provided your intellect is sharp and free from prejudices and predilections, the reality will reveal itself to you in a flash, for it is quite a simple thing. Only, it must be capable of seeing the problem in its basic essence, apart from all the jumble of irrelevancies.

Once a very learned pundit was holding forth in a pedantic manner the story of Gajendra-moksha from the Bhagavata [scripture], before the Maharaja and a large gathering of courtiers in his court. He described how the Lord, on hearing the agonized call for succor from the elephant held by the jaws of the monstrous crocodile, hurried from heaven (Vaikuntha) without stopping even to collect His insignia and weapons, without even intimating to His consort where He was bound on what mission. Suddenly the Maharaja interrupted him with the question, “Tell me, pundit, how far is this Vaikuntha?” The learned pundit did not know the distance; he was non-plussed. Nor did any of the other scholars in the palace knew.

But the servant who was fanning the king from behind the throne offered to furnish the answer, if his impertinence would be pardoned. The pundit was shocked at this effrontery, but the Maharaja allowed him to speak. “Your Majesty! Vaikuntha is as far as the cry of the elephant could be heard,” he said. Yes, when the anguish of a devotee’s heart is expressed as a groan or a sigh, the Lord is as far only as that sound could reach.

Source: Chinna Katha