Within the material world, every conditioned soul is in the darkness of ignorance. This means that all conditioned souls are under the concept of bodily existence. Everyone is under the impression that he is of this material world, and with this concept of life everyone is working in ignorance in different forms of life. The activities of the particular type of body are called karma, or fruitive action. All conditioned souls, being under the impression of the bodily concept, are working according to their particular type of body. These activities are creating their future conditioned life. Because they have very little information of the spiritual world, they do not generally take to spiritual activities, which are called bhakti-yoga. Those who successfully practice bhakti-yoga go directly to the spiritual world after giving up this present body, and there they become situated in one of the Vaikuṇṭha planets. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana are all pure devotees. Their destination after quitting the body is Kṛṣṇaloka. They even surpass the Vaikuṇṭhalokas. The fact is that those who are always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness and mature, pure devotional service are given the chance, after death, to gain Kṛṣṇa’s association in one of the universes within the material world. Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes are continuously going on, either in this universe or in another universe. Just as the sun globe is passing over many places across this earthly planet, so kṛṣṇa-līlā, or the transcendental advent and pastimes of Kṛṣṇa, are also going on continuously, either in this or another universe. The mature devotees, who have completely executed Kṛṣṇa consciousness, are immediately transferred to the universe where Kṛṣṇa is appearing. In that universe the devotees get their first opportunity to associate with Kṛṣṇa personally and directly. The training goes on, as we see in the vṛndāvana-līlā of Kṛṣṇa within this planet. Kṛṣṇa therefore revealed the actual features of the Vaikuṇṭha planets so that the inhabitants of Vṛndāvana could know their destination.
Thus Kṛṣṇa showed them the eternal, ever-existing spiritual sky, which is unlimited and full of knowledge. Within this material world there are different grades of forms, and according to the grade, knowledge is proportionately manifested. For example, the knowledge in the body of a child is not as perfect as the knowledge in the body of an adult man. Everywhere there are different grades of living entities—in aquatic animals, in the plants and trees, in the reptiles and insects, in birds and beasts and in the civilized and uncivilized human forms of life. Above the human form of life there are demigods, Cāraṇas and Siddhas on up to Brahmaloka, where Lord Brahmā lives, and among these demigods there are always different grades of knowledge. But past this material world, in the spiritual sky, everyone is in full knowledge, and therefore all the living entities there are engaged in devotional service to the Lord, either in the Vaikuṇṭha planets or in Kṛṣṇaloka.
As it is confirmed in the Bhagavad-gītā, full knowledge means knowing Kṛṣṇa to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Vedas and the Bhagavad-gītā it is also stated that in the brahmajyoti, or spiritual sky, there is no need of sunlight, moonlight or electricity. All the planets there are self-illuminating, and all of them are eternally situated. There is no question of creation and annihilation in the brahmajyoti, or spiritual sky. The Bhagavad-gītā also confirms that beyond the material sky there is another, eternal, spiritual sky, where everything is eternally existing. Direct knowledge of the spiritual sky can be had only by great sages and saintly persons who have already surpassed the influence of the three material modes of nature by engaging in devotional service, or Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Unless one is constantly situated on that transcendental platform, it is not possible to understand the spiritual nature.
Therefore it is recommended that one should take to bhakti-yoga and keep himself engaged twenty-four hours a day in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, which places one beyond the reach of the modes of material nature. One in Kṛṣṇa consciousness can easily understand the nature of the spiritual sky and Vaikuṇṭhaloka. The inhabitants of Vṛndāvana, being always engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, could therefore very easily understand the transcendental nature of the Vaikuṇṭhalokas.
Thus Kṛṣṇa led all the cowherd men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, to the lake where Akrūra would later be shown the Vaikuṇṭha planetary system. They took their bath immediately and saw the real nature of the Vaikuṇṭhalokas. After seeing the spiritual sky and the Vaikuṇṭhalokas, all the men, headed by Nanda Mahārāja, felt wonderfully blissful, and upon coming out of the lake, they saw Kṛṣṇa, who was being worshiped with excellent prayers.