In the material world the topmost planet is called Satyaloka, or Brahmaloka. Beings of the greatest talents live on this planet. The presiding deity of Brahmaloka is Brahmā, the first created being of this material world. Brahmā is a living being like so many of us, but he is the most talented personality in the material world. He is not so talented that he is in the category of God, but he is in the category of those living entities directly dominated by God. God and the living entities both belong to the antimaterial world. The scientist, therefore, would be rendering service to everyone by researching the constitution of the antimaterial world—how it is administered, how things are shaped there, who are the presiding personalities, and so on.
Sometimes Satyaloka, the planet in which Brahma resides, is also called Brahmaloka
Bhagavad-gita As It Is
BG Chapters 13 - 18
Those situated in the mode of goodness gradually go upward to the higher planets; those in the mode of passion live on the earthly planets; and those in the abominable mode of ignorance go down to the hellish worlds.
In this verse the results of actions in the three modes of nature are more explicitly set forth. There is an upper planetary system, consisting of the heavenly planets, where everyone is highly elevated. According to the degree of development of the mode of goodness, the living entity can be transferred to various planets in this system. The highest planet is Satyaloka, or Brahmaloka, where the prime person of this universe, Lord Brahmā, resides. We have seen already that we can hardly calculate the wondrous condition of life in Brahmaloka, but the highest condition of life, the mode of goodness, can bring us to this.
SB Canto 1
A part of the puruṣa lies down within the water of the universe, from the navel lake of His body sprouts a lotus stem, and from the lotus flower atop this stem, Brahmā, the master of all engineers in the universe, becomes manifest.
The first puruṣa is the Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. From His skin holes innumerable universes have sprung up. In each and every universe, the puruṣa enters as the Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. He is lying within the half of the universe which is full with the water of His body. And from the navel of Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu has sprung the stem of the lotus flower, the birthplace of Brahmā, who is the father of all living beings and the master of all the demigod engineers engaged in the perfect design and working of the universal order. Within the stem of the lotus there are fourteen divisions of planetary systems, and the earthly planets are situated in the middle. Upwards there are other, better planetary systems, and the topmost system is called Brahmaloka or Satyaloka. Downwards from the earthly planetary system there are seven lower planetary systems inhabited by the asuras and similar other materialistic living beings.
SB Canto 2
The way of presentation of the Vedic sounds is so bewildering that it directs the intelligence of the people to meaningless things like the heavenly kingdoms. The conditioned souls hover in dreams of such heavenly illusory pleasures, but actually they do not relish any tangible happiness in such places.
The conditioned soul is always engaged in laying out plans for happiness within the material world, even up to the end of the universal limit. He is not even satisfied with available amenities on this planet earth, where he has exploited the resources of nature to the best of his ability. He wants to go to the moon or the planet Venus to exploit resources there. But the Lord has warned us in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.16) about the worthlessness of all the innumerable planets of this universe, as well as those planets within other systems. There are innumerable universes and also innumerable planets in each of them. But none of them is immune to the chief miseries of material existence, namely the pangs of birth, the pangs of death, the pangs of old age and the pangs of disease. The Lord says that even the topmost planet, known as the Brahmaloka or Satyaloka, (and what to speak of other planets, like the heavenly planets) is not a happy land for residential purposes, due to the presence of material pangs, as above mentioned. Conditioned souls are strictly under the laws of fruitive activities, and as such they sometimes go up to Brahmaloka and again come down to Pātālaloka, as if they were unintelligent children on a merry-go-round. The real happiness is in the kingdom of God, where no one has to undergo the pangs of material existence.
From the forefront of the chest up to the neck of the universal form of the Lord are situated the planetary systems named Janaloka and Tapoloka, whereas Satyaloka, the topmost planetary system, is situated on the head of the form. The spiritual planets, however, are eternal.
Many times in these pages we have discussed the spiritual planets situated beyond the material sky, and the description is corroborated in this verse. The word sanātana is significant. This very idea of eternity is expressed in the Bhagavad-gītā (8.20), where it is said that beyond the material creation is the spiritual sky, where everything is eternal. Sometimes Satyaloka, the planet in which Brahmā resides, is also called Brahmaloka. But the Brahmaloka mentioned here is not the same as the Satyaloka planetary system. This Brahmaloka is eternal, whereas the Satyaloka planetary system is not eternal. And to distinguish between the two, the adjective sanātana has been used in this case. According to Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī, this Brahmaloka is the loka or abode of Brahman, or the Supreme Lord. In the spiritual sky all the planets are as good as the Lord Himself. The Lord is all spirit, and His name, fame, glories, qualities, pastimes, etc., are all nondifferent from Him because He is absolute. As such, the planets in the kingdom of God are also nondifferent from Him. In those planets there is no difference between the body and the soul, nor is there any influence of time as we experience it in the material world. And in addition to there being no influence of time, the planets in, Brahmaloka, due to being spiritual, are never annihilated. All variegatedness in the spiritual planets is also one with the Lord, and therefore the Vedic aphorism ekam evādvitīyam is fully realized in that sanātana atmosphere of spiritual variegatedness. This material world is only a shadow phantasmagoria of the spiritual kingdom of the Lord, and because it is a shadow it is never eternal; the variegatedness in the material world of duality (spirit and matter) cannot be compared to that of the spiritual world. Because of a poor fund of knowledge, less intelligent persons sometimes mistake the conditions of the shadow world to be equivalent to those of the spiritual world, and thus they mistake the Lord and His pastimes in the material world to be one with the conditioned souls and their activities. The Lord condemns such less intelligent persons in the Bhagavad-gītā (BG 9.11):
- avajānanti māṁ mūḍhā
- mānuṣīṁ tanum āśritam
- paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto
- mama bhūta-maheśvaram
Whenever the Lord incarnates, He does so in His full internal potency (ātma-māyā), and less intelligent persons mistake Him to be one of the material creations. Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī, therefore, rightly commenting on this verse, says that the Brahmaloka mentioned here is Vaikuṇṭha, the kingdom of God, which is sanātana, or eternal, and is therefore not exactly like the material creations described above. The virāṭ universal form of the Lord is an imagination for the material world. It has nothing to do with the spiritual world, or the kingdom of God.
SB Canto 5
It is understood from previous explanations that the father of Dhruva Mahārāja, King Uttānapāda, ruled over the universe because his elder brother, Priyavrata, practiced austerity from the very beginning of his life. Thus up to the point of the Pracetās, the kings of the universe were all descendants of Uttānapāda Mahārāja. Since there were no suitable kings after the Pracetās, Svāyambhuva Manu went to the Gandhamādana Hill to bring back his eldest son, Priyavrata, who was meditating there. Svāyambhuva Manu requested Priyavrata to rule over the universe. When he refused, Lord Brahmā descended from the supreme planetary system, known as Satyaloka, to request Priyavrata to accept the order. Lord Brahmā did not come alone. He came with other great sages like Marīci, Ātreya and Vasiṣṭha. To convince Priyavrata that it was necessary for him to follow the Vedic injunctions and accept the responsibility of ruling over the world, Lord Brahmā also brought with him the personified Vedas, his constant associates.
A significant word in this verse is sva-bhavanāt, indicating that Lord Brahmā descended from his own abode. Every demigod has his own abode. Indra, the King of the demigods, has his own abode, as do Candra, the lord of the moon planet, and Sūrya, the predominating deity of the sun planet. There are many millions of demigods, and the stars and planets are their respective homes. This is confirmed in Bhagavad-gītā. Yānti deva-vratā devān: (BG 9.25) "Those who worship the demigods go to their different planetary systems." Lord Brahmā's abode. the highest planetary system, is called Satyaloka or sometimes Brahmaloka. Brahmaloka usually refers to the spiritual world. The abode of Lord Brahmā is Satyaloka, but because Lord Brahmā resides there, it is also sometimes called Brahmaloka.
The Vedic literatures describe that in Satyaloka there is no birth, death, old age or disease. In other words, since Satyaloka is situated next to Brahmaloka, or the Brahman effulgence, it is almost as good as Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Lord Brahmā's abode is practically indescribable from our present status. Therefore it has been described as avāṅ-manasa-gocara, or beyond the description of our words and the imagination of our minds. The Vedic literatures thus describe the abode of Lord Brahmā: yad vai parārdhyaṁ tad upārameṣṭhyaṁ na yatra śoko na jarā na mṛtyur nārtir na codvegaḥ. "In Satyaloka, which is situated many millions and billions of years away, there is no lamentation, nor is there old age, death, anxiety or the influence of enemies."
Lord Brahmā lives in the highest planetary system, known as Brahmaloka or Satyaloka. In every planet there is a predominating deity. As the predominating deity in Satyaloka is Lord Brahmā, so in the heavenly planets Indra is the predominating deity, and on the sun, the sun-god, Vivasvān, is the predominating deity. The inhabitants and predominating deities of every planet are all recommended to worship Govinda either by meditation or by chanting.