The Bhagavad-gita confirms this, "After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me"

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"After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me"

Other Books by Srila Prabhupada

Nectar of Devotion

Sometimes an impersonalist may gradually elevate himself to the personal conception of the Lord. The Bhagavad-gītā confirms this: "After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me." By such surrender, an impersonalist can be elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha-loka (spiritual planet) where, as a surrendered soul, he attains bodily features like the Lord.

An analogy can be given with the sun globe and the sunshine: to remain in the sunshine does not mean one has gone to the sun globe. The temperature of the sun globe is different from the temperature of the sunshine. One who has gone through the sunshine in jet planes or in space ships has not necessarily gone to the sun globe. Although the sunshine and the sun globe are actually one and the same, still there is a distinction, for one is the energy and one is the energetic source. The absolute truth and His bodily effulgence are in the same way simultaneously one and different. Kaṁsa and Śiśupāla attained to the absolute truth, but they were not allowed to enter into the Goloka Vṛndāvana abode. Impersonalists and the enemies of the Lord are, because of attraction to God, allowed to enter into His kingdom, but they are not allowed to enter into the Vaikuṇṭha planets or the Goloka Vṛndāvana planet of the Supreme Lord. To enter the kingdom and to enter the king's palace are not the same thing.

Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī is trying here to describe the different achievements of the impersonalists and the personalists. Generally, those who are impersonalists and inimical to the Supreme Personality of Godhead get entrance only into the impersonal Brahman, when and if they reach spiritual perfection. The impersonalist philosophers are in one sense like the enemies of the Lord because the out-and-out enemies of the Lord and the impersonalists are both allowed to enter only into the impersonal effulgence of the brahma-jyoti. So it is to be understood that they are of similar classification. And actually the impersonalists are enemies of God because they cannot tolerate the unparallelled opulence of the Lord. They try always to place themselves on the same level with the Lord. That is due to their envious attitude. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has proclaimed the impersonalists to be offenders of the Lord. The Lord is so kind, however, that even though they are His enemies, they are still allowed to enter into the spiritual kingdom and remain in the impersonal brahma-jyoti, the undifferentiated light of the absolute.

Sometimes an impersonalist may gradually elevate himself to the personal conception of the Lord. The Bhagavad-gītā confirms this: "After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me." By such surrender, an impersonalist can be elevated to the Vaikuṇṭha-loka (spiritual planet) where, as a surrendered soul, he attains bodily features like the Lord.

In the Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa it is stated: "Those who have achieved liberation from material contamination, and those who are demons and are killed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, become absorbed in the Brahman concept of life and reside in the spiritual sky of the brahma-jyoti." That spiritual sky is far beyond the material sky, and it is confirmed also in the Bhagavad-gītā that beyond this material sky there is another, eternal sky. The enemies and the impersonalists may be allowed to enter into this Brahman effulgence, but the devotees of Kṛṣṇa are promoted all the way to the spiritual planets. Because the pure devotees have developed their spontaneous love for the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they are allowed to enter into the spiritual planets to enjoy spiritual bliss in association with the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

In the Tenth Canto, 87th Chapter, 19th verse, of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, the Vedas personified address the Lord in this way: "My dear Lord, yogīs meditate upon Your localized features, and thus they achieve the spiritual perfection of being merged in the impersonal brahma-jyoti. Persons who treat You as an enemy achieve the same perfection without meditating. The gopīs, who are embraced by Your serpentine hands and who have such lusty attitudes, also achieve the same perfection. And, as far as we are concerned, being different demigods in charge of the different parts of Vedic knowledge, we are always following in the footsteps of the gopīs. Thus we hope to attain the same perfection." By "the same perfection" we must always remember the example of the sun and the sunshine. Those who are impersonalists can merge into the sunshinelike brahma-jyoti, whereas those who are in love with the Supreme Person enter into the supreme abode of the Lord, Goloka Vṛndāvana.