Since Lord Caitanya is especially merciful to innocent, unsophisticated persons, His name is also Patita-pāvana, the deliverer of the most fallen conditioned souls. Although a conditioned soul may be fallen to the lowest position, such a lowly state will not prevent him from advancing in the spiritual science, provided he is innocent. Sanātana Gosvāmī was considered fallen in society because he was in the service of the Muslim government and had thus been excommunicated from brahminical society. But because he was a sincere soul, Lord Caitanya showed him special favor by granting him a wealth of spiritual information.
The Lord next explained to Sanātana Gosvāmī how the different spiritual planets are situated in the spiritual sky. The spiritual planets are also known as Vaikuṇṭha planets. The planets of the material creation have a limited length and breadth, but as far as the Vaikuṇṭha planets are concerned, because they are spiritual there is no limit to their dimensions. Lord Caitanya informed Sanātana Gosvāmī that the length and breadth of every Vaikuṇṭha planet is thousands of billions of miles—in other words, no one can measure any Vaikuṇṭha planet's actual extent. Each of these planets is unlimitedly expanded, and in each of them the residents are full in all six opulences—wealth, strength, knowledge, beauty, fame and renunciation. The Supreme Personality of Godhead is present in every Vaikuṇṭha planet. Indeed, in each Vaikuṇṭha planet an expansion of Kṛṣṇa has His eternal abode, and Kṛṣṇa Himself has His original eternal abode, called Kṛṣṇaloka or Goloka Vṛndāvana.
In this universe even the largest planet lies in one corner of outer space. For example, although the sun is a million times larger than the earth, it still lies in one corner of outer space. Similarly, each of the Vaikuṇṭha planets, although unlimited in length and breadth, lies in a corner of the spiritual sky, known as the brahmajyoti. In the Brahma-saṁhitā (5.40) the brahmajyoti is described as niṣkalam anantam aśeṣa-bhūtam, or undivided and unlimited and without a trace of the material modes of nature. All the Vaikuṇṭha planets are like petals of a lotus flower, and the principal part of that lotus, the center of all the Vaikuṇṭhas, is called Kṛṣṇaloka or Goloka Vṛndāvana.
Thus the expansions of Kṛṣṇa in various forms, as described herein, as well as His various abodes on the spiritual planets in the spiritual sky, are unlimited. Even demigods like Brahmā and Śiva cannot see the Vaikuṇṭha planets or even estimate their number or vast extent. This is confirmed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.14.21): "No one can estimate the length and breadth of all the Vaikuṇṭha planets." Elsewhere in the Bhāgavatam (2.7.41) it is stated that not only are demigods like Brahmā and Śiva unable to make such an estimate, but even Ananta, the incarnation of the Lord's opulence of strength, cannot ascertain any limit to the Lord's potency or to the area of the different Vaikuṇṭha planets.
Again, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.21, one of the prayers of Brahmā, is very convincing in this connection: "O my dear Lord, O Supreme Personality of Godhead, O Supersoul, O master of all mystic powers, no one can know or explain the extent of Your Vaikuṇṭha planets or how You expand Your yogamāyā energy throughout the three worlds." And a few verses earlier (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 10.14.7) Brahmā prays:
- guṇātmanas te ’pi guṇān vimātuṁ
- hitāvatīrṇasya ka īśire ’sya
- kālena yair vā vimitāḥsu-kalpair
- bhū-pāṁśavaḥkhe mihikā dyu-bhāsaḥ
"Scientists and learned men cannot even measure the atomic constitution of a single planet. Even if they could count the molecules of snow in the sky or the number of stars in space, they could not understand how You descend to this earth or in this universe with Your innumerable transcendental potencies and qualities." In Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.7.41) Lord Brahmāinforms Nārada that none of the great sages born before Nārada, including Brahmā himself, can measure the extent of the Supreme Lord's potencies. Indeed, Brahma declared that even Ananta, with His thousands of tongues, fails when He tries to fully describethe Lord's energies. Similarly, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.87.41) the personified Vedas pray:
- dyu-pataya eva te na yayur antam anantatayā
- tvam api yad-antarāṇḍa-nicayā nanu sāvaraṇāḥ
- kha iva rajāṁsi vānti vayasā saha yac chrutayas
- tvayi hi phalanty atan-nirasanena bhavan-nidhanāḥ
"My Lord, You are unlimited, and therefore no one can measure the extent of Your potencies. I think that even You do not know the range of Your energies. An unlimited number of planets float in the sky just like atoms, and great Vedāntists, who are engaged in research to find You, discover that everything is different from You. At last they conclude that You are everything."
When Lord Kṛṣṇa was within this universe, Brahmā played a trick on Him in order to confirm that the special cowherd boy in Vṛndāvana was actually Kṛṣṇa Himself. By his mystic power Brahmā stole all the cows, calves and cowherd friends of Kṛṣṇa and hid them. But when Brahmāreturned to see what Kṛṣṇa was doing alone, he saw that Kṛṣṇa was still playing with the same cows, calves and cowherd boys. By His Vaikuṇṭha potency Lord Kṛṣṇa had expanded all the stolen cows, calves and friends. Indeed, Brahmā saw millions and billions of them, and he also saw millions and billions of herding sticks and fruits, lotus flowers and horns. All the cowherd boys were wearing different clothes and ornaments, and no one could count their vast numbers. Then Brahmā saw each of the cowherd boys become a four-handed Nārāyaṇa, and he also saw innumerable Brahmās from different universes offering obeisances to the Lord. He saw that all these personalities were emanating from the body of Kṛṣṇa and, after a second, entering into His body. Lord Brahmā became struck with wonder by this extraordinary feat of Kṛṣṇa's, and in a prayer he stated that although anyone and everyone could say they knew all about Kṛṣṇa, as far as he was concerned, he did not know anything about Him. "My dear Lord," he said, "the potencies and opulences You have exhibited just now are beyond the ability of my mind to understand."