When such a materialist is purified, he can rise to the orbit of the pole star (Dhruvaloka). Within this orbit, which is called the Sisumara-cakra, are situated the Aditya-lokas and the Vaikuntha planet within this universe
Each and every planet has its particular atmosphere, and if one wants to travel to any particular planet within the material universe, one has to adapt his material body to the climatic condition of that planet. For instance, if one wants to go from India to Europe, where the climatic condition is different, one has to change his dress accordingly. Similarly, a complete change of body is necessary if one wants to go to the transcendental planets of Vaikuṇṭha. However, if one wants to go to the higher material planets, he can keep his finer dress of mind, intelligence and ego, but has to leave his gross dress (body) made of earth, water, fire, etc.
When one goes to a transcendental planet, it is necessary to change both the finer and gross bodies, for one has to reach the spiritual sky completely in a spiritual form. This change of dress will take place automatically at the time of death if one so desires.
The Bhagavad-gītā confirms that one will attain his next material body according to his desires at the time he leaves his body. The desire of the mind carries the soul to a suitable atmosphere as the wind carries aromas from one place to another. Unfortunately, those who are not yogīs but gross materialists, who throughout their lives indulge in sense gratification, are puzzled by the disarrangement of the bodily and mental condition at the time of death. Such gross sensualists, encumbered by the main ideas, desires and associations of the lives they have led, desire something against their interest and thus foolishly take on new bodies that perpetuate their material miseries.
Systematic training of the mind and intelligence is therefore needed so that at the time of death one may consciously desire a suitable body, either on this planet or another material planet or even a transcendental planet. A civilization that does not consider the progressive advancement of the immortal soul merely fosters a bestial life of ignorance.
It is foolish to think that every soul that passes away goes to the same place. Either the soul goes to a place he desires at the time of death, or upon leaving his body he is forced to accept a position according to his acts in his previous life. The difference between the materialist and the yogī is that a materialist cannot determine his next body, whereas a yogī can consciously attain a suitable body for enjoyment in the higher planets. Throughout his life, the gross materialist who is constantly after sense gratification spends all day earning his livelihood to maintain his family, and at night he wastes his energy in sex enjoyment or else goes to sleep thinking about all he has done in the daytime. That is the monotonous life of the materialist. Although differently graded as businessmen, lawyers, politicians, professors, judges, coolies, pickpockets, laborers and so on, materialists all simply engage in eating, sleeping, fearing and sense gratification and thus spoil their valuable lives pursuing luxury and neglecting to perfect their lives through spiritual realization.
Yogīs, however, try to perfect their lives, and therefore the Bhagavad-gītā enjoins that everyone should become a yogī. Yoga is the system for linking the soul in the service of the Lord. Only under superior guidance can one practice such yoga in his life without changing his social position. As already described, a yogī can go anywhere he desires without mechanical help, for a yogī can place his mind and intelligence within the air circulating inside his body, and by practicing the art of breath control he can mix that air with the air that blows all over the universe outside his body. With the help of this universal air, a yogī can travel to any planet and get a body suitable for its atmosphere. We can understand this process by comparing it to the electronic transmission of radio messages. With radio transmitters, sound waves produced at a certain station can travel all over the earth in seconds. But sound is produced from the ethereal sky, and as already explained, subtler than the ethereal sky is the mind, and finer than the mind is the intelligence. Spirit is still finer than the intelligence, and by nature it is completely different from matter. Thus we can just imagine how quickly the spirit soul can travel through the universal atmosphere.
To come to the stage of manipulating finer elements like mind, intelligence and spirit, one needs appropriate training, an appropriate mode of life and appropriate association. Such training depends upon sincere prayers, devotional service, achievement of success in mystic perfection, and the successful merging of oneself in the activities of the soul and Supersoul. A gross materialist, whether he be an empiric philosopher, a scientist, a psychologist or whatever, cannot attain such success through blunt efforts and word jugglery.
Materialists who perform yajñas, or great sacrifices, are comparatively better than grosser materialists who do not know anything beyond laboratories and test tubes. The advanced materialists who perform such sacrifices can reach the planet called Vaiśvānara, a fiery planet similar to the sun. On this planet, which is situated on the way to Brahmaloka, the topmost planet in the universe, such an advanced materialist can free himself from all traces of vice and its effects. When such a materialist is purified, he can rise to the orbit of the pole star (Dhruvaloka). Within this orbit, which is called the Śiśumāra-cakra, are situated the Āditya-lokas and the Vaikuṇṭha planet within this universe.
A purified materialist who has performed many sacrifices, undergone severe penances and given the major portion of his wealth in charity can reach such planets as Dhruvaloka, and if he becomes still more qualified there, he can penetrate still higher orbits and pass through the navel of the universe to reach the planet Maharloka, where sages like Bhṛgu Muni live. In Maharloka one can live even to the time of the partial annihilation of the universe. This annihilation begins when Anantadeva, from the lowest position in the universe, produces a great blazing fire. The heat of this fire reaches even Maharloka, and then the residents of Maharloka travel to Brahmaloka, which exists for twice the duration of parārdha time.
In Brahmaloka there is an unlimited number of airplanes that are controlled not by yantra (machine) but by mantra (psychic action). Because of the existence of the mind and intelligence on Brahmaloka, its residents have feelings of happiness and distress, but there is no cause of lamentation from old age, death, fear or distress. They feel sympathy, however, for the suffering living beings who are consumed in the fire of annihilation. The residents of Brahmaloka do not have gross material bodies to change at death, but they transform their subtle bodies into spiritual bodies and thus enter the spiritual sky. The residents of Brahmaloka can attain perfection in three different ways. Virtuous persons who reach Brahmaloka by dint of their pious work become masters of various planets after the resurrection of Brahmā, those who have worshiped Garbhodakaśāyī Viṣṇu are liberated with Brahmā, and those who are pure devotees of the Personality of Godhead at once push through the covering of the universe and enter the spiritual sky.