The Last Supper: Lord Jesus Christ with His Twelve Apostles
The birth of Jesus Christ came to be celebrated on Makara Sankranti when the Sun begins his northern path. The invented resurrection of Jesus (remember Jesus did not die, he escaped) would be celebrated during the month when Aries, most sacred to the Zoroastrians, when the forces of Varuna as Mitra Aditya are strongest. Since Aries is a sign ruled by Mars, the “Christian soldiers” became famous for forcefully spreading their doctrine. It has not been lost upon many historians that the number of Jesus’ apostles, twelve, coincides with the number of signs of the zodiac and hence months on the solar calendar.
Eventually many nations adopted the new doctrine of Christianity, which is basically an extension of Judaism which in turn grew out of (or was strongly influenced by) the teachings of Jarutha.
Though the pre-Christians of Europe have been derogatorily labeled as “pagans,” they were actually worshipers of demigods like Indra and Durga. Soon all traces of Vedic civilization were wiped out as the pagans, too, fell under the tide of Christianity. Their history of demi-god worship and religious tradition was rewritten—even as revisionists condemned their previous way of life in Western Asia and Europe as primitive or even savage. Nonetheless, some of the Christian priests would see the dangers in total eradication of traditions, and they were more diplomatic about salvaging an ancient culture. Those who used to be expert in the worship of the demigods referred to themselves the “right way worshipers” or “the orthodoxy.” Therefore, the church fathers in the countries of Eastern Europe declared that their church would be considered the orthodox or genuine form of Christianity. The Orthodox Church managed to secretly keep the Vedic deities disguised in the forms of different saints or angels. For example, the king of the dead Yamaraja, the chastiser of the wicked, has been made into Archangel Michael. St. George is actually the king of heaven Indra. Though priests that devised this way of worship were wise to retain some Vedic influences on the new religion, their followers could not understand their motives. Therefore within a short period of time they began to regard the Vedic deities of their ancestors disparagingly and in a way that contradicted the roots of the European Vedic traditions.
Following the lines of succession from Zoroastrianism to Judaism to Christianity, Islam was the next to appear on the scene. Though the adherents of each of these Western religions continually fight amongst themselves—whether within their respective churches or with others of different faiths—they all share many philosophical similarities that can be traced back to Jarutha. Their conflicts may be compared to the fights between demigods and demons. In a sense, they are brothers having been descended from the same father Kashyapa Muni and from sisters Aditi and Diti. This fight between Daityas and Adaityas is nothing new and will continue long into the future even when the Earth will be destroyed at the end of the present millennia millions of years hence.
The material world has been made so that fighting is inevitable. It is a place that, for the wise at least, the only obvious solution is to go back to home back to Godhead in the footsteps of Shrila Prabhupada. With his frequent tongue-in-cheek manner of expression, Suhotra Maharaja calls the chain of Western religious thought “sort of a disciplic succession.” Fortunately we devotees have Bhagavad-gita As It Is through the original disciplic succession, wherein Lord Krishna tells Arjuna,
na tad bhasayate suryo na sashanka na pavakah
yad gatva na nivartante tad dharma paramam mama
“That abode of Mine is not illumined by the Sun or Moon, or by electricity. One who reaches it never returns to this material world.”
REVELATION ABOUT THE BOOK OF REVELATION
Many have tried to decipher the Bible’s Book of Revelation and its prophecies of “end times” to come. And naturally many wonder when these final days of will arrive. By examining the Book of Revelation through the looking glass of Vedic knowledge many of its mysteries are unraveled and light is shed on its prophecies.
The Book of Revelation was written by John who visualized it through his meditation. In the 4th chapter called “The Throne of Heaven,” the reader gets an idea of the structure of the Universe although the descriptions are condensed and coded. The translations that follow are from the New International Version of the Bible:
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. (Revelation 4.1-2)
From the description, it appears that John envisioned the heavenly planet of Satyaloka so he can see how the earth looks below:
And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. (Revelation 4.3-4)
It appears that the leader of the demigods sitting in the center was Lord Brahma, and the surrounding elders are demigods who control the eight directions of the three main levels of the Universe (8 x 3 = 24), namely Bhur, Bhuvar and Svah:
From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back (Revelation 4.5-6)
Here John could see the seven upper levels of the universe which may also correspond to the seven chakras or seven levels of perception in this universe. According to his level of perception, a living entity resides on a particular level of the universe. Below the throne of Brahma was visible the ocean from which the lotus flower on which Brahma sits had grown.
The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man and the fourth was like a flying eagle. (Revelation 4.7)
Revealed herewith are the four fixed signs or sthira rashis of the zodiac: Leo (fire or teja tattva); Taurus (earth or bhumi tattva); Aquarius (air or vayu tattva) with the face of a man; and the eagle—also known as the Scorpio (water or jala tattva). This demonstrates how the celestial bodies and signs are important for determining the time and the place where one stands in the universe. The demigods assigned to the different signs are servants of the Supreme Lord. As seen next they are rapt in constant prayer to the Lord.
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelation 4.8)
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” (4.9-11)
There a scroll has been placed before the demigods that no one wished to open. Finally a lamb, an innocent living entity who is concerned for the welfare of others, came forward and opened the seals. In the 6th chapter entitled “The Seals” the three gunas of material nature are clearly explained. It is noteworthy that the Book of Revelation deals with predictions pertaining to Kali Yuga. Thus, it explains the influence of the three gunas and how they affect this yuga as well. First the white or pure sattva guna is described:
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. (Revelation 6.1-2)
Secondly, raja guna or the mode of passion is depicted. It is symbolized by the color red:
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword. (Revelation 6.3-4)
Then finally the tama guna or mode of ignorance arrived. It is dark in color as it controls the vaishyas and shudras:
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!” (Revelation 6.5-6)
The next seal reveals a fourth rider which can also be considered a guna or “rope” which is the destruction or death of all other gunas. The allegorical riders who drive activities through the gunas (that are attached to the living entities and cause them to act in certain ways) are philosophical symbolisms that explain the general condition of the living entities in the material world:
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6.7-8)
Hades is the Greek name of Lord Yamaraja, king of the dead. The other three seals reveal the pitiful condition of the living entities that have forsaken the service of the Supreme Lord in the material world. There are also verses—reminiscent of the Bhagavata 3.17.4—that describe inauspicious comets, meteors earthquakes and eclipses of the Sun and the Moon:
I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. (Revelation 6.12-15)
Following that the revelation continues as a demigod or an angel from the eastern direction (the holiest of directions) pleads with the other demigods. The angel indicates that many residents of the upper planetary systems will descend to Earth in order to preach and to mark those who are inclined to worship the Supreme Lord. This appears to be indicative of the upcoming mini Satya Yuga: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Thus we learn about the Vaishnava servants of God who wear the mark of tilaka on their foreheads. The prophecy appears to imply the coming of the sankirtana movement and of Lord Krishna’s pure devotee, Shrila Prabhupada. The next lines show that people from different nations are worshiping the Lord:
After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” (Revelation 7.1-3)
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (Revelation 7.9)
Once the 7th seal was opened it was shown to contain an offering to the Lord of incense and prayers. Only after that were the demigods given permission to exercise their destructive powers upon the Earth. Even so, they were quite selective as they spared the servant of the Supreme Lord.
When he opened the Abyss, smoke rose from it like the smoke from a gigantic furnace. The sun and sky were darkened by the smoke from the Abyss. And out of the smoke locusts came down on the earth and were given power like that of scorpions of the earth. They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads. They were not allowed to kill them but only to torture them for five months. And the agony they suffered was like that of the sting of a scorpion when it strikes. During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them. (Revelation 9.2-6)
In the next verses reveal how the earth becomes overpowered by the influence of the danavas or demons that are sometimes depicted as dragons. Afterwards the well known (but little understood) beast of the Bible appears. Described first is a beast in the sea, and then another one appears on earth who forces everyone to take his mark. It appears that the beast will wage a war against the devotees of the Lord and in this way establish the complete rule of Kali Yuga:
The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast … (Revelation 13.5-8)
The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. That number is 666. (Revelation 13.15-18)
The beast appears to be Kali himself who has been decreed to rule over Kali Yuga, the age of hypocrisy. Here we find that—instead of wearing the mark of the Lord—the people will prefer to wear the mark of Kali on their forehead. The number of the beast is stated to be 6 + 6 + 6 =18 which equals 1 + 8 = 9 or a complete number. The three numbers mean that Kali will have authority over the three different levels of existence namely physical, mental and spiritual. The number 6 is associated with Shukracharya or the guru of the demons showing that the intelligence of the demoniac influence will be complete and very difficult to break. The devotees of the Lord will continue to preach the message of sankirtana even in this situation despite the influence of the beast—Kali—as revealed in the following verses.
A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14.9-11)
As described in later verses, innumerable persons are tortured and killed until the Kalki avatara of the Supreme Lord appears. As seen earlier, the rider on a white horse is associated with the mode of goodness, which has been entirely perverted and obscured in Kali Yuga. The beast will wage a war against Kalki avatara but the consequences are clearly described:
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands, Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before his presence with singing, Know ye that the Lord He is God.” (Psalm 100)
Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Revelation19.19-21)
Although Kali is captured, he will be released again as the yugas repeat in the material world. His servants are not so fortunate and will be tortured for a long time.
When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20.7-10)
This is going on, that those who meet death are judged accordingly by Hades or the King of the Dead Yamaraja. Yet at the end of Kali Yuga those who are not worthy for birth in the next Satya Yuga will have to wait for a long period of time in hell for yet another suitably hellish condition on earth so they can regain again a human form of life in accordance with the vikarma-phala (reactions to sinful deeds) they have accrued.
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. (Revelations 20.11-15)
The final verses of the Book of Revelation reveal the coming Satya Yuga. All people who live during Satya Yuga are devotees of the Supreme Lord, and they do not even die until they wish to since they are pious:
Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelations 21.1-5)
The city of Jerusalem—ancient Hierosalem—is mentioned as a hiero (holy) salem (place) where one can directly access the spiritual world where no light is needed as he place is self effulgent.
I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21.22-27)
The Book of Revelation finishes with showing that there is spiritual world beyond this material world. The description that follows reflects Lord Krishna’s instruction of the Bhagavad-gita (15.6), “That abode of Mine is not illumined by the sun or moon, nor by electricity. And anyone who reaches it never comes back to this material world.”
They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22.4-5)
The Lord assured John that he is coming to save His suffering servants from the influence of Kali Yuga. It is clear that nobody else but Kali is described in the Bible:
“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. (Revelation 22.12-13)
The Lord’s instruction to John is another reflection of his assurance to Arjuna (10.20): “I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all beings.” Evidentially the Lord’s promise that He is that coming soon relates is not that soon for a mere mortal but since John has witnessed this revelation from Heaven where time is much slower the second coming of Christ or Shri Krishna may seem soon. After all 1200 celestial years is exactly the duration of Kali Yuga according to Shrimad-Bhagavatam (3.11.19):
catvari trini dve caikam krtadisu yatha-kramam
sankhyatani sahasrani dvi-gunani satani ca
“The duration of the Satya millennium equals 4,800 years of the years of the demigods; the duration of the Treta millennium equals 3,600 years of the demigods; the duration of the Dvapara millennium equals 2,400 years; and that of the Kali millennium is 1,200 years of the demigods.”
Bhaktivedanta Purport: As aforementioned, one year of the demigods is equal to 360 years of the human beings. The duration of the Satya-yuga is therefore 4,800 × 360, or 1,728,000 years. The duration of the Treta-yuga is 3,600 × 360, or 1,296,000 years. The duration of the Dvapara-yuga is 2,400 × 360, or 864,000 years. And the last, the Kali-yuga, is 1,200 × 360, or 432,000 years.
Bottom of Form
After the one thousand celestial years of Kali Yuga, the Satya Yuga will manifest again. At that time the minds of all men will become self-effulgent. (SB 12.2.34) P
VEDIC CONCEPT OF THE NEW YEAR
“Now these Christmas holidays you have begun in your country. Throughout the whole month of December you'll observe nice festivals, festivities. Why? Where it began? God consciousness. Lord Christ he came to give you God consciousness, and in his relationship these festivities are going on. It may be degraded in another form. The beginning is God consciousness, but we have lost it. So people cannot be happy without reviving God consciousness. It may be named in a different way—“Krishna consciousness.” -Lecture by Shrila Prabhupada, SB 2.2.5 - Los Angeles, December 2, 1968
In Vedic India, the New Year is celebrated on two occasions, on the solar and lunar new years. It is significant that both of these New Years are celebrated in the spring season or vasant ritu. The solar month begins when the Sun enters the first sign of the zodiac or Aries the usually on 13 April. The lunar year begins with the first day of Chaitra-masa and corresponds to the Gaudiya lunar month of Vishnu. (For example in 2012 the first day of Chaitra or Vishnu began on 9 March). Vedic India has a system of six seasons of two months each, and Chaitra is also the first month of Vasant-ritu or springtime.
It is quite natural that cyclic new beginnings should be recognized when fresh green leaves appear and flowers are starting to bloom. Here in Bulgaria to welcome the earth’s rebirth in spring, the people tie martenitsas (from “Mart” which means “March”) on each others’ wrists. Martenitsas are woven white and red threads symbolizing ida and pingala (the two pranas in the body which are male and female in nature.) These two threads are woven into each other and symbolize the rise of the kundalini or the life-giving force. This thread in Bulgaria often has a male or female figure attached on both ends called Pizho (pingala) and Penda (ida).
Today all over the world, a time that should be reserved for the rebirth of life is celebrated in the dead of winter on one of the years’ bleakest days, the 1st of January. This is an example of a worldwide misconception of the importance of the meaning of earthly renewal. How did this mistaken belief come to pass? To find out we must look to another ancient Vedic tradition, that of Makara Sankranti.
Makara Sankranti, usually falling on 14th January, is the day when the demi-god of the Sun, Lord Surya Narayana, turns and embarks upon his northern course. This day is very important because without this change of the sidereal ecliptic the lushness of spring will not be possible. On this day the Sun enters into his northern route as gradually the days grow longer in the Earth’s northern hemisphere.
Although Makara Sankranti falls on 14th of January for most of the world this year, it was not the case some 400 years ago when Makara sankranti occurred on the 6th of January. The stars are moving ahead of our clock every year by 50". Every year our clock should be adjusted to the Universal clock in order to keep up with time. Unfortunately, the West has not kept track of this ayanamsha and there is an increasing gap between tropical (Western) and sidereal (jyotish) calculations. The difference or ayanamsha correction between tropical and sidereal measurements of planetary positions is now nearly 24 degrees making for a great difference in dates.
According to Western astrology the change of planetary positions occurs 24 days later than it actually happens in the heavens. Many people have been turned away from astrology for this simple reason: western astrology reads an unlikely position of stars while Vedic astronomy or gola shastra reads them as they are observed in the heavens. Modern astrology does not keep track with astronomy and for this reason it has been excluded from the pantheon of sciences. Over time with the decline of the once-universally popular science of astrology in the Western world, the symbols and significant dates have been quietly absorbed and re-adapted by the Christian church and others. Christianity’s popularity gained momentum about 500 years after the crucifixion of Lord Jesus Christ. Around the year 500 AD Makara Sankranti occurred on December 25th. This is not a mere coincidence but a historic fact.
In 380, the Roman Emperor Flavius Theodosius accepted Christianity as an official religion. In 410 Rome collapsed while leaving the Eastern Roman Empire to continue its legacy. There were many tribes who came under the rule of the Roman Empire bringing with them their various forms of demi-god worship. Rome had been much influenced by the system of worship in Greece and adopted their demi-gods by only slightly changing the names. But the name of the demi-god of the Sun, Apollo was not changed. Not only were the ancient residents of Bharatvarsha devoted to Lord Surya-Narayana, but the Greeks, Romans, Thracians, Germans, Slavs, Arabs, Egyptians and many others had cults devoted to the solar deity. When Christianity was accepted by way of compromise, many of the current celebrations and traditions were incorporated into the new religion with royal support. The leaders of the Christian church simply compromised the Biblical teachings by tailoring the shape of old traditions to fit the concepts of the new religion of the cross. Thus the very important day of Makara sankranti was kept as a day for celebration but was artificially given a new meaning as the birthday of Christ. Gradually the day of Makara sankranti was celebrated on this fixed day of 25th December as its astronomical significance was forgotten. The modern conception of the European connection to the winter solstice, which was called the yuletide season, is well known including how it has been absorbed into Christianity.
Let us examine that Christian symbol of generosity, the mythological Santa Claus, who is said to live on the North Pole. The concept of North is another significant pointer to the worship of the Sun god Vivasvan and his change of course to the northern route on the day of Makara Sankranti. It is an ancient tradition that Makara sankranti is a favorable day for dana, distribution of gifts and charity. Therefore Santa comes down from the North Pole to distribute gifts.
As we all know, today there is practically no sampradaya or disciplic succession anywhere in the world. Society has based its traditions on the blind following of meaningless customs most of which eventually are turned into superstitions because no clue remains as to their origins. Christmas is one such example of a superstitious belief whose origins lie in some supernatural causality. To be understood, the origin of Christmas, as well as the festivals associated with its saints, the teachings of Jesus Christ and all other aspects of the religion should be seen through the eyeglass of Krishna consciousness. Thus Christmas is not entirely a Christian celebration. We have seen that in fact the day is not even the birthday of Jesus Christ but is rather a complex concoction of cultural views.
In the predominantly Christian world of the West, Christmas and the New Year celebrations are officially pushed as the most important days for the entire world. Of course the basis of this is sheer consumerism and has really nothing to do with the sacred memory of the Son of God, shaktyavesh avatara Lord Jesus Christ. Christmas and the New Year day are basically part of the same yuletide festival as indicated by old sayings like “Christmas season” or “twelve days of Christmas.” How can a birth have a season or last twelve days? New Year’s Day simply fits better the modern calendar and allows for a longer holiday. And for the big corporations and chain stores Christmas means profits, up to 30% for the entire year.
But getting back to the situation of the Sun god, over time his name was changed from Ra in Egypt to Apollo and then incorporated into the legend of Saint Nicholas or later Santa Claus. It was the Cola Cola company that really took the image of the old man to extremes and made him into a commercial star.
Red is associated with the color of the Sun in astrology. Santa is depicted as an old man who wears red clothes. Shri Krishna is actually the oldest of all living entities. Thus the concept of an old man dressed in red is a reflection of the demi-god of the Sun, who was mistakenly considered as the Supreme Lord in ancient demi-god worshipping societies. In fact, the Sun in his obedience to Lord Krishna is a representation of the Supreme Lord Shri Krishna in the material world and hence he is sometimes called Lord Surya-Narayana.
When Coca Cola adopted red as the color of their trademark logo, it was a sign of the approaching rule of the giant corporation. This modern demon-crazy society exploits everything, not only the Sun god but mother Earth, the Moon as giver of different tastes and electricity as power coming from Mars. Ultimately, the modern materialistic society seeks even to exploit God Who provides so generously for His parts and parcels.
As far as gift giving on Christmas is concerned, offering presents is a natural emotion found in each of us as infinitesimal expansions of the all-giving Lord. But the actual day meant for giving is Makara sankranti. Even the Sun god gives more of himself on that day. On that day two Suns can be observed in the sky. According to Vedic principles it is auspicious to present gifts on auspicious occasions, especially to the worthy members of the family and society.
The importance of the Sun in ancient times of worship was not exaggerated. The Sun predominates over the facility of sight and he creates space and time in the Universe. He is the direct manifestation of Lord Narayana in the material world. During the presence of Lord Shri Krishna on Earth about 5000 years ago even Shrimati Radharani worshiped the Sun god. This worship was favored by all of the inhabitants of Vrindavana. Shri Krishna did not stop this practice as he did with the worship of Indra, the king of heaven. The reason was that the worship of the Sun god was facilitating many of His intimate pastimes. Shrimati Radharani used the excuse of making puja to the Sun god for arranging private meetings with Shri Krishna and pilgrims still visit her place of puja called Surya Kund.
The demi-god of the Sun planet Lord Vivasvan should be remembered on Makara sankranti celebrations. Gifts which would have been given at Christmas should be offered at that time because proper charity performed at the correct moment is fruitful and is never wasted. Even Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu accepted sannyasa on this day of Makara sankranti signifying a major step towards a new age, the Golden Age of Kali Yuga.
What will happen in 2012? Speculation ran rampant that the world will end. Even Hollywood, Bollywood and film makers in other countries have cashed in on the frenzy with movies in many languages speculating about the end of the Earth. Would the dreaded year 2012 see the world as we know it wiped off the cosmic map—or will it continue limping ahead until the glow of Lord Chaitanya’s Golden Age overtakes the earth like a tsunami wave of Krishna consciousness? Many believed that year 2012 would be significant because of a dark day in December that marked the end of the Mayan calendar. As devotees, we must ask if any relationship exists between the Mayan and Vedic calendars. And on a more practical note—what should devotees do in case of some extreme emergency?
Various Types of Calendars
There are other calendars which focus upon other planets beside the Sun or the Moon as their leading principle. For example, the Mayan Calendar is a sophisticated system which measures time by the movements of Venus. Another example is the Chinese calendar which measures time according to the movements of Jupiter through the signs or rashis. In the Chinese calendar if somebody was born under the sign of the Rat that means that Jupiter was in Sagittarius during the year of his birth. According to this system, one who is born under the sign of the Bull will find his Jupiter in Capricorn. In Chinese astrology there are also 5 elements which rule the different years: earth, water, fire, wood and metal. Of course, Vedic intelligence considers the five basic elements as earth, water, fire, air and ether. Jupiter makes one tapa or rotation around the zodiac in 12 years. When we multiply 12 years by the 5 elements we arrive at the number 60. This is important because the Vedic panchang uses a 60-year cycle, each one of which has its own name according to its predominating quality.
Each one of the years of the Vedic calendar is named after the qualities of Jupiter for that particular year. For example, the year 2011 is called a khara year. This khara is a krura or cruel year wherein good results are expected to diminish. Still, this movement of Jupiter is only one facet in the multi-dimensional Vedic system of time measurement in which Jupiter is allotted a superior position to Venus. Jupiter is the guru of the demigods while Venus or Shukra is the guru of the demons. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that since the astronomers of ancient China were geographically closer to India than the Mayans, they were more closely connected with the principle of jyotish that accepts the devaguru Brihaspati or Jupiter. This appears to be true even up to this day.
The Mayans were possessed of a rich culture with traces of Vedic influence. Still, there is no proof that they worshipped Lord Shri Vishnu and for this reason they are generally accepted as descendents of the great asuras, or worshipers of Venus. In ancient times even the asuras were conversant with Vedic culture. But if someone is not a devotee of Shri Krishna all his activities, even the good ones, have no genuine or lasting value. Therefore, considering these points, is there any validity in accepting that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world? Or is the supposed end merely a modern scientific interpretation?
Apparently, there exists some agreement between the modern scientists and the Mayan calendar. As they say, similar minds think alike. But we do not know if the Mayans would have agreed with modern science because their civilization ceased to exist about 500 years ago. All we know is that modern science cannot really explain the Mayan calendar completely. Some scientists interpret this mystery in the same way they see the vastness of the cosmos; they admit their own inability to explain it. Still others interpret the enthusiastic publicizing of the Mayan calendar as a convenient excuse for the politicians who support the New World Order. These skeptics feel that this is evidence that these global opportunists have things up their sleeves because they are planning something and the Mayan calendar provides the cover for their dark schemes.
Sun-centered or Earth-centered?
In modern times, scientists have adhered to the limited perspective of the heliocentric (“Sun-centered”) model of the universe and from this perspective they continue to discover new “stars” and “galaxies” now and then, though never giving us a compete picture of our place in the cosmos. In fact theirs is the real geocentric (“Earth-centered”) model because they do all of their investigations only from within their own limited reach. Though they have sent rockets and satellites into space, their primitive objects cannot venture far from the Geo or planet Earth which they circle like little insects.
In this way the modern scientific investigation into the depths of the universal law is linked through an umbilical cord of limited distance-reach to Earth, while all modern scientific investigations in truth remain focused upon the geo-centric model. For this reason these scientists have formulated a geocentric point of view though they claim a heliocentric perspective. In the modern scientific opinion, the Sun aligned with the galactic center in year 2012 and, according to some, this event may mark a time of total destruction. But should we believe these new-comers on the block, these so-called “experts” and “scientists”? Modern science is merely a few centuries old and, truth be told, has a terrible track record.
Some of the followers of the so-called “New Age” speculate that the supposed upcoming end is the beginning of a new Satya Yuga, while the great economic powers of the day are trying to utilize the excitement surrounding year 2012 as an excuse to implement their own questionable designs of one-worldism. And these globalists will certainly have their own pre-planned surprises in store for us in the upcoming year.
Rural Communities are the Need of the Hour
We are all witness to the recent great decline in the global economy. And we know that the world cannot run much longer on fossil fuels. Oil is the life-blood of mother Earth and it is required to keep her in orbit. Once the oil has been depleted, the Earth will no longer be able to stay afloat and Mother Bhumi could plummet into the Garbodhaka Ocean. This has already happened before due to the activities of the demon Hiranyaksha. As explained by Shrila Prabhupada in his Bhaktivedanta Purport to SB2.7.1:
“Since the beginning of creation, the demons and the demigods, or the Vaishavas, are always the two classes of living beings to dominate the planets of the universes. Lord Brahma is the first demigod, and Hiranyaksha is the first demon in this universe. Only under certain conditions do the planets float as weightless balls in the air, and as soon as these conditions are disturbed, the planets may fall down in the Garbhodaka Ocean, which covers half the universe. The other half is the spherical dome within which the innumerable planetary systems exist. The floating of the planets in the weightless air is due to the inner constitution of the globes, and the modernized drilling of the earth to exploit oil from within is a sort of disturbance by the modern demons and can result in a greatly harmful reaction to the floating condition of the earth. A similar disturbance was created formerly by the demons headed by Hiranyaksha (the great exploiter of the gold rush), and the earth was detached from its weightless condition and fell down into the Garbhodaka Ocean. The Lord, as maintainer of the whole creation of the material world, therefore assumed the gigantic form of a boar with a proportionate snout and picked up the earth from within the water of Garbhodaka.”
Today we can practically see how much waste is created by the use of oil upon which all modern industries depend. Only Lord Vishnu in His Form as the Divine Boar could dig the Earth from the filth at the bottom of the universe. But today who will save us from the demons of Kali Yuga? The guideline for these little demons of today is greed alone. These demons in the form of religionists, industrialists, politicians and scientists have neither regard for the Earth, nor the cow, nor for women and neither even for tomorrow. Devotees cannot expect mercy in the hands of living entities that are blinded by the desire to lord it over all they survey. The world desperately needs to take shelter of the Holy Names of the Lord Shri Krishna. To access the situation accordingly, we need to use our divinely-endowed intelligence by the grace of Shrila Prabhupada and plan accordingly.
We are already 5100 years into the depths of Kali Yuga. We know from the Shrimad Bhagavatam, that Kali Yuga has total of 432,000 years. Furthermore, we know that there is no prediction of devastation after the passing of a mere fifty or fifty-one centuries of Kali Yuga. Therefore as devotees we should have faith in the spotless Purana, the Shrimad Bhagavatam. The only light in this Dark Age is the mercy of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. In this material world the situation tends to grow darker over time. For this reason at the end of Kali Yuga and the beginning of Satya Yuga an incarnation of Godhead appears to reset the measurement of time. Still, Shri Krishna has promised a mini Satya Yuga even within the present Kali Yuga. Will this Golden Age totally re-work and repair the tendencies of Kali Yuga like our shortened memories and life spans? We should not expect miracles of this sort but we should rather concentrate on the essence of preaching and chanting the mahamantra.
Shrila Prabhupada is the Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and we should always keep him in the center as our prophet. A generation ago His Divine Grace foresaw and discussed the impending dangers of world trends and their impact. He spoke of the collapse of cities, how nuclear weapons will be used and of world wars that presage the coming age of world sankirtan yagna. To this end the pure devotee ordered his disciples to safely domicile in rural communities. These Krishna conscious villages should function with a vision of becoming totally self-sufficient. The village model is described by Shrila Prabhupada throughout his Krishna Book. Creating museum-like farms that are merely show places and which are out of touch with reality will not provide the devotees any real shelter when the need arises. The age of Kali is rife with danger and times are becoming more and more complicated. Farm communities are the real solution for simple living and high thinking.
Most of us need to learn methods of self-sufficiency. On a personal note, here in Bulgaria people still grow their own food right in their front and back yards. They know the methods of food preservation and storage in preparation for winter and for hard times. Here in beautiful Bulgaria there are many empty villages in which empty houses can be purchased for a tiny fraction of what homes cost elsewhere since the population of Bulgaria has diminished considerably in the last few decades. Bulgaria with its abundance of fresh water, wild herbs, wild fruits, short winters, pleasant weather, pristine rivers and endless mountains and valleys would make an ideal place for a devotee community modeled on the tenets of Vedic civilization and culture, which roots are still alive here.
Unfortunately, we have become dependent on modern ways. Following the principles taught by Shrila Prabhupada nothing is bad that can be utilized in Krishna’s service. We should use even the last kilobyte of the internet for preaching before the inevitable day when the plug gets pulled. Keep in mind that the computer is dependent on oil production and if the other alternative power sources that are presently available are not utilized we will soon be without the internet. We will not be able to travel and therefore visiting Vrindavana and Mayapur will be out of the question. We should recreate the village of Shri Krishna close to the place where we live. This was the intended model of the first rural community New Vrindavan in West Virginia. Both individually and as an organization we should focus on preparing ourselves for the upcoming disasters by manifesting Vrindavana in our own homelands. In this regard, Shrila Prabhupada wrote to Hayagriva das on 14 June 1968:
“They have been advised to turn San Francisco gradually into New Jagannatha Puri, and I have advised Kirtanananda and yourself to convert West Virginia into New Vrindaban. I understand the spot is very beautiful, and the hills may be renamed as New Govardhana. And if there are lakes, they can be renamed as Syamakunda and Radhakunda. Vrindaban does not require to be modernized because Krishna's Vrindaban is a transcendental village. They completely depend on nature's beauty and nature's protection. The community in which Krishna preferred to belong was Vaisya community, because Nanda Maharaja happened to be a Vaisya king, or landholder, and his main business was cow protection. It is understood that he had 900,000 cows and Krishna and Balarama used to take charge of them, along with His many cowherd boy friends, and every day, in the morning He used to go out with His friends and cows into the pasturing grounds. So, if you seriously want to convert this new spot as New Vrindaban, I shall advise you not to make it very much modernized. But as you are American boys, you must make it just suitable to your minimum needs.”
Yuga Yoga and a Portentous Future
Let us now provide some background for the incidents that happened around 2012 from Vedic astrological perspective. These heavenly portents have passed by us and are all but unnoticed. These ominous portents are far more telling than the Mayan calendar or modern scientific estimations. Not very often do the planets align in the sky. This phenomenon brings drastic changes to the environment and in the mentality of people in general. The coincidence of the planet aligning in one sign most drastically appears when one yuga changes into the next one.
A yuga yoga is described as an instance wherein all seven planets (minus Rahu and Ketu) align in two signs. Readers can understand from its name that it foretells impending changes. The fact that there was a yuga yoga in May 2011 that preceded by a couple of weeks a threesome of eclipses in a one month period is a sign of an impending shift upon the horizon. The yuga yoga which occurs maybe twice in a century, heralds drastic transformation not only for the environment but in the mentality of the masses as one period transforms into another.
Such a conjunction of planets produces a result that could be compared to a group of executives who are meeting to share their confidential plans and finalize some agreement. Although each one of them must leave the assembly and go their respective ways after the get-together, the moment of agreement will continue to be reflected in their future activities. In other words, the contractual influence of the meeting remains binding until their next gathering. Similarly, the planetary assembly called yuga yoga creates a lasting influence upon each one of the planetary deities.
The conditions for the formation of yuga yoga simply state that all planets should be in two signs. On May 13th these five Sun (the king), Mars (the commander and owner of the sign), Mercury (the crown prince), Jupiter (the head priest) and Venus (the priest of the demons) met together in the war-like Aries. Meanwhile, six signs away, Moon (the deity of nourishment) and Saturn (the wily old master) assembled in earthy Virgo. Of all the planetary deities only Shanideva was vakra or retrograde, looking back.
The meeting began at the tithi corresponding to the auspicious eleventh day of Vaishakha-masa shukla-paksha, the sacred day of Mohini ekadashi. As Shrila Prabhupada reminds us time and again, “The demigods are servants of the Lord deputed to look after the management of various activities of universal affairs.” (SB 3.2.32 Purport). Therefore, the fact that this meeting of planetary deities began on the sacred day of Shri Hari is of great significance to devotees. The meeting continued through dwadashi, the holy appearance day of Goddess Lakshmi in Her Form as Shri Rukmini Devi, and it ended on trayodashi These are all auspicious tithis of an auspicious fortnight in a most auspicious month during vasant-ritu, the auspicious spring season. The quickest planet (Moon) and the slowest “generational” planet (Saturn) met in the fertile soil sign of Virgo (mutable earth). This demonstrates the need for a quick move towards the age old system of agriculture in the coming hard times ahead. The meeting of the other five planets in Aries, the sign of war, is ominous. As Prabhupada used to say: “After the war, preaching will be very good.” And preaching means re-establishing the cow and the bull to their rightful place as the sacred mother and father of the entire system of varnashram dharma for the good of the beleaguered planet.
Sometimes gola yoga will appear in the heavens before the occurrence of yuga yoga. The definition of gola yoga is that all seven planets should be positioned in one sign. Gola means “ball,” but the understanding is “universe” as in “great universal changes.” After the appearance of a gola yoga, a new period allegorically compared to a yuga commences as seen through the next step of yuga yoga. This is typically initiated when the swiftest of planets, the Moon, rushes out of the meeting. This gola yoga phenomenon of all planets meeting in one sign was last observed on February 3rd 1962 in Makara. The gola yoga continued for 3 days until February 5th when the Moon moved into Kumbha rashi. In that gola yoga all the planets were aligned in Capricorn, the sign of USA, along with the South Node Ketu. When the Moon broke the alignment of planets, by moving into Aquarius, the next step or yuga yoga appeared in the heavens.
This significant event must have marked the early beginnings of the promised 10,000 years of Satya Yuga, which is supposed to occur after 5000 years of the present Kali Yuga. This is described in the Brahma-vaivarta Purana 4.129. Krishna spoke to Mother Ganga about the future events which would come to pass after His departure from Earth about 5000 years ago. Mother Ganga was very disturbed by the fact that Kali Yuga was coming and she was afraid that nobody would protect her. Shri Krishna promised her some relief with the following words:
“O Ganga devi, on the earth 5,000 years of Kali will be sinful and those sinners will deposit their sins in you by bathing. Thereafter by the sight and touch of those who worship Me by My mantra, all those sins will be burnt. O Ganga devi, the whole planet will become a pilgrimage sight by the presence of Vaishnavas, even though it had been sinful. In the body of My devotees remains eternally [the purifier]. Mother Earth becomes pure by the dust of the feet of My devotees. For 10,000 years of Kali such devotees of Mine will fill the whole planet. After the departure of My devotees there will be only one varna [outcaste]. Devoid of My devotees, the earth will be shackled by Kali. Saying this, Lord Shri Krishna departed.”
It is stated in Shrimad-Bhagavatam (12.2.31) that Kali Yuga began when the constellation of Ursa Major or the seven sages (Sapta Rishis) passed through the lunar mansion of Magha located in Leo. Vedic astrologers have calculated that this occurred at 2:27 a.m. on February 20, 3102 BC. It took place some 36 years after Lord Krishna spoke Shrimad Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna. The initial 5000 years of Kali Yuga which were so full of darkness ended in 1898. This year is significant because Shrila Abhaya Charan De had appeared in 1896 and now at age the age of two the future world acharya was already imbibing spiritual lessons from His father Shri Gour Mohan De. By then, Shrila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, the father of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati was actively involved in translating and presenting the Vaishnava literature into English. His son Shriman Bimala Prasada Dutt (the future spiritual master of Shrila Prabhupada) was now in ascendance. In 1905 Bimala Prasad accepted initiation from Shrila Gaura Kishore das Babaji and became Shrila Barsabanabidevi Dayitaya, and later Shrila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati. Therefore, the emerging first rays of the Golden Age began to spread their light concurrent with the lives of these three acharyas as they lay the foundation for the spreading of Lord Chaitanya’s Hare Krishna movement throughout the world. It is significant that historically we can trace that a yuga yoga also occurred back then in the signs of Libra and Scorpio on 6 November 1899.
As noted, the alignment of planets in two signs occurs about every 50 years. Since they may occur twice in a century, yuga yogas are not exceedingly rare. However, the occurrence of gola yoga which aligns all planets in one sign is very rare. The 1962 event issued new promises to the world. This is especially true since not only seven planets conjoined in a single sign, but Ketu, the planet of liberation, was also involved. This was the exact time Prabhupada was printing his Delhi Shrimad Bhagavatam in preparation for world enlightenment.
After this gola yoga, the world looked to technological improvements marked by the sign of Aquarius (the point of breaking the yoga was caused when the Moon entered into the next sign of Aquarius.) Two years after the occurrence of this gola yoga Shrila Prabhupada, ventured west and founded the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. He taught that technology, such as this computer you and I are communicating with, should be utilized in Krishna’s service.
The yuga yoga conjunction of 13-15 May 2011 marks a mini cycle that is linked to the alignment that occurred from 3 to 5 February 1962. Let us investigate the significance of the present yuga yoga occurring in the signs of Aries and Virgo, two very dissimilar signs. Aries being ruled by the ever-youthful Mars and being the first sign of the zodiac is the sign of new beginnings. Aries is full of Martian energy, self-confidence and dynamic enthusiasm. Virgo, the sign of mother Earth, is very detail- and service-oriented. Being ruled by the young “prince of the planetary deities,” Mercury, Virgo is also swift. Thus this yuga yoga promises the conflicting aspects of care for the environment combined with destructive military campaigns. Ongoing wars and the ones to come will ostensibly be claimed for bettering the situation on Earth. Since Aries is hardly known as a caring sign, warlike megalomaniacal world mis-leaders may employ inhumane activities while claiming to strengthen the world’s situation for better. We will witness many battles between the forces of good and evil before the good prevails, until the next yuga yoga comes around in October 5th 2040. That yuga yoga which will be the longest one possible. It will occur in the signs of Virgo and Libra and will last for five days. We foresee by the planetary positions that Virgo-ruled agriculture giving way to peace, beauty and harmony—qualities consistent with Libra—will eventually prevail.
OUR HOME IN THE UNIVERSE
Although a picture is worth a thousand words, sometimes an illustration requires clarification. The drawing above represents my graphic understanding of the Shrimad Bhagavatam’s concept of the Bhu-Mandala, upon which we reside.
Mount Sumeru: In the middle we see Mount Sumeru. This great mountain is wider at the top, yet it is also flat. Mount Sumeru stands as the center (or stigma, a flower’s reproductive organ) of the lotus that is Bhu-Mandala. Further, the petals of the lotus can be seen dividing the different regions into the seven islands of Bhu-Mandala. Mount Sumeru is surrounded by other mountains that have very sharp peaks. As the Bhagavatam explains:
There are other mountains beautifully arranged around the foot of Mount Meru like the filaments around the whorl of a lotus flower. Their names are Kuranga, Kurara, Kusumbha, Vaikanka, Trikuta, Shishira, Patanga, Ruchaka, Nishadha, Sinivasa, Kapila, Shankha, Vaidurya, Jarudhi, Hamsa, Rishabha, Naga, Kalanjara and Narada. (5.16.26):
The flat peak of Mount Sumeru is the sitting place of Lord Brahma, the creator of this Universe. Nearby are also the sitting places for each one of the dig-palas or deities of the eight directions, namely:
Each one of these demi-godly dig-palas are masters of opulent cities that lie in the eight directions. The directions of each of their cities are the basis of the kalachakra or the adjunct horoscope called the “Wheel of Time” in jyotish shastra. Additionally, each one of these eight directions, like the eight petals of the lotus, underscores the principles of vastu-shastra or Vedic architecture based upon knowledge of directions. In this way we can understand how the demi-gods who control the directions influence our lives. Jyotish is therefore a means of living in harmony with the elements that surround us. Mount Sumeru is golden in color and reflects everything around it—and for this reason it is not easily seen. Traveling there is impossible for us because of the severe winds blowing on all sides.
The description of Mount Meru is given in many Puranas including the Devi Purana (8.7.1-12) wherein the cities atop the golden mountain are identified by name:
The Personality of Godhead Lord Narayana said: Jathara and Devakuta are the two mountains situated on the east of Sumeru; their dimensions towards the north are eighteen thousand yojanas wide and two thousand yojanas high. On the west of Meru, are situated the two famous lofty mountains Pavamana and Pariyatra; their length and height are well known. On the south of Meru are situated the two lofty mountains Kailasha and Karavira. On the north, again, of the Sumeru mountain, are situated the mountains Shringa-giri and Makara-giri. Thus the golden Sumeru Mountain surrounded by these eight mountains shines like the Sun.
In the centre of the Sumeru there is a divine city built by the creator demi-god Lord Brahma, ten thousand yojanas in dimensions. The learned sages who know everything from the highest to the lowest describe that as square in dimensions and all made of gold. On the top of Sumeru are situated the eight golden cities, one for each of the eight lokapalas (digpalas), which are all subservient to Brahmapuri. The demi-gods of the four directions; namely east, west, north and south, and of the four corners; namely north-east, north-west, south-west, south-east, occupy these cities. The dimensions of each of these eight cities are two thousand yojanas and a half. In fact, there are nine cities there including the Brahmapuri. Now hear the names of these nine cities in due order. The first is Manovati, the second is Amaravati, the third is Tejovati, and next come in order Samyamani, Krishnangana, Shraddhavati, Gandhavati, and Mahodaya, the ninth is Yashovati. The demi-gods of the puris are Brahma, Indra, Agni and the other digpalas in due order.
In Shrimad Bhagavatam (Bhaktivedanta Purport to 1.12.5) Shrila Prabhupada discusses how the fame of King Yudhisthira reached the upper planets, although these lokas are inaccessible to ordinary mortals.
“Only a rich and great man's name and fame are known all over the world, and the name and fame of Maharaja Yudhisthira reached the higher planets because of his good administration, worldly possessions, glorious wife Draupadi, the strength of his brothers Bhima and Arjuna, and his solid sovereign power over the world, known as Jambudvipa. Here the word lokah is significant. There are different lokas or higher planets scattered all over the sky, both material and spiritual. A person can reach them by dint of his work in the present life, as stated in Bhagavad-gita (9.25). No forceful entrance is allowed there. The tiny material scientists and engineers who have discovered vehicles to travel over a few thousand miles in outer space will not be allowed entrance. That is not the way to reach the better planets. One must qualify himself to enter into such happy planets by sacrifice and service. Those who are sinful in every step of life can expect only to be degraded into animal life to suffer more and more the pangs of material existence, and this is also stated in Bhagavad-gita (16.19). Maharaja Yudhisthira’s good sacrifices and qualifications were so lofty and virtuous that even the residents of the higher celestial planets were already prepared to receive him as one of them.”