na hy antaram bhagavatiha samasta-kuksav
atmanam atmani nabho nabhasiva dhirah
pasyanti yatra yuvayoh sura-linginoh kim
vyutpaditam hy udara-bhedi bhayam yato ’sya
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
In the Vaikuntha world there is complete harmony between the residents and the Supreme Personality of Godhead, just as there is complete harmony within space between the big and the small skies. Why then is there a seed of fear in this field of harmony? These two persons are dressed like inhabitants of Vaikuntha, but wherefrom can their disharmony come into existence?
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Just as there are different departments in each state in this material world — the civil department and the criminal department — so, in God’s creation, there are two departments of existence. As in the material world we find that the criminal department is far, far smaller than the civil department, so this material world, which is considered the criminal department, is one fourth of the entire creation of the Lord. All living entities who are residents of the material universes are considered to be more or less criminals because they do not wish to abide by the order of the Lord or they are against the harmonious activities of God’s will. The principle of creation is that the Supreme Lord, the Personality of Godhead, is by nature joyful, and He becomes many in order to enhance His transcendental joy. The living entities like ourselves, being part and parcel of the Supreme Lord, are meant to satisfy the senses of the Lord. Thus, whenever there is a discrepancy in that harmony, immediately the living entity is entrapped by maya, or illusion.
The external energy of the Lord is called the material world, and the kingdom of the internal energy of the Lord is called Vaikuntha, or the kingdom of God. In the Vaikuntha world there is no disharmony between the Lord and the residents. Therefore God’s creation in the Vaikuntha world is perfect. There is no cause of fear. The entire kingdom of God is such a completely harmonious unit that there is no possibility of enmity. Everything there is absolute. Just as there are many physiological constructions within the body yet they work in one order for the satisfaction of the stomach, and just as in a machine there are hundreds and thousands of parts yet they run in harmony to fulfill the function of the machine, in the Vaikuntha planets the Lord is perfect, and the inhabitants also perfectly engage in the service of the Lord.
The Mayavadi philosophers, the impersonalists, interpret this verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam to mean that the small sky and the big sky are one, but this idea cannot stand. The example of the big sky and the small skies is also applicable within a person’s body. The big sky is the body itself, and the intestines and other parts of the body occupy the small sky. Each and every part of the body has individuality, even though occupying a small part of the total body. Similarly, the whole creation is the body of the Supreme Lord, and we created beings, or anything that is created, are but a small part of that body. The parts of the body are never equal to the whole. This is never possible. In Bhagavad-gita it is said that the living entities, who are parts and parcels of the Supreme Lord, are eternally parts and parcels. According to the Mayavadi philosophers, the living entity in illusion considers himself part and parcel although he is actually one and the same as the supreme whole. This theory is not valid. The oneness of the whole and the part is in their quality. The qualitative oneness of the small and large portions of the sky does not imply that the small sky becomes the big sky.
There is no cause for the politics of divide and rule in the Vaikuntha planets; there is no fear, because of the united interests of the Lord and the residents. Maya means disharmony between the living entities and the Supreme Lord, and Vaikuntha means harmony between them. Actually all living entities are provided for and maintained by the Lord because He is the supreme living entity. But foolish creatures, although actually under the control of the supreme living entity, defy His existence, and that state is called maya. Sometimes they deny that there is such a being as God. They say, “Everything is void.” And sometimes they deny Him in a different way: “There may be a God, but He has no form.” Both these conceptions arise from the rebellious condition of the living entity. As long as this rebellious condition prevails, the material world will continue in disharmony.
Harmony or disharmony is realized because of the law and order of a particular place. Religion is the law and order of the Supreme Lord. In the Srimad Bhagavad-gita we find that religion means devotional service, or Krsna consciousness. Krsna says, “Give up all other religious principles and simply become a soul surrendered unto Me.” This is religion. When one is fully conscious that Krsna is the supreme enjoyer and Supreme Lord and one acts accordingly, that is real religion. Anything which goes against this principle is not religion. Therefore Krsna says, “Just give up all other religious principles.” In the spiritual world this religious principle of Krsna consciousness is maintained in harmony, and therefore that world is called Vaikuntha. If the same principles can be adopted here, wholly or partially, then it is also Vaikuntha. So it is with any society, such as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness: If the members of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, putting faith in Krsna as the center, live in harmony according to the order and principles of Bhagavad-gita, then they are living in Vaikuntha, not in this material world.