|Canto 5: The Creative Impetus||Chapter 26: A Description of the Hellish Planets|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.26.37
evaḿ-vidhā narakā yamālaye santi śataśaḥ sahasraśas teṣu sarveṣu ca sarva evādharma-vartino ye kecid ihoditā anuditāś cāvani-pate paryāyeṇa viśanti tathaiva dharmānuvartina itaratra iha tu punar-bhave ta ubhaya-śeṣābhyāḿ niviśanti
evam-vidhāḥ — of this sort; narakāḥ — the many hells; yama-ālaye — in the province of Yamarāja; santi — are; śataśaḥ — hundreds; sahasraśaḥ — thousands; teṣu — in those hellish planets; sarveṣu — all; ca — also; sarve — all; eva — indeed; adharma-vartinaḥ — persons not following the Vedic principles or regulative principles; ye kecit — whosoever; iha — here; uditāḥ — mentioned; anuditāḥ — not mentioned; ca — and; avani-pate — O King; paryāyeṇa — according to the degree of different kinds of sinful activity; viśanti — they enter; tathā eva — similarly; dharma-anuvartinaḥ — those who are pious and act according to the regulative principles or Vedic injunctions; itaratra — elsewhere; iha — on this planet; tu — but; punaḥ-bhave — into another birth; te — all of them; ubhaya-śeṣābhyām — by the remainder of the results of piety or vice; niviśanti — they enter.
My dear King Parīkṣit, in the province of Yamarāja there are hundreds and thousands of hellish planets. The impious people I have mentioned — and also those I have not mentioned — must all enter these various planets according to the degree of their impiety. Those who are pious, however, enter other planetary systems, namely the planets of the demigods. Nevertheless, both the pious and impious are again brought to earth after the results of their pious or impious acts are exhausted.
This corresponds to the beginning of Lord Kṛṣṇa's instructions in Bhagavad-gītā. Tathā dehāntara-prāptiḥ: within this material world, one is simply meant to change from one body to another in different planetary systems. Ūrdhvaḿ gacchanti sattva-sthā: [Bg. 14.18] those in the mode of goodness are elevated to the heavenly planets. Adho gacchanti tāmasāḥ: similarly, those too engrossed in ignorance enter the hellish planetary systems. Both of them, however, are subjected to the repetition of birth and death. In Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that even one who is very pious returns to earth after his enjoyment in the higher planetary systems is over (kṣīṇe puṇye martya-lokaḿ viśanti [Bg. 9.21]). Therefore, going from one planet to another does not solve the problems of life. The problems of life will only be solved when we no longer have to accept a material body. This can be possible if one simply becomes Kṛṣṇa conscious. As Kṛṣṇa says in Bhagavad-gītā (4.9):
janma karma ca me divyam
evaḿ yo vetti tattvataḥ
tyaktvā dehaḿ punar janma
naiti mām eti so 'rjuna
"One who knows the transcendental nature of My appearance and activities does not, upon leaving the body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna." This is the perfection of life and the real solution to life's problems. We should not be eager to go to the higher, heavenly planetary systems, nor should we act in such a way that we have to go to the hellish planets. The complete purpose of this material world will be fulfilled when we resume our spiritual identities and go back home, back to Godhead. The very simple method for doing this is prescribed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaḿ śaraṇaḿ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. One should be neither pious nor impious. One should be a devotee and surrender to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa. This surrendering process is also very easy. Even a child can perform it. Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. One must always simply think of Kṛṣṇa by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma. Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. One should become Kṛṣṇa's devotee. worship Him and offer obeisances to Him. Thus one should engage all the activities of his life in the service of Lord Kṛṣṇa.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness