Can one attain spiritual perfection in one birth?
Yes, but it is rare and usually takes many births of trying for it. In Gita (7.19) Krishna confirms this by saying, “After many births, a wise man surrenders, bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyante. However, the Srimad Bhagavatam does mention three who attained Lord Vishnu and spiritual perfection in one lifetime of sadhana, namely Narada Muni, Dhruva and Ajamila. So keep chanting, serving, surrendering, crying and praying…and hope for the best!
What is so special about dying in Vrindavana?
Sri Krishna Himself answers this question in the Brhad Gautimya Tantra:
“This charming Vrindavana possesses great power because its nature is pure consciousness, and it lies beyond the range of the physical eye, tejomayam idam ramyam adrshyam carma cakshusha. The most delightful Vrndavana is My only abode.
“All the celestial beings, humans, domestic and wild animals, birds, worms and insects who reside in Vrindavana will go to My home [spiritual world, Goloka Vrindavana] when they die, vrindavana ramyam mama dhamaiva kevalam atra ye pashavah pakshi mrgah kita naramarah ye vasanti mamadhishne mrta yanti mam alayam.”
Srila Rupa Goswamipada writes in (brs.1.2.244), “These five limbs of bhakti, which include living in Vrindavana, have inconceivable power to manifest the state of bhava and its object, Krishna, at the same time, achintya shaktir idrshi bhavam tad vishayam prakashayet.”
In his comments on (Brs.1.2.244) Sri Jiva Goswamipada says, “Concerning Deity worship, it is said: “If only once, even by force, one brings the form of the Lord into one’s mind, one can attain the supreme destination by the mercy of Krishna, sakrd yad anga pratima antar ahita manomayi bhagavatim dadau gatim.” Ultimately, perfection entirely depends on the mercy Krishna.
Prema and Vraja Dying
Many think that just by dying in Vrindavana, they will attain Goloka Vrindavana, their spiritual bodies, and the eternal seva of Radha-Govinda Yugala in the kunjas of Vraja. But without a lifetime of intense and focused raganuga sadhana, why would Sri Krishna just give them a spiritual form? Gita 8.6 and all the Gaudiya shastras say a sadhaka will receive an appropriate siddha svarupa based on the desires and bhava he developed during sadhana.
Of course, there can be exceptions to the rule, but generally one gets what he deserves. By sheer causeless mercy, it is possible to get prema and spiritual perfection just at the time of death, even without performing any sadhana whatsoever. In his Govinda Bhashya (3.3.53), Sri Baladeva Vidya Bhusana explains how: “By seeing Sri Krishna while dying, the demons achieved prema, priyata vadina tad drsteh seti bodhyam.”
The best way to spiritual perfection is to live in Sridhama Vrindavana chanting the pure Holy Names of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, and practicing raganuga sadhana bhajana under the guidance of Sri Guru and Vaisnavas. One must always remember that Vrindavana is the divine abode of spiritual mercy, miracles and magic.
Here in Sri Krishna’s lila bhumi, anything can happen. One fine day, you may be walking around Radha Kunda and experience a sudden monsoon shower of mercy. Right there just before you, Krishna will appear pressing His murli to His lips. Smiling through His eyes, Shyama will say, “Come with Me, and I will take you to the eternal land of playful love!”
Vrajabhumi Krpa Shakti ki jai! Sri Krishna Darshana ki jai!
Jai Jai Sri Radhe!