In Bhagavad-gītā (4.9) the Lord says, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti: after giving up the material body, the devotee of the Lord returns home, back to Godhead. This means that the devotee is first transferred to the particular universe where the Lord is at that time staying to exhibit His pastimes. There are innumerable universes, and the Lord is appearing in one of these universes at every moment. Therefore His pastimes are called nitya-līlā, eternal pastimes. The Lord’s appearance as a child in the house of Devakī takes place continuously in one universe after another. Therefore, the devotee is first transferred to that particular universe where the pastimes of the Lord are current. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā, even if a devotee does not complete the course of devotional service, he enjoys the happiness of the heavenly planets, where the most pious people dwell, and then takes birth in the house of a śuci or śrīmān, a pious brāhmaṇa or a wealthy vaiśya (śucīnāṁ śrīmatāṁ gehe yoga-bhraṣṭo ’bhijāyate). Thus a pure devotee, even if unable to execute devotional service completely, is transferred to the upper planetary system, where pious people reside. From there, if his devotional service is complete, such a devotee is transferred to the place where the Lord’s pastimes are going on.

Source:A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (2014 edition), “Srimad Bhagavatam”, Tenth Canto, Chapter 01 – Text 23

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