Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.1.4, English translation, including commentary (Dig-darshini-tika): an important Vaishnava text dealing with the importance of devotional service. The Brihad-bhagavatamrita, although an indepent Sanskrit work, covers the essential teachings of the Shrimad Bhagavatam (Bhagavata-purana). This is verse 1.1.4 contained in Chapter 1—Bhauma (the earthly plane)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.1.4:

जयति मथुरा-देवि श्रेष्ठा पुरीषु मनोरमा परम-दयिता कंसारातेर् जनि-स्थिति-रञ्जिता ।
दूरित-हरणान् मुक्तेर् भक्तेर् अपि प्रतिपादना ज्जगति महिता तत्-तत्-क्रीडा-कथास्तु विदूरतः ॥ ४ ॥

jayati mathurā-devi śreṣṭhā purīṣu manoramā parama-dayitā kaṃsārāter jani-sthiti-rañjitā |
dūrita-haraṇān mukter bhakter api pratipādanā jjagati mahitā tat-tat-krīḍā-kathāstu vidūrataḥ || 4 ||

Śrī Mathurā-devī is best among all holy cities and is renowned as “manoramā,” because she steals away the hearts and minds of everyone. Not to speak of all other enchanting pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa (Kaṃsāri) performed here, she is decorated by His divine birth and residence. She destroys all sins, bestows liberation and devotion upon everyone, and is therefore revered by the entire world. Glories to Śrī Mathurā-devī, the most beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is present in topmost excellence!

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)

One can achieve loving devotion (prema-bhakti), bestowing all perfections, only in bhagavatī Śrī Mathurā maṇḍala, which is decorated by the continuous pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is the support of supreme love. Therefore, only to obtain the mercy of Śrī Mathurā-devī, the author describes her glories beginning with the words jayati. Śrī Mathurā-devī is radiantly present in all excellence. The expression devī means one who is always lustrous or effulgent. Or, being the pastime place of Bhagavān, she is also known as Parameśvarī. Śrī Bhagavān constantly sports in this area of Śrī Mathurā maṇḍala. Therefore, due to His continuous presence, it is indicated that Śrī Mathurā-purī is devoid of the fear of the element of time. Thus she is the best amongst the seven sacred cities such as Kāśī and even among all other cities of Śrī Bhagavān, cities of upper, lower and intermediate planetary systems. She is known as manoramā, in other words she fulfills everyone’s desires completely. Therefore Śrī Mathurā is most enchanting.

In this connection, the Padma Purāṇa mentions:

त्रि-वर्ग-दा कामिनां या मुमुक्षुणां च मोक्ष-दा भक्तीच्-छोर्
भक्ति-दा कस् तां मथुरां नाश्रयेद् बुधः

tri-varga-dā kāmināṃ yā mumukṣuṇāṃ ca mokṣa-dā bhaktīc-chor
bhakti-dā kas tāṃ mathurāṃ nāśrayed budhaḥ

Śrī Mathurā bestows upon materialistic persons the trifold group of religiosity (dharma), wealth (artha) and sense gratification (kāma). And unto others she bestows liberation (mokṣa) and devotional service (bhakti). Who is that intelligent person that will not accept the shelter of Śrī Mathurā-purī?

Therefore, she is the most beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. The word kaṃsāri distinguishes her as the parama-dayitā or supreme beloved who can vanquish all fear, distress and so forth from the residents of Mathurā. Mathurā bhagavān yatra, nityaṃ sannihito hari: “Śrī Hari appears in Mathurā especially, and makes His eternal residence there. Indeed, Śrī Hari Himself always resides within Mathurā.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.1.28) This and other scriptural proofs delineate that Śrī Mathurā adorns the eternal residence of Śrī Bhagavān. Thus she is the supreme beloved of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the enemy of Kaṃsa, and is worshipable in this world because she abolishes all sin, bestows liberation and blesses the world with bhakti, moreover, with the celebrated, unparalleled rāsa-līlā and other pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. For that reason, who can describe the sweetness of such pastimes?

On the other hand, Śrī Mathurā’s glories as the destroyer of all sins have been profusely proclaimed throughout the universe.

The Varāha Purāṇa (165.57-58, 176.71-72) glorifies her as taking away all sins in this way:

अन्यत्र यत् कृतं पापं, तीर्थम् आसाद्य नश्यति तीर्थे तु यत् कृतं पापं, वज्र-लेपो भविष्यति
मथुरायाङ् कृतं पापं, मथुरायां विनश्यति एषा पुरी महा-पुण्या, यत्र पापं न तिष्ठति

anyatra yat kṛtaṃ pāpaṃ, tīrtham āsādya naśyati tīrthe tu yat kṛtaṃ pāpaṃ, vajra-lepo bhaviṣyati
mathurāyāṅ kṛtaṃ pāpaṃ, mathurāyāṃ vinaśyati eṣā purī mahā-puṇyā, yatra pāpaṃ na tiṣṭhati

And: jñanato’jñanato’vāpi, yat papaṃ samuparjitaṃ; sukṛtaṃ duṣkṛtaṃ vāpi, mathurayaṃ pranaśyati

Reaction from a sin committed at any place can be dissolved just by visiting a holy pilgrimage place; however, if one engages in sin after visiting that pilgrimage place, then certainly those sins become steadfast and hard as solidified mortar…

But, if one happens to sin in the holy place of Mathurā, that sin will be abolished in Mathurā, that is, whatever kind of mundane pious or impious act one performs is naturally destroyed in Mathurā. The reason is that Śrī Mathurā-purī has no resort for sins that manifest from ignorance or vain erudition, because she is the divine playground (vilāsa-sthalī) of existential potency known as the sandhinī-śakti.

In the Skanda Purāṇa ( 5.17.44) Śrī Mathurā-purī is glorified like this:

कश्य्-अदि-पुर्यो यदि सन्ति लोके तसं तु मध्ये मथुरैव धन्य
य जन्म-मौञ्जी-व्रत-मृत्यु-दहैर् नृनं चतुर्ध विदधति मोक्षम्

kaśy-adi-puryo yadi santi loke tasaṃ tu madhye mathuraiva dhanya
ya janma-mauñjī-vrata-mṛtyu-dahair nṛnaṃ caturdha vidadhati mokṣam

In this world there are innumerable holy cities like Kāśi; nonetheless, among them Śrī Mathurā is the most excellent because this dhāma bestows liberation, moreso than the janma saṃskāra (birth), upanayana (twice-born investiture), mṛtyu (final rites) and the dāha saṃskara (crematory rites).

The Padma Purāṇa proclaims also:

अन्येषु पुण्य-तीर्थेषु मुक्तिर् एव महा-फलम्
मुक्तैः प्रार्थ्या हरेर् भक्तिर् मथुरायां तु लभ्यते

anyeṣu puṇya-tīrtheṣu muktir eva mahā-phalam
muktaiḥ prārthyā harer bhaktir mathurāyāṃ tu labhyate

The culmination of liberation (mukti) is achieved by residing in other holy places other than Mathurā, whereas one who has even an ordinary connection achieves devotion to Śrī Hari here, which is prayed to by mukti herself.

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