Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.1.9, 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 1.1.9 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 1.1.9:

जयति जयति नामानन्द-रूपं मुरारेर् विरमित-निज-धर्म-ध्यान-पूजादि-यत्नम् ।
कथम् अपि सकृद् आत्तं मुक्ति-दं प्राणिनां यत् परमं अमृतम् एकं जीवनं भूषनं मे ॥ ९ ॥

jayati jayati nāmānanda-rūpaṃ murārer viramita-nija-dharma-dhyāna-pūjādi-yatnam |
katham api sakṛd āttaṃ mukti-daṃ prāṇināṃ yat paramaṃ amṛtam ekaṃ jīvanaṃ bhūṣanaṃ me || 9 ||

All glories repeatedly to that blissful Śrī Harināma that frees one from the practices of varṇāśrama, dhyāna (meditation), pūjā (deity worship) and so on. It relieves one from the distressful impediments involved in the endeavors of varṇāśrama-dharma, the mental restraint involved in dhyāna, the accumulation of paraphernalia while engaged in daily pūjā and so on. Just once accepting Śrī Harināma grants liberation to the living entities. It is the only ornament and immortal nectar for the life and soul of Sanātana himself.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Among all the aṅgas or limbs of prema-bhakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, service of the holy names of Śrī Bhagavān is the topmost engagement. Achieving the mercy of nāma prabhu is the root of all success. Therefore, the esteemed author describes the excellence of śrīnāma in order to receive that mercy beginning with jayati jayati. “Let there be all victory, all victory unto the blissful śrī-nāma of Śrī Kṛṣna!” The holy names emanate spiritual joy. Therefore, their divine forms are full of transcendental bliss. In other words, śrī-nāma is personally the embodiment of divine bliss to bestow spiritual happiness upon everyone; therefore, the holy names are ānanda-svarūpa, blissful by nature. Thus Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s holy names are forever triumphant, always victorious, and being engaged in describing their topmost excellence in every way out of great exuberance, he says jayati jayati twice.

Here the word viramita (an abrupt pause) demonstrates the excellence of śrī-nāma. Taking shelter of śrī-nāma, which is blissful by nature, frees one from the anxiety of strict adherence in following varṇāśramadharma. Śrī-nāma ceases all anxiety of persons who accept the shelter of bhakti-yoga by transcending varṇāśrama. The distress of those who regulate the restless mind by the practice of the limbs of meditation, the discomforts of gathering appropriate articles for those persons who dedicate themselves to deity worship, the concerns due to dependence on the speaker of those who practise the aṅga of hearing—all these are dismissed merely by taking shelter of śrī-nāma which is ānandasvarūpa. The reason for this is that “somehow or other even if śrī-nāma has been accepted just once,” that is, by śrī-nāma-saṅkīrtana alone the fruits of all other sādhanas or practices are achieved.

Regarding this topic, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.33.7) says, tepus tapas te juhuvuḥ sasnur āryā, brahmānūcur nāma gṛnanti ye te: “A person vibrating Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name on his tongue is worthy of respect even if the lowest of men. One who accepts śrī-nāma is truly virtuous and has actually performed austerities, has truly performed fire sacrifices (homa, oblations), has bathed at holy pilgrimage places, and has surely made his study of the Vedas purposeful.” Also in Śrī Viṣṇu Purāṇa (6.2.17) it is stated:

ध्यायन् कृते यजन् यज्ञैस् त्रेतायं द्वापरे’र्चयम्
यद् आप्नोति तद् आप्नोति कलौ सङ्कीर्त्य केशवम्

dhyāyan kṛte yajan yajñais tretāyaṃ dvāpare’rcayam
yad āpnoti tad āpnoti kalau saṅkīrtya keśavam

Whatever rewards a person obtains in Satya-yuga by meditation (dhyāna), in Treta-yuga by sacrifice (yajña), in Dvāpara-yuga by worship (arcana) can be obtained in Kali-yuga by simply performing saṅkīrtana, the congregational chanting of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s name alone.

If a faint semblance of the holy name (nāmābhāsa) appears even once, then the effects of dharma, artha and kāma are all achieved.

However, does one have to continually perform śrī-nāma-kīrtana with faith and devotion to achieve mokṣa or liberation? Anticipating such a doubt, he says katham api: “somehow or other” just once. What to speak if a human being, or living entity somehow or other simply vibrates nāmābhāsa just once, uttering the name out of pride, greed, hunger, thirst, stumbling, falling down, hard labor, in a casual way, with laughter or other incidental emotion, then it is not necessary to perform non-stop śrī-nāma-kīrtana with faith to obtain liberation.

Regarding this, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (6.3.24) says:

एतावतालम् अघ-निर्हरणाय पुंसां, सन्कीर्तनं भगवतो गुण-कर्म-नाम्नां
विक्रुश्य पुत्रम् अघवान् यद् अजामिलो’पि नारायणेति म्रियमाण इयाय मुक्तिम्

etāvatālam agha-nirharaṇāya puṃsāṃ, sankīrtanaṃ bhagavato guṇa-karma-nāmnāṃ
vikruśya putram aghavān yad ajāmilo’pi nārāyaṇeti mriyamāṇa iyāya muktim

Śrī-nāma-saṅkīrtana of Śrī Bhagavān is enough to drive away the reactions of our sins and misdeeds. By semblance alone (sanketanāmābhāsa) Ajāmila achieved liberation from the shackles of death, although one cannot say that nāma-kīrtana of Śrī Bhagavān is only useful for diminishing the sins of living entities. A most sinful person like Ajāmila, in spite of an impure and restless intelligence at the the time of death, achieved liberation just by uttering aloud the holy names of the Lord addressed to his son.

The Padma Purāṇa (Prabhāsa Khaṇḍa) says:

मधुर-मधुरम् एतन् मङ्गलं मङ्गलानां सकल-निगम-वल्लि-सत्-फलं चित्-स्वरूपम्
सकृद् अपि परिगीतं श्रद्धया हेलया वा भृगु-वर नर-मात्रां तारयेत् कृष्ण-नाम

madhura-madhuram etan maṅgalaṃ maṅgalānāṃ sakala-nigama-valli-sat-phalaṃ cit-svarūpam
sakṛd api parigītaṃ śraddhayā helayā vā bhṛgu-vara nara-mātrāṃ tārayet kṛṣṇa-nāma

O best of the Bhṛgu dynasty, śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma is the sweetest of sweet, the most auspicious of all auspiciousness, the superexcellent fruit of the desire-creeper of the Vedas. The holy names are citsvarūpa (brahma-svarūpa) or innately spiritual. Śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma gives protection to any human being, whether sung once with faith (śraddha) or lack of interest (helā).”

(Herein the prefix pari before gīta, is used in a prohibitive sense. It is implied that even if śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma is uttered incoherently (helā), the holy names give a result similar to one’s proper pronunciation.)

Katham api (or kenāpi) in the original verse then points to liberation, in other words, accepting śrī-kṛṣṇa-nāma by any one of the five senses directed towards Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (5.1.35) also says, sakṛd ādadīta, yan-nāmadheyam adhunā sa jahāti bandham: “O Bhagavān, simply hearing your name once, the living entity is liberated from the shackles of repeated births and deaths.”

How is it possible to accept śrī-nāma by our senses? In reply, the author says, accepting śrī-nāma by the internal sense of the mind means meditation on the syllables of the holy names. In addition, accepting śrī-nāma by external senses means performing kīrtana (chanting by speech), śravana (hearing by ears), darśana of the syllables of śrī-nāma (seeing by eyes). In other words, one can look at the syllables of the holy names written by someone, whereas śrī-nāma “by the touch of the skin” means stamping śrī-nāma on such places as the chest, or touching śrīnāma written on such things as paper, or “by hand” it is understood to mean wearing a ring with śrī-nāma inscribed on it.

“From my viewpoint, śrī-nāma is the only supreme ambrosia for my soul (amṛta-svarūpa). In other words, I may happen to show some disinterest in the practices of my prescribed duties, meditation, deity worship and so forth. However, for me, śrī-nāma is my sole actual fruit, the ornament of my life and soul,” Sanātana herein affirms.

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: