by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329
The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.1.20-23, 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 1.1.20-23 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 1.1.20-23:
मातर् यद्य् अपि कले’स्मिंश् चिकीर्षित-मुनि-व्रतः ।
तथाप्य् अहं तव प्रश्न-माधुरी-मुखरी-कृतः ॥ २० ॥
गुरोः प्रसादतस् तस्य श्रीमतो बादरायनेः ।
प्रणम्य ते स-पुत्रायाः प्राण-दं प्रभुम् अच्युतम् ॥ २१ ॥
तत्-कारुण्य-प्रभावेण श्रीमद्-भागवतामृतम् ।
समुद्धृतम् प्रयत्नेन श्रीमद्-बाअगवतोत्तमैः ॥ २२ ॥
मुनीन्द्र-मण्डली-मध्ये निश्चितं महतां मतम् ।
महा-गुह्य-मयं सम्यक् कथयाम्य् अवधारय ॥ २३ ॥
mātar yady api kale’smiṃś cikīrṣita-muni-vrataḥ |
tathāpy ahaṃ tava praśna-mādhurī-mukharī-kṛtaḥ || 20 ||
guroḥ prasādatas tasya śrīmato bādarāyaneḥ |
praṇamya te sa-putrāyāḥ prāṇa-daṃ prabhum acyutam || 21 ||
tat-kāruṇya-prabhāveṇa śrīmad-bhāgavatāmṛtam |
samuddhṛtam prayatnena śrīmad-bāagavatottamaiḥ || 22 ||
munīndra-maṇḍalī-madhye niścitaṃ mahatāṃ matam |
mahā-guhya-mayaṃ samyak kathayāmy avadhāraya || 23 ||
Śrī Parīkṣit said: “O Mother, though my time of departure is near and I would like to spend this brief time by accepting a vow of silence, your sweet-natured question entreats me to speak out.
“Therefore, offering praṇāmas to the Savior of your life and mine, Bhagavān Śrī Acyuta, by His mercy and by the mercy of my venerable guru, Śrī Śukadeva, I am answering your question by personally describing this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatāmṛta. Please listen.
“This Śrī Bhāgavatāmṛta is the extracted essence from such uttama-bhāgavatas as Śrīmad Śuka and Nārada. An assembly of grand sages listened to this narration with the greatest respect and such mahājanas as Parāśura approved of it. Therefore, it is the most confidential of all transcendental mellows (mahā-rasamaya).”
Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda
(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)
“O Mother, though my time to depart is near and I am eager to spend this little time in a vow of silence, your sweetnatured question impells me to speak out eloquently and narrate this Śrī Bhāgavatāmṛtam.”
This Śrī Bhāgavatāmṛtam is amṛta-svarūpa, the sweetest essence of the scriptures related to bhagavad-bhakti that is endowed with all wealth and prosperity. Here the word amṛta means all scriptures relating to bhagavad-bhakti are like the Ocean of Milk, and the diverse groups of siddhānta within it are like jewels in that ocean. Among all those jewels is this Śrī Bhāgavatāmṛta, a unique and precious jewel. Or rather, just as amṛta is the sweetest portion from the Ocean of Milk, similarly, this Śrī Bhāgavatāmṛtam is the sweetest essence of the entire bhāgavata śāstra. In all other places too, the understanding of the word amṛta should be like this.
Although Śrī Śukadeva showed mercy to Śrī Parīkṣit Mahārāja and instructed only Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam to him, nevertheless Śrīmad Bhāgavatam is the mature and juicy fruit containing the essence of all Vedic scriptures. Śrīmatī Uttarā-devī prayed to reveal the essence of the entire Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, and in reply to that request Śrī Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛtam, as described by Śrī Parīkṣit Mahārāja, became manifest. Therefore, it is the essence of all Vedic scriptures, as well as the cream of all devotional scriptures (bhakti-śāstras).
By describing Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s essence, this Bṛhad-Bhāgavatāmṛtam, the quintessence of all the Vedic scriptures, is ascribed to automatically (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.1.3):
निगम-कल्प-तरोर् गलितं फलं शुक-मुखाद्-अमृत-द्रव संयुतम्
पिबत भागवतं रसम् आलयम् मुहुर् अहो रसिका भुवि भावुकाः
nigama-kalpa-taror galitaṃ phalaṃ śuka-mukhād-amṛta-drava saṃyutam
pibata bhāgavataṃ rasam ālayam muhur aho rasikā bhuvi bhāvukāḥ
Having brought down the essence of this most blissful, matured fruit of the desire tree of the Vedas from the super-excellent Vaikuṇṭha realm, I offered it to the lips of Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī. Now, it has become manifest on the earth in the form of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam from his own mouth (in the conversation between Śrī Śuka to Parīkṣit Mahārāja). Until the direct experience (sākṣātkāra) of this rasa is not manifest fully, you should taste the elixir of this nectarean fruit again and again.
The words of Śrī Vedavyāsa and the experience of other realized, exalted souls conclusively establish that in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there are no portions proven to be worthless. Nevertheless, rasika devotees eager to drink the honey of the lotus feet of Śrī Gopīnātha display more taste only for His narrations related to the pastimes in the ādya or conjugal mellow. However, one should not think that the other narratives in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam are devoid of essence and thus inferior. Every single account of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam indeed sings the glories of the lotus feet of Śrī Gopīnātha and His beloved devotees. Even so, everywhere the desires of the hearts of rasika devotees are not directly fulfilled by all these narrations.
Therefore, although other accounts may appear less significant to them, factually they are not worthless. Persons who have entered the path of devotion (bhakti) do not find the narrations on dharma related to advaita-vāda (monism), jñāna, yoga and mokṣa so tasteful and even moreso, salvationists find no interest in the artha-śāstras, scriptures on economical development, or discussions on such topics as kāma, sense gratification. Similarly, Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s devotees in madhura-rasa do not find it tasteful in hearing other narrations (except accounts related to Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of the conjugal mellow that are described in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam);however, they are not worthless. Therefore, there is no possibility of a defect arising from this.
Śrī Bhāgavatāmṛtam has been completely extracted by uttama bhāgavatas such as Śrī Śuka and Śrī Nārada and a venerable assembly of sages have heard it respectfully. However, like the nectar of immortality extracted from the churning of the Ocean of Milk, it is replete with the sweet, nectarean pastimes of Śrī Kṛṣṇa—with this understanding, the analogy mentioned regarding the churning is noteworthy.
“Now, despite being acceptable by such great souls as Śrī Nārada, Parāśara, and Vyāsa, due to its deep and confidential nature, I (Parīkṣit Mahārāja/Sanātana Gosvāmi) shall narrate it openly, not hiding this topic by mantras (just as confidential mantras may be described by concealing them to deceive superficial seekers). Rather, the duration of my life is brief. Therefore, I shall not give an incomplete description out of agitation or hesitation. On the other hand, I shall describe it clearly and fully. You should hear this narration with faith, determined to capture it within your heart.”