by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329
The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.2.33-34, 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 1.2.33-34 contained in Chapter 2—Divya (the celestial plane)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).
Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.2.33-34:
लोकानां लोक-पालानाम् अपि स्रष्टाधिकारदः ।
पालकः कर्म-फलदो रात्रौ संहारकश् च सः ॥ ३३ ॥
सहस्र-शीर्षा यल् लोके स महा-पुरुषः स्फुटम् ।
भुञ्जानो यज्ञ-भागौघं वसत्य् आनन्ददः सदा ॥ ३४ ॥
lokānāṃ loka-pālānām api sraṣṭādhikāradaḥ |
pālakaḥ karma-phalado rātrau saṃhārakaś ca saḥ || 33 ||
sahasra-śīrṣā yal loke sa mahā-puruṣaḥ sphuṭam |
bhuñjāno yajña-bhāgaughaṃ vasaty ānandadaḥ sadā || 34 ||
He is the creator of all fourteen planetary systems and their guardians, giving them their jurisdiction by protecting and nurturing them, rewarding their actions, and at the approach of night, annihilating them.
On that planet the thousand-headed Mahāpuruṣa form is always residing, as His personal form accepts and honors the portions of the sacrifice. In this way he gives divine bliss to all the residents.
Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda
(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)
Śrī Brahmā gives authority to the posts of the Indras, Prajāpatis (progenitors who later become qualified brāhmaṇas) and all the demigods. He is the maintainer of all planets, that is, he inaugurates the yajñas, establishes their boundaries and nourishes everyone in every way. He is the bestower of the results of happiness and distress due to one’s pious and impious activities. He is also the destroyer of them as well. In this way, the initial line indicates his activities as the agent in the creation.
During the night of Brahmā, there is devastation of his creation.
आत्मना त्रि-वृता चेदं सृजत्य् अवति लुम्पति
रजः-सत्त्व-तमो-धाम्ने पराय महते नमः
ātmanā tri-vṛtā cedaṃ sṛjaty avati lumpati
rajaḥ-sattva-tamo-dhāmne parāya mahate namaḥ
“Let me offer my obeisances unto the supreme lord, Brahmā, within this universe. That self-effulgent lord by his bodily rays manifests, maintains and destroys the whole cosmos through the material energy, which is invested with the three modes of material nature. Lord Brahmā is the support of these modes of nature: sattva-guna, rajo-guna, and tamo-guna.”
The thousand-headed Mahāpuruṣa Bhagavān’s indescribable glories on that Brahmāloka clearly manifest as He continuously stays there. Similarly, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.6.42), ‘ādyo’vatāraḥ’: “The first avatāra…”
And in the First Canto (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.3.1-5):
जगृहे पौरुषं रूपं भगवान् महद्-आदिभिः
सम्भूतं षोडश-कलम् आदौ लोक-सिसृक्षया
यस्याम्भसि शयानस्य योग-निद्रां वितन्वतः
नाभि-ह्रदाम्बुजाद् आसीद् ब्रह्मा विश्व-सृजां पतिओ
यस्यावयव-संस्थानैः कल्पितो लोक-विस्तरः
तद् वै भगवतो रूपं विशुद्धं सत्त्वम् ऊर्जितम्
पश्यन्त्य् अदो रूपम् अदभ्र-चक्षुषा सहस्र-पादोरु-भुजाननाद्भुतम्
एतन् नानावताराणां निधानं बीजम् अव्ययम्
यस्यांशांशेन सृज्यन्ते देव-तिर्यङ्-नरादयः
jagṛhe pauruṣaṃ rūpaṃ bhagavān mahad-ādibhiḥ
sambhūtaṃ ṣoḍaśa-kalam ādau loka-sisṛkṣayā
yasyāmbhasi śayānasya yoga-nidrāṃ vitanvataḥ
nābhi-hradāmbujād āsīd brahmā viśva-sṛjāṃ patio
yasyāvayava-saṃsthānaiḥ kalpito loka-vistaraḥ
tad vai bhagavato rūpaṃ viśuddhaṃ sattvam ūrjitam
paśyanty ado rūpam adabhra-cakṣuṣā sahasra-pādoru-bhujānanādbhutam
etan nānāvatārāṇāṃ nidhānaṃ bījam avyayam
yasyāṃśāṃśena sṛjyante deva-tiryaṅ-narādayaḥ
Śrī Bhagavān, desiring to create the planetary systems, first created the mahat-tattva. The ahaṅkāra (false ego), pañcatanmātra (five sense objects), the sixteen specific parts, that is, the five gross elements (pañca-mahābhūta) and eleven working senses (ekādaśa indriya), subsequently manifesting as the universal form (virāṭ-rūpa).
The Puruṣa lies down in His yoga-nidra or creative sleep in the kalpa named Padma. From the navel lake of His body appears a lotus, and from the womb of that lotus Padmagarbha (Śrī Brahmā), the creator of this material cosmos, manifests.
On His bodily expansion this earthly plane (bhuloka) and cosmos manifest, however, he is viśuddha-sattva, that is, the mode of transcendental goodness that is not touched by rajas, passion, and tamas, ignorance—this is His actual svarūpa.
The devotees in samādhi can have darśana of that divine form of the puruṣa Bhagavān with countless hands, countless feet, countless heads, numerous ears and noses, adorned with unlimited garlands, and ornaments such as glimmering earrings and silk garments.
This Mahāpuruṣa, in spite of being the inexhaustible seed of multifarious avatāras, is also avyaya—never destroyed nor diminished. He is the source of all avatāras, and by a mere aṃśa or portion, demigods, birds, men and various kinds of living entities are created.
The purport is that this Mahāpuruṣa is not only the womb of the universe and superintendent of material nature, but in the form of this Mahāpuruṣa He lies down in the Causal Ocean (ekārṇava). In this svarūpa He is also viśuddha-sattva, namely, that in spite of giving shelter to māyā, He is free from the entangling association of the illusory energy, being the great regulator (vibhu) and the embodied identity of Brahman (brahma-ghanī-bhūta). He is nondifferent from vaikuṇṭheśvara Śrī Nārāyaṇa, being the source of various avatāras and the controller of the material energy.
It is described like this in the Third Canto (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 3.10.7, 8):
तद् विलोक्य वियद्-व्यापि पुष्करं यद्-अधिष्ठितम्
अनेन लोकान् प्राग्-लीनान् कल्पितास्मीत्य् अचिन्तयत्
पद्म-कोशं तदाविश्य भगवच्-छक्ति-चोदितः
एकं व्यभाङ्क्षीद् उरुधा त्रिधा भाव्यं द्वि-सप्तधा
tad vilokya viyad-vyāpi puṣkaraṃ yad-adhiṣṭhitam
anena lokān prāg-līnān kalpitāsmīty acintayat
padma-kośaṃ tadāviśya bhagavac-chakti-coditaḥ
ekaṃ vyabhāṅkṣīd urudhā tridhā bhāvyaṃ dvi-saptadhā
The grandfather of the world, Śrī Brahmā, saw that the lotus on which he was seated spread throughout the universal cosmos. He began contemplating that previously these three worlds would be created again from this same lotus. At last Śrī Brahmā himself entered that lotus whorl and divided the lotus into three parts. Later, as the lotus became more expansive, it became fourteen planetary systems. All the avatāras in this universe are created from the lotus navel of this Mahāpuruṣa.
Just as it says in the Second Canto (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 2.6.42), ādyo’vatāraḥ puruṣaḥ parasya: “That original person (ādi-puruṣa) kalpa after kalpa creates and maintains by Himself and for Himself…” Śrīdhara Svāmīpāda says in his commentary on this: “The meaning of puruṣa is prakṛti-pravartaka, that is, He is the source of the material energy. In other words, the thousand-headed Puruṣa is described as the personification of divine pastimes (līlā-vigraha-rūpa). He is the ādi-puruṣa-avatāra or original puruṣa incarnation.”
Also in the Eleventh Canto (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 11.4.3, 4) it is stated:
भूतैर् यदा पञ्चभिर् आत्म-सृष्टैः पुरं विराजं विरचय्य तस्मिन्
स्वांशेन विष्टः पुरुषाभिधान अवाप नारायण आदि-देवः
यत्-काय एष भुवन-त्रय-सन्निवेशो यस्येन्द्रियैस् तनु-भृताम् उभयेन्द्रियाणि
ज्ञानं स्वतः श्वसनतो बलम् ओज ईहा सत्त्वादिभिः स्थिति-लयोद्भव आदि-कर्ता
bhūtair yadā pañcabhir ātma-sṛṣṭaiḥ puraṃ virājaṃ viracayya tasmin
svāṃśena viṣṭaḥ puruṣābhidhāna avāpa nārāyaṇa ādi-devaḥ
yat-kāya eṣa bhuvana-traya-sanniveśo yasyendriyais tanu-bhṛtām ubhayendriyāṇi
jñānaṃ svataḥ śvasanato balam oja īhā sattvādibhiḥ sthiti-layodbhava ādi-kartā
When the ādi-deva Śrī Nārāyaṇa created the universal body out of the five elements produced from Himself, He then entered into it by his svaṃśa or own plenary portion and thus became known as the puruṣa.
These three worlds constitute his body. From His senses the twofold action and knowledge-acquiring senses generate. From His svarūpa-bhūta generate the knowledge of the conditioned souls, and from his prāṇas the deha-śakti, bodily strength, indriya-śakti, sensory power, and kriyā-śakti, conditional activities, were generated. Thus He creates, maintains and destroys the universe through his qualities such as sattva, rajas, and tamas, and He is the ādi-kartā, the initial progenitor.
The meaning is that the ādi-puruṣa Śrī Nārāyaṇa, after entering the universal body as His pastime, acquires the name of the puruṣa or supreme enjoyer. However, He does not exist in the realm of sense enjoyment like the jīva, though the three worlds are within His body. His speciality is that His virāṭ-puruṣa-rūpa with its limitless heads and so forth is His extreme gross embodiment for the shelter of the whole world.
Nevertheless, Śrī Brahmā in samādhi sees that Mahāpuruṣa as Bhagavān in his own heart, that He is specifically a divine embodiment of sac-cid-ananda. Śrī Brahmā prays to Him again, “Please always be present and reside in my abode.” In this way Śrī Brahmā offers his stava-stuti, and only after being inspired by Him does Brahmā engage in his activity as the progenitor who creates, maintains and so on.
Still, Śrī Brahmā in his samādhi sees that Mahāpuruṣa as Bhagavān in his own heart as the divine embodiment of sac-cid-ananda. Śrī Brahmā prays to Him again, “Please always be present and reside in my abode.” In this way Śrī Brahmā offers his stava-stuti, and only after being inspired by Him does Brahmā engage in his activity as the progenitor who creates, maintains and so on. This thousand-headed Mahāpuruṣa resides in Brahmaloka, accepting directly all the yajñas with great pleasure. In that Brahmaloka, yajñas are continuously being performed like a constant, flowing stream, and the thousand-headed Mahāpuruṣa who stays there is endlessly bestowing joy upon everyone.
When the time arrives that Bhagavān personally descends in Mathurā, all avatāras merge into Him too. Thus the Mahāpuruṣa cannot remain within Brahmaloka either. He fully merges together with the avatārī, the source of all incarnations. In comparison to His lengthy lifespan on Brahmaloka, His time and stay as an avatāra in this world appears to be extremely meager.
Therefore the expression vasaty sadā used here or “always residing” is also a qualitative expression. Specifically, that thousandheaded Mahāpuruṣa always resides in Brahmaloka, bestowing bliss upon all the residents who stay there.