Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.3.1-3, 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 1.3.1-3 contained in Chapter 3—Prapancatita (beyond the Material Plane)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.3.1-3:

श्री-परीक्षिद् उवाच—
भगवन्तं हरं तत्र भावाविष्टतया हरेः ।
नृत्यन्तं कीर्तयन्तं च कृत-सङ्कर्षणार्चनम् ॥ १ ॥
भृशं नन्दीश्वरादींश् च श्लाघमानं निजानुगान् ।
प्रीत्या स-जय-शब्दानि गीत-वाद्यानि तन्वतः ॥ २ ॥
देवीं चोमां प्रशंसन्तं कर-तालीषु कोविदाम् ।
दूराद् दृष्ट्वा मुनिर् हृष्टोऽनमद् वीणां निनादयन् ॥ ३ ॥

śrī-parīkṣid uvāca
bhagavantaṃ haraṃ tatra bhāvāviṣṭatayā hareḥ |
nṛtyantaṃ kīrtayantaṃ ca kṛta-saṅkarṣaṇārcanam || 1 ||
bhṛśaṃ nandīśvarādīṃś ca ślāghamānaṃ nijānugān |
prītyā sa-jaya-śabdāni gīta-vādyāni tanvataḥ || 2 ||
devīṃ comāṃ praśaṃsantaṃ kara-tālīṣu kovidām |
dūrād dṛṣṭvā munir hṛṣṭo'namad vīṇāṃ ninādayan || 3 ||

Śrī Parīkṣit said: O mother, thereafter Devarṣi Śrī Nārada came to Śivaloka and saw from a distance Bhagavān Śrī Hara (Śivajī) absorbed in the mood of Hari, worshipping Śrī Saṅkarṣana-deva.

Sometimes he was dancing and singing, sometimes fondly calling out loudly “Jaya, jaya!” and praising such attendants as Nandīśvara, who were absorbed in singing and playing instruments. Simultaneously, he was praising Śrī Umādevi who was so expert in clapping. Upon seeing this kind of divine pastime, Śrī Nārada became exhilarated, offered his obeisances and began strumming on his vīṇā.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

तृतीये तु शिवेनोक्तं, स्वस्माद्-वैकुण्ठ-वासिषु
यथा कृष्ण-कृपाधिक्यं, तेभ्यः प्रह्लादके तथा

tṛtīye tu śivenoktaṃ, svasmād-vaikuṇṭha-vāsiṣu
yathā kṛṣṇa-kṛpādhikyaṃ, tebhyaḥ prahlādake tathā

In this Third Chapter (according to the testimony of Śrī Mahādeva), after weighing the mercy that the Vaikuṇṭha residents have been shown, Śrī Śiva describes how Śrī Kṛṣṇa has shown greater mercy towards Śrī Prahlāda than to them.

Devarṣi Śrī Nārada became ecstatic to catch sight of Śrī Mahādeva from a distance in Śivaloka. Śrī Śiva, who was absorbed in the worship of his own iṣṭa-deva Śrī Saṅkarṣaṇa, was dancing while nāma-kīrtana reverberated.

Amidst all of these divine sounds, he was offering a prayer (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 5.17.18):

भजे भजन्यारण-पाद-पङ्कजं भगस्य कृत्स्नस्य परं परायणम्
भक्तेष्व् अलं भावित-भूत-भावनं भवापहं त्वा भव-भावम् ईश्वरम् भावनं

bhaje bhajanyāraṇa-pāda-paṅkajaṃ bhagasya kṛtsnasya paraṃ parāyaṇam
bhakteṣv alaṃ bhāvita-bhūta-bhāvanaṃ bhavāpahaṃ tvā bhava-bhāvam īśvaram bhāvanaṃ

“O Revered One, You are the Supreme Person;therefore, we are worshipping You. O Lord, your lotus feet are the protector of all living entities, and You are the ultimate source and reservoir of all kinds of opulence. Only for the benefit of the devotees do You reveal your true self.”

Overwhelmed by ecstasy, Śrī Śiva was worshipping his iṣṭa-deva Śrī Saṅkarṣaṇa in an open, unrestrained way, as explained in this Fifth Canto verse. Above all of this, to accept the post of being the qualitative incarnation (guṇāvatāra) of Śrī Bhagavān means to perform worship like Śrī Śiva does, explicitly for propagating bhagavad-bhakti-rasa throughout the world.

Although Śrī Brahmā is also an āvatāra of Śrī Bhagavān, nevertheless, the Padma Purāṇa (25.15) states:

शिवस्य श्री-विष्णोर् य इह गुण-नामादि-सकलं,
धिया भिन्नं पश्येत् स खलु हरि-नामाहित-करः

śivasya śrī-viṣṇor ya iha guṇa-nāmādi-sakalaṃ,
dhiyā bhinnaṃ paśyet sa khalu hari-nāmāhita-karaḥ

“Those persons who see differences in the names, qualities and so forth of Śrī Śiva and Śrī Viṣṇu in this world surely become offenders to the holy names.”

Such well-known assertions that are heard by all, solidify Śrī Śiva’s nondifference to Śrī Hari, even more so than that of Śrī Brahmā’s. Those who are reflective have heard the familiar talks on obtaining the post of Śrī Brahmā (śrī-brahmatva pada) in the future, but never on obtaining the post of Śrī Śiva (śrī-śivatva pada). This implies that a jīva sometimes may become a Brahmā but never a Śiva. Śrī Śiva himself states, svadharma-niṣṭhaḥ śata-janmabhiḥ pumān, viriñcatām eti (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 4.24.29): “That person who maintains steadfast faith in his varṇaśrama vows for one hundred births achieves the post of Brahmā…” In such a way, the topic about Śrī Brahmā being a jīva can be found, but nowhere is there reference to Śrī Śiva ever being a jīva to be heard. Therefore, after making such a declaration, Śrī Śiva continues with, tataḥ paraṃ hi mām: “only after that can a person achieve me.”

Thus Śrī Śiva is never situated in the category of jīva-tattva. Only as an avatāra of Śrī Bhagavān is he implied here to be a favored candidate of Śrī Bhagavān’s mercy, and suggesting furthermore that he should be included amongst the devotees.

Here, ślāghamāna means “singing the praises of,” that is, Śrī Śiva is praising his servants such as Nandīśvara with sādhu, sādhu (excellent, bravo), because they were calling out with affection jaya, jaya, dancing and singing along with Śiva and playing on musical instruments triumphantly. He was also praising Śrī Umādevī because she is karatālī-kovidā, “expert in her sweet variations of handclapping.” In this way, all the parikaras of Śrī Śiva are as dedicated in bhagavad-bhakti as he is.

Śrī Nārada offered his praṇāma by bowing his head, not by daṇḍavat praṇāma, because while dancing he was playing on his vīṇā out of his natural habit. Thus being especially attached to playing his vīṇā, it was impossible to offer his prostrated obeisance by falling flat like a stick.

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