Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.4.10, 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 1.4.10 contained in Chapter 4—Bhakta (the devotee)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.4.10:

यः स्व-प्रभु-प्रीतिम् अपेक्ष्य पैतृकं राज्यं स्वयं श्री-नरसिंह-संस्तुतौ ।
सम्प्रार्थिताशेष-जनोद्धृतीच्छया स्वीकृत्य तद्-ध्यान-परोऽत्र वर्तते ॥ १० ॥

yaḥ sva-prabhu-prītim apekṣya paitṛkaṃ rājyaṃ svayaṃ śrī-narasiṃha-saṃstutau |
samprārthitāśeṣa-janoddhṛtīcchayā svīkṛtya tad-dhyāna-paro'tra vartate || 10 ||

O Parama-bhāgavata, you gave up liberation yet accepted a kingdom! That was also only out of affection for your own Prabhu. Praying to Śrī Nṛsiṃhadeva, you desired the upliftment of all the planets;therefore, in spite of accepting your father’s kingdom, you remained steadfastly devoted to meditating upon Him.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

One may question if Śrī Prahlāda initially only prayed for the boon of devotion to Bhagavān, then why did he accept the subpar opulence of a kingdom? In reply to this, he narrates this verse beginning with yaḥ.

Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja only accepted the kingdom inherited from his father for the pleasure of His master, Śrī Nṛsiṃhadeva. Now, if you say that how by accepting a kingdom can Bhagavān be happy? Śrī Prahlāda personally praised Śrī Nṛsiṃhadeva and while praising, he prayed for the upliftment of all planets. In other words, for the desire of the upliftment of the planets only, Śrī Prahlāda had to accept that rulership. Due to having rulership by Śrī Prahlāda over a kingdom with profuse opulence all around, the propagation and expansion (pracāra-prasāra) of bhakti would take place and owing to this, deliverance of the living entities would easily come about. Therefore, with the desire for the upliftment of the planets only, Śrī Prahlāda accepted the kingdom. This should be profoundly understood, that is, especially by upliftment of all the planets Śrī Bhagavān Himself would also be pleased.

But why did he accept the kingdom and topmost post now, when previously he would not accept? Śrī Prahlāda Mahārāja himself, being moved by the sorrows of all the people, prayed for their upliftment and to perform those activities of upliftment only, he accepted the kingdom. Therefore, by the acceptance of the kingdom his spiritual merits can never be diminished. Thus he always remains absorbed in one-pointed meditation on Bhagavān.

In this connection in the Seventh Canto (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.9.41) it has been said:

एवं स्व-कर्म-पतितं भव-वैतरण्याम् अन्योन्य-जन्म-मरणाशन-भीत-भीतम्
पश्यष् जनं स्व-पर-विग्रह-वैर-मैत्रम् हन्तेति पार-चर पीपृहि मूढम् अद्य

evaṃ sva-karma-patitaṃ bhava-vaitaraṇyām anyonya-janma-maraṇāśana-bhīta-bhītam
paśyaṣ janaṃ sva-para-vigraha-vaira-maitram hanteti pāra-cara pīpṛhi mūḍham adya

In this way, the living entities who have fallen into the Vaitaraṇī (the torturous river that acts as a gateway to the abode of Yamarāja) in the form of the ocean of material suffering from their own karma, are expert in quarrelling among themselves, and always remain afflicted by the fear of birth and death. Therefore, O Bhagavān, deliver us from this ocean of material suffering. Quickly show us Your mercy and deliver us from this fathomless ocean of suffering.

He continued by saying (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 7.9.42):

को’न्व् अत्र ते’खिल-गुरो भगवन् प्रयास उत्तारणे’स्य भव-सम्भव-लोप-हेतोः
मूढेषु वै महद्-अनुग्रह आर्त-बन्धो किं तेन ते प्रिय-जनान् अनुसेवतां नः

ko’nv atra te’khila-guro bhagavan prayāsa uttāraṇe’sya bhava-sambhava-lopa-hetoḥ
mūḍheṣu vai mahad-anugraha ārta-bandho kiṃ tena te priya-janān anusevatāṃ naḥ

O Supreme Lord, O Spiritual Master of everyone! You alone are the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction. Therefore, You do not have to belabor Yourself in delivering all living entities from this ocean of material suffering, that is, You can easily deliver them. O Friend of the distressed, You are so great; therefore, you also bestow Your mercy upon foolish people as well as those who serve Your devotees, thus we hold no special concerns about crossing over this cycle of birth and death.

In the above-mentioned verse, the import of the vocative akhilaguro (O Spiritual Master of everyone!) is that it is appropriate to bestow mercy upon all. Especially, in delivering everyone You should not have to belabor over this, because “You alone are the cause of creation, maintenance and destruction. Therefore, nothing is too difficult for You. However, my understanding is that deliverance of everyone is appropriate, because the mercy of great personalities upon the ignorant masses is a natural tendency. If You say that You will deliver me and all persons connected with me, then You must give up this fussiness of delivering all the people of the world. Therefore, we proclaim that we are not so concerned about ourselves. Our deliverance will happen automatically, because we are undoubtedly the servants of the servants of Your dear devotees.”

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