Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.4.31, 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 1.4.31 contained in Chapter 4—Bhakta (the devotee)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.4.31:

कुतोऽतः शुद्ध-भक्तिर् मे यया स्यात् करुणा प्रभोः ।
ध्यायन् बाणस्य दौरात्म्यं तच्-चिह्नं निश्चिनोमि च ॥ ३१ ॥

kuto'taḥ śuddha-bhaktir me yayā syāt karuṇā prabhoḥ |
dhyāyan bāṇasya daurātmyaṃ tac-cihnaṃ niścinomi ca || 31 ||

So where is that pure devotion in me? How will any mercy of Bhagavān come to me in the absence of śuddha-bhakti? Just by contemplating my great-grandson Bāṇāsura’s wicked nature I see the lack of śuddha-bhakti in myself.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

“Therefore how can I have that pure devotion? Especially, śuddha-bhakti that is devoid of any karma, jñāna and other ensuing activities, so where do I have that pure devotion? Namely, I do not have any śuddha-bhakti in me.”

The characteristics of śuddha-bhakti are cited in Śrī Vopadevācārya’s book titled Muktā-phala through the words of Śrī Kapiladeva, ahaituky avyavahitā yā bhaktiḥ puruṣotttame (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 3.29.12): “Bhakti that is ahaitukī (anyābhilāṣa-śunya), devoid of any self-interests, and avyavahitā (jñāna-karmādi anāvṛtam), devoid of any interruptions or unnecessary habits, and which is fixed in the subject of Puruṣottama Bhagavān is known as śuddha-bhakti.”

“I do not have any devotion with those characteristics. This alone have I clearly seen. Also, by thinking about the wicked nature of my great-grandson Bāṇāsura, that is to say, Bāṇāsura’s accepting shelter of other demigods and giving up the shelter of his family deity, Śrī Viṣṇu, and by arresting Śrī Aniruddha, by thinking about this subject, I see a lack of śuddha-bhakti. In fact, in whatever dynasty this wicked person accepts birth, can he ever achieve pure devotion, or rather, can he ever achieve the mercy of Bhagavān? Never! By this, it indicates that which Śrī Śiva spoke of is refuted, vāraṇa-rakṣāṇaṃ bhagavadanugraha-lakṣaṇam: ‘The protection of Bāṇāsura’s life is a symptom of Bhagavān’s mercy’.”

Moreover, this points out that the punishment of such wicked persons is desirable, whereas the protection of their lives is not a symptom of Bhagavān’s mercy.

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