Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.4.85, 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 1.4.85 contained in Chapter 4—Bhakta (the devotee)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.4.85:

अहो महा-प्रभो भक्त-वात्सल्य-भर-निर्जित ।
करोष्य् एवम् अपि स्वीय-चित्ताकर्षक-चेष्टित ॥ ८५ ॥

aho mahā-prabho bhakta-vātsalya-bhara-nirjita |
karoṣy evam api svīya-cittākarṣaka-ceṣṭita || 85 ||

Śrī Hanumān said: Aho, being filled with tender affection, Bhagavān becomes overpowered by His devotees and to attract their hearts engages in such services as becoming a messenger and charioteer!

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

What more can we say about the bhakta-vātsalya mood of the Lord? Śrī Hanumān began to address out of loving astonishment, “O Grand Master, Jagadīśvara! What other activities do you perform other than charioteer? Aho, out of a tender, singular affection You become completely overcome by Your devotees! Before the devotees Your independence cannot stay, and You act according to the will of the devotees.

By Your own divine lips You have said (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 9.4.63):

अहं भक्त-पराधीनो ह्य् अस्वतन्त्र इव द्विज
साधुभिर् ग्रस्त-हृदयो भक्तैर् भक्त-जन-प्रियः

ahaṃ bhakta-parādhīno hy asvatantra iva dvija
sādhubhir grasta-hṛdayo bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyaḥ

I am under the control of the devotees, thus in this way I am dependent; in front of devotees My independence does not exist. Devotees are so dear that they have even taken control over My heart.

If the objection is that why does such dependent behavior by one’s beloved Lord not give sorrow to the hearts of the devotees? Therefore, he says, Bhagavān acts in such a way to attract the hearts of the devotee. To gain the topmost premānanda of devotees and be overpowered by the affection of devotees, being filled with tender love, all the activities done by Bhagavān for His own satisfaction are not the giver of sorrow for the devotees. Śrī Bhagavān is dear to the devotees and the satisfaction of devotees is His only concern.

In the cited śloka by using the word bhakta-jana-priya (“the devotee’s devotee is extremely dear to Me”) in the tat-puruṣa or bahu-vrīhi compound tense, this also conveys the same meaning.

As a result, the meaning is that whatever pastimes Bhagavān enacts are performed for a vātsalya reason towards the devotees.

In the Padma Purāṇa Śrī Bhagavan by His own divine lips says:

मुहूर्तेनापि संहर्तुं शक्तो यद्य् अपि दानवान् मद्-भक्तानां विनोदार्थं करोमि विविधाः क्रियः
दर्शन-ध्यान-संस्पर्शैर् मत्स्य-कूर्म-विहङ्गमः स्वान्य् अपत्यानि पुष्णन्ति तथाहम् अपि पद्मज

muhūrtenāpi saṃhartuṃ śakto yady api dānavān mad-bhaktānāṃ vinodārthaṃ karomi vividhāḥ kriyaḥ
darśana-dhyāna-saṃsparśair matsya-kūrma-vihaṅgamaḥ svāny apatyāni puṣṇanti tathāham api padmaja

I can slay all demons in one moment, nevertheless only to increase the bliss of the devotees I perform many kinds of activities and līlās. Just as the fish, tortoise and bird nurture their respective offspring by seeing, remembering and touching, I also similarly nurture My devotees.

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