by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329
The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.5.9, 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 1.5.9 contained in Chapter 5—Priya (the beloved devotees)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).
Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.5.9:
अन्येऽवताराश् च यद्-अंश-लेशतो ब्रह्मादयो यस्य विभूतयो मताः ।
माया च यस्येक्षण-वर्त्म-वार्तिनी दासी जगत्-सृष्ट्य्-अवनान्त-कारिणी ॥ ९ ॥
anye'vatārāś ca yad-aṃśa-leśato brahmādayo yasya vibhūtayo matāḥ |
māyā ca yasyekṣaṇa-vartma-vārtinī dāsī jagat-sṛṣṭy-avanānta-kāriṇī || 9 ||
All other avatāras are only portions of plenary portions of Śrī Devakī-nandana. Demigods such as Brahmā are His divine extensions. Māyā, which creates, maintains and annihilates this material world, follows His order according to His suggestion.
Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda
(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)
Other avatāras such as Matsya and Kūrma are plenary portions (aṃśa) of Śrī Devakī-nandana. Others such as Pṛthu are only portions of His plenary portions (aṃśāṃśa), whereas Brahmā and other demigods are His divine extensions (vibhūti), or only His vaibhava svarūpa servants, not līlā-avatāras (pastime incarnations). This is the opinion of sādhus who are expert knowers of the śāstras.
In this matter it is also apparent in the words of Śrī Brahmā to Śrī Nārada. For example:
अहं भवो यज्ञ इमे प्रजेशा दक्षादयो ये भवद्-आदयश् च
स्वर्लोक-पालाः खगलोक-पाला नृलोक-पालास् तललोक-पालाः
गन्धर्व-विद्याधर-चारणेशा ये यक्ष-रक्षोरग-नाग-नाथाः
ये वा ऋषीणाम् ऋषभाः पित्èणां दैत्येन्द्र-सिद्धेश्वर-दानवेन्द्राः
अन्ये च ये प्रेत-पिशाच-भूत कूष्माण्ड-यादो-मृग-पक्ष्य्-अधीशाः
यत् किञ्च लोके भगवन् महस्वद् ओजः-सहस्वद् बलवत् क्षमावत्
श्री-ह्री-विभूत्य्-आत्मवद् अद्भुतार्णं तत्त्वं परं रूपवद् अस्व-रूपम्
प्राधान्यतो यान् ऋष आमनन्ति लीलावतारान् पुरुषस्य भूम्नः
आपीयतां कर्ण-कषाय-शोषान् अनुक्रमिष्ये त इमान् सुपेशान्
ahaṃ bhavo yajña ime prajeśā dakṣādayo ye bhavad-ādayaś ca
svarloka-pālāḥ khagaloka-pālā nṛloka-pālās talaloka-pālāḥ
gandharva-vidyādhara-cāraṇeśā ye yakṣa-rakṣoraga-nāga-nāthāḥ
ye vā ṛṣīṇām ṛṣabhāḥ pitèṇāṃ daityendra-siddheśvara-dānavendrāḥ
anye ca ye preta-piśāca-bhūta kūṣmāṇḍa-yādo-mṛga-pakṣy-adhīśāḥ
yat kiñca loke bhagavan mahasvad ojaḥ-sahasvad balavat kṣamāvat
śrī-hrī-vibhūty-ātmavad adbhutārṇaṃ tattvaṃ paraṃ rūpavad asva-rūpam
prādhānyato yān ṛṣa āmananti līlāvatārān puruṣasya bhūmnaḥ
āpīyatāṃ karṇa-kaṣāya-śoṣān anukramiṣye ta imān supeśān
“O Nārada, myself (Brahmā), Rudra, Viṣṇu, the Prajāpatis, all other devaṛṣīs, svargaloka-pāla, manuṣya-loka-pāla, leaders of lower planets, gandharva-pati, vidyādhara-pati, cāraṇa-pati, yajña-pati, uraga-pati, nāga-pati, superior ṛṣīs, senior forefathers, daityendra (leaders of the atheists), siddheśvara (great spacemen or leaders of the Siddhaloka planets), leaders of the non-Āryans, as well as leaders of dead bodies, leaders of evil spirits, leaders of jinns, rulers of kuṣmāṇḍas (special types of evil spirits), great aquatics, great beasts and birds and moreover anything and everything which is exceptionally possessed of opulence, power, mental and physical dexterity, strength, forgiveness, beauty, modesty, opulence and breeding, whether in some form or formlessness—all this majesty represents the transcendental potency (vibhūti) or avatāra-tattva (incarnations) of the parama-puruṣa or Supreme Personality of Godhead.
“O Nārada, now I shall state, one after another, the divine avatāras of the Lord known as līlā-avatāras. Hearing of their activities counteracts all impure matters amassed through the ear. Drink deeply through your earholes—listen carefully!”
In his commentary on this śloka, Śrīdhara Svāmīpāda writes: “I (Brahmā), Rudra, Viṣṇu, Dakṣa and other Prajāpatis, naiṣṭhika brahmacārīs such as you, leaders of bhuva-loka, leaders of bhu-loka or earthly planets, the leaders of the lower planets such as Pātāla, rulers of the gandharvas, vidyādharas, cāraṇas, yakṣas, uragas, nāgas, ṛṣīs, forefathers, dead bodies, satanic spirits, jinn, kuṣmāṇḍas (special type of evil spirits), great acquatics, the supreme controllers of beasts and birds and what more to say, among all these planets those who are fully opulent, that are full of strength, full of the power of the senses and the mind, strength, determination, beauty, akarma (without reaction to work or devoid of karmic entanglement), jugupsā (disgust), wealth, intelligence, amazing effulgence, possessing beautiful form—all these are extended energies of the bhūmā purūṣa (Mahā-viṣṇu, the Lord of everything)”
According to the chronological order of the Tenth Chapter (vibhūti-yoga) of the Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā, the guṇāvatāras are counted amongst the vibhūtis. Now while giving an account of the līlā-avatāras, which are concentrated forms of sac-cid-ānanda, in the ślokas beginning with prādhānyata (while being principal), he says that the same Supreme Personality first appeared in the brāhmaṇa form as the Four Kumāras. While being engaged in describing the names of līlā-avatāras in this way, Śrī Brahmā said that the Supreme Personality posesses countless minor avatāras. However, I will gradually glorify the most famous and important amongst these avatāras.
In this connection in the First Canto it is said (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.3.26):
अवतारा ह्य् असङ्ख्येया हरेः सत्त्व-निधेर् द्विजाः
यथाविदासिनः कुल्याः सरसः स्युः सहस्रशः
avatārā hy asaṅkhyeyā hareḥ sattva-nidher dvijāḥ
yathāvidāsinaḥ kulyāḥ sarasaḥ syuḥ sahasraśaḥ
O brāhmaṇas, Śrī Hari who is an ocean of good qualities (sattvanidheh) has innumerable avatāras, what more can I describe about them? The innumerable avatāras manifest from the sattva-nidhi Lord, just like rivulets flowing in different directions from an inexhaustible reservoir of water.
His great potency of mercy or His ability to propagate innumerable avatāras is indicated in this śloka through the word sattva. Therefore, the innumerable avatāras are perpetual. All the avatāras indeed appear in the world again and again out of mercy. Just as rivulets emanating from an inexhaustible reservoir of water are eternal, all the innumerable avatāras of Bhagavān are also eternal. Therefore, the bodies of all these avatāras are of the nature of concentrated bliss of the topmost order. They are full of all good qualities and are free from all defects. Although Śrī Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Rudra are gunāvatāras and not vibhūtis, since they propagate devotion to Bhagavān like the devotees of Bhagavān, they are sometimes known as vibhūtis also.
Śrī Viṣṇu is counted among both the gunāvatāras or among the vibhūtis, and incarnates in every manvantara. Namely, Śrī Bhagavān controls and rules every manvantara in the forms such as Yajña or as Śrī Viṣṇu. Nevertheless, He is also a līlā-avatāra. In the context of describing the līlā-avatāras it is said: jāto rucer ajanayat suyamān suyajña, ākūti-sūnur amarān atha dakṣiṇāyām: “He appeared by the name of Suyajña in the womb of Ākuti as the son of Prajāpati Ruci. From the womb of Dakṣinā He produced such excellent demigods as Suṣama and ruled the svāyambhuva manvantara along with these sons.” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 2.7.2)
That yajña-rūpa Bhagavān alone has become Indra Himself in this manvantara. Therefore, at some places, He is addressed as vibhūti, but He is actually a līlā-avatāra. Because of His jurisdiction to control the manvantara and His holding the post of Indra during that time, He is described as vibhūti, but factually He is a līlā-avatāra. In this way, the sequential count of major līlā-avatāras is to be understood from the līlā-stotra and other sources.
After showing the reasons He is counted as a vibhūti, Śrī Nārada expounds upon the term māyā. That Śrī Kṛṣṇa is impossible and unattainable from direct contact with the īśvarī māyā of all the material universes. This māyā remains aloof like a maidservant from the path of vision of Śrī Devakī-nandana. This is the nature of māyā. Just as a maidservant performs her work aloof from the sight of her master, the same is true of the nature of māyā. Therefore, she is compared to a maidservant who is completely dependent on her master. What is māyā’s nature? She creates, maintains and annihilates the material world. Therefore, even demigods such as Brahmā who are under her control are naturally servants of māyā.