Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.5.12-13, 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 1.5.12-13 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 1.5.12-13:

कस्मिन्न् अपि प्राज्ञ-वरैर् विविक्ते गर्गादिभिर् यो निभृतं प्रकाश्यते ।
नारायणोऽसौ भगवान् अनेन साम्यं कथञ्चिल् लभते न चापरः ॥ १२ ॥
अतः श्री-मधु-पुर्यां यो दीर्घ-विष्णुर् इति श्रुतः ।
महा-हरिर् महा-विष्णुर् महा-नारायणोऽपि च ॥ १३ ॥

kasminn api prājña-varair vivikte gargādibhir yo nibhṛtaṃ prakāśyate |
nārāyaṇo'sau bhagavān anena sāmyaṃ kathañcil labhate na cāparaḥ || 12 ||
ataḥ śrī-madhu-puryāṃ yo dīrgha-viṣṇur iti śrutaḥ |
mahā-harir mahā-viṣṇur mahā-nārāyaṇo'pi ca || 13 ||

Somewhere Garga, the best among learned sages, revealed in confidence that Śrī Kṛṣṇa can be equated only with Bhagavān Śrī Nārāyaṇa to some degree, but not completely. He is also famous in Śrī Madhupuri (Mathurā) by such names as Dīrgha-viṣṇu, Mahāhari, Mahā-viṣṇu and Mahā-nārāyaṇa.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Suppose the question arises, “Is Śrī Devakīnandana that Bhagavān Śrī Nārāyaṇa Himself?” Śrī Nārada wants to remove this doubt and mention the greater importance of the vrajavāsīs such as Śrī Nanda in contrast to the associates of Vaikuṇṭha such as Śrī Garuḍa. Therefore, he first depicts the glories of Śrī Devakī-nandana as superior to the glories of Śrī Nārāyaṇa with these verses beginning with kasmin (somewhere).

Although this word kasmin indicates such vraja-vāsīs as Śrī Nanda, their names are not openly mentioned. They have attained the pinnacle of highest mercy from Śrī Kṛṣṇa, therefore their glories will be mentioned later. In this context it was not appropriate to mention their glories. Discriminating like this, Śrī Nārada simply hints at their glories with the word kasmin.

In this way, the best among learned scholars, Garga and other sages, somewhere quietly divulged the glories of Śrī Devakī-nandana. In what way did they disclose it? He is equal in some degree to Śrī Vaikuṇṭheśvara who possesses six opulences, but not wholesale. In some respects, such as being the source of all incarnations (avatārī) or having the excellence of form, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is similar to Śrī Nārāyaṇa. Still, He is not equal in every way or all respects. In what way is He Bhagavān Śrī Nārāyaṇa?

In Viṣṇu Purāṇa (6.5.74) it is written:

ऐश्वर्यस्य समग्रस्य धर्मस्य (वीर्यस्य) यशसः श्रियः
ज्ञान-वैराग्ययोश् चापि शण्णां भग इतीङ्गना

aiśvaryasya samagrasya dharmasya (vīryasya) yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś cāpi śaṇṇāṃ bhaga itīṅganā

All six qualities such as opulence (aiśvarya), strength (dharma or vīrya), fame (yaśa), beauty (śrī), knowledge (jñāna) and renunciation (vairāgya) are expressed by the word bhaga and all these six qualities are present completely in Śrī Nārāyaṇa; therefore, He is known as Bhagavān who is possessed of six opulences.

Hence, the meaning of the word nāra is “the multitude of living beings” and the meaning of the word ayana is “one who glances mercifully.” Thus, through His potency of knowledge and action (jñāna-kriyā-śakti), He endows and engages them with their own maintenance requirements and appropriate management.

Therefore, in name alone Śrī Vaikuṇṭheśvara is Śrī Nārāyaṇa, and only from time to time is Bhagavān Śrī Nārāyaṇa similar to Śrī Kṛṣṇa. However, in Śrī Devakī-nandana the above-mentioned qualities are wonderfully realized to the fullest extent;therefore, He is renowned as the original Nārāyaṇa or Mahā-nārāyaṇa. Hence Garga Muni said, “Śrī Vaikuṇṭheśvara Nārāyana is similar to Śrī Kṛṣṇa to a certain degree.” No other mahā-puruṣa is superior to Śrī Nārāyaṇa. Etan nānāvatārāṇāṃ, nidhānaṃ bījam avyayam (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 1.3.5): “His transcendental form is the seed of all other incarnations.”

By all these proofs it is known that Śrī Nārāyaṇa is the root of all the various incarnations or is the source of all incarnations. However, He does not possess the supra-sweet form, qualities, pastimes and other qualities like Śrī Devakī-nandana. Even this Supreme Nārāyaṇa cannot slightly equate to Śrī Devakī-nandana, because Śrī Kṛṣṇa expands that prema by manifesting the waves of the essence of His sweet form, qualities and pastimes.

For instance, the words of Śrī Gargācārya to Śrī Nanda Mahārāja are as follows (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.8.19):

तस्मान् नन्दात्मजो’यं ते नारायण-समो गुणैः
श्रिया कीर्त्यानुभावेन गोपायस्व समाहितः

tasmān nandātmajo’yaṃ te nārāyaṇa-samo guṇaiḥ
śriyā kīrtyānubhāvena gopāyasva samāhitaḥ

“O Nanda, this Son of yours is equal to Nārāyana in His transcendental qualities, opulence, fame and influence—therefore you should carefully raise Him.”

The purport is that one whose qualities, form, opulences and so on, are like Śrī Nārāyaṇa’s, alone is similar to Śrī Nārāyaṇa. Now, although that same Nārāyaṇa’s qualities are like Him, however Śrī Nārāyaṇa is not equal in manifesting His sweet dress and pastimes. In other words, this Śrī Kṛṣṇa will increase the āyaḥ or wealth of the prema of the gopas such as Śrī Nanda or the meaning of the word āyaḥ is “that beneficial process and wealth of the topmost bliss that is aptly collected.” On the other hand, if it is read as sveti, then by the words āyaḥ and sva the meaning comes out to be yoga-kṣema (acquirement and maintenance). He is of the nature of yoga-kṣema for the gopas; therefore, focus your heart one-pointedly on Him. By these words of Śrī Garga it is revealed that Śrī Kṛṣṇa makes arrangements for the maintenance and acquirements of the gopas; therefore, He would exhibit the most sweet qualities, form, pastimes and so on, in Vraja. However, in Vaikuṇṭha there is no such arrangement of the yogakṣema. Therefore, He is directly Bhagavān; in other words, although the qualities are present so wonderfully in Śrī Nārāyana, this Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone is known as svayaṃ bhagavān (the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself).

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