Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.5.62-63, 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 1.5.62-63 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 1.5.62-63:

स्व-धर्मैक-परैः शुष्क-ज्ञानवद्भिः कृता रणे ।
भीष्मादिभिः प्रहारा ये वर्म-मर्म-भिदो दृढाः ॥ ६२ ॥
ते तस्यां मत्-कृते स्वस्य श्री-मूर्तौ चक्रपाणिना ।
वार्यमाणेन च मया सोढाः स्वीकृत्य वारशः ॥ ६३ ॥

sva-dharmaika-paraiḥ śuṣka-jñānavadbhiḥ kṛtā raṇe |
bhīṣmādibhiḥ prahārā ye varma-marma-bhido dṛḍhāḥ || 62 ||
te tasyāṃ mat-kṛte svasya śrī-mūrtau cakrapāṇinā |
vāryamāṇena ca mayā soḍhāḥ svīkṛtya vāraśaḥ || 63 ||

All the weapons that the dutifully engaged yet dry jñānī Grandfather Bhīṣma attacked me with were capable of piercing my invincible shield and ripping my heart to pieces. Nevertheless, Cakrapāṇi Śrī Kṛṣṇa took all those weapons on His beautiful divine limbs for my protection.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

“The mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa became the reason for our distress.” Śrīman Arjuna is elaborating on this in the nine ślokas beginning with sva-dharma. “The weapons, which Grandfather Bhiṣma attacked me with, were deterred by Cakrapāṇi Śrī Kṛṣṇa, only to protect me and for my victory. He thus absorbed the attack of those weapons on His extremely delicate body, the divine body that is the very life of devotees like us.” Why is it that Bhīṣma acted like this? He was following his prescribed religious duty. Though he was expert amongst followers of the rules of varṇāśrama-dharma such as, pitṛādayo’pi hantavyāḥ kṣatriyeṇa raṇāṅgane: “The duty of a kṣatriya is to kill even elders such as his own father on the battlefield.” Still it was completely inappropriate to attack the delicate limbs of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the ultimate aim of all religious conduct.

Arjuna also reveals something more, “He is a dry speculator (śuṣka jñānī).” Namely, there is not the slightest possibility of pain in the body of Paramabrahma Śrī Kṛṣṇa due to the attack of weapons. He was capable of this type of dry calculation. On the other hand, the honey from Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s lotus feet can never be tasted or accepted with the lack of devotion or awareness of His madhurya-jñāna.

Therefore, although Śrī Bhīṣmadeva was a dry jñānī and Śrī Kṛṣṇa the Supreme Spirit (Parabrahma), still he could not become devoted to bhakti. Not devoted to bhakti, it was not possible to taste the sweetness of honey from the lotus feet of Bhagavān or understand His mādhurya aspect through dry speculation. He was devoid of prema for Śrī Kṛṣṇa; therefore, he attacked the soft limbs of Śrī Kṛṣṇa with powerful weapons that pierced the body shields and targeted the vital points of the body. Bhagavān also tolerated those attacks only to display an affectionate mellow for His devotees, and He shed streams of blood which were streams of sweat in disguise. Actually, this should be understood as a display of His vātsalya or parental affection to the devotees of the world.

What was the nature of that bhakta-vātsalya of Śrī Bhagavān? In spite of being stopped by me, I said: “O Bhagavān, You had taken a vow that you would not fight by upholding a weapon in the war of Mahābhārata, so despite taking such a vow, why are you advancing ahead to destroy such warriors as Bhīṣma? Especially while I am present, why are you tolerating the attacks of the weapons by Bhagadatta and others?’ Despite being stopped by catching His feet with entreaties and great humility, just for me that Cakrapāṇi Śrī Kṛṣṇa accepted the attack of the weapons of Bhīṣma on His charming body. Here, the meaning of the word Cakrapāṇi is that Śrī Kṛṣṇa Himself was capable of stopping all types of attacks and easily destroying all opponents such as Bhīṣma by the sudarśana cakra. However, only for expanding my fame did He not fight personally and instead accepted all the attacks of all those weapons. Otherwise, even Bhīṣma and others would also have been void of this happiness, of committing weaponry attacks on His beautiful limbs.

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