Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.7.84, 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 1.7.84 contained in Chapter 7—Purna (pinnacle of excellent devotees)—of Part one (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 1.7.84:

तास्व् एतस्य हि धर्म-कर्म-सुत-पौत्रागार-कृत्यादिषु व्यग्राभ्योऽस्मद् अथादरैः पतितया सेवा-करीभ्योऽधिकः ।
युक्तो भाव-वरो न मत्सर-पदं चोद्वाह-भाग्भ्यो भवेत् संश्लाघ्योऽथ च यत् प्रभोः प्रिय-जनाधीनत्व-माहात्म्य-कृत् ॥ ८४ ॥

tāsv etasya hi dharma-karma-suta-pautrāgāra-kṛtyādiṣu vyagrābhyo'smad athādaraiḥ patitayā sevā-karībhyo'dhikaḥ |
yukto bhāva-varo na matsara-padaṃ codvāha-bhāgbhyo bhavet saṃślāghyo'tha ca yat prabhoḥ priya-janādhīnatva-māhātmya-kṛt || 84 ||

It is befitting that Śrī Kṛṣṇa displays more love towards the gopīs than to us, because we are the married wives of our lord and master, and are always engaged in religious rites, fruitive acts like begetting sons and grandsons, performing household affairs and so forth. Moreover, we serve our Lord out of reverential respect towards a husband. However, the gopīs serve the Lord with a pure heart without any desires for previously mentioned piety or fruitive acts.

Therefore, it is reasonable that Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s sentiments for the gopīs must be greater and superior to ours. Still, this sentiment of the gopīs is not the object of our envy; rather, it is worthy of our glorification, because only such sentiment is dear to our Lord. It proves the glories of the Lord, concerning His acceptance of the subjugation by His beloved devotees.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

"Therefore, it is befitting that Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s sentiment towards the gopīs is superior in comparison to ours. The reason for this is that, being the married wives of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, we busily engage in such activities like pious and fruitive acts. We serve the Supreme Lord with the reverence of pati-bhāva, the feeling that He is our husband, because we accepted Him through the injunctions of marriage."

In this way, Śrī Rukmiṇī-devī exhibited the contrast between their sentiments and the mood of the gopīs. Just as the gopīs are free from any mundane (laukika) or otherworldly goals (para-laukika) and practices to achieve them, we are busy with the same goals and means. The gopīs serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa with the purest, topmost prema through the indescribable, enjoyable pastimes such as rāsa-līlā, and we serve Him with the reverencial mood that He is our husband. That service performed is also not with the purest, topmost prema.

Here, the topic spoken of is the supremely pure love (viśuddhaprema) of the gopīs. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, when Śrī Kṛṣṇa comes near the house of the gopīs, while hiding in a secluded place, He gives out an indicatory sound (saṅketika). Then the gopīs, after hearing that saṅketika, get up from their beds and out of fear of their mothers-in-law and others, without making any sound, slowly open the doors and step out of the house to meet Śrī Kṛṣṇa, granting Him pleasure by tight embraces, tender caresses and so on. Sometimes in the daytime Śrī Kṛṣṇa proceeds for a tryst to a veiled grove in the forest on the shore of Yamunā, and there arranges a bed of soft flowerbuds, awaiting the gopīs while glancing towards the path of their arrival. Hearing the sound of falling, dry leaves, He becomes alarmed with suspicions of their approach.

The gopīs too, on the pretext of collecting water from the Yamunā, come out of their houses to meet Śrī Kṛṣṇa in the veiled groves. Furthermore, sometimes in the evening time, upon receiving the signal of the sound of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s flute, they become maddened when they go for the tryst and their clothes sag down. Their braids come loose, and adorned with their ornaments in a wrong fashion, they speedily come near Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Nevertheless, rasika-śekhara, the crest-jewel of the connoisseur of mellows, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, displays the tendency to cloak His desires like a cheater. He exhibits His avahittha or concealment, by hiding His sentiments, and exhibiting his cleverness of speech like a cunning fellow. At that time the gopīs, disheartened by great distress, humbly and with polite words pray for their desired object, that is, openly begging for amorous enjoyment (surata-krīda). Later on when Śrī Kṛṣṇa gives up His camouflage, they consider it as some teasing pastime, and they become extremely pleased and seize His yellow garment, forcibly taking Him to a secluded grove to please Him in many ways.

The gopīs spontaneously serve Śrī Kṛṣṇa in so many ways through the practice of their paramour mood. However, ‘we marry Him according to scriptural injunctions and serve Him according to the gṛhasthadharma that depends on loka-dharma, or social propriety’—here, the above-mentioned bhāva of the gopīs is not the object of our envy. It is not appropriate for us to envy them, just as it is improper for a lowclass person to rival a high-class person, just as the the maidservants’ sentiment of rivalry with svaminī is not appropriate. This perfect bhāva displays the glories of our Lord’s quality to be under the control of His devotees. On the other hand, they are the beloved devotees of our Lord and master; therefore, they are further increasing His glories by His subjugation by others. Thus, due to the free exhibition of these sentiments, even beautiful women like me can also aspire to achieve it—this is the confidential mood of the words of Śrī Rukmiṇī-devī.

Factually, queens such as Śrī Rukmiṇī have no attachment for matters of mundane religiosity or fruitive activities. Even if they have a little attachment in those matters, still all those objects are acceptable as helpful in serving Bhagavān. Therefore, there is no defect in that, but it culminates in a magnanimous quality by becoming the cause for variegated devotional service. However, Śrī Rukmiṇī-devī could not achieve the good fortune of devotional service like the gopīs, or she is speaking with such hints out of her natural humilty.

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