Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 1.7.96, 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 1.7.96 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 1.7.96:

दृष्टेऽपि शाम्येन् मयि तन् न दुःखं विच्छेद-चिन्ताकुलितात्मनां वै ।
हर्षाय तेषां क्रियते विधिर् यो दुःखं से सद्यो द्विगुणीकरोति ॥ ९६ ॥

dṛṣṭe'pi śāmyen mayi tan na duḥkhaṃ viccheda-cintākulitātmanāṃ vai |
harṣāya teṣāṃ kriyate vidhir yo duḥkhaṃ se sadyo dviguṇīkaroti || 96 ||

Therefore, in spite of seeing me, their distress of separation can never go away. Even if I perform sweet, playful pastimes with them for their pleasure, still they would become anxious of impending separation. Such enjoyable pastimes only double their distress.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

If said that truly by the delusion of divine love (prema-moha), they were not aware of anything else, still by having a momentary vision (sphūrti) of Bhagavān and His eternal associates inside their hearts, they also had His external darśana. When such deep sentiments arose, they naturally had darśana of Bhagavān.

For this reason, although there was a sphūrti of Bhagavān in Dhruva’s heart who was absorbed in meditation on Bhagavān, still he did not have the direct darśana of Bhagavān externally due to a want of such intense prema. Bhagavān simply displayed His mercy by giving him darśana. As a result, Bhagavān made the form that appeared in the heart of Śrī Dhruva disappear; afterwards, Dhruva immediately opened his eyes and had darśana of that very form of Bhagavān that he had seen within his heart.

The Fourth Canto (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 4.9.2) narrates this incident:

स वै धिया योग-विपाक-तीव्रया हृत्-पद्म-कोशे स्फुरितं तडित्-प्रभम्
तिरोहितं सहसैवोपलक्ष्य बहिः-स्थितं तद्-अवस्थं ददर्श

sa vai dhiyā yoga-vipāka-tīvrayā hṛt-padma-kośe sphuritaṃ taḍit-prabham
tirohitaṃ sahasaivopalakṣya bahiḥ-sthitaṃ tad-avasthaṃ dadarśa

By intense dhyāna-yoga the mind of Śrī Dhruva became fixed, therefore the brilliant form of Bhagavān, adorned like lightning, was exhibited in the lotus of his heart. However, Bhagavān made His own form disappear from his heart, then due to its sudden disappearance, his meditation broke and Dhruva opened his eyes and had darśana of that very same form of Bhagavān he had seen within his heart.

Therefore, this direct vision (sāksād darśana) of Bhagavān is the greatest result comparable to all other goals. So, only after achieving your direct darśana is it possible for the vraja-vāsīs to become content.

Although this is true, the person who is especially distressed due to separation cannot be content simply by having darśana. In other words, due to the fear of future separation, more distress may appear in that person. To explain this He narrates the śloka beginning with dṛṣte’pi.

“In spite of seeing me, their distress from separation will not go away.” The reason for this is—to remain always agitated due to the anxiety of separation is the natural disposition of the vraja-vāsīs. Just as when all the constituent elements in the body (dhātus) become weak after fasting for many days, a hungry person cannot become vigorous simply by obtaining food, in other words, he cannot become free from the pain born of hunger. Although, simply by partaking food, his hunger mitigates and he becomes healthy, but this does not happen right away—after consuming regularly, the unwholesome condition of many days recedes. Similarly, the distress of the vraja-vāsīs caused by My extended separation is not removable simply by having My darśana. If I perform sweet pastimes with them for a long time, only then can I remove their distress. Thus, it is inevitable to execute such pastimes, but now I am busy performing many other kinds of duties, so I shall not be able to comfort or satisfy them by going to Vraja to stay and perform such pastimes for any extended period.

On the other hand, to remain stressed by the anxiety of future separation is their nature, so due to such nature of the vraja-vāsīs, they will never be satisfied, even by sāksād darśana—this is my experience and recollection. Here, in the original śloka, the meaning of the word vai is related to remembrance, therefore you should also try to remember to see whether my experience is true or not.

Regarding this topic, the words of the mahiṣīs or queens devoted to their watersports, are proof at the end of the Tenth Canto?” (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.90.15) as follows:

कुररि विलपसि त्वं वीत-निद्रा न शेषे, स्वपिति जगति रात्र्याम् ईश्वरो गुप्त-बोधः
वयम् इव सखि कच्चिद् गाढ-निर्विद्ध-चेता, नलिन-नयन-हासोदार-लीलेक्षितेन

kurari vilapasi tvaṃ vīta-nidrā na śeṣe, svapiti jagati rātryām īśvaro gupta-bodhaḥ
vayam iva sakhi kaccid gāḍha-nirviddha-cetā, nalina-nayana-hāsodāra-līlekṣitena

“O friendly kurari (osprey bird), now is nighttime and Bhagavān Śrī Kṛṣṇa is fast asleep. You are wide-awake, unable to sleep, but you are disturbing the sleep of Bhagavān by your weeping—this is not right. Or else, is your heart seriously wounded like ours by seeing the magnificent pastimes of lotus-eyed Śrī Kṛṣṇa and the arrows of His sweet and smiling sidelong glances? Alas sakhī, you are not closing your eyes at nighttime, unable to have darśana of your lover, instead you are weeping pitifully. Otherwise, assuming the mood of a maidservant (dāsī-bhāva), are you longing to wear the garland that served the lotus feet of Acyuta on your braided hair like us?”

In this way, in ten verses (mahiṣī-gīta) Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī described their activities of prema. However, not all these words are by the mahiṣīs at the time of separation, since during the daytime the mahiṣīs who were absorbed in water-sports with Śrī Kṛṣṇa, an intense anurāga in their sphūrti of separation, a prema-vaicitrya, appeared even in their meeting, a sphūrti of delusion arising from separation during meeting. The import is that while Śrī Kṛṣṇa sported in the water with the mahiṣīs, He stole the minds of the mahiṣīs by His pretense of going and coming, conversations, sweet smiling, teasing glances and embracing.

After describing up to here, Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī said (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam or Bhāgavata Purāṇa 10.90.14):

ऊचुर् मुकुन्दैक-धियो, गिर उन्मत्त-वज् जडम्
चिन्तयन्त्यो’रविन्दाक्षं तानि मे गदतः शृणु

ūcur mukundaika-dhiyo, gira unmatta-vaj jaḍam
cintayantyo’ravindākṣaṃ tāni me gadataḥ śṛṇu

“The mahiṣīs, whose intelligence were exclusively in Śrī Mukunda, became stunned and silent like sages who attained samādhi, and then, reiterating words they had spoken, became inattentive like a mad person in meditation on Śrī Kṛṣṇa—please hear.”

Thereupon, they spoke these words of divine madness, which touch upon the separation mood in the said ten verses beginning with kurari.

If you say that You are the crest jewel of expert persons (paramavidagdha-śekhara), full of unlimited potency, then You may sport in such a way for the vraja-vāsīs to be happy. In other words, they do not feel the stress of separation even at the time of separation. Therefore, He speaks the line beginning with harṣāya. If I perform sweet, playful pastimes for the pleasure of the vraja-vāsīs, then their distress shall immediately increase twice. How much more can I elaborate on this topic? Particularly, their distress shall double at the time of pastimes with me, and later it shall increase even more than that, what is there to doubt? Just as by cooling down extremely hot oil, you splash in some water, then the temperature of the fire, instead of decreasing, increases even higher, similarly, their distress of separation is not removable even by My direct darśana; on the contrary, it would increase even further. The import of this is that, the vraja-vāsīs think, “O how will we be able to tolerate this separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa?”

On the contrary, despite My staying a long time, due to the rising distress of separation due to their anxiety of “Where has Kṛṣṇa gone now?”—their distress increases even more, despite My sweet, sportive pastimes. In this way, pastimes performed by me, seem hot like fire to them. In other words, just as the sweltering nature of fire is not removable in any way; similarly, although I may give them special mercy due to their nature, in no way shall I be able to mitigate their distress of separation. Therefore, this alone proves their greatest glories.

Although supreme sweetness just suitable to the nature of their object arises in their hearts by the direct embraces of Śrī Nandanandana, the embodiment of sweet, concentrated bliss, still the gopīs are the utmost recipient of that supreme mercy of prema, imbued with the ultimate limits of utmost happiness. Only the gopīs manifest the topmost glories of that special prema generated from separation from Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Although all the devotees of Bhagavān manifest the mood of separation in absence of receiving Bhagavān’s association, yet the separation and stress like the vraja-vāsīs does not completely arise in other devotees due to the want of such love;therefore, they do not receive that supreme bliss. That prema is only acheivable by the great mercy of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, by beholding Him and so forth. This is the general overview of these thoughts. In this way, the import is—neither do I reside in Vraja, nor dare I go there, since I am unable to tolerate seeing such perplexity in love (vyakulatā) due to their manifestation of intense helplessness in prema.

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