Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.1.183-184, 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 2.1.183-184 contained in Chapter 1—Vairagya (renunciation)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.1.183-184:

यश् चक्रवार्ती तत्रत्यः स प्रभोर् मुख्य-सेवकः ।
श्री-मुखं वीक्षितुं क्षेत्रे यदा यातो महोत्सवे ॥ १८३ ॥
सज्-जनोपद्रवोद्यान-भङ्गादौ वारितोऽप्य् अथ ।
मादृशोऽकिञ्चनाः स्वैरं प्रभुं द्रष्टुं न शक्नुयुः ॥ १८४ ॥

yaś cakravārtī tatratyaḥ sa prabhor mukhya-sevakaḥ |
śrī-mukhaṃ vīkṣituṃ kṣetre yadā yāto mahotsave || 183 ||
saj-janopadravodyāna-bhaṅgādau vārito'py atha |
mādṛśo'kiñcanāḥ svairaṃ prabhuṃ draṣṭuṃ na śaknuyuḥ || 184 ||

yaḥ–who; cakravārtī–the emperor; tatratyaḥ–of that land; saḥ–he; prabhoḥ–of the Lord; mukhya-sevakaḥ–chief servitor; śrīmukham–(the Lord’s) beautiful face; vīkṣitum–to see; kṣetre–at that place; yadā–when; yāti–he went; mahā-utsave–on the (occasion) of a great festival; sat-jana–for the saintly persons; upadrava–disturbances; udyāna–to the gardens; bhaṅga–damage; ādau–and so forth; vārite–arrangements for protection; api–also; atha–then; mādṛśaḥ–like me; akiñcanāḥ–unattached (mendicants); svairam–freely; prabhum–Lord; draṣṭum–to see; na śaknuyuḥ–were unable.

The king of that country was Śrī Jagannātha’s chief servitor. On occasions of grand festivals, when he arrived there for darśana of Śrī Bhagavān, elaborate arrangements were made to protect the saintly persons from disturbances and the gardens from damage. Due to this, the poor, common folk like me would not be able to view the Lord freely.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Śrī Gopa-kumāra says, “The king of that country was also Śrī Jagannātha-deva’s chief servitor, and he had obtained the opulence of the kingdom by the mercy of the Lord.” Alternatively, it can be said that the sovereign ruler, by dint of taking birth in that country, was the main servitor, or superintendent, of Śrī Jagannātha-deva’s attendants. He says, “On principal festival days, such as Ratha-yātrā, he would come to Śrī Jagannātha Purī for Śrī Jagannātha’s darśana. At that time, people like me, who seemed to be penniless, wretched, insignificant, and dependent could not freely see Śrī Jagannātha-deva.”

Because the Mathurā brāhmaṇa might object, saying that it is improper to foster apprehensions about such a saintly king, Gopakumāra speaks the line beginning with sat. He says, “At that time, arrangements were made to ensure that saintly persons not encounter any trouble, that is, that they should not face obstacles in taking darśana of Śrī Jagannātha-deva. Other arrangements were made to ensure that the elephants and horses, etc., did not trample the flower garden. Because of this, destitute and unimportant persons like myself could not freely see the Lord.” In the verse, the word ādi also indicates that arrangements were made to ensure that the water supply would not become contaminated, and so forth.

This all indicates the mental distress that Gopa-kumāra would feel whenever his solitary residence was disrupted. He says, “The army, consisting of four ranks–elephants, cavalry, chariots, and infantry–disturbed poor persons like me, throwing us into great anxiety. Our huts made of straw, thatch, and fronds would be demolished, and there was no saving us from distress.”

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