Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.2.8-9, 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 2.2.8-9 contained in Chapter 2—Jnana (knowledge)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.2.8-9:

यद्याप्य् अस्ति बिल-स्वर्गो विष्णु-शेषाद्य्-अलङ्कृतः ।
भौम-स्वर्गश् च तद्-द्वीप-वर्षादिषु पदे पदे ॥ ८ ॥
विचित्र-रूप-श्री-कृष्ण-पूजोत्सव-विराजितः ।
तथाप्य् ऊर्ध्वतरो लोको दिव्यस् ताभ्यां विशिष्यते ॥ ९ ॥

yadyāpy asti bila-svargo viṣṇu-śeṣādy-alaṅkṛtaḥ |
bhauma-svargaś ca tad-dvīpa-varṣādiṣu pade pade || 8 ||
vicitra-rūpa-śrī-kṛṣṇa-pūjotsava-virājitaḥ |
tathāpy ūrdhvataro loko divyas tābhyāṃ viśiṣyate || 9 ||

yadi api–although; asti–there is; bila-svargaḥ–a subterranean heaven; viṣṇu–by Śrī Viṣṇu; śeṣa–by Ananta Śeṣa; ādi–and others; alaṅkṛtaḥ–ornamented; bhauma-svargaḥ–an earthly heaven; ca–also; tat dvīpa–on its islands; varṣa–in the vast tracts of land; ādiṣu–and so forth; pade pade–in various abodes; vicitra–astonishing; rūpa–forms; śrī-kṛṣṇa–of Śrī Kṛṣṇa; pūjā-utsava–in festivals of worship; virājitaḥ–shines; tathā api–nevertheless; ūrdhva-taraḥ–higher; lokaḥ–world; divyaḥ–divine; tābhyām–to them; viśiṣyate–superior.

There are subterranean heavens (Bila-svargas), such as Pātāla, which are beautified by Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s different manifestations, like Viṣṇu and Śeṣa. In addition, there are heavens on earth (Bhauma-svargas) located in various tracts of land and islands where there are always great festivals for the worship of Śrī Kṛṣṇa in His many different forms. However, because the celestial heaven (Divya-svarga) is resplendently situated above these two other heavens, it is superior in quality.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

The brāhmaṇa might ask, “What forms does the Supreme Lord Śrī Viṣṇu accept in the subterranean and earthly heavens, and what kinds of great festivals and methods of worship are performed for Him?”

Śrī Gopa-kumāra says, “Jagadiśa, who is present in the form of Śrī Viṣṇu, is Mahārāja Bali’s doorkeeper in Sutala, and Śeṣa-deva, who supports the earth as dharaṇī-dhara, is present in the seventh abode of Pātāla.” The word ādi, meaning ‘etc.’ indicates a host of other Viṣṇu forms that adorn the subterranean heavens, such as Śrī Kapiladeva on the Atala planet, who is mentioned in the Rāmāyaṇa as having crushed the pride of Rāvaṇa; and Śrī Rudra, who resides in Vitala.

He continues, “Similarly, many manifestations of the Lord are present in Bhārata-varṣa and in the other eight varṣas (tracts of land) of Jambu-dvīpa in Bhū-maṇḍala, the earthly planetary system[1].” The word ādi indicates the manifestations of Bhagavān within the Milk Ocean, and the term pade pade indicates all His other manifestations found elsewhere.

“In Plakṣa-dvīpa, Bhagavān is present as Sūrya-deva and in other forms as well. For example, in Ilāvṛta-varṣa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa resides as Śrī Saṅkarṣaṇa; and in Bhadrāśvavarṣa, He resides as Śrī Hayaśīrṣa. In all these places, He is worshiped with great pomp and ceremony. Similarly, in the other heavens on earth also, the residents execute various types of worship and festivals of Bhagavān, who is present in different forms in different islands and areas.” An excellent description of the various manifestations of the Lord in all these places is found in the Fifth Canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam.

“Although grand worship of Bhagavān exists in both Bhauma and Bila-svargas, Divya-svarga is still the topmost, like a crown above these two heavens, being filled with extraordinary qualities not found in the others.”

Alternatively, the celestial heaven Svarga is addressed as divya, or divine, because its pada, or position, is divine, meaning it is the cause of excellence. In other words, it is fit to be the abode of demigods.

Śrī Gopa-kumāra concludes, “Because of my discussion with the brāhmaṇas, I lost my desire to go to both the different earthly heavens within those dvīpas (islands) and varṣas (tracts of land) on Bhū-maṇḍala and the subterranean heavens (Bila-svarga).”

Footnotes and references:


This earth planet is divided into seven dvīpas, or islands, by seven oceans. The central dvīpa, called Jambū-dvīpa, is divided into nine varṣas, or parts, by eight huge mountains. Bhārata-varṣa is one of the above-mentioned nine varṣas.

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