Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.2.36, 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 2.2.36 contained in Chapter 2—Jnana (knowledge)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.2.36:

अकस्माद् आगतस् तत्र भृगु-मुख्या महर्षयः ।
पद्भ्यां पावयितुं यान्तस् तीर्थानि कृपया भुवि ॥ ३६ ॥

akasmād āgatas tatra bhṛgu-mukhyā maharṣayaḥ |
padbhyāṃ pāvayituṃ yāntas tīrthāni kṛpayā bhuvi || 36 ||

akasmāt–suddenly; āgatāḥ–come; tatra–there; bhṛgu–by Bhṛgu; mukhyāḥ–headed; mahā-ṛṣayaḥ–the great sages; padbhyām–on foot; pāvayitum–to purify; yāntaḥ–traveling; tīrthāṇi–to pilgrimage places; kṛpayā–out of mercy; bhuvi–on earth.

Then one day, unexpectedly, Bhṛgu and other great sages from Maharloka mercifully stopped in Svarga on their way to earth. They were on a mission to purify with the touch of their lotus feet the holy places that had been contaminated by contact with heinous sinners.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

In this verse beginning with akasmāt, Śrī Gopa-kumāra describes the glories of the residents of Maharloka. These glories shall become the cause of his going from Svargaloka to Maharloka.

He says, “Because the river Gaṅgā and other holy places become contaminated by contact with great sinners, Bhṛgu and the other exalted sages were going to wander the earth to purify those places with the touch of their lotus feet. Out of their mercy, these great souls suddenly arrived in Svargaloka.” The word akasmāt, meaning ‘unexpectedly,’ indicates that there seemed to be no reason for their coming to heaven. Alternatively, it means that Gopa-kumāra was not aware of their identity or the reason for their arrival.

The term bhṛgu-mukhyāḥ means that Bhṛgu is the best of all the maharṣis, or great sages, including Marīci, Atri, Aṅgirā, Pulastya, and Pulaha. Although Marīci is the eldest, Śrī Bhṛgu is termed mukhya, or prominent, because he is one of the opulences, or vibhūtis, of the Supreme Lord, as well as a topmost Vaiṣṇava and the father of Lakṣmī. Kṛṣṇa Himself says in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā (10.25): “maharṣīṇāṃ bhṛgur ahaṃ–Among the great sages, I am Bhṛgu.”

Similarly, in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (3.11.30) it is stated: yānty ūṣmaṇā mahar-lokāj janaṃ bhṛgv-ādayo’rditāḥ

The fire emanating from the mouth of Śrī Saṅkarṣaṇa represents the śakti of Bhagavān. When the three worlds burn in that fire, the great sages headed by Bhṛgu become distressed by the heat and go from Maharloka to Janaloka.

Śrī Bhṛgu is celebrated throughout the scriptures for all his special qualities. He is especially noted as a leader among those who preach the glories of Bhagavān, for he cannot bear even the slightest minimization of the Lord’s magnificence. Once, for the benefit of all, he examined the three lords, Brahmā, Viṣṇu, and Maheśa, in order to establish Bhagavān Śrī Viṣṇu’s superiority. During this incident, at the risk of his own detriment, he performed the reprehensible act of kicking Śrī Viṣṇu on the chest.

The brāhmaṇa might ask, “Those great sages are residents of Maharloka, which is situated above Svarga. Why did they come down to Svargaloka?”

In reply, Gopa-kumāra speaks the line beginning with padbhyām, which explains that they stopped at Svarga on their way to earth. “Why were they going there? The Gaṅgā and other holy places had been contaminated by contact with great sinners. They went to purify those places with the touch of their lotus feet.”

The brāhmaṇa might counter, “But saintly persons who are satyavāk can sanctify all the holy places.” Satyavāk means ‘one whose words always come true.’ “So why did they need to travel to earth?”

In reply, Gopa-kumāra used the word kṛpayā, meaning ‘out of mercy.’ He says, “Those great sages wander freely, only for the benefit of the people. Out of compassion, they sanctify all the worlds by directly giving people their darśana and touch.”

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