Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.2.161, 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 2.2.161 contained in Chapter 2—Jnana (knowledge)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.2.161:

किं वानुस्थितया सम्यक् तयैव सुलभोऽस्ति सः ।
श्रुति-स्मृतीनां कासांचित् संमतिस् तत्र लक्षिता ॥ १६१ ॥

kiṃ vānusthitayā samyak tayaiva sulabho'sti saḥ |
śruti-smṛtīnāṃ kāsāṃcit saṃmatis tatra lakṣitā || 161 ||

kiṃ vā–furthermore; anuṣṭhitayā–by the execution; samyak–proper; tayā–by that (bhakti); eva–indeed; su-labhaḥ–easily attained; asti–it is; saḥ–that; śruti-smṛtīnām–of the Śrutis and Smṛtis; kāsāñcit–of some; sammatiḥ–agreement; tatra–there; lakṣitā–indicated.

Alternatively, one may easily attain liberation by properly executing devotional service alone (with no need of knowledge). This opinion was also supported by some of the Śrutis and Smṛtis.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Śrī Gopa-kumāra says, “Those Purāṇas and Āgamas further their argument with the following alternative: ‘Liberation is easily achieved if one becomes completely free from desires and attachments and practices bhagavad-bhakti by following the path of the saints.’”

In the verse, the word eva, meaning ‘only’ or ‘alone,’ indicates the full independence of loving service to the Lord. Bhakti is by nature free from desires and does not depend on any other practice (sādhana).

It is stated in the Bṛhan-nāradīya Purāṇa (32.6, 4.30):

भक्तिर् दृढा भवेद् यस्य देव-देवे जनार्दने
श्रेयांसि तस्य सिध्यन्ति भक्तिमन्तो’धिकास् ततः

bhaktir dṛḍhā bhaved yasya deva-deve janārdane
śreyāṃsi tasya sidhyanti bhaktimanto’dhikās tataḥ

Those who have unshakeable devotion to the lotus feet of Śrī Janārdana, who is God even of the gods, effortlessly achieve all auspiciousness and good fortune. Therefore, bhakti alone is the super-excellent process.

जीवन्ति जन्तवः सर्वे यथा मातरम् आश्रिताः
तथा भक्तिम् समाश्रित्य सर्वा जीवन्ति सिद्धयः

jīvanti jantavaḥ sarve yathā mātaram āśritāḥ
tathā bhaktim samāśritya sarvā jīvanti siddhayaḥ

Just as all living beings survive under the care of their mothers, similarly, all the mystic perfections, or siddhis, exist by taking shelter of bhakti alone.

Here, the word siddhi is to be understood as liberation. Although liberation is not directly mentioned in these two verses, it has been implied.

It is stated in Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā (11.54):

भक्त्या त्व् अनन्यया शक्य अहम् एवं-विधो’र्जुन
ज्ञातुं द्रष्टुं च तत्त्वेन प्रवेष्टुं च परन्तप

bhaktyā tv ananyayā śakya aham evaṃ-vidho’rjuna
jñātuṃ draṣṭuṃ ca tattvena praveṣṭuṃ ca parantapa

Only by performing unalloyed service (ananyā-bhakti) unto Me can one understand the truth about Me and see Me before his very eyes. Then one can enter into Me, that is, one can associate with Me and reside in my company.

Mokṣa is implicit in the phrase ‘entrance into Me (Bhagavān),’ meaning that liberation can be attained effortlessly by the performance of bhakti.

Gopa-kumāra continues, “Some Śrutis and Smṛtis devoted to Bhagavān nodded their heads and gestured in agreement of the statement that liberation can be attained only by loving devotion to the Lord.” The meaning of their gesturing is that the words of those Śrutis and Smṛtis do not directly or explicitly establish bhakti as the cause of liberation, but this conclusion can be ascertained from their purports. A subject matter is more highly respected when its principles are ascertained in its commentaries.

It is stated in Padma Purāṇa (Pātāla-khaṇḍa 92.26):

अपत्यं द्रविणं दारा हारा हर्म्यं हया गजाः
सुखानि स्वर्ग-मोक्षौ च न दूरे हरि-भक्तितः

apatyaṃ draviṇaṃ dārā hārā harmyaṃ hayā gajāḥ
sukhāni svarga-mokṣau ca na dūre hari-bhaktitaḥ

In this world, one derives happiness from sons, grandsons, wealth, women, objects of enjoyment, palaces, horses, elephants, etc. And in Svarga, much higher varieties of enjoyment are found. However, all such pleasures, even up to the pleasure of mokṣa, are easily accessible (na dūre) by devotion to Śrī Hari.

In this verse, the term na dūre (not far) signifies ‘quite close.’ All these types of happiness are readily bestowed by bhakti to Śrī Hari.

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