Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.2.177, 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 2.2.177 contained in Chapter 2—Jnana (knowledge)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.2.177:

शुद्धात्म-तत्त्वं यद् वस्तु तद् एव ब्रह्म कथ्यते ।
निर्गुणं तच् च निःसङ्गं निर्विकारं निरीहितम् ॥ १७७ ॥

śuddhātma-tattvaṃ yad vastu tad eva brahma kathyate |
nirguṇaṃ tac ca niḥsaṅgaṃ nirvikāraṃ nirīhitam || 177 ||

śuddha–purified; ātma–of the self; tattvam–the truth; yat–which; vastu–substance; tat–that; eva–indeed; brahma–Brahman; kathyate–is said; nirguṇam–without qualities; tat–that; ca–and; niḥsaṅgam–without attachment; nirvikāram–without transformation; nirīhitam–without desire.

(Those who consider liberation to be experience of the self as conscious reality have the following opinion:) The entity that is pure conscious reality is indeed called Brahman, which is devoid of attributes (nirguṇa), free from attachment (niḥsaṅgaṃ), unchangeable (nirvikāra), and desireless (nirīha).

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Śrī Gopa-kumāra might posit, “In the state of liberation, one experiences the unlimited Absolute, or Brahman, so one should also experience commensurate unlimited happiness.”

To address this point, the bhakti-śāstras speak this verse beginning with śuddha. They say, “One should not entertain such an idea. The pure, spiritual, conscious reality (śuddha ātma-svarūpa, or cit-tattva) is the entity, or vastu, known as Brahman. Brahman is nirguṇa, devoid of mercy and other qualities. It is niḥsaṅga, devoid of associates and relationships. It is nirvikāra, without change, which means that it does not undergo any transformation that causes the heart to melt upon hearing the pitiful lamentation of the devotees. Nor can it display the opulences of the Lord’s beautiful form. Finally, it is nirīha, neutral, inert, and desireless, so it has no wonderful, sweet pastimes with which to steal the hearts of devotees. Therefore, such an entity that is devoid of bhagavattā (the quality of being the Supreme Person) can never be sac-cid-ānanda-ghana, the concentrated embodiment of eternal reality, cognizance, and bliss. It follows, then, that realization of nirguṇa Brahman can only grant happiness corresponding to its being. It cannot grant the unlimited happiness of realizing the form (svarūpa) of sac-cid-ānanda-ghana, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.”

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