Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.3.23, 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 2.3.23 contained in Chapter 3—Bhajana (loving service)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.3.23:

पूर्ववत् तान्य् अतिक्रम्य प्रकृत्य्-आवरणं गतः ।
महा-तमोमयं सान्द्र-स्यामिकाक्षि-मनोहरम् ॥ २३ ॥

pūrvavat tāny atikramya prakṛty-āvaraṇaṃ gataḥ |
mahā-tamomayaṃ sāndra-syāmikākṣi-manoharam || 23 ||

pūrva-vat–as before; tāni–them; atikramya–crossing; prakṛti–of material energy; āvaraṇam–to the covering; gataḥ–gone; mahā–great; tamaḥ-mayam–with ignorance; sāndra–dense; śyāmika–blue darkness; akṣi–to my eyes; manaḥ-haram–enchanting.

I successively crossed all the layers as before, and at last I entered the layer of great primordial ignorance, which was the embodiment of the material energy, prakṛti. The dense, dark blue splendor of that place stole my eyes and mind.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Śrī Gopa-kumāra says, “While crossing all those coverings of the universe, I was received hospitably and honored by the presiding authority of each layer, just as I was in the first. In every layer, the demigod in charge urged me to stay and enjoy the pleasures there, but impelled by the desire in my heart for some other, indescribable happiness, I did not accept their offers. Rather, humbly taking their consent to leave, I finally arrived in the covering of prakṛti, or material nature, which consisted of primordial ignorance, tamo-maya. That densely dark layer was totally concealing in nature and its concentrated dark splendor, which was the transformation of prakṛti, stole my eyes and heart.”

There is an example of this in Śrī Harivaṃśa, wherein Śrī Arjuna says:

पङ्क-भूतं हि तिमिरं स्पर्शाद् विज्ञायते घनाः
अथ पर्वत-भूतं तु तिमिरं समपद्यत

paṅka-bhūtaṃ hi timiraṃ sparśād vijñāyate ghanāḥ
atha parvata-bhūtaṃ tu timiraṃ samapadyata

In the beginning, that darkness appears like mud; but on touching it, it feels solid like a mountain.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.89.47) also states: “lokālokaṃ tathātītya viveśa su-mahat tamaḥ–Having crossed the Lokāloka boundary, [the Lord’s chariot] entered the region of terrible dense darkness.” Here loka means ‘the brahmāṇḍa, the cosmic egg that is the universe consisting of the fourteen planetary systems,’ and aloka refers to the eight layers, or shells, of the brahmāṇḍa.

Śrī Gopa-kumāra concludes, “With her dense, sapphire (śyāma) splendor, that prakṛti steals the mind and eyes of everyone.”

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