Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.142-144, 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 2.4.142-144 contained in Chapter 4—Vaikuntha (the spiritual world)—of Part two (prathama-khanda).

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 2.4.142-144:

तादृशं तेऽस्य सारूप्यं प्राप्ता नानाकृति-श्रियः ।
मनुष्या मुनयो देवा ऋषयो मत्स्य-कच्छपाः ॥ १४२ ॥
वराहा नरसिंहाश् च वामनाश् च त्रिलोचनाः ।
चतुर्मुखाः सहस्राक्षाः महा-पूरुष-विग्रहाः ॥ १४३ ॥
सहस्र-वक्त्राः सुर्येन्दु-वायु-वह्न्य्-आदि-रूपिणः ।
चतुर्भुजादि-रूपाश् च तत्-तद्-वेशादि-रूपिणः ॥ १४४ ॥

tādṛśaṃ te'sya sārūpyaṃ prāptā nānākṛti-śriyaḥ |
manuṣyā munayo devā ṛṣayo matsya-kacchapāḥ || 142 ||
varāhā narasiṃhāś ca vāmanāś ca trilocanāḥ |
caturmukhāḥ sahasrākṣāḥ mahā-pūruṣa-vigrahāḥ || 143 ||
sahasra-vaktrāḥ suryendu-vāyu-vahny-ādi-rūpiṇaḥ |
caturbhujādi-rūpāś ca tat-tad-veśādi-rūpiṇaḥ || 144 ||

tādṛśam–similar; te–they; asya–of Him; sārūpyam–the state of having a similar form; prāptāḥ–attained; nānā–various; ākṛti–forms; śriyaḥ–opulences; manuṣyāḥ–humans; munayaḥ–sages; devāḥ–demigods; ṛṣayaḥ–sages; matsya–fish; kacchapāḥ–tortoises; varāhāḥ–hogs; nara-siṃhāḥ–half-man–half-lions; ca–also; vāmanāḥ–dwarfs; ca–and; tri-locanāḥ–three-eyed Śivas; caturmukhāḥ–four-headed Brahmās; sahasra-akṣāḥ–thousand-eyed Indras; mahā-puruṣa–of the Supreme Person; vigrahāḥ–forms; sahasra-vaktrāḥ–Śeṣas, having thousands of mouths; sūrya–sungods; indu–moon-gods; vāyu–wind-gods; vahni–fire-gods; ādi–and so forth; rūpiṇaḥ–having forms; catur-bhuja–four-armed Viṣṇu; ādi–and so forth; rūpāḥ–forms; ca–and; tat-tad-veśa–with their respective attire; ādi–and so forth; rūpiṇaḥ–having forms.

Thus, attaining sārūpya, a form similar to any one of Bhagavān’s manifestations, they take varieties of appearances, shapes, beauty, and so on. They accept different forms, such as human beings, munis, demigods, ṛṣis, fish, tortoises, and so on. Depending upon their worship, they take a form similar to the boar (Varāha) incarnation, the half-lion–half-man (Nṛsiṃha) incarnation, the dwarf (Vāmana) incarnation, the three-eyed Lord Śiva, the four-headed Śrī Brahmā, the thousand-eyed Indra, the Mahā-puruṣa Deity, the thousandheaded Śeṣa, the sun-god (Sūrya), the moon-god (Candra), the wind-god (Vāyu), the fire-god (Agni), and so on. Some have forms with four arms and some have forms with more, each accepting the symbols, attire, and so on that are suitable to their respective forms.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

It is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.9.11–12):

श्यामावदाताः शत-पत्र-लोचनाः पिशङ्ग-वस्त्राः सुरुचः सुपेशसः
सर्वे चतुर्-वाहव उन्मिषन्-मणि प्रवेक-निष्काभरणाः सुवर्चसः
प्रवाल-वैदूर्य-मृणाल-वर्चसः परिस्फुरत्-कुण्डल-मौलि-मालिनः

śyāmāvadātāḥ śata-patra-locanāḥ piśaṅga-vastrāḥ surucaḥ supeśasaḥ
sarve catur-vāhava unmiṣan-maṇi praveka-niṣkābharaṇāḥ suvarcasaḥ
pravāla-vaidūrya-mṛṇāla-varcasaḥ parisphurat-kuṇḍala-mauli-mālinaḥ

All the eternal associates of Śrī Hari in Śrī Vaikuṇṭha have brilliant, dark complexions; their eyes are long and large like lotus petals; their garments are golden colored; their effulgence steals the heart with its beauty and all their limbs are delicate; they are all four-armed and decorated with excellent, beautiful ornaments made of invaluable jewels; their boundless splendor eclipses the radiance of coral, Vaidurya gems, and celestial lotuses; and they are adorned with effulgent earrings, garlands, and other decorations.

The Second Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes how the eternal associates obtain many forms that resemble Bhagavān and possess a great variety of shapes, attire, and complexions. Śrī Nārada explains the reason for this variegatedness by speaking three-and-a-half verses, beginning above with manuṣyā.

He says, “Those who have achieved sārūpya by worshiping Śrī Raghunātha have human forms. Those who worship Śrī Kapila and others like him receive forms like munis. Those who worship the manvantara incarnations such as Śrī Vibhu and Satyasena accept forms similar to the demigods. Those who worship Śrī Paraśurāma and so on have the forms of ṛṣis. In this way, according to their worship, some obtain a form similar to the fish incarnation (Matsya), the tortoise incarnation (Kūrma), the boar incarnation (Varāha), or the dwarf incarnation (Vāmana). Some consider the very famous and exalted three-eyed incarnation, Śrī Śiva, and the four-headed personality, Śrī Brahmā, as incarnations of Bhagavān and worship them accordingly. Such devotees obtain forms similar to those incarnations. Thus, the devotee obtains a thousand-eyed form by worshiping Indra. One obtains a thousand-headed form by the worship of Śeṣa-deva. By worshiping the sungod, the devotees obtain forms similar to Sūryadeva. In this way, we have to understand that devotees obtain forms similar to the other demigods also.”

The worship of Indra and others as the Lord of the Universe is described in the Aindra and other Śrutis. In the Fifth Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, there are similar references to the worship of the sun-god and others as representatives of Bhagavān, performed by the inhabitants of Plakṣadvīpa.

This summarizes two verses.

“One can reach Vaikuṇṭha only on the strength of direct loving devotion to the lotus feet of Śrī Bhagavān. Therefore, Śrī Vāmana Purāṇa mentions that those worshipers of Lord Śiva and other demigods, who understand the principle of nondifference, perform their worship with the mood that there is no difference between Śrī Bhagavān and His other manifestations such as Śiva and Brahmā. Such devotees have also obtained superior positions similar to and as glorious as the eternal associates of Bhagavān. They reside on the planet of Śiva or of whomever they worship, or they reside in Vaikuṇṭha. Those eternal associates who worship the Mahā-puruṣa, the first puruṣa incarnation of Bhagavān, obtain a form similar to His, with thousands of hands, thousands of feet, and thousands of heads.”

In verse 144, the word ādi is found twice. The first ādi refers to all the demigods that represent Bhagavān’s vibhutis (opulences), such as Yama and Aryamā, the lord of Pitṛloka, planet of the ancestors. The second ādi refers to the eternal associates of the Lord who possess many arms–eight, twelve, and more. Those eternal associates have human-like forms, dresses, decorations, ornaments, and so on. The word ādi also indicates that those associates possess variegated characteristics, natures, and so on that are appropriate to their respective forms.

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