by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329
The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.160, 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 2.4.160 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 2.4.160:
यथैव च पृथग् ज्ञानं सुखं च पृथग् एव हि ।
तथापि ब्रह्म-तादात्म्ये तयोर् ऐक्यं सुसिध्यति ॥ १६० ॥
yathaiva ca pṛthag jñānaṃ sukhaṃ ca pṛthag eva hi |
tathāpi brahma-tādātmye tayor aikyaṃ susidhyati || 160 ||
yathā–as; eva–indeed; ca–also; pṛthak–different; jñānam–knowledge; sukham–happiness; ca–also; pṛthak–different; eva hi–indeed; tathā api–nevertheless; brahma–with the Supreme Spirit; tādātmye–in qualitative nondifference; tayoḥ–of them both; aikyam–oneness; su-sidhyati–is clearly proved.
Although knowledge and the happiness obtained by the cultivation of knowledge are two different things, still they are one, since both knowledge and its resultant happiness are nondifferent from Brahman. Similarly, although all of Bhagavān’s incarnations are different from one another, They are one in reality.
Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda
(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)
Now in the verses starting with yathaiva, Śrī Nārada is clarifying the subject matter with another famous example. Here, the word hi signifies jñāna, or knowledge. This knowledge is distinct from knowledge obtained from the mahā-vākyas [Vedic statements designated as special by Śrīpāda Śaṅkarācārya] such as “tat tvam asi–You are that (of the same nature).” The goal of the practice of this knowledge is happiness, which is also distinct from the knowledge itself. This distinction of cause and effect can certainly be understood, and it is eternally true because it is transcendental–of the intrinsic nature of the Absolute Truth (brahma-svarūpa). But although the distinction between knowledge and happiness is real, because they are nondifferent from the Absolute, their oneness is undeniably established. As Brahman is advaya-tattva, the non-dual Absolute Reality, distinction between knowledge and happiness is invalid, because if such distinction were there, difference that destroys non-duality would arise in Brahman. In this way, nondifference and difference and the reality of knowledge and happiness are established.
Similarly, it is true that Bhagavān has one form as well as many forms. Therefore, the Varāha Purāṇa states:
न तस्य प्राकृता मूर्तिर् मांस-मेदो’स्थि-सम्भवा
न योगित्वाद् ईश्वरत्वात् सत्य-रूपो’च्युतो विभुः
na tasya prākṛtā mūrtir māṃsa-medo’sthi-sambhavā
na yogitvād īśvaratvāt satya-rūpo’cyuto vibhuḥ
None of Bhagavān’s manifestations are made from flesh, fat, bones, or anything material. Also, He does not assume His forms the way great mystics do for their own satisfaction. He is Īśvara, the Supreme Controller; therefore, all of His forms are fully sac-cid-ānanda, always existing in infallible and omnipotent Absolute Reality.
सर्वे नित्याः शाश्वताश् च देहास् तस्य परात्मनः
हानोपादान-रहिता नैव प्रक्र्तिजा क्वचित्
परमानन्दसन्दोहा ज्ञानमात्राश्च सर्वतः
सर्वे सर्वगुणैः पूर्णाः सर्वदोषविवर्जिताः
अन्यूनानधिकाश्चैव गुणैः सर्वैश्च सर्वतः
देहि-देह-भिदाचात्र नेश्वरे विद्यते क्वचित्
तत्स्वीकारादिशब्दस्तु हस्तस्वीकारवत् स्मृतः
वैलक्षण्यान्न वा तत्र ज्ञानमात्रार्थमीरितम्
केवलैश्वर्यसंयोगादीश्वरः प्रकृतेः परः
जातो गतस्त्विदं रूपं तदित्यादि-व्यवस्थितिः
sarve nityāḥ śāśvatāś ca dehās tasya parātmanaḥ
hānopādāna-rahitā naiva prakrtijā kvacit
paramānandasandohā jñānamātrāśca sarvataḥ
sarve sarvaguṇaiḥ pūrṇāḥ sarvadoṣavivarjitāḥ
anyūnānadhikāścaiva guṇaiḥ sarvaiśca sarvataḥ
dehi-deha-bhidācātra neśvare vidyate kvacit
tatsvīkārādiśabdastu hastasvīkāravat smṛtaḥ
vailakṣaṇyānna vā tatra jñānamātrārthamīritam
kevalaiśvaryasaṃyogādīśvaraḥ prakṛteḥ paraḥ
jāto gatastvidaṃ rūpaṃ tadityādi-vyavasthitiḥ
All of Bhagavān’s forms are eternal and unchanging. They never undergo diminution or growth, nor are They composed of illusory ingredients. All His forms are always full of supreme bliss and pure consciousness. They possess all auspicious qualities and are devoid of defects. As They are endowed with all transcendental qualities, there is no consideration of superior and inferior in these forms. Therefore, there is never a distinction between the body and soul (deha and dehī) of Īśvara, the Supreme Lord.
It is written in scriptures that Bhagavān accepts a body in the way that one friend extends his hand to another out of affection, and the other accepts it. This is how the Lord’s accepting a body is conceptualized. When it is said, ‘He is completely different from everyone,’ it does not mean that He is only pure knowledge. He is endowed with His power of opulence, or aiśvarya-śakti, and is therefore beyond material nature. The reason He appears in this world is to exhibit the greatness of His mercy.