Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.187, 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 2.4.187 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 2.4.187:

नारायणाद् अप्य् अवतार-भावे संव्याज्यमानैर् मधुरैर् मनोज्ञैः ।
तत्-प्रेम-भक्त्य्-अर्द्र-हृद्-एक-वेद्यैर् माहात्म्य-वर्गैर् विविधैर् विशिष्टः ॥ १८७ ॥

nārāyaṇād apy avatāra-bhāve saṃvyājyamānair madhurair manojñaiḥ |
tat-prema-bhakty-ardra-hṛd-eka-vedyair māhātmya-vargair vividhair viśiṣṭaḥ || 187 ||

nārāyaṇāt–than Lord Nārāyaṇa; api–although; avatāra–of an incarnation; bhāve–in the mood; saṃvyajyamānaiḥ–manifested; madhuraiḥ–sweet; manaḥ-jñaiḥ–enchanting; tat–for Him; premabhakti–with devotion in pure love; ārdra–melting; hṛt–by the heart; eka–only; vedyaiḥ–to be experienced; māhātmya-vargaiḥ–with manifold glories; vividhaiḥ–various; viśiṣṭaḥ–distinguished.

With special, ever-increasing glories that are sweeter and more enchanting than those of the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha Śrī Nārāyaṇa, Śrī Kṛṣṇa attracts everyone’s heart and is superior to all His incarnations. But only those whose hearts have been melted with prema-bhakti can experience these glories.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Śrī Gopa-kumāra might raise the doubt, “One hears that the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha Śrī Nārāyaṇa is also avatārī, the source of all incarnations. This being so, how can we establish that Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s glories are different from and superior to the glories of Śrī Nārāyaṇa?”

In reply to this, Śrī Nārada speaks this verse beginning with nārāyaṇāt. He says, “Goloka-nātha Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s glories are superior to and more variegated than Śrī Nārāyaṇa’s. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is glorious in a super-excellent manner. The reason is that although both of Them are avatārī, Śrī Kṛṣṇa possesses avatāra-bhāva, or the mood of being an incarnation. In other words, when Goloka-nātha Śrī Kṛṣṇa descends to this world as an avatāra, He possesses complete and ever-expanding sweetness, charm, and the power to attract the hearts of all.”

Gopa-kumāra might also ask, “How can Śrī Kṛṣṇa be more glorious than all the incarnations and even avatārī Śrī Nārāyaṇa?”

Śrī Nārada replies, “Only the devotees whose hearts have melted with Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s prema-bhakti can comprehend His glories.”

The purport is that Badrī-nātha Śrī Nārāyaṇa and other expansions are incarnations, or avatāras. The Supreme Lord Vaikuṇṭha-nātha Śrī Nārāyaṇa is Parameśvara, the source of all incarnations, or avatārī. However, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is Himself both avatārī and avatāra, and in both these forms He is the supermost. As an incarnation, Śrī Kṛṣṇa displays the sweetness and loveliness of His various pastimes, and as the source of incarnations, He displays His Supreme Lordship. Śrī Kṛṣṇa simultaneously incorporates both of these aspects, and thus He is the topmost. The glories of this simultaneous display of His opulence and sweetness will be discussed further on.

Although the sweetness that arises in Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes of subduing and killing wicked demons cannot be apprehended by reason, still, when one deliberates on it, he can understand that the Lord indeed displays His great mercy in a very sweet manner through the activities of subduing the wicked. Even while dealing with the wicked, His special sweetness is never diminished. For instance, when He killed Pūtanā on the pretext of drinking her breast milk, He awarded her the eternal post of His wetnurse. If He gives His topmost mercy to the wicked, then what can be said of the mercy He bestows upon His devotees? Śrī Kṛṣṇa reciprocates with them according to their particular mellow–eating, drinking, and sleeping with them; playing the flute for them; and dancing in rāsa-līlā. All this will be discussed in more detail further on.

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