Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.191, 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 2.4.191 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 2.4.191:

सिध्येत् तथाप्य् अत्र कृपा-महिष्ठता यत् तारतम्येऽपि निज-स्वभावतः ।
स्पर्धाद्य्-अवृत्तैर् निखिलैर् यथा-रुचि प्राप्येत सेव-सुखम् अन्त्य-सीम-गम् ॥ १९१ ॥

sidhyet tathāpy atra kṛpā-mahiṣṭhatā yat tāratamye'pi nija-svabhāvataḥ |
spardhādy-avṛttair nikhilair yathā-ruci prāpyeta seva-sukham antya-sīma-gam || 191 ||

sidhyet–it can be established; tathā api–however; atra–here; kṛpā–of mercy; mahiṣṭhatā–the supreme greatness; yat-tāratamye–in gradations of higher and lower; api–although; nija-svabhāvataḥ–according to one’s own nature; spardhā–because of rivalry; ādi–and so forth; avṛttaiḥ–without transformations; nikhilaiḥ–by all; yathāruci–according to taste; prāpyeta–one can obtain; sevā-sukham–happiness through service; antya-sīma-gam–attaining the ultimate limit.

This bestowal of results according to His devotees’ particular inclinations indeed confirms the immense glories of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s mercy. Although there is gradation in the results they receive, the devotees obtain the utmost happiness of service. Each engages in devotion according to his propensity, free from feelings such as rivalry and envy, and they inspire each other out of mutual affection.

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, “How will the glories of Śrī Bhagavān’s mercy be established if His devotees receive unequal results from their devotion?”

In reply, Śrī Nārada speaks this verse beginning with sidhyet. He says, “Bhagavān inspires different tastes in the hearts of His devotees and then grants them the distinct types of appropriate results. This does not diminish the greatness of His glories; rather, it is proof of His supreme mercy. Even though there is gradation in the fruits He bestows, the devotees still obtain the ultimate limit of the happiness of service suitable for their particular rasa, or loving relationship with Him. None of them are ever dissatisfied in their service to Bhagavān.”

Another question might arise, “Since the devotees experience different levels of happiness, it seems that, just like the residents of heaven, they may be subject to rivalry, envy, and so on. If this is the case, then will these feelings not interfere with the joy they experience in their service?”

In response, Nārada says, “It is in the inherent nature of those following the path of bhakti that any negative emotions like rivalry and envy will be completely absent, and they will naturally feel affection for each other.” Here the word ādi means that even in the beginning stages of bhakti, all defects such as arrogance and malice are destroyed due to the nature of this path. Therefore, non-envious devotees do not face any obstacle in obtaining their desired happiness.

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