Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)

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

The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.193, 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 2.4.193 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 2.4.193:

तारतम्यं तु कल्प्येत स्व-स्व-सेवानुसारतः ।
तत्-तद्-रस-सजातीय-सुख-वैचित्र्यापेक्षया ॥ १९३ ॥

tāratamyaṃ tu kalpyeta sva-sva-sevānusārataḥ |
tat-tad-rasa-sajātīya-sukha-vaicitryāpekṣayā || 193 ||

tāratamyam–comparative gradations of higher and lower; tu–indeed; kalpyeta–one can consider; sva-sva-sevā–one’s respective service; anusārataḥ–according to; tat-tat-rasa–of the respective relationship (with the Lord); sajātīya–inborn; sukha–happiness; vaicitrī–with the devotee’s unique nature; apekṣayā–in accordance.

One infers gradation among devotees based on their respective services to the Lord and according to the different types of happiness they attain based on their loving relationship with the Lord.

Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda

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

Śrī Gopa-kumāra may ask, “If all the devotees obtain the ultimate limit of happiness allotted to their respective rasas, or loving relationships with the Lord, how can it be reasonably said that there is a hierarchy to their happiness?”

To reconcile this doubt, Nārada speaks this verse beginning with tāratamyam. He says, “Devotees experience different types of rasas, or special ecstasies, according to their respective devotional services (sevā). Therefore, one may assume that there is a gradation in the happiness they experience based on those respective rasas, but actually there is no hierarchy of happiness.

“The idea is that in performing the different aspects of bhakti such as hearing and chanting, and in lovingly engaging in direct services to Śrī Bhagavān in His abodes like Vaikuṇṭha–such as massaging His feet, arranging and decorating His hair, and guarding the gate–a particular, special love arises in the heart of the devotee for his chosen form of the Lord. In this way, each devotee obtains the ultimate happiness corresponding to his service.

“Seeing hierarchy according to respective taste among the services the devotees perform–services such as śravaṇa, kīrtana, and massaging the Lord’s lotus feet–one can assume that there are different levels of devotees and different levels of happiness. Some people think that there is also a gradation in the devotees’ worship of their particular worshipful Deities (iṣṭa-devas). However, from an impartial philosophical perspective, or tattva, one cannot accept this view because this hierarchy of happiness is based on one’s subjective opinion of the various services. In reality, there is no deficiency in regard to the happiness devotees experience in their particular rasa. As a result, because their minds are fully satisfied, they all certainly experience complete bliss. Thus it is self-evident that the conception of a gradation of happiness according to devotees’ services is a subjective assumption.”

Let's grow together!

I humbly request your help to keep doing what I do best: provide the world with unbiased sources, definitions and images. Your donation direclty influences the quality and quantity of knowledge, wisdom and spiritual insight the world is exposed to.

Let's make the world a better place together!

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: