by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329
The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.201, 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 2.4.201 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 2.4.201:
भक्त्य्-आनन्द-विशेषाय लीला-विग्रह-धारिणः ।
तया भगवतः शक्त्या चिद् -विलास-स्वरूपया ॥ २०१ ॥
bhakty-ānanda-viśeṣāya līlā-vigraha-dhāriṇaḥ |
tayā bhagavataḥ śaktyā cid -vilāsa-svarūpayā || 201 ||
bhakti–of devotional service; ānanda–bliss; viśeṣāya–for special; līlā-vigraha–pastime forms; dhāriṇaḥ–they accept; tayā–by that; bhagavataḥ–of the Lord; śaktyā–through the potency; cit–spiritual; vilāsa–for pastimes; sva-rūpayā–the internal.
Just to experience the special bliss of pure loving service to the Lord, devotees assume forms at will in accordance with the necessity of particular pastimes. This is arranged by Bhagavān’s internal pastime potency.
Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda
(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)
Śrī Gopa-kumāra might ask, “What is the nature of this special liberation? In reply, Nārada speaks this verse beginning with bhakti. He says, “Desiring the special bliss of service to Bhagavān, devotees assume spiritual bodies in accordance with the necessity of particular pastimes.”
But Gopa-kumāra might object, “These liberated souls have obtained oneness with Brahman. How can they assume different bodies for the sake of performing pastimes?” Śrī Nārada replies, “The devotees assume bodies by the influence of Bhagavān’s transcendental pastime potency.” This opinion clearly establishes the master/servitor, or sevya-sevaka, relationship between Bhagavān and His devotees.
Gopa-kumāra might express another doubt, saying, “If the devotees were to attain oneness with Brahman (brahma-rūpa), then they would receive only minute happiness like the liberated souls receive, no more than that. In other words, if the devotees’ forms were not condensed embodiments of sac-cid-ānanda, they would receive approximately the same amount of happiness as the liberated souls.” In this regard, the established truth is that since the devotees’ forms are actually condensed embodiments of sac-cid-ānanda, they automatically experience intense happiness much greater than that of the liberated souls. This has been explained earlier in Śrī Bṛhad-bhāgavatāmṛtam (2.2.176). The happiness of liberated souls arises from knowledge–knowledge that they are spiritual beings by nature. Therefore, the bliss they receive is minute.
In this way all opposing arguments are reconciled or harmonized.