Brihad Bhagavatamrita (commentary)
by Śrī Śrīmad Bhaktivedānta Nārāyana Gosvāmī Mahārāja | 2005 | 440,179 words | ISBN-13: 9781935428329
The Brihad-bhagavatamrita Verse 2.4.232, 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 2.4.232 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 2.4.232:
स-प्रेमका भक्तिर् अतीव-दुर्लभा स्वर्गादि-भोगः सुलभोऽभवश् च सः ।
चिन्तामणिः सर्व-जनैर् न लभ्यते लभ्येत काचादि कदापि हातकम् ॥ २३२ ॥
sa-premakā bhaktir atīva-durlabhā svargādi-bhogaḥ sulabho'bhavaś ca saḥ |
cintāmaṇiḥ sarva-janair na labhyate labhyeta kācādi kadāpi hātakam || 232 ||
sa-premakā–with love; bhaktiḥ–devotion; atīva durlabhā–extremely rare; svarga-ādi–of Svargaloka and so on; bhogaḥ–enjoyment; sulabhaḥ–easy to attain; abhavaḥ–cessation of material existence, or liberation; ca–and; saḥ–that; cintāmaṇiḥ–wish-fulfilling gem; sarva-janaiḥ–by everybody; na–not; labhyate–is obtainable; labhyeta–may be obtained; kāca-ādi–glass and so forth; kadā api–sometimes; hāṭakam–gold.
Anyone can obtain a piece of glass and sometimes a piece of gold, but not everyone can obtain a cintāmaṇi because it is most rare. Similarly, the pleasures of heaven and liberation are easily achieved, but prema-bhakti is extremely rare.
Commentary: Dig-darśinī-ṭīkā with Bhāvānuvāda
(By Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī himself including a deep purport of that commentary)
Śrī Gopa-kumāra might ask, “How did devotees like you (Śrī Nārada) attain that prema-bhakti?”
In reply, Śrī Nārada speaks this verse beginning with sa-prema. He says, “The enjoyment of heaven is easily acheived.” Here, the term Svarga (heaven) indicates that all the excellent objects for sense enjoyment are available there. The word ādi indicates bhū-svarga (heaven on the earthly plane), bila-svarga (subterranean heavenly planets, or the seven lower pātāla planets), and the abodes situated above divya-svarga (the upper heavenly planets), such as Maharloka, the planet of the sages.
He continues, “The seekers of liberation (mumukṣus) maintain that liberation is extremely difficult to achieve, but actually liberation is also easily achieved. In this connection, there is an example–enjoyment in the heavenly planets is like a piece of glass, liberation is like a piece of gold, and prema-bhakti is like a desire stone (cintāmaṇi). Just as gold is more difficult to obtain than glass, similarly, liberation is more rare than material enjoyment. With little endeavor, anyone can get a piece of glass. Gold is not as easy to procure, but with substantial effort, some are able to obtain it. The cintāmaṇi touchstone, however, is far more rare than gold. What to speak of actually obtaining a cintāmaṇi stone, hardly anyone ever even gets a chance to see it.
“The purport is that everyone can obtain the pleasures of the heavenly planets, which are comparable to common glass. Liberation cannot be had if one maintains any desire for heavenly enjoyment. Therefore, liberation is more difficult to obtain than Svarga. Finally, cintāmaṇi is far more rare than gold, and so loving devotional service has been compared to cintāmaṇi. One cannot attain prema-bhakti if there is even a scent of desire for sense gratification (bhukti) or liberation (mukti). When one abandons all types of desires, one can sometimes obtain the cintāmaṇi of prema-bhakti by the mercy of Bhagavān.”