Chaitanya Bhagavata

by Bhumipati Dāsa | 2008 | 1,349,850 words

The Chaitanya Bhagavata 1.2.17, English translation, including a commentary (Gaudiya-bhasya). This text is similair to the Caitanya-caritamrita and narrates the pastimes of Lord Caitanya, proclaimed to be the direct incarnation of Krishna (as Bhagavan) This is verse 17 of Adi-khanda chapter 2—“The Lord’s Appearance”.

Bengali text, Devanagari and Unicode transliteration of verse 1.2.17:

যদা যদা হি ধর্মস্য গ্লানির্ ভবতি ভারত অভ্যুত্থানম্ অধর্মস্য তদাত্মানং সৃজাম্য্ অহম্ ॥ ১৭ ॥

यदा यदा हि धर्मस्य ग्लानिर् भवति भारत अभ्युत्थानम् अधर्मस्य तदात्मानं सृजाम्य् अहम् ॥ १७ ॥

yadā yadā hi dharmasya glānir bhavati bhārata abhyutthānam adharmasya tadātmānaṃ sṛjāmy aham || 17 ||

yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham (17)

English translation:

(17) Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself.

Commentary: Gauḍīya-bhāṣya by Śrīla Bhaktisiddhānta Sarasvatī Ṭhākura:

One should refer to Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (9.24.56), wherein Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī says to Mahārāja Parīkṣit: “Whenever the principles of religion deteriorate and the principles of irreligion increase, the supreme controller, the Personality of Godhead Śrī Hari, appears by His own will.” “I advent Myself”—in other words, to bewilder the demons I manifest Myself in this world like a created being under the clutches of the illusory energy. (Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s Sārārtha-darṣiṇī)

The word dharma refers to the dharma that is described in the Vedas. The word glāniḥ means “destroy.” The word adharma refers to that which is contrary to dharma. The word abhyutthān means “arising.” The words “I manifest” do not mean created like a material object, because I was personally present even before creation. Therefore created objects have no lordship over Me. (Baladeva Vidyābhūṣaṇa’s Gītā-bhūṣaṇa commentary)

The word adharma is explained by Nārada Muni to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira

in the Śrīmad Bhāgavatam (7.15.12-14) in the following words: “There are five branches of irreligion, appropriately known as irreligion [vidharma], religious principles for which one is unfit [para-dharma], pretentious religion [ābhāsa], analogical religion [upadharma] and cheating religion [chala-dharma]. One who is aware of real religious life must abandon these five as irreligious. Religious principles that obstruct one from following his own religion are called vidharma. Religious principles introduced by others are called para-dharma. A new type of religion created by one who is falsely proud and who opposes the principles of the Vedas is called upadharma. And interpretation by one’s jugglery of words is called chala-dharma. A pretentious religious system manufactured by one who willfully neglects the prescribed duties of his order of life is called ābhāsa [a dim reflection or false similarity]. But if one performs the prescribed duties for his particular āśrama or varṇa, why are they not sufficient to mitigate all material distresses?”

The only injunction governing My appearance is that I am independent, so I appear whenever I desire. Whenever there is a decline in religious principles and a predominant rise of irreligion, at that time I descend by My own sweet will. The regulations that govern the entire universe are beginningless. But when in due course of time these regulations become defective by some undetermined cause, irreligiousity becomes prominent. No one is able to counteract this situation other than Me. Therefore I appear in this material world along with My internal potencies in order to destroy irreligious principles. It is not that I appear only in the land of Bhārata-varṣa, but according to the need I also appear amongst the demigods and lower species. So do not think that I do not appear amongst the mlecchas and other low-born human beings. I also appear among them as a śaktyāveśa-avatāra, or empowered incarnation, to protect them and whatever little religious principles those impure persons follow. Yet I am more anxious to appear amongst My dependents in India, because varṇāśrama-dharma is followed there without obstruction. Therefore all the pleasing yuga-avatāras and aṃśa-avatāras are found only in the land

of Bhārata-varṣa. Activities performed without fruitive desire (niṣkāma- karma-yoga), philosophical speculation (jñāna-yoga), and the ultimate process of devotional service (bhakti-yoga) are not properly practiced where there is no practice of varṇāśrama-dharma. But know for certain that the traces of devotion found amongst the low-born humans are due to the mercy of the devotees. (Śrīla Bhaktivinoda’s Vidvad-rañjana commentary)

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