Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Brief Life Sketch of Shrila Vishvanatha Cakravarti Thakura, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts).

A Brief Life Sketch of Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Thākura

The crown jewel of Śrī Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava ācāryas and the highly exalted preceptor Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura is the author of the famous Sārārtha-varṣinī commentary on Śrīmad Bhagavad-gītā. He appeared in a family of brāhmaṇas from the Rāḍhīya community of the Nadiyā district in West Bengal. He was celebrated by the name Hari-vallabha, and he had two older brothers, Rāmabhadra and Raghunātha. During his childhood, he completed his study of grammar in Devagrāma village. He then studied devotional scripture at the home of his spiritual master in the Śaiyadābāda village of the Murśidābād district. While living in Śaiyadābāda, he wrote Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu-bindu, Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi-kiraṇa and Bhāgavatāmṛta-kaṇā. Soon after, he renounced household life and went to Vṛndāvana, where he wrote many other books and commentaries.

In his commentary on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, named Sārārtha-darśinī, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura has written the following verse at the beginning of the five chapters describing Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s rāsa dance (Śrī Rāsa-pañcādhyāyī):

śrī-rāma-kṛṣṇa-gaṅgā-caraṇānnatvā gurūnuru-premnaḥ
śrīla-narottama-nātha śrī-gaurāṅga-prabhuṃ naumi

Here, the name ‘Śrī Rāma’ refers to Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura’s spiritual master, Śrī Rādhāramaṇa; ‘Kṛṣṇa’ refers to his grand spiritual master, Śrī Kṛṣṇa-caraṇa; ‘Gaṅgā-caraṇa’ refers to his great grand spiritual master, Śrī Gaṅgā-caraṇa; ‘Narottama’ refers to his great-great grand spiritual master, Śrīla Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura; and the word nātha refers to Śrīla Narottama Ṭhākura’s spiritual master, Śrī Lokanātha Gosvāmī. In this way, he offers obeisances to all those in his disciplic succession up to Śrīman Mahāprabhu.

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