Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 3.11, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 11 from the chapter 3 called “Karma-yoga (Yoga through the Path of Action)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 3.11:

देवान् भावयतानेन ते देवा भावयन्तु वः ।
परस्परं भावयन्तः श्रेयः परम् अवाप्स्यथ ॥ ११ ॥

devān bhāvayatānena te devā bhāvayantu vaḥ |
parasparaṃ bhāvayantaḥ śreyaḥ param avāpsyatha || 11 ||

devān–of the demigods; bhāvayatā–by pleasing; anena–through this (sacrifice); te–those;devāḥ–demigods; bhāvayantu–should be pleased (bestowing the results); vaḥ–you; parasparam–one another; bhāvayantaḥ–pleasing; śreyaḥ–good fortune; param–supreme; avāpsyatha–you shall attain.

May you please the demigods by this sacrifice, and may they please you in turn by granting you your desired benefits. By satisfying one another in this way, you will attain supreme auspiciousness.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

(By Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura; the innermost intention of the commentary named ‘the shower of essential meanings’)

In this verse beginning with devān, Śrī Kṛṣṇa is explaining how sacrifice (yajña) can grant all that the heart desires. He says, “May you please the demigods by this yajña, and may they please you, also.” In this context the word bhāva means prīti, or ‘pleasing’.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

(By Śrīla Bhaktivedānta Nārāyaṇa Gosvāmī Mahārāja; the explanation that illuminates the commentary named Sārārtha-varṣiṇī)

In this verse, Bhagavān gives the teaching that to please the demigods, oblations of ghee are to be offered to them. This has a hidden meaning. Bhagavān is not instructing us to give up our devotional service and make sacrificial offerings to worship the demigods, as if they are independent lords. They are not independent. Śrī Viṣṇu empowers qualified living entities (jīvas) and gives them the post of protectors of the various directions. He thus maintains the universe through them. In this way, these demigods are like the limbs of Śrī Bhagavān. It is said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.11.26) “bāhavo loka-pālānām–the arms of Śrī Kṛṣṇa are the shelter for all the administrative demigods of the world.” Again it is said in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (2.1.29) “indrādayo bāhava āhur usrāḥIndra and the other demigods are the arms of the Lord’s universal form.”

Regarding the worship of Indra, it is seen in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam that the residents of Vraja used to worship him every year, but once, Śrī Kṛṣṇa asked them to worship the Govardhana mountain instead. When Indra’s arrogance was crushed, he understood, “It was due to pride in my opulence that I considered myself an independent lord. Today, You have shown me great mercy by removing my false ego. Now, having realized that I am the servant of the servant of Your servants, I surrender unto You.” From this context it is evident that the demigods who protect the various directions are the limbs of the universal form.

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