Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 9.11, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse 11 from the chapter 9 called “Raja-guhya-yoga (Yoga through the most Confidential Knowledge)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 9.11:

अवजानन्ति मां मूढा मानुषीं तनुम् ।
आश्रितम् परं भावम् अजानन्तो मम भूत-महेश्वरम् ॥ ११ ॥

avajānanti māṃ mūḍhā mānuṣīṃ tanum |
āśritam paraṃ bhāvam ajānanto mama bhūta-maheśvaram
|| 11 ||

avajānanti–show disrespect (due to their illusioned intelligence); mām–to Me; mūḍhāḥ–those without discrimination; mānuṣīm–in a human-like; tanum–form; āśritam–who has taken shelter; param–supreme; bhāvam–nature; ajānantaḥ–not knowing; mama–of My; bhūta–of all beings;mahā-īśvaram–the great Lord.

Fools whose intelligence is bewildered by illusion disrespect Me when I appear in a human-like form, being unaware of My supreme nature as the Lord of all beings.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Ṭīkā

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

Arjuna may raise the following doubt: “It is true that You are none other than Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, whose form is composed of eternality, cognizance and bliss (sac-cid-ānanda), who pervades unlimited universes, and who is famous for creating the material world by Your material energy. Some persons however, upon having darśana of Your human form as the son of Vasudeva, do not accept Your supreme position.”

To remove Arjuna’s doubt, Śrī Bhagavān speaks this verse beginning with avajānanti mām. “They deride Me only because they do not know the supreme nature of the human-like form in front of you. This svarūpa is even superior to that of great personalities like Kāraṇodakaśāyī Viṣṇu.”

“What is the nature of this svarūpa?” Bhagavān answers, “I am bhūta-maheśvaram, the great controller of bhūta (brahma), the embodiment of Truth. In other words, I am the eternal embodiment of the highest truth.” Here maheśvaram negates the possibility of another separate Truth. The Amara-koṣa (a Sanskrit dictionary) defines bhūta as a substance that is covered by earth (yukte kṣmād āvṛte bhūtam).

The Gopāla-tāpanī Śruti says, “Śrī Govinda, His form composed of sac-cid-ānanda, is sporting within groves of immortal trees in Śrī Vṛndāvana, and the Maruts (demigods of the air) and I satisfy Him with great eulogies.” Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (9.23.20) also says, “narākṛtiḥ parabrahma–the Absolute Truth appeared in a human-like form.”

“The eternal, cognizant and blissful nature (sac-cid-ānanda) of My human form is glorified only by My pure devotees who are well versed in fundamental absolute principles (tattva), which are in regard to Me, and who know that I pervade the entire universe in this body alone. This was observed by Mother Yaśodā in My childhood.”

The words paraṃ bhāvam also mean ‘supreme existence’ or ‘the pure transcendental form of eternality, cognizance and bliss’. In the Amara-koṣa, the words bhāva, svabhāva and abhiprāya are synonymous and imply ‘nature’. The word parama-bhāva (supreme nature) is also de-scribed in a more specific way in the statement mama bhūta-maheśvaram. “I am the Supreme Controller and the creator of a host of beings such as Lord Brahmā. Unlike the jīvas, the body of Me, Parameśvara, is non-different from Me. I am My body. That is, I am indeed that very same brahma. Śrī Śukadeva Gosvāmī, who knows My tattva, states: ‘He displayed a body that can only be known by the Vedas’ (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 3.21.8). Therefore, Arjuna, persons like you, who are conversant with the tattva regarding Me, have faith in this statement.”

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the origin of all viṣṇu-tattva. Nirviśeṣa-brahma, the featureless aspect of the Supreme, is described in the Upaniṣads as the bodily effulgence of Kṛṣṇa. Paramātmā, who pervades the entire universe, is Kṛṣṇa’s partial expansion. Śrī Nārāyaṇa, the Lord of Vaikuṇṭha, is His pastime potency (svāṃśa-vilāsa). Śrī Kṛṣṇa alone is the origin of all avatāras, He is the controller of all controllers and the ultimate Transcendental Reality. Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the master of all beings and the only Lord of all the universes. He is omniscient, omnipotent, greatly compassionate and capable of doing anything simply by willing. Foolish people, however, disrespect Him when they have darśana of His beautiful human-like form. They consider the form of Vasudeva-nandana or Yaśodā-nandana Kṛṣṇa to be mundane and mortal, like that of an ordinary human being. Some think that Kṛṣṇa’s body is material and perishable. They imagine His body to contain a soul, and that soul (ātmā) to be Paramātmā. Those who think like this are foolish, because scripture declares that Kṛṣṇa’s body is composed of eternality, knowledge and bliss (sac-cid-ānanda), and that there is no difference between His body and His self.

This is evident from the following quotations from different scriptures:

(1) oṃ sac-cid-ānanda-rūpāya kṛṣṇāya–Yes, let us contemplate Śrī Kṛṣṇa, whose form is imbued with eternality, cognizance and bliss (Gopāla-tāpanī Upaniṣad 1.1).

(2) tam ekaṃ govindaṃ sac-cid-ānanda-vigraham–It is He alone, Govinda, who has an eternal, cognizant and blissful form (Śruti).

(3) dvi-bhujaṃ mauna-mudrāḍhyaṃ vana-mālinam īśvaram–The Lord, while wearing a garland of forest flowers, plays His flute, enchantingly forming the mauna-mudra with His hands (Śruti).

(4) īśvaraḥ paramaḥ kṛṣṇaḥ sac-cid-ānanda-vigrahaḥ–The Supreme Lord, Īśvara, is Kṛṣṇa; His form is eternal, all-knowing and blissful (Brahma-saṃhita 5.1).

(5) apaśyaṃ gopām anipadyamānam–I saw a boy who appeared in the dynasty of cowherds and who is never annihilated (Ṛg Veda 1.22, 1.66.31).

(6) gūḍhaṃ paraṃ brahma manuṣya-liṅgam–The Supreme Lord is hidden by His accepting a human-like form (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.15.75).

(7) sākṣād gūḍhaṃ paraṃ brahma manuṣya-liṅgam–He is directly the Supreme brahma, yet He is hidden because He has a human form (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.10.48).

(8) yatrāvatīrṇo bhagavān paramātmā narākṛtiḥ–... whereupon the Supreme Lord descended in a human-like form (Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 9.23.20).

Śrī Kṛṣṇa Caitanya Mahāprabhu instructed a resident brāhmaṇa of Kāśī that Kṛṣṇa’s form and Kṛṣṇa’s name are non-different. His name, form and nature are all sac-cid-ānanda and one in tattva. There is no difference between His body and His self, His name (nāma) and the possessor of His name (nāmī). Those who think that the sac-cid-ānanda form of Kṛṣṇa is material are severe offenders. Śrī Caitanya-caritāmṛta explains that amongst all of Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s pastimes, His human-like pastimes are the best. Dressed as a cowherd boy, carrying a flute in His hand and appearing as a youthful dancer–this form is the most supreme and most endearing of all.

Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura quotes Kṛṣṇa as saying, “The essence of My statements is that My svarūpa is composed of eternality, knowledge and bliss and that My potency performs all actions by My mercy, although I am independent from those actions. It is only by My mercy and the strength of My potency that I am visible within this mundane world. I am the complete Transcendental Reality beyond all mundane rules and, even though I am the personification of the Conscious Reality, I become visible in this material world. But human beings, who are diminutive in size, give special respect to that which is immense and unmanifest. This is due to their conditioned intelligence. That feature, however, is not My supreme nature. My supreme nature is that although I am completely transcendental and have a human-like, medium sized form, by My potency, I am simultaneously all-pervading and smaller than the atom. My svarūpa is manifested by My acintya-śakti, My inconceivable potency. Those who are foolish consider My transcendental form, composed of eternality, cognizance and bliss, to be that of a human. They think that I have been forced to accept this material body by the laws of material nature and are unable to understand that I, in this very form, am the controller of all beings. Therefore, because they have a misconception about transcendental reality (avidvat-pratīti), they superimpose their limited understanding on Me. However, those

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