Shrimad Bhagavad-gita

by Narayana Gosvami | 2013 | 327,105 words

The Bhagavad-gita Verse 11.14, English translation, including the Vaishnava commentaries Sarartha-varsini-tika, Prakashika-vritti and Rasika-ranjana (excerpts). This is verse Verse 11.14 from the chapter 11 called “Vishvarupa-darshana-yoga (beholding the Lord’s Universal Form)”

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration, Word-for-word and English translation of verse 11.14:

ततः स विस्मयाविष्टो हृष्ट-रोमा धनञ्जयः ।
प्रणम्य शिरसा देवं कृताञ्जलिर् अभाषत ॥ १४ ॥

tataḥ sa vismayāviṣṭo hṛṣṭa-romā dhanañjayaḥ |
praṇamya śirasā devaṃ kṛtāñjalir abhāṣata
|| 14 ||

tataḥ–then; saḥ–he; vismaya-āviṣṭaḥ–overwhelmed by wonder; hṛṣṭa-romāḥ–his hairs stood erect; dhanañjayaḥ–the winner of wealth (Arjuna); praṇamya–bowing down; śirasā–his head; devam–the Lord (who had manifested His universal form); kṛta-añjaliḥ–and folding his hands; abhāṣata–he addressed.

Struck by wonder, his hair standing on end, Arjuna bowed his head to offer respects, and with folded hands, he spoke the following words to Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who had assumed His universal form.

Commentary: Sārārtha-Varṣiṇī Prakāśikā-vṛtti

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

The universal form, which the Supreme Mystic Śrī Kṛṣṇa showed to Arjuna, was most astonishing, supremely resplendent, wonderful to behold and decorated with various types of celestial ornaments. It was unlimited and all-pervading. In the body of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Arjuna saw the entire universe situated in one place and divided into various forms. To remove Dhṛtarāṣṭra’s doubt that Arjuna may have run away in fear after seeing that terrifying form, Sañjaya said, “Arjuna is a great devotee who knows kṛṣṇa-tattva, the fundamental spiritual principles regarding Śrī Kṛṣṇa, and he is endowed with sattva-guṇa, the mode of goodness. He did not become fearful upon seeing that thousand-headed form of Kṛṣṇa, but instead he experienced adbhuta-rasa (devotional feelings of astonishment). Arjuna was endowed with natural fortitude, but because he was absorbed in astonishment, he fell into ecstasy. His hairs stood on end and his body trembled. Offering obeisances by bowing his head and folding his hands, he began to speak.”

Arjuna’s eyes were not closed out of fear but out of experiencing abdhuta-rasa. The universal form of Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the object (viṣaya-ālambana) of this rasa, and Arjuna is the receptacle (āśraya-ālambana). To repeatedly witness that form is an uddīpana, or stimulus for remembrance of the Lord. Paying obeisances and folding hands are anubhāvas, the physical manifestations of ecstasy while relishing the mellow of astonishment, and his hairs standing on end, etc., are bodily transformations due to spiritual rapture (sāttvika-bhāvas). Agitation of mind, fortitude, exhilaration and so forth are sañcārī-bhāvas, transitory emotions that swell up from the ocean of the sthāyī-bhāva. Here the prominent emotion (sthāyī-bhāva) is wonder (vismaya). All these ingredients combined with Arjuna’s sthāyī-bhāva to manifest vismaya-rasa.

Regarding the mellow of astonishment, adbhuta-rasa, Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī writes in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu (4.2.1):

ātmocitair vibhāvādyaiḥ svādyatvaṃ bhakta-cetasi
sā vismaya-ratir nītād-bhuto-bhakti-raso bhavet

When vismaya-rati (the mood of astonishment) becomes relishable within the heart of a devotee by mixing with the appropriate elements of vibhāva (cause, or stimulus) and so forth, which are proper and favourable to one’s own mood, it is called adbhuta-rasa (the mellow of wonder).

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