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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Jiva Goswami > Six Sandarbhas > Tattva-sandarbha 1

Tattva-sandarbha

 

          shrikrsno jayati /

          Krishna reigns supreme!

 

1)      krishnavarnam tvisakrishnam sangopangastraparsadam  /

          yajnair sankirtanaprayair  yajanti hi sumedhasah  //

 

     "The wise worship Krishna Chaitanya, whose complexion is golden and who is accompanied by his 'limbs', 'ornaments', 'weapons', and attendants, through sacrifices consisting chiefly of congregational chanting of names and glories of the Lord."(Bh. P.11/5/32)

 

2)       antahkrishnam bahirgauram darsitangadivaibhavam

          kalau sankirtanadyaih smah krishnachaitanyam ashritah

 

     "We take refuge in Krishna Chaitanya in the kali Yuga by means of sankirtana etc.- in Him who is dark (Krishna) within and fair (Gaura) without, who revealed the opulence of His limbs and expansions etc. To people."

 

3)       jayatam mathurabhumau shrilarupasanatanau

          yau vilekhayatas tattvam jnapakau pustikam imam

 

     "May Rupa and Sanatana reign supreme in the land of Mathura, the two preceptors of the highest truth, at whose behest this book is being written."

 

4)       ko'pi tadbandhavo bhatto daksinadvijavamsajah

          vivicya vyalikhad grantham likhitad vrddhavaishnavaih

       

     "A certain friend of theirs, a Bhatta born in the line of South Indian brahmanas, has written a book after studying the writings of the eminent Vaishnavas."

 

5)       tasyadyam granthanalekham krantavyutkrantakhanditam

          paryalocyatha paryayam krtva likhati jivakah

 

     "Now, Jiva, having noticed that while some portions of this text were in proper order, others were not, and still others were missing completely, will now write it out in proper sequence."

 

6)       yat shrikrishnapadambhojabhajanaikabhilasavan

          tenaiva drsyatam etad anyasmai sapatho 'rpitah

 

     "May this book be studied by him alone whose chief desire is to worship the lotus feet of Krishna. All others are debarred."

 

7)       atha natva mantragurum gurun bhagavatarthadan

          shribhagavatasandarbham sandarbham vasmi lekhitum

 

   

     "Now, having paid homage to the Mantra-guru, the preceptors who elucidated the meaning of the Bhagavata, I wish to write this treatise, the Bhagavatasandarbha."

 

8)       yasya brahmeti samjnam kvacid api nigame yati cin-                                                                                                                                  

          matrasattapy amso yasyamsakaih svair vibhavati

          vasayann eva mayam pumams ca /

          ekam yasyaiva rupam vilasati paramavyomni nara-

          yanakhyam sa shrikrsno vidhattam svayam iha bhaga-

          van prema tatpadabhajam  //

 

     "May Krishna Whose form as consciousness without any manifest qualities is designated Brahman in certain Sruti texts, a portion of whom manifests as His own partial incarnations and rules over Maya as the Purusa, and Who in one of His principal forms, goes by the name , Narayana, and sports in Paramavyoman may that Krishna, bhagavat Himself, bestow the boon of Preman on those in this world who worship His feet."

 

9)       athaivam sucitanam shrikrishnatadvacyavacakatalaksana-

          sambandhatadbhajanalaksanavidheyasaparyayabhidheyatatp-

          remalaksanaprayojanakhyanam arthanam nirnayaya tavat

          pramanam nirniyate / tatra purusasya bhramadidosacatusta-

          yadustatvat sutaram alaukikacintyasvabhavavastusparsayog-

          yatvac ca tatpratyaksadiny api sadosani /

 

     "Now, in order to determine the meaning of those topics just alluded to, namely: the sambandha, or relationship between the topic under discussion, i.e. Krishna, and the medium through which it is expressed; the abhidheya, or means, which is the whorship of Krishna, taught in the form of scriptural injunction; and the prayojana , or goal, which is characterized by love of Krishna, the standard of valid knowledge will be duly decided.

          Since even most learned people are subject to four kinds of defects, confusion, etc., and more importantly, since they are incapable of grasping the essentially supernatural and inconceivable reality, their means of acquiring knowledge by sense-perception etc. will prove unreliable in this realm."

 

10)     tatas tani na pramananity anadisiddhasarvapurusaparam-  

          parasu sarvalaukikalaukikajnananidanatvad aprakrtavacana-

          laksano veda evasmakam sarvatitasarvasrayasarvacintyascarya-

          svabhavam  vastu vividisatam pramanam /

 

     "Therefore, realizing that these (pratyaksa etc.) cannot serve as proper means for proper knowledge, let us turn to the Vedas themselves as we seek to comprehend that reality which transcends all and yet is the substratum of all, whose nature is inconceivable and wondrous-to the Vedas, whose utterances have no earthly origin, being the source of all knowledge, both material and spiritual,and having been handed down in an unbroken line of succession from time immemorial."

 

11)     tac canumatam tarkapratisthanat ityadau

          acintyah khalu ye bhava na tams tarkena yojayet / ityadau      

sastrayonitvat ityadau srutes tu sabdamulatvat ityadau

          pitrdevamanusyanam vedas caksus tavesvara /

          sreyas tv anupalabdhe 'rthe sadhyasadhanayor api //

          ityadau ca //

 

     "This is confirmed by the following scriptural statements: Brahmasutra 2/1/11 ("If it be argued that since mere reason provides no solid ground on which to base our position, then we will find some other means of inference on which to base our position, we reply 'no, you will end up in the same difficulty'."); Mahabharata, Bhismaparvan 5/12 ("One should not apply reason to those realities which are inconceivable; for it is the essence of the inconceivable to be distinct from the things of nature."); Brahmasutra 1/1/3 ("Since the scriptures are the source [of the knowledge of brahman]."); Brahmasutra 2/1/27 ("This is verified by Sruti , since scriptures are the source [of the knowledge of brahman]."); and Bhagavata Purana 11/20/4 ("O Lord, this Veda of yours is the supreme 'eye', by virtue of which the devas, pitris, and mortal apprehend those things beyond the range of perception, regarding even the highest goal and the means of attainment.")."

 

12)     tatra ca vedasabdasya samprati dusparatvad duradhigamarthatvac ca tadarthanirnayakanam muninam api parasparavirodhad vedaru  

po vedarthanirnayakas cetihasapuranatmakah sabda eva vicaraniyah / tatra ca yo va vedasabdo natmaviditah so pi taddrstyanumeya eveti samprati tasvaiva pramotpakatvam sthitam / tathahi mahabharate manaviye ca itihasapuranabhyam vedam samupabrmhayed iti puranat puranam iti canyatra / na cavedena vedasya brmhanam sambhavati na hy aparipurnasya kanakavalayasya trapuna puranam yujyate / nanu yadi vedasabdah puranam itihasam copadatte tarthi puranam anyad anvesaniyam / yadi tu na na tarhitihasapuranayor abhedo vedena / acyate visistaikarthapratipadakapadakadambasyapauruseyatvad abhede 'pi svarakramabhedad bhedanirdeso py upapadyate / rgadibhih saman anayor apauruseyatvenabhedo madhyandinasrutav eva vyajyata evam va are 'sya mahato bhutasya nihsvasitam etad yad rgvedo yajurvedah samavedo 'tharvangirasa itihasah puranam ityadina //

 

     "And here, since the Vedas are at present difficult to go through completely (due to unavailability of complete text and decrease in human memory) and hard to comprehend-for even the sages who sought to ascertain their meaning contradict one another-we will examine sabda in the form of Itihasa and Puranas alone, both of which partake of the nature of Vedas, and serve to ascertain the meaning of the Vedas. Furthermore, those portions of the Vedas which are not known on their own can only be inferred by examining Itihasa and Puranas. For these reasons, it is evident that in the present age, Itihasa and Puranas are alone capable of generating true knowledge.

          Thus we find in the Mahabharata and Manu Smriti, "One should supplement the Vedas with Itihasa and Puranas" (M.Bh.,Adiparvan 1/267); and elsewhere," 'Purana'is so called because it completes (purana)." For just as a chipped gold bracelet cannot be filled with lead, so also the Vedas cannot be supplemented by something non-vedic.

          But then, if we accept Itihasa and Purana as Vedas, won't we have to look for a seperate book called Purana. Otherwise, Itihasa and Puranas will be considered identical with the Vedas.

          To this we reply, even though this cluster of verses (Vedas, Puranas & Itihasas), all of which propound the same specific view, admits of no distinction, insofar as all the verses have emnated from Lord, still a distinction can be made in terms of word order and accent. The identity if Itihasa and Puranas with the Rgveda etc., with respect to their transcendental origin, is expressed in the Madhyandina Sruti itself: "...in the same way, my dear, what is know as the Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda, Itihasa, Purana...has been breathed forth from that Supreme Lord" (Br.U. 2/4/10)".

 

13)     ata eva skandaprabhasakhande

          pura tapas cacarogram amaranam pitamahah /

          avirbhutas tato vedah sasadangapadakramah //

          tatah puranam akhilam sarvasastramayam dhruvam /

          nityasabdamayam punyam satakotipravistaram /

          nirgatam brahmano vaktrat tasya bhedan nibodhata //

          brahmam puranam prathamam ityadi /

          atra satakotisankhya brahmaloke prasiddheti tathoktam  /

          /trtiyaskandhe ca

          rgyajuhsamatharvakhyan vedan purvadibhir mukhaih  /

          ityadiprakarane

          itihasapuranani pancamam vedam isvarah  /

          sarvebhya eva vaktrebhyah sasrje sarvadarsanah // iti  /

          api catra saksad eva vedasabdah prayuktah puranetihasayoh  /

          anyatra ca

          puranam pancamo vedah  /

          itihasah puranam ca pancamo veda ucyate  /

          vedan adhyapayamasa mahabharatapancaman  // ityadau

          anyatha vedan ityadav api pancamatvam navakalpyeta samana-

          jatiyanivesitatvat sankhyayah  /  bhavisyapurane

          karsnam ca pancamam vedam yan mahabharatam smrtam  /

          iti / tatha ca samakauthumiyasakhayam chandogyopanisadi ca

          rfvedam bhagavo 'dhyemi yajurvedam samavedam

          atharvanam caturtham itihasam puranam pancamam

          vedanam vedam ityadi / ata eva asya mahato bhutasya

          ityadav itihasapuranayos caturnam evantarbhutatvakal-

          panaya prasiddhapratyakhyanam nirastam / tad uktam

          brahmam puranam prathamam ityadi //

 

     "Therefore, it is stated in the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana; "In ancient times, Brahma, the grandsire of the demigods, practiced severe austerities. As a result, the Vedas became manifest along with the six auxilliary branches and the pada and krama texts. Then the entire Purana, the embodiment of all the scriptures, unchanging, composed of the eternal sabda, sacred, and consisting of a hundred crores (of verses) issued forth from Brahma's mouth. Listen to the different divisions of that (Purana): the Brahma Purana is first..." (Sk.P. 2/3-5) The figure "a hundred crores" is mentioned here since that is known to be the number (of verses) which exist in Brahmaloka. And in the third skandha (of the Bhagavata): "He manifested the four Vedas, known as Rk, Yajus, Saman, and Atharvan, one after the other, from his four mouths, beginning with the one facing east." (Bh. P. 3/12/37) And in the same context:"Then, the all-seeing Lord manifested Itihasa and Puranas, the fifth Veda, from all of his mouths." (Bh. P.3/12/39) And here, the actual word "Veda" is used with reference to Itihasa and Puranas. Elsewhere we find:"The Purana is the fifth Veda;" "Itihasa and Puranas are said to be the fifth Veda;" (Bh. P.1/4/20) "He taught the vedas, with the Mahabharata as the fifth" (M.Bh., Moksadharma 340/11) etc.

          If it were not the case (that Itihasa and Puranas are Vedic in nature), then the characterization of then as the "fifth" in the preceding verses would be unwarranted, since only things of the same kind can be combined to form a single sum. It is stated in the Bhavisya Purana: "That which is known as the Mahabharata is Krishna Dvaipayana's (i.e. Vyasa's) fifth Veda" We also find in the Chandogya Upanisad of the Kauthumiya Sakha:"Sir, I have learned the Rgveda, the Yajurveda, the Samaveda, and the fourth, or Atharvaveda, as well as Itihasa and Purana, the fifth Veda among the Vedas" (Ch. U.7/1/2) Thus is refuted the well-known to be deleted belief that the terms, Itihasa and Purana, occurring in Br.U.2/4/10 refer merely to be deleted portions of the four Vedas themselves. Therefore it is stated," The Brahma Purana is first..."

 

14)     pancamatve karanam ca vayupurane sutavakyam

          itihasapurananam vaktaram samyag eva hi /       

          mam caiva pratijagraha bhagavan isvaran prabhuh //

          eka asid yajurvedas tam caturdha vyakalpayat /

          caturhotram abhut tasmims tena yajnam akalpayat //    

          adhvaryavam yajurbhis tu rgbhir hotram tathaiva ca /

          audgatram samabhis caiva brahmatvam capy atharvabhih //

          akhyanais capy upakhyanair gathabhir dvijasattamah /

          puranasamhitas cakre puranarthavisaradah //

          yac chistam tu yajurveda iti sastrarthanirnayah / iti /

          brahmayajnadhyayane ca viniyogo drsyate 'misam yad brah-

          mananitihasapuranani iti / so 'pi navedatve sambhavati / ato yad

          aha bhagavan matsye

          kalenagrahanam matva puranasya dvijottamah //

          vyasarupam aham krtva samharanmi yuge yuge / iti /

          purvasiddham eva puranam sukhasamgrahanaya samkalaya-

          miti tatrarthah / tadanantaram hy uktam

          caturlaksapramanena dvapare dvapare sada //

          tad astadasadha krtva bhurloke 'smin prabhasyate /

          adyapy amartyaloke tu satakotipravistaram //

          tadartho 'tra caturlaksah samksepena nivesitah / iti /

          atra tu yac chistam tu yajurveda ityuktatvat tasyabhidheya-

          bhagas caturlaksas tv atra martyaloke samksepena sarasamgra-

          hena nivesitah na tu racanantarena //

 

     "Suta's statement from the Vayu Purana explains why Itihasa and Puranas are considered the fifth Veda: "The almighty Lord, Bhagavan (Vyasa) appointed me to be the authoritative expounder of Itihasa and Puranas. (At first) the Yajurveda alone existed; he arranged that into four parts. The four hotrs (priests) arose within; thereby did he create yajna (sacrifice). Along with the Yajurveda came the office of the Adhvaryu priest; with the Rgveda, that of the Hotr priest; with the Samaveda, that of the Udgatr priest; and with the Atharvaveda, that of the Braman priest." (Va. P. 60/16-18) "(Then) O Best of the Twice-born, (Vyasa), skilled in the meaning of Puranas, assembled the Puranas ( and Itihasa ) by (gathering together) akhyanas, upakhyanas, and gathas. This remaining portion also falls within that (original) Yajurveda: this is the conclusion of the sacred scriptures." (Va.P. 60/21-22).

          Moreover, in the formal study of the scriptures, known as brahmayajna, the use os Itihasa and Puranas is indicated by the words "the Brahmanas, Itihasa and Purana". This would also not be possible were Itihasa and Puranas not Vedic in nature.

          Therefore Supreme Lord declares in the Matsya Purana: "O Best of the Twice-born, realizing that, in course of time, men become unable to comprehend the (original) Purana, I assume the form of Vyasa, in every age, and summarize that Purana." (Ma. P.53/8-9) That is,"For easy comprehension (of peaple), I take the already existent Purana and arrange it in a concise form." Following this it is stated: "In every Dvapara Yuga, the Purana, consisting of four laks (of verses), is divided into eighteen parts and manifested in the world of mortals. Even today, the (verses) namber a hundred croses in the world of the devas. The four laks found here represent a condensed version of that (original Purana)." (Ma. P.53/9-11)

And the fact that Suta said "This remaining portion also falls within that original Yajuveda" shows that the four laks af verses which represent the most significant portion of that (original Purana), having found their way into the world of mortals as a concise summary of the essential parts of that Purana, do not represent  a separate composition.

 

15)     tathaiva darsitam vedasahabhavena sivapuranasya

vayaviyasamhitayam

  samksipya caturo vedams caturdha vyabhajat prabhuh /

  vyastavedataya khyato vedavyasa iti smrtah //

  puranam api samksiptam caturlaksapramanatah /

  adyapy amartyaloke tu satakotipravistaram //

samksiptam iti atra teneti sesah / skandam agneyam ityadi-

samakhyas tu pravacananibandhanah kathakadivat anupurvi-

nirmananibandhana va / tasmat kvacid anityatvasravanam tv

avirbhavatirobhavapeksaya / tad evam itihasapuranayor veda-

tvam siddham / tathapi sutadinam adhikarah sakalanigamaval-

lisatphalashrikrishnanamavat / yathoktam prabhasakhande

  madhuramadhuram etan mangalam mangalanam

          sakalanigamavallisatphalam citsvarupam /

  sakrd api parigitam sraddhaya helaya va

         bhrguvara naramatram tarayet krishnanama // iti /

yatha coktam visnudharme

  rgvedo 'tha yajurvedah samavedo 'py atharvanah /

  adhitas tena yenoktam harir ity aksaradvayam // iti /

atha vedarthanirnayakatvam ca vaisnave

  bharatavyapadesena hy amnayarthah pradarsitah /   vedah pratisthitah sarve purane natra samsayah // ityadau /

kinca vedarthadipakanam sastranam madhyapatitabhyupagame

'py avirbhavakavaisistyat tayor eva vaisistyam / yatha padme

  dvaipayanena yad buddham brahmadyais tan na budhyate /

  sarvabuddham sa vai veda tad buddham nanyagocaram //

 

     The same idea is demonstrated in the Vayaviya Samhita of the Siva Purana by discussing the Puranas alongside of the Vedas: "The Lord (Vyasa) summarized the four Vedas and divided them into their four sections. Since he divided the Vedas (vyastaveda), he is remembered by posterity as 'Vedavyasa'. The Purana was also condensed into four laks (of verses). Even today,(the verses) number a hundred crores in the world of the devas." (Si.P. 1/33- 34) Here, the word "condensed" means "condensed by him (i.e. by Vyasa)". And the names "Skanda","Agneya",etc. (by which the various Puranas are known) refer either to those who first declared them, as is the case with the Kathaka etc, or to those who arreanged them. Therefore, if one sometimes hears (the Puranas) spoken of as non-eternal, it is merely with reference to the fact that they are sometimes manifest and sometimes unmanifest. Thus, the Vedic nature of Itihasa and Puranas is proved.

  Nevertheless, sutas and others are allowed access to the Puranas as they have the right to chant the name of Krishna, which represents, the choicest fruits of the creeper of all the Vedas". As declared in the Prabhasa Khanda ( of the Skanda Purana):"O Best of the Bhrgus, the name of Krishna is the sweetest of the sweet, the most auspicious of the auspicious, the choicest fruit of the creeper of all the Vedas, of the nature of pure consciousness. If sung but once, whether with devotion or with contempt, the name of Krishna will transport a mere mortal to the other shore." As stated in the Vishnu Dharma:"He who utter the two- syllabled 'Hari' reaps the fruits of the study of the Rgveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, and Atharvaveda." And the ability (of Itihasa and Puranas) to determine the meaning of the Vedas is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana: "On the pretext of describing the events of the Mahabharata, he has illustrated the meaning of the Vedas. The Vedas all find a firm resting place in the Puranas- about this there is no doubt."

  Moreover, even if (Itihasa and Puranas) are considered to belong to the class of sastras which illumine the meaning of the Vedas, still, they excel all others due to the eminence of their expounder (Vyasa). As stated in the Padma Purana, "Vyasa knows what even Brahma and the others know not. He knows all that is known, while what is known to him is beyond the reach of others"

 

16)     skande

vyasacittasthitakasad avacchinnani kanicit /

  anye vyavaharanty etany urikrtya grhad iva // iti /

tathaiva drstam shrivisnupurane parasaravakyam

  tato 'tra matsuto vyasah astavimsatime 'ntare /

  vedam ekam catuspadam caturdha vyabhajat prabhuh //

  yathatra tena vai vyasta vedavyasena dhimata /

  vedas tatha samastais tair vyasair anyais tatha maya //

  tad anenaiva vyasanam sakhabhedan dvijottama /

  caturyugesu racitan samastesv avadharaya //

  krishnadvaipayanam vyasam viddhi narayanam prabhum /   ko 'nyo hi bhuvi maitreya mahabharatakrd bhavet // iti /

skanda eva

  narayanad vinispannam jnanam krtayuge sthitam /

  kincit tad anyatha jatam tretayam dvapare 'khilam //

  gautamasya rseh sapaj jnane tv ajnanatam gate /

  sankirnabuddhayo deva brahmarudrapurahsarah //

  saranyam saranam jagmur narayanam anamayam /

  tair vijnapitakaryas tu bhagavan purusottamah //

  avatirno mahayogi satyavatyam parasarat /

  utsannan bhagavan vedan ujjahara harih svayam // iti /

vedasabdenatra puranadidvayam api grhyate / tad evam itihasa-

puranavicara eva sreyan iti siddham / tatrapi puranasyaiva

garima drsyate / uktam hi naradiye

  vedarthad adhikam manye puranartham varanane /

  vedah pratisthitah sarve purane natra samsayah //

  puranam anyatha krtva tiryagyonim avapnuyat /

  sudanto 'pi susanto 'pi na gatim kvacid apnuyat // iti /

 

16)     As stated in the Skanda Purana: " Others have borrowed bits and pieces from the ethereal realm of Vyasa's mind for their own use, just as one would remove objects from a house and use them.

  The same idea is found in the Vishnu Purana, in the words of Vyasa's father, Parasara: "Then, in this twenty-eighth Manvantara, my son, the Lord Vyasa, took the one Veda, consisting of four parts, and divided it into four. All the other 'Vyasas', and myself as well; also arrange the Vedas just as the wise Vedavyasa had arranged them. Therefore, know for certain that the different branches of the 'Vyasas'in the four yugas were created for this reason alone. O Maitreya, know that Krishnadvapayana (Vyasa) is the Lord Narayana Himself; for who on earth but He could have composed the Mabharata?" (Vi. P. 3/4/2-5)

  And in the Skanda Purana: "In the Krta Yuga, the knowledge which  had issued forth from Narayana remained intact. It became somewhat distorted in the Treta Yuga, and completely so in the Dvapara Yuga. When, due to the curse of the sage Gautama, know- ledge turned into ignorance, the bewildered demigods led by Brahma and Rudra, sought shelter with the benignant, refuge- giving Narayana, and informed Bhagavan Purusottama of their purpose in coming. And the great Yogin, the Lord Hari Himself, descended, taking birth as the son of Satyavati and Parasara, and rescued the fallen Vedas." The word "Vedas" in the preceding verse indicates both Itihasa and Puranas as well. It is thus established that the study of Itihasa and Puranas alone leads to the highest good. And of these, it is the importance of Puranas alone which is seen; for it is stated in the Narada Purana: "O Fair One (Parvati), I consider the significance of the Puranas to outweigh that even of the Vedas. The Vedas all find a firm resting place in the Puranas-about this there is no doubt. He who looks down on the Puranas will take birth in the womb of an animal, and even if well-behaved and peaceful, will find no refuge anywhere."

 

17)     skandaprabhasakhande

vedavan niscalam manye puranartham dvijottamah /

vedah pratisthitah sarve purane natra samsayah // bibhety alpasrutad vedo mam ayam calayisyati /

itihasapuranais tu niscalo 'yam krtah pura //

yan na drstam hi vedasu tad drstam smrtisu dvijah /

ubhayor yan na drstam hi tat puranaih pragiyate //

yo veda caturo vedan sangopanisado dvijah /

puranam naiva janati na ca sa syad vicaksanah //

atha purananam evam pramanye sthite 'pi tesam api samastyena-

pracaradrupatvan nanadevatapratipadakaprayatvad arvacinaih

ksudrabuddhibhir artho duradhigama iti tadavastha eva sam-

sayah/ yad uktam matsye

pancangam ca puranam syad akhyanam itarat smrtam /

sattvikesu ca kalpesu mahatmyam adhikam hareh //

rajasesu ca mahatmyam adhikam brahmano viduh /

tadvad agnes ca mahatmyam tamasesu sivasya ca /

sankirnesu sarasvatyah pitrnam ca nigadyate // iti /

atragnes tattadagnau pratipadyasya tattadyajnasyetyarthah /

sivasya ceti cakarac chivayas ca / sankirnesu sattvarajastamo-

mayesu kalpesu bahusu / sarasvatyah nanavanyatmakatad-

upalaksitaya nanadevataya ityarthah / pitrnam karmana pitr-

lokah iti srutes tatprapakakarmanam ityarthah //

 

17)  As stated in the Prabhasa Khanda of the Skanda Purana: "O Best of the Twice-born, I consider the significance of the Puranas to be unchanging, like that of the Vedas. The Vedas all find a firm resting place in the Puranas-about this there is no doubt. The Veda is afraid of those of little knowledge, thinking 'They will twist my meaning'; and so the meaning of the Veda was fixed in ancient times by means of Itihasa and Puranas. For what is not found in the Vedas, O Twice-born, is found in Smrti; and what is not found in either, is related in the Puranas. He who know the four Vedas, together with the Vedangas and Upanisads, without knowing the Puranas, is not to be thought of as wise." (Sk.P.2/90-93)

But now, even though the authoritative nature of Puranas has been thus established, the same doubt still remains i-e. Since the Puranas are also not avaible in their entirety, and since they are chiefly concerned with establishing the superiority of various deities, their meaning is also difficult to comprehend for modern man of meagre intelligence. As stated in the Matsya Purana:"A Purana should consist of five parts, as apposed to an Akhyana. The glory of Hari is greater in sattvika scripture; the glory of Brahma is greater in rajasika scriptures; and that of Agni and Siva greater in tamasika scriptures. In mixed scriptures the glory of Sarasvati and the pitrs is said to be greater." (Ma.P. 190/13-14)

The name "Agni" in the preceding verse refers to the various yajnas which are offered in the different fires. The conjunction ca in the phrase sivasya ca indicates that Siva's consort, Parvati is also meant. The term "mixed kalpas" refers to the many scriptures composed of sattva, rajas, and tamas. "Sarasvati" refers to various deities indicated by Sarasvati, who is the embodiment of various words. And the pitrs refers to the sacrificial acts which lead to the attainment of the world of the forefathersm, as declared in Sruti :"Through karman one attains Pitrloka." (Br.U.1/5/16)

18)  tad evam sati tattatkalpakathamayatvenaiva matsya eva

prasiddhanam tattatpurananam vyavastha jnapita taratamyam

tu katham syat yenetaranirnayah kriyeta / sattvaditaratamye-

naiveti cet sattvat samjayate jnanam iti sattvam yad brahma-

darsanam iti nyayat sattvikam eva puranadikam paramartha-

jnanaya prabalam ity ayatam/ tathapi paramarthe 'pi nana-

bhangya vipratipadyamananam samadhanaya kim syat / yadi

sarvasyapi vedasya puranasya carthanirnayaya tenaiva shribhaga-

vata vyasena brahmasutram krtam tadavalokanenaiva sarvo

'rtho nirneya ity ucyate tarhi nanyasutrakaramunyanugatair

manyeta / kincatyantagudharthanam alpaksaranam tatsutra-

nam anyarthatvam kascid acaksita tatah katarad ivatra sama-

dhanam / tad eva samadheyam yady ekatamam eva purana-

laksanam apauruseyam sastram sarvavedetihasapurananam

arthasaram brahmasutropajivyam ca bhavad bhuvi sampurnam

pracaradrupam syat/ satyam uktam yata eva ca sarvapramana-

nam cakravartibhutam asmadabhimatam shrimadbhabavatam

evodbhavitam bhavata //

 

18)  This being the case, the categories into which the various well-known Puranas fall are described in the Matsya Purana itself, based solely on stories concerning the different kalpas; but what means can be adopted by which the relative importance of these Puranas can be determined ? If we base our decision on the relative importance of the three gunas, sattva,rajas and tamas, then, on the strength of such statements as "From sattva comes knowledge" (Bh. G. 14/17) and "Sattva is the basis for the realization of brahman", we will have to conclude that only sattvika Puranas etc. are capable of leading us to the highest truth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

  But then (it might be asked), how can you reconcile the diver- gent views which are propounded by means of various specious arguments  with regard even to the highest truth? If you propose that the entire significance can be determined merely by studyin the Brahmasutra, composed by the Lord Vyasa himself in order to fix the meaning of all the Vedas and Puranas, the followers of the other sages who wrote sutra texts will not accept your proposal. Furthermore, someone might interpret the significance of these cryptic and terse sutras in a distorted manner; how then can one know which one represents the correct interpretation? This issue could be settled once and for all if only you could point to one among the many scriptures, which exhibits the characteristics of a Purana, is divinely composed, represents the essence of all the Vedas, Itihasa, and Puranas, is based on the Brahmasutra, and is available throughout the land in its complete form.

  Well said! (we reply), for you have just described the very Bhagavata Purana which we consider to be the sovereign ruler of all pramanas.

 

19)  yat khalu sarvapuranajatam avirbhavya brahmasutram

ca praniyapy aparitustena tena bhagavata nijasutranam akrtri-

mabhasyabhutam samadhilabdham avirbhavitam yasminn eva

sarvasastrasamanvayo drsyate sarvavedarthasutralaksanam gayatrim adhikrtya pravartitatvat / tatha hi tatsvarupam matsye

  yatradhikrtya gayatrim varnyate dharmavistarah /

  vrtrasuravadhopetam tad bhagavatam isyate //

  likhitva tac ca yo dadyad dhemasimhasamanvitam /

  prausthapadyam paurnamasyam sa yati paramam gatim /

  astadasasahasrani puranam tat prakirtitam // iti /

atra gayatrisabdena tatsucakaradavyabhicaridhimahipada-

sambalitatadartha evesyate / sarvesam mantranam adirupayas

tasyah saksatkathananarhatvat / tadarthata ca janmadyasya

yatah tene brahma hrda iti sarvalokasrayatvabuddivrttiprera-  

katvadisamyat / dharmavistara ity atra dharmasabdah para-

madharmaparah dharmah projjhitakaitavo 'tra paramah ity

atraiva pratipaditatvat / sa ca bhagavaddhyanadilaksana eveti

purastad vyaktibhavisyati //

 

19)  Even after manifesting the complete body of Puranas, and composing the Brahmasutra, Bhagavan Vyasa was still not content, and so gave form to that which serves as a natural commentary on his own Brahmasutra, which was revealed to him in samadhi (see pp.63,64), and which alone illustrates the common significance of all the scriptures, as seen in the fact that it begins by referring to the Gayatri, characterized as a concise statement of the significance of all the Vedas. For its true nature has thus been described in the Matsya Purana: "That is to known as the Bhagavata, which, basing itself on the Gayatri, describes dharma in all its fullness, and which narrates the slaying of the asura Vrtra. Whosoever will make a copy of this Bhagavata and offer it away, mounted on a throne of gold on the full moon day of Bhadra month, will attain the supreme goal. This Purana is said to contain eighteen thousand (verses)." (Ma.P.53/20,22)

  The word gayatri in the preceding verse refers to the word 'dhimahi', which is always found in gayatri and thus seves as an indicator of gayatri, and the complete meaning of gayatri;for an outright quotation of this mantra, which is the prototype of all mantras, would not have been proper. The fact that the Bhagavata has the same significance as that of the Gayatri is seen in the phrases janmadyasya yatah ("from whom comes the origin etc. of the universe") and tene brahma hrda ("who revealed the Veda [to the creator Brahma] through his heart') (Bh.P.1/1/1), which form identical explanations regarting the substratum of the entire universe  and the ability to inspire the workings of the intellect, with those of the Gayatri. The word dharma in the phrase dharmavistarah signifies the "supreme dharma", for it is declared in the Bhagavata itself:"The supreme dharma, devoid of all ulterior motives, is found in this Bhagavata." (Bh.P.1/1/2/) And it will be made clear in a subsequent section that dharma is characterized only by such practices as contemplation etc. of Personality of Godhead.

 

20)  evam skande prabhasakhande ca

   yatradhikrtya gayatrim ityadi /

     sarasvatasya kalpasya madhye ye syur naramarah /

   tadvrttantodbhavam loke tac ca bhgavatam smrtam //

          likhitva tac ca ityadi ca /

   astadasasahasrani puranam tat prakirtitam // iti / tad evam agnipurane ca vacanani vartante / tikakrdbhih pra-

manikrte puranantare ca

          grantho 'stadasasahasro dvadasaskandhasammitah /

            hayagrivabrahmavidya yatra vrtravadhas tatha //

          gayatrya ca samarambhas tad vai bhagavatam viduh //

atra hayagrivabrahmavidya iti vrtravadhasahacaryena narayana-

varmaivocyate / hayagrivasabdenatrasvasira dadhicir evocyate /

tenaiva ca pravartita narayanavarmakhya brahamavidya / tasya-

svasirastvam ca sasthe yad va asvasiro nama ity atra prasid-

dham narayanavarmano brahmavidyatvam ca

  etac chrutva tathovaca dadhyann atharvanas tayoh /

  pravargyam brahmavidyam ca satkrto 'satyasankitah //

iti svamitikotthapitavacanena ceti / shrimadbhagavatasya bhaga-

vatpriyatvena bhagavatabhistatvena ca paramasattvikatvam /

yatha padme ambarisam prati gautamaprasnah

  puranam tvam bhagavatam pathase purato hareh /

  caritam daityarajasya prahladasya ca bhupate //

tatraiva vyanjulimahatmaye tasya tasminn upadesah

  ratrau tu jagarah karyah srotavya vaisnavi katha /

  gita namasahasram ca puranam sukabhasitam /

  pathitavyam prayatnena hareh santosakaranam //

tatraivanyatra

  ambarisa sukaproktam nityam bhagavatam srnu /

  pathasva svamukhenapi yadicchasi bhavaksayam //

skande prahladasamhitayam dvarakamahatmye

  shrimadbhagavatam bhaktya pathate harisannidhau /

  jagare tatpadam yati kulavrndasamanvitah /

 

20)  Thus, we also find in the Skanda Purana, Prabhasa Khanda: "That is to be known as the Bhagavata which, basing itself on the Gayatri, describes dharma in all its fullness, and which narrates the slaying of the asura Vrtra. And that is known in the world as the Bhagavata which has its origin in tales concerning the gods and men who live in the Sarasvata Kalpa. Whosoever will make a copy of this Bhagavata and offer it away, mounted on a throne of gold on the full moon day of Bhadra month, will attain the supreme goal. This Purana is said to contain eighteen thousand (verses)." (Sk.P.2/39-42) And these same lines are found in the Agni Purana as well.

  And in another Purana cited by the commentator (Shridhara): "That is known as the Bhagavata which contains descriptions of the Brahmavidya of Hayagriva and accounts of the slaying of Vrtra, which opens with reference to the Gayatri, and which consist of twelve skandhas and eighteen thousand (verses)." And the fact that the term "Hayagrivabrahmavidya" from the preceding verse occurs alongside of the phrase "the slaying of Vrtra" shows that the reference is to "Narayanavarman" (the armor of Narayana). The name "Hayagriva" in this verse refers to the horseheaded Dadhici, who inaugurated the knowlodge of brahman known as "Narayanavarman". The fact that he bore the head of a horse is established in the sixth skandha (Bh.P.6/9/52) with the phrase "having the name 'Asvasiras' ('Horse-headed')"; and the fact that "Narayanavarman" signifies "Brahmavidya" is indicated in the verse cited by Shridhara in his commentary on Bh.P.6/9/52: "Hearing this, Dadhici, the son of Atharvan, having been respectfully received by the twin Asvins, instructed them in the Pravargya ceremony and the Brahmavidya, fearful of breaking his promise to them."

   Since the Bhagavata is dear to the Lord, and cherished by his devotees, it is the most sattvika (of Puranas). As stated in Gautama's question to Ambarisa in the Padma Purana:"O King, do you recite the Bhagavata in front of Hari, containing accounts of the King of Daityas (Hiranyakasipu) and (his son) Prahlada?" (Pa.P., Uttara Khanda 22/115)

  In the same section, Gautama instrcts Ambarisa in the greatness of the Vyanjuli vow: "One should remain awake throughout the night (of the 'Vyanjuli Mahadvadasi) and listen to compositions concerning Vishnu: the Bhagavadgita, the Thousand Names of Vishnu, and the Purana taught by Suka (the Bhagavata). These bring contentment to Hari, and should be recited with great care."

  Elsewhere in the same section; "O Ambarisa, if you wish to put an end to the cycle of birth and death, listen daily to the Bhagavata taught by Suka, and recide it also with your own lips."

  And in the Dvarakamahatmya from the Prahlada Samhita of the Skanda Purana: "He who remains aweke (on the 'Harivasara'),and recites the Bhagavata with devotion, in the presence of Hari, attains the abode of Vishnu, together with his entire family."

 

21)  garude ca

                                  purnah so 'yam atisayah /

          artho 'yam brahmasutranam bharatarthavinirnayah //

          gayatribhasyarupo 'sau vedarthaparibrmhitah /

          purananam samarupah saksadbhagavatoditah //

          dvadasaskandhayukto 'yam satavicchedasamyutah /

          grantho 'stadasasahasrah shrimadbhagavatabhidhah // iti /

brahmasutranam arthas tesam akrtrimabhasyabhuta ityarthah /

purvam suksmatvena manasy avirbhutam tad eva samksipya

sutratvena punah prakatitam pascad vistirnatvena saksac chri- bhagavatam iti / tasmat tadbhasyabhute svatahsiddhe tasmin    

saty arvacinam anyad anyesam svasvakapolakalpitam tadanu-

gatam evadaraniyam iti gamyate / bharatarthavinirnayah

  nirnayah sarvasastranam bharatam parikirtitam  //

  bharatam sarvavedas ca tulam aropitah pura /

  devair brahmadibhih sarvair rsibhis ca samanvitaih //

  vyasasyaivajnaya tatra tv atyaricyata bharatam /

  mahattvad bharavattvac ca mahabharatam ucyate //

ityadyuktalaksanasya bharatasyarthavinirnayo yatra sah / shri-

bhagavaty eva tatparyam tasyapi / tad uktam moksadharme

narayaniye shrivedavyasam prati janamejayena

  idam satasahasrad dhi bharatakhyanavistarat /

  amathya matimanthena jnanodadhim anuttamam //

  navanitam yatha dadhno malayac candanam yatha /

  aranyam sarvavedebhya osadhibhyo 'mrtam yatha //

  samuddhrtam idam brahman kathamrtam idam tatha /

taponidhe tvayoktam hi narayanakathasrayam // iti //

 

21)  And in the Garuda Purana: "This composition is exceedingly perfect. It contains the meaning of the Brahmasutra and determines the meaning of the Mhabharata. It functions as a commentary on the Gayatri and fortified the meaning of the Vedas. It is the Samaveda of Puranas, declared by Bhagavat himself. It contains twelve skandhas, numerous vicchedas, and eighteen thousand (verses), and goes by the names Shrimadbhagavata."

  "It caontains the meaning of the Brahmasutra": That is, it represents a natural commentary on the sutras. Previously, it had been revealed in the heart (of Vyasa) in a subtle form; that was then summarized and made manifest in the form of sutras. Later, that appeared in its expanded form as the Bhagavata itself. Therefore, since the Bhagavata represents a self-revealed commentary on the Brahmasutra, it follows that only those modern, self- styled commentaries which are in consonance with the Bhagavata are to be respected. "It determines the meaning of the Mahabharata": That is, it contains the determination of the meaning of that Mahabharata which is characterized as follows: "The Mahabharata is extolled as determining the significance of all the sciptures. In olden times, Brahma and the other devas, along with all the rsis, gathered together at the command of Vyasa, and weighed the Mahabharata against all the Vedas. The scales tipped in favor of the Mahabharata. (Therefore) because of its greatness (mahattva) and its heaviness (bharavattva), it is known as the Mahabharata."

  The import of the Mahabharata is explained in Shrimad Bhagavatam. And the meaning of both revolves around Lord alone. Thus, the following verses are uttered by Janamejaya to Vyasa in the Narayaniya section of the Moksadharma (Mahabharata): "O Brahmana, O Treasure-house of austerities, just as fresh butter is extracted from curds and sandalwood from the Malaya mountans the Upanisads from all the Vedas and the nectar from herbs, so too, by churning the ocean of the highest wisdom with the churning rod of knowledge, have these nectar-like words which you have uttered, based on stories concerning Narayana, been extracted from the legends found in the Mahabharata, strewn throughout these hundred thousand verses." (M.Bh., Moksa-dharma 170/11-14)

 

22)  tatha ca trtiye

          munir vivaksur bhagavadgunanam

                      sakhapi te bharatam aha krishnah /

          yasmin nrnam gramyasukhanuvadair

                      matir grhita nu hareh kathayam // iti//

 

22)     So also in the third (skandha): " ( O Maitreya even your friend, the sage Krishna Dvaipavana (Vyasa) felt a desire to describe the virtues of Lord, and so narrated the Mahabharata, in which the hearts of men are drawn towards stories concerning Hari, through repeated accounts of lower pleasures."

 

22a)  gayatribhasyarupo 'sau / tathaiva hi visnudharmot-

taradau tadvyakhyane bhagavan eva vistarena pratipaditah /

atra janmadyasya ity asya vyakhyanam ca tatha darsayis-

yate / vedarthaparibrmhita / vedarthasya paribrmhanam

yasmat / tac coktam itihasapuranabhyam ityadi / purananam samarupah / vedesu samavat sa tesu srestha ityarthah / ata

eva skande

  sataso 'tha sahasrais ca kim anyaih sastrasamgrahaih /

  na yasya tisthate gehe sastram bhagavatam kalau //   katham sa vaisnavo jneyah sastram bhagavatam kalau /

  grhe na tisthate yasya sa viprah svapacadhamah //

  yatra yatra bhaved vipra sastram bhagavatam kalau /

  tatra tatra harir yati tridasaih saha narada //

  yah pathet prayato nityam slokam bhagavatam mune /

  astadasapurananam phalam prapnoti manavah // iti /

satavicchedasamyutah/pancatrimsadadhikasatatrayadhyaya-

visista ityarthah / spastartham anyat / tad evam parama-

rthavivitsubhih shribhagavatam eva sampratam vicara-

niyam iti sthitam /

 

  22a) "It functions as a commentary on the Gayatri": For it is so explained in those sections of the Vishnudharmattara etc. which contain expositions on the Gayatri, that Lord alone is described in detail (in the Gayatri). A similar explanation will also be given  in this regard in the commentary on Bh. P. 1/1/1.

  "It fortifies the meaning of the Vedas": That is, by virtue of the Bhagavata, the meaning of the Vedas is fortified. Therefore it is said, "One should supplement the Vedas with Itihasa and Purana." (M.Bh., Adiparvan 1/267)

  "It is the Samaveda of Puranas": That is, Just as the Samaveda is the most perfect of Vedas, so is the Bhagavata the most perfect of Puranas. Therefore, we find in the Skanda Punara:"If the Bhagavata is not kept in one's house in the Kali Yuga, of what avail are collections of other scriptures by the hundreds and thousands? How can he be condidered a Vaishnava who, in the Kali Yuga, does not keep the Bhagavata in his house? Even if he is a brahmana, he is lower than an outcaste. O Narada, O Sage,wherever the Bhagavata is found in the Kali Yuga, there Hari goes together with all the demigods. O Muni, that pius soul who daily recites a verse from the Bhagavata reaps the fruits of the eighteen Puranas." (Sk P.,Vishnu Khanda 16/40,42,44,331)

  "It contains sata vicchedas": That is, it is characterized as having 335 adhyayas. The meaning of the rest is clear. It is therefore thus established that in the present age, those seeking to know the highest truth need only study the Bhagavata Purana.

 

  22b)  hemadrer vratakhande

  strisudradvijabandhunam trayi na srutigocara /

  karmasreyasi mudhanam sreya evam bhaved iha /

  iti bharatam akhyanam krpaya munina krtam //

iti vakyam shribhagavatiyatvenotthapya bharatasya vedartha-

tulyatvena nirnayah krta iti tanmatanusarena tv evam vyakhye-

yam bharatarthasya vinirnayah vedarthatulyatvena visisya

nirnayo yatreti / yasmad evam bhagavatparas tasmad eva yatra-

dhikrtya gayatrim iti krtalaksanashrimadbhagavatanama gran-

thah shribhagavatparaya gayatrya bhasyarupo 'sau / tad

uktam yatradhikrtya gayatrim ityadi / tathaiva hy agnipurane

tasya vyakhyane vistarena pratipaditah / tatra tadiyavyakhya-

digdarsanam yatha

  taj jyotih paramam brahma bhargas tejo yatah smrtah //

ity arabhya punar aha

  taj jyotir bhagavan visnur jagajjanmadikaranam//

  sivam kecit pathanti sma saktirupam vadanti ca /

  kecit suryam kecid agnim daivatany agnihotrinah //   agnyadirupo visnur hi vedadau brahma giyate / iti /

atra janmadyasya ity asya vyakhyanam ca tatha darsayisyate /

kasmai yena vibhasito 'yam ity upasamharavakye ca tac chud-

dham ityadi samanam evagnipurane tadvyakhyanam /

  nityam suddham param brahma nityabhargam adhisvaram //

  aham jyotih param brahma dhyayema hi vimuktaye // iti//

atraham brahmeti nadevo devam arcayet iti nyayena yogya-

tvaya svasya tadrktvabhavana darsita / dhyayemeti aham tavat

dhyayeyam sarve ca vayam dhyayemetyarthah / tad etanmate tu

mantre 'pi bhargasabdo 'yam adanta eva syat / supam suluk

ityadina chandasasutrena tu dvitiyaikavacanasyamah subhavo

jneyah / yat tu dvadase om namas te ityadigadyesu tadartha-

tvena suryah stutah tat paramatmadrstyaiva na tu svatantrye-

nety adosah / tathaivagre shrisaunakavakyam

  bruhi nah sraddadhananam vyuham suryatmano hareh //

iti / na casya bhargasya suryamandalamatradhisthanatvam /

mantre varenyasabdena atra ca granthe parasabdena paramai-

svaryaparyantataya darsitatvat / tad evam agnipurane 'py

uktam

  dhyanena puruso 'yam ca drastavyah suryamandale /

  satyam sadasivam brahma tad visnoh paramam padam //iti/

trilokijananam upasanartham pralaye vinasini surya-

mandale cantaryamitaya pradurbhuto 'yam puruso dhyanena

drastavya upasitavyah / yat tu visnos tasya mahavaikuntharu-

pam paramam padam tad eva satyam kalatrayavyabhicari sada-

sivam upadravasunyam yato brahamasvarupam ityarthah /

tad etadgayatrim procya puranalaksanaprakarane yatradhikrtya

gayatrim ityady apy uktam agnipurane / tasmat

  agneh puranam gayatrim sametya bhagavatparam /

  bhagavantam tatra matva jagajjanmadikaranam //

  yatradhikrtya gayatrim iti laksanapurvakam /

  shrimadbhagavatam sasvat prthvyam jayati sarvatah //

tad evam asya sastrasya gayatrim adhikrtya pravrttir darsita /

yat tu sarasvatakalpam adhikrtyeti purvam uktam tac ca gaya-

trya bhagavatpratipadakavagvisesarupasarasvatitvad upayuk-

tam eva / yad uktam agnipurane

  gayaty ukthani sastrani bhargam pranams tathaiva ca //

  tatah smrteyam gayatri savitri yata eva ca /

  prakasini sa savitur vagrupatvat sarasvati // iti /

atha kramaprapta vyakhya vedarthaparibrmhita iti / vedartha-

nam paribrmhanam yasmat tac coktam itihasapuranabhyam

iti / purananam samarupa iti vedesu samavat puranesu srestha

ityarthah / puranantaranam kesamcid apatato rajastamasi jusa-

manais tatparatvapratitatve 'pi vedanam kandatrayavakyaika-

vakyatayam yatha samna tatha tesam shribhagavatena prati-

padye shribhagavaty eva paryavasanam iti bhavah / tad uktam

  vede ramayane caiva purane bharate tatha /

  adav ante ca madhye ca harih sarvatra giyate // iti/

pratipadayisyate ca tad idam paramatmasandarbhe / saksad-

bhagavatodita iti kasmai yena vibhasito 'yam ity upasamhara-

vakyanusarena jneyam / satavicchedasamyuta iti vistarabhiya

na vivriyate / tad evam shrimadbhagavatam sarvasastracakra-

vartipadam aptam iti sthite hemasimhasamanvitam ity atra

hemasimhasanam arudham iti tikakarair yad vyakhyatam tad

eva yuktam / atah shrimadbhagavatasyaivabhyasavasyakatvam sresthatvam ca skande nirnitam

  sataso 'tha sahasrais ca kim anyaih sastrasamgrahaih / tad

evam paramarthavivitsubhih shribhagavatam eva sampratam

vicaraniyam iti sthitam //

 

22b)  The following Bhagavata verse, quoted in the Vrata Khanda (of the Caturvargacintamani) of Hemadri determines the meaning of the Mahabharata to be equivalent to that of the Vedas: "The sage Vyasa compassionately composed the epic, Mahabharata, with the idea in mind that it would lead to the welfare of women, sudras, and fallen Twice-born who are not entitled to hear the three Vedas, and are thus deluded as to what action would lead to their ultimate good." (Bh.P.1/4/25) Thus, according to this view, the phrase "it determines the meaning of the Mhabharata" should be interpreted to mean "the meaning of the Mahabharata is determined in the Bhagavata as being equivalent to that of the Vedas."

  Since the composition known as the Shrimadbhagavatam and characterized by the phrase "based on the Gayatri" is thus concerned with Lord alone, it may be said to serve as a commentary on the Gayatri which is itself concerned solely with Lord. Therefore it is stated, "That is to be known as the Bhagavata which, basing itself on the Gayatri, describes dharma in all its fullness..." A similar detailed explanation is presented in the expository account of the Gayatri found in the Agni Purana. A brief survey of that account is given below.

  "That 'light' (mentioned in the Gayatri) is the supreme brahman, for the word bhargas indicates the light of consciousness." (Ag.P.216/3) He continues, "That 'light is Lord, Vishnu, the source of the origin, preservation, and dissolution of the universe. There are some who repeat the name 'Siva' (in place of 'Vishnu'), some Sakti', 'Surya', or that of other deities, while the Agnihotr priests repeat the name 'Agni'. Verily it is Vishnu who has assumed the form of Agni and the rest, and is praised in the Vedas etc. as brahman." (Ag.P.216/7-9)

  A similar explanation will also be given in this regard in the commentary on Bh.P.1/1/1. And in the concluding section of the Bhagavata, the final line of verse 12/13/19, beginning tac chuddham, is identical in import with the explanation of the Gayatri found in the Agni Purana: "Let us meditate on the eternal, pure, supreme brahman, the everlasting lignt, and the highest Lord, (thinking) 'I am the light, the supreme brahman, in order to attain liberation." (Ag.P. 216/6,7) Here, the phrase "I am brahman" indicates a kind of meditation in which one assumes an attitude of identity between oneself and brahman in order to be fit for worship according to the principle "One who is not himself divine may not worship the divine." The verb dhyayema ("Let us meditate") means "May I, and all of us as well, meditate."

  But then, on the strengh of this verse, one would expect to find the adanta stem, in the Gayatri as well. This can be explained, however, with the help of Panini Sutra 7/1/39 Supam Suluk as an instance of a Vedic irregularity in which the singular accusative ending am is resplaced by the ending su.

  And in the prose passages which praise the sun as the object of worship in the Gayatri (Bh.P.12/6/67-69), the sun should not be veiwed as an independent entity, but rather as indicating paramatman, rendering those passages free from blemish. The words of Saunaka at the end of the Bhagavata are similarly to be undersood: "Tell us, who are full of faith, of hte manifestations of Hari, in te form of the sun." (Bh.P.12.11.28)

  And the 'light'(mentioned in the Gayatri) does not refer to that which dwells in the physical sun alone, for, as indicated by the word varenya ("most execellent") from the Gayatri and the word para ("supreme") from the Bhagavata (1/1/1 and 12/13/19), its application extends as far as the majesty of isvara. Therefore it is stated in the Agni Purana "Through maditation, the purusa can be seen dwelling in the disc of the sun. (But) the Supreme abode of Vishnu, Brahman, is alone real and, ever auspicius. (Ag.P. 216/16, 17) That is, through meditation, the purusa, who manifests the indweller within the disc of the sun, which will itself perish at the time of dissolution, so that the inhabitants of the three worlds may worship him, can be seen, i.e. worshipped. But the supreme sbode of Vishnu, in the form of Vaikuntha, is alone real, unchanging in the past, present, and future, free from au disturbances, since it partakes of the nature of Brahman.

  After thus explainig the Gayatri, the Agni Purana also makes use of the verse beginning yatradhikrtya gayatrim (Ag.P.272/6) in the section which deals with the characteristics of Puranas. Thus we find the following verses: "The Agni Purana considers the Gayatri to be concerned with Lord alone, who is held therein to be the source of the origin, preservation, and dissolution of the universe. The Bhagavata, characterized by th phrase, 'based on the Gayatri', ever flourishes throughout the casth." Thus is the origin of the Bhagavata demonstrated to be based on the Gayatri.

  And the earlier statement regarding the Sarasvata Kalpa is also appropriate since Sarasvati, whose distinguishing characteristic is speech illustrative of Lord, represents the essence of the Gayatri. As stated in the Agni Purana, "It is called Gayatri since it sings (gayati), or reveals, Vedic text, scriptures, the divine light, and the vital forces. It is called Savitri (the daughter of the sun) since it has the power of enlightening. And since speech represents the essence of the sun, it is also called Sarasvati." (Ag.P. 216/1,2)

  Now the next phrase will be explained. "It fortifies the meaning of the Vedas" : That is, by virtue of the Bhagavata, the meaninig of the Vedas is fortified. Therefore it is said, "One should supplement the Vedas with Itihasa and Puranas." (M.Bh.,Adiparvan 1/267)

  "It is the Samaveda of Puranas": That is, just as the Samaveda is the  most perfect of Vedas, so is the Bhagavata the most perfect of Puranas. For just as the Samaveda brings out the one common theme running through the three kandas of the Vedas (karmakanda, upasanakanda, and jnanakanda), so does the Bhagavata demostrate the fact that some of the other Puranas which occasionally seen to partake of the nature of rajas and tamas, and do not appear to be concerned with Lord ultimately find their resolution in Lord alone, as presented in the Bhagavata. Therefore it is said, "In the Vedas, Ramayana, Puranas, and Mahabharata, Hari is everywhere praised, in the beginning, the middle, and the end." The truth of this statement will be demonstrated in the Paramatmasandarbha.

  "Spoken by the Lord Himself": This is to be understood in accordance with the concluding words of the Bhagavata: "Let us meditate on the Lord, who revealed the Bhagavata to Brahma..." (Bh.P.12/13/19)

  "It contains sada vicchedas": This phrase will not be discussed, out of fear of unduly lengthening this text. Thus, Shridhara's interpretation of the phrase hemasimhasamanvitam as meaning "mounted on a throne of gold" is fitting indeed, for as has just been demonstrated, the Bhagavata occupies the position of sovereign ruler of all scriptures. Consequently, both the superiority of the Bhagavata, and the need for its repeated study are established in the Skanda Purana: "Of what avail are collections of other scriptures by the hundreds and thousands...?(Sk.P.16/40) It is therefore thus established that in the present age those seeking to know the highest truth need only study the Bhagavata Purana.

 

23) ata eva satsv api nanasastresv etad evoktam

   kalau nastadrsam esa puranarko 'dhunoditah / iti/

arkatarupakena tadvina nanyesam nanyesam samyagvastuprakasa-

katvam iti pratipadyate / yasyaiva shrimadbhagavatasya

bhasyabhutam shrihayasirsapancaratre sastraprastave gani- 

tam tantrabhagavatabhidham tantram / yasya saksac-

chrihanumadbhasyavasanabhasyasambandhoktividvatkama-

dhenutattvadipikabhavarthadipikaparamahamsapriyasuka-

hrdayadayo vyakhyagranthah tatha muktaphalaharililabha-

ktiratnavalyadayonib andhas ca vividha eva tattanmatapra-

siddhamahanubhavakrta virajante / yad eva ca hemadri-

granthasya danakhande puranadanaprastave matsyapura-

niyatallaksanadhrtya prasastam / hemadriparisesakhan-

dasya kalanirnaye ca kaliyugadharmanirnaye kalim sabha-

jayanty aryah ityadikam yadvakyatvenotthapya yatpratipa-

ditadharma eva kalav angikrtah / atha yad eva kaivalyam apy

atikramya bhaktisukhavyaharadilingena nijamatasyapy upari

virajamanartham matva yad apauruseyam vedantavyakhya-

nam bhayad acalayataiva sankaravatarataya prasiddhen

avakdyamanasvagopanadihetukabhagavadajnapravartitadvaya-

vadenapi tanmatravarnitavisvarupadarsanakrtavrajesvarivis-

mayashrivrajakumarivasanacauryadikam govindastakadau var-

nayata tatasthibhuya nijavacahsaphalyaya sprstam iti //

 

23)  Thus, even though there exists a variety of scriptures, it is the Bhagavata alone which is described as follows: "This Purana has risen like the sun for those bereft of sight in the Kali Yuga." (Bh.P.1/3/44) It is thus demonstrated that, aside from the sun-like Bhagavata, no other scripture is capable of properly illuminating reality.

  The Tantra known as Tantrabhagavata is considered, in the section of the Hayasirsapancaratra which classifies scriptures, to represent a virtual commentary on the Bhagavata. Actual commentaries on the Bhagavata include the Hanumadbhasya, Vasanabhasya, Sambandhokti, Vidvatkamadhenu, Tattvadipika, Bhavarthadipika, Paramahamsapriya, Sukahrdaya, etc. There also exists a variety of Nibandhas, composed by distinguished authors, well-knows for their particular interpretations, such as the Muktaphala, Harilila Bhaktiratnavali, etc. The Bhagavata is also praised in the Danakhanda of Hemadri's Caturvargacintamani, in the section dealing with the gift of Puranas, as embodying the characteristics mentioned in the Matsya Purana (53/20-23). and in the Parisesakhanda of the same work by Hemadri, in determining the dharma appropriate to the Kali Yuga, in the Kalanirnaya section, the dharma which the Bhagavata verse, 11/5/36 quoted: "The noble ones praise the Kali Yuga..."

Sankara, however, commonly accepted to be an avatara of Siva, realized the significance of the Bhagavata, characterized by utterances concerning the joys of bhakti which surpass even the joy of liberation, to be superior to his own doctrines, and was afraid to upset the views found in this divinely composed exposition on Vedanta. As will be explained later, he propagated the doctrine of Advaita at the command of the Lord in order that the latter's true nature might remain hidden. Still,Sankara desired his own words to be fruitrul, and so touched on the Bhagavata indirectly, by describing in such works as his Govindastaka etc. certain events found only in the Bhagavata, such as Yasada's amazement at the vision of the universe form (of Krishna), Krishna's theft of the Gopi's clothes, etc.

 

24)  yad eva kila drstva saksat tatsisyatam praptair api shri

madhvacaryacaranair vaishnavamate pravisya vaishnavantaranam

tacchisyantarapunyaranyadiritikavyakhyapravesasankaya tatra

tatparyantaram likhadbhir vartmopadesah krta iti ca satvata

varnayanti / tasmad yuktam uktam tatraiva prathamaskandhe

  tad idam grahayam asa sutam atmavatam varam //

  sarvavedetihasanam saram saram samuddhrtam /

dvadase

  sarvavedantasaram hi shribhagavatam isyate /

  tadrasamrtatrptasya nanyatra syad ratih kvacit //

tatha prathame

  nigamakalpataror galitam phalam

        sukamukhad amrtadravasamyutam /

  pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam

            muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah //

ata eva tatraiva

  yah svanubhavam akhilasrutisaram ekam

        adhyatmadipam atititirsatam tamo 'ndham /

  samsarinam karunayaha puranaguhyam

            tam vyasasunum upayami gurum muninam // iti /

shribhagavtamatam tu sarvamatanam adhisarupam iti sucakam /

sarvamuninam sabhamadhyam adhyasyopadestrtvena tesam

gurutvam api tasya tatra suvyaktam //

 

24)  Tradition has it that after seeing that Bhagavata, has not only been avoided but the revered Madhvacarya embraced the views of the Vaishnavas, actually respected by Shankar even though himself a direct disciple of Sankara, and fearing that other Vaishnavas might fall under influence of commentaries written by Sandara's other disciples, such as Punyaranya etc., wrote a different tatparya pointing out the true path: thus is it described by the Satvatas. The following statements, found in the Bhagavata itself, are therefore appropriate. First canto of :"(Vyasa) imparted this Bhagavata to his (Suka), the best of the self-realized ed, representing the essential extracts from all the Vedas and Itihasa." (Bh.P. 1/3/41, 42)

  And in the twelfth skandha: "The Bhagavata is considered to represent the essence of all Vedanta. He who is appeared by its nectar-like juice, has no taste for anything else." (Bh.P.12/13/15)

  And in the first skandha; "O Connoisseurs of mellows here on earth, drink again and again, for all your days, the juice of the Bhagavata, the ripe fruit fallen from the wish-fulfilling tree of the Vedas, whose nectar-like juice flows from the lips of Suka (like the juice of a ripe fruit from the mouth of a parrot)." (Bh.P.1/1/3)

Thus, in the same skandha: "I seek refuge with (Suka), the son of Vyasa and most venerable of sages, who, out of compassion for worldly beings desirous of going beyond the blinding darkness (of ignorance), recited the 'sacret one' among Puranas, of uncommon majesty, the essence of all Sruti, unparalleled, and the illuminator of Self-knowledge." (Bh.P.1/2/3) It is thus indicated that the doctrines found in the Bhagavata are the overlord, as it were, of all other doctrines.

Suka took his seat in the midst of the assembly of all the sages, and fully exhibited his superiority over them by assuming the role of preceptor of Shrimad Bhagavatam.

 

25)  yatah

         tatropajagmur bhuvanam punana

                                      mahanubhava munayah sisisyah /

          prayena tirthabhigamapadesaih

                                      svayam hi tirthani punanti santah //

          atrir vasisthas cyavana saradvan

                                      aristanemir bhrgur angiras ca /

          parasaro gadhisuto 'tha rama

                                      utathya indrapramadedhmavahau //

         medhatithir devala arstiseno

                                      bharadvajo gautamah pippaladah /

          maitreya aurvah kavasah kumbhayonir

                                      dvaipayano bhagavan naradas ca //

          anye ca devarsibrahmarsivarya

                                      rajarsivarya arunadayas ca /

          nanarseyapravarams tan sametan

                                      abhyarcya raja sirasa vavande //

          sukhopavistesv atha tesu bhuyah

                                      krtapranamah svacikirsitam yat /

          vijnapayam asa viviktaceta

                                      upasthito 'gre nigrhitapanih //

ityadyanantaram

          tatas ca vah prcchyam idam viprcche

                                      visrabhya vipra itiktyatayam /

          sarvatmana mriyamanais ca krtyam

                                      suddham ca tatramrsatabhiyuktah //               iti prcchati rajni

          tatrabhavad bhagavan vyasaputro                              yadrcchaya gam atamano 'napeksah /

          aladsyalingo nijalabhatusto

                                      vrtas ca balair avadhutavesah //

tatas ca pratyutthitas te munayah svasanebhyah ityadyante

          sa samvrtas tatra mahan mahiyasam

                                      brahmarsirajarsisurarsivaryaih /

          vyarocatalam bhagavan yathendur

                                      graharksataranikaraih paritah //

ity uktam //

 

25)  For it is said: "The word-purifying, high-souled sages went there with their disciples: Atri, Vasistha, Cyavana, Saradvat,Aristanemi, Bhrgu, Angiras, Parasara, Visvamitra (the son of Gadhi), Rama, Utathya, Indrapramada, Idhmavaha, Medhatithi, Devala, Arstisena, Bharadvaja, Gautama, Pipalada, Maitreya, Aurva, Kavasa, Kumbhayoni, Dvaipayana (Vyasa), the venerable Narada, as well as other devarsis, brahmarsis, and rajarsis, including  Aruna and others-for often holy men, on the pretext of making pilgrimage to a holy place,actually purify those place by their own presence. King Pariksit welcomed the assembled chiefs of the various holy clans, worshipping them with bowed head And the wise king again saluted the sages who were filled with joy, and, standing before them with juined palms, informed them of his intention." (Bh.P. 1/9/12)

  Then (the king said): "Thus, O wise ones, having confided in you fully, let me ask a pressing question concerning duty. What pure action should be performed with all one's soul by those who are about to die? Please consider this jointly among yourselves."  (Bh.P. 11/9/24)

  As the king was asking this quesion: "(Suka), the son of Vyasa, appeared, wandering about the earth at will, free from care, bearing no distinguishing marks, content within himself, in the garb of an avadhuta, and surrounded by children." (Bh.P.11/12/25)

  And then: "The sages all rose from their seats..." and "that most noble Bhagavan Suka, surrounded there by these most eminent brahmarsis, rajarsis, and surarsis, shone brillianty, like the moon surrounded by clusters of planets, constellations, and stars." (Bh.P. 1/9/28,30)

 

26)  atra yady api tatra shrivyasanaradau tasyapi guruparama-

guru tathapi punas tanmukhanihsrtam shribhagavatam tayor apy

asrutacaram iva jatam ity evam shrisukas tav apy upadidesa

desyam ity abhiprayah / yad uktam sukamukhad amrtadrava-

samyutam iti / tasmad evam api shribhagavatasyaiva sarvadhi-

kyam / matsyadinam yat puranadhikyam sruyate tat tv apeksi-            

kam iti / aho kim bahuna shrikrishnapratinidhirupam evedam /

yata uktam prathamaskandhe

  krsne svadhamopagate dharmajnanadibhih saha //

  kalau nastadrsam esa puranarko 'dhunoditah /iti /

eta eva sarvagunayuktarvam asyaiva drstam dharmah projjhita-

kaitavo 'tra ityadina

  vedah puranam kavyam ca prabhur mitram priyeva ca /

  bodhayantiti hi prahus trivrd bhagavatam punah //

iti muktaphale hemadrikaravacanena ca / tasman manyantam

va kecit puranantaresu vedasapeksatvam shribhagavate tu tatha sambhavana svayam eva nirastety api svayam eva labdham

bhavati / ata eva paramasrutirupatvam tasya / yathoktam

  katham va pandaveyasya rajarser munina saha /

  samvadah samabhut tata yatraisa satvati sruti // iti /

atha yat sarvam puranajatam avirbhavyetyadikam purvam

uktam tat tu prathamaskandhagatashrivyasanaradasamvadenaiva

prameyam //

 

26) Even though Vyasa,Suka's guru, and Narada, his grandguru, were both present there, still, the Bhagavata flowed forth from Suka's lips in such a manner that it seemed to them as if they had never heard it before. This is the sense in which it is said that Suka instructed the who of them as well. As it was said, "...whose nectar-like juice flows from the lips of Suka." (Bh.P.1/1/3) Thus, the superiority of the Bhagavata is seen in this sense also.

  Those statements, then, which one hears regarding the superiority of other Puranas, such as the Matsya etc., are only relatively true. But what is the need for so much argument ? The Bhagavata is Krishna's very own representative. As stated in the first skandha: "Now that Krishna has returned to his own abode, along with dharma and knowledge, etc., this Purana has risen like the sun for those bereft of sight in the Kali Yuga." (Bh.P.1/3/43,44) 

  The Bhagavata id thus seen to be endowed with all virtues, as demonstrated in the verse, "The supreme dharma, devoid of all ulterior motive, is found in this Bhagavata.." (Bh.P. 1/1/2) This fact is further demonstrated by the woords of Vopadeva in the Muktaphala: "The Vedas, Puranas, and Kavya give council like a ruler, a friend, and a beloved, but the Bhagavata is said to give council like all three combined." Thus, even if some consider other Puranas to be dependent on the Vedas, the same supposition with regard to the Bhagavata id dispelled by the Bhagavata itself; this is also self-evident. Therefore the Bhagavata represents the highest form of Sruti. As it is said, "How then, my childdid the dialogue between the royal sage Pariksit and the sage Suka come about, as a result of which this Satvati Sruti became manifest ?" (Bh.P. 1/4/7)

  And the fact that Vyasa composed the Bhagavata only after completing all of the other Puranas, as stated earlier, ca be verified by examining the dialogue between Vyasa ans Narada, recorded in the first skandha.

 

27)  tad eva paramanihsreyasaniscayaya shribhagavatam 

eva paurvaparyavirodhena vicaryate / tatrasmin sandarbhasat-

katmake granthe sutrasthaniyam avatarikavakyam visayavak-

yam shribhagavatavakyam / bhasyarupa tadvyakhya tu samprati

madhyadesadau vyaptan advaitavadino nunam bhagavan-

mahimanam avagahayitum tadvadena karvuritalipinam para-

mavaisvanam shridharasvamicarananam suddhavaishnavasid-

dhantanugata cet tarhi yathavad eva vilikhyate / kvacit tesam

evanyatradrstavyakhyanusarena dravidadidesavikhyataparama-

bhagavatanam tesam eva bahulyena tatra vaishnavatvena prasid-

dhatvat shribhagavata eva

  kvacit kvacin maharaja dravidesu ca bhurisah /

ity anena prathitamahimnam saksacchriprabhrtitah pravrtta- sampradayanam shrivaishnavabhidhanam shriramanujabhagavat-

padaviracitashribhasyadidrstamatapramanyena mulagrantha-

svarasyena canyatha ca / advaitavyakhyanam tu prasiddhatvan

nativitayate //

 

27)  Therefore, we will examine the BHagavata alone, abserving consistency between the earlier and later portions, in order to determine what is the supreme good. Here, in this composition of six volumes, the introductory remarks will occupy the position of sutras, and the words of the Bhagavata, the subject matter. Our interpretation of the words of the Bhagavata, representing a king of bhasya, will be written in accordance with the views of the great Vaishnava, the revered Shridhare Svamin, only when they conform to strict Vaishnava standpoint, since his writings are interspersed with the doctrines of Advaita so that an appresiation for the greatness of the Lord may be awakened in the Advaitins who nowadays pervade the central regions etc. In sime places we will follow Shridhara's interpretations found elsewhere. In other instances, our interpretation will be based on the doctrine found in the writings of the venerable Ramanuja, such as his Shribhasya etc., (adhered to ) by the Shri Vaishnavasn whose renowned sampradaya has originated from the goddess Shri herself, and who are celebrated as great Bhagavatas of the Dravida region etc.; for as the Bhagavata itself states, there are many in this area well known as Vaishnavas: "O Great King, some (devotees of Narayana) can be found here and there, but their numbers are great in the Dravida regions." (Bh.P.11/5/39) And in some instances, our interpretations will differ from both (Shridhara and Ramanuja), and will follow the natural sense of the Bhagavata. As the Advaita doctrines are well-known, they need not be delineated here.

 

28)  atra ca svadarsitarthavisesapramanyayaiva na tu

shrimadbhagavatavakyapramanyaya pramanani srutipurana-

divacanani yathadrstam evodaharaniyani kvacit svayam adr-

stakarani ca tattvavadagurunam anadhunikanam shrimac-

chankaracaryasisyatam labdhvapi shribhagavatpaksapatena tato

vicchidya pracurapracaritavaishnavamatavisesanam daksina-

didesavikhyatasisyopasisyibhutashrivijayadhavajabrahmatirthav-

yasatirthadivedavedarthavidvadvaranam shrimdhvacarya-

carananam shribhagavatatatparyabharatatatparyabrahmasutra-

bhasyadibhyah samgrhitani / tais caivam uktam bharatatatparye

  sastrantarani samjanan vedantasya prasadatah /

  dese dese tatha granthan drstva caiva prthagvidhan //

  yatha sa bhagavan vyasah saksannarayanah prabhuh /

  jagada bharatadyesu tatha vaksye tadiksaya // iti /

tatra taduddhrta srutis caturvedasikhadya puranam ca garuda-

dinam samprati sarvatrapracaradrupam amsadikam samhita-

 ca mhasamhitadika tantram ca tantrabhagavatadikam brah- 

matarkadikam iti jneyam //

 

28) And here, the authoritative words of Sruti, the Puranas,

etc. will be quoted just as I have seen them; they are meant to establish the validity of the various interpretations presented by me, and not the validity of the words of the Bhagavata. In some cases, I have been unable to personally see certain verses, and so have taken them from the Bhagavatatparya, Bharatatparya, and Brahmasutrabhasya, ets. of the venerable Madhvacarya, the ancient preceptor of the doctrine of Tattvavada, who advanced many distinctively "Vaishnava" doctrines, who was chief among knowers of the Vedas and their meaning, and whose disciples and grand-disciples include Vijayadhvaja, Brahma Tirtha, Vyasa Tirtha, etc., of great renown in the South and elsewhere. As stated by Madhva in his BHaratatatparya: "Having mastered the other scriptures by the light of Vedanta, and having seen different scriptures in various parts of the country, I will examine these, and will speak according the view of Bhagavan Vyasa, the Lord Narayana Himself, who spoke the Mahabharata etc." (2/7,8)

  The Sruti texts which will be quoted from Madhva will be the Caturvedasikha etc.; the Puranic texts will include those portions of Puranas, such as the Garuda etc., which are no longer available; the Samhitas will include the Mahasamhita etc.; and the Tantras will include the Tantrabhagavata and Brahmatarka etc.

 

29) atha namaskurvann eva tathabhutasya shrimadbhaga-                                                 

vatasya tatparyam tadvaktur hrdayanisthaparyalocanaya sam-

ksepatas tavan nirdharayati

  svasukhanibhrtacetas tadvyudastanyabhavo

                             'py ajitaruciralilakrstasaras tadiyam /

  vyatanuta krpaya yas tattvadipam puranam

                             tam akhilavrjinaghnam vyasasunum nato 'smi//

tika ca shridharasvamiviracita shrigurum namaskaroti / svasukhe-

naiva nibhrtam purnam ceto yasya sah / tenaiva vyudasto 'nya-

smin bhavo bhavana yasya tathabhuto 'py ajitasya rucirabhir

lilabhir akrstah sarah svasukhagatam dhairyam yasya sah /

tattvadipam paramarthaprakasakam shribhagavatam yo vyata-

nuta tam nato 'smi ity esa / evam eva dvitiye tadvakyam eva

prayena munayo rajan ityadipadyatrayam anusandheyam /

atrakhilavrjinam tadrsabhavasya pratikulam udasinam ca jne-

yam / tad evam iha sambandhitattvam brahmanandad api pra-

krsto ruciralilavisistah siman ajita eva / sa ca purnatvena mu-

khyataya shrikrishnasamjna eveti shribadarayanasamadhau vyakti-

bhavisyati / tatha prayojanakhyah purusarthas ca tadrsatada-

saktijanakam tatpremasukham eva / tato 'bhidheyam api tadr-

satatpremajanakam tallilasravanadilaksanam tadbhajanam

evety ayatam atra vyasasunum iti brahmavaivartanusarena

shrikrishnavaraj janmata eva mayaya tasyasprstatvam sucitam /

shrisutah shrisaunakam 12/12 //

 

29)  Now, Suta gives a brief description of the import of this just described Bhagavata to Saunaka, while offering salutations (to Suka), by reflecting on the ideal lodged in the heart of its narrator (Suka): "Ibow down to the son of Vyasa, the destroyer of all sins, whose mind was filled with Brahmananda and thus his was free from all worealy thoughts, has had his drawn toward the inchanting lilas of Ajita (i.e.  Krishna), and who has compassionately unfolded this Purana, revolving around him (Krishna), which illumines reality like a lamp." (Bh.P.12/12/68) According to Shridhara's commentary: "He offers salutations to his venerable guru- to him whose mind is filled with its own bliss alone, and thus who has cast aside all thought, i.e. worry, and who, despide being of such a disposition, has had heart, which steadfastly dwelled in its own bliss, attracted by the enchanting lilas of Ajita. 'I bow down to him who unfolded the BHagavata, the lamp of truth, the illuminator of the highest reality."' The three verses from the second skandha (Bh.P. 2/1/7,9), uttered by Suka himself, should also be examined in this connection. 

  The expression 'all sins' in this verse should understood to signify aversion or indifference to such a feeling (of attraction to Krishna). Thus, a related principle is found here, namely that the holy Ajita, distinguished by his enchanting lilas, is Himself superior to the bliss of braman. And it will become clear (by examining) the samadhi of Vyasa that Ajita, in his fullest aspect, is primarily known as "Shri Krishna".

  It thus follows that the goal of life, technically known as prayojana, is nothing less than the joy which springs from love of Him, ingendering attachement of such a kind (as Suka's) to Him, and that the abhidheya also is nothing less than the worship of Him, characterized by listening to accounts of His divine sport etc., engendering love of such a kind for Him . According to the Brahmavaivarta Purana, the appellation "Vyasasunu" ("the son of Vyasa") is indicative of the fact that Suka, due to a boon from Krishna, was untouched by maya from his very birth.

 

30)  tadrsam eva tatparyam karisyamanatadgranthaprati-

padyatattvanirnayakrte tatpravaktrshribadarayanakrte samadhav

api samksepata eva nirdharayati

  bhadtiyogena manasi samyak pranihite 'male /

  apasyad purusam purnam mayam ca tadapasrayam //

  yaya sammohito jiva atmanam trigunatmakam /

  paro 'pi manute 'nartham tatkrtam cabhipadyate //

  anarthopasamam saksad bhaktiyogam adhoksaje /

  lokasyajanato vyasas cakre satvatasamhitam //

  yasyam vai sruyamanayam krsne paramapuruse /

  bhaktir utpadyate pumsah sokamohabhayapaha //

  sa samhitam bhagavatim krtvanukramya catmajam /

  sukam adhyapayam asa nivrttiniratam munim //

tatra

  sa vai nivrttiniratah sarvatropeksako munih /

  kasya va brhatim etam atmaramah samabhyasat //

iti saunakaprasnanataram ca

  atmaramas ca munayo nirgrantha apy urukrame /

  kurvanty ahaitukim bhaktim itthambhutaguno harih //

  harer gunaksiptamatir bhagavan badarayanih /

  adhyagan mahadakhyanam nityam visnujanapriyah //

bhaktiyogena premna

  astv evam anga bhajatam bhagavam mukundo

                             muktim dadati karhicit sma na bhaktiyogam //

ity atra prasiddheh / pranihite samahite samadhinanusmara

tadvicestitam iti tam prati shrinaradopadest / purnapadasya

muktapragrahaya vrttya

  bhagavan iti sabdo 'yam tatha purusa ity api /

  vartate nirupadhis ca vasudeve 'khilatmani //

iti padmottarakhandavacanavastambhena tatha

  kamakamo yajet somam akamah purusam param //   akamah sarvakamo va moksakama udaradhih /

  tivrena bhaktiyogena yajeta purusam param /

ity asya vakyadvayasya purvavakye purusam paramatmanam

prakrtyekopadhim uttaravakye purusam purnam nirupadhim iti

tikanusarena ca purnah puruso 'tra svayambhagavan evocyate //

 

30)  Suta gives a similar concise explanation of the import of the Bhagavata, (this time) in terms of the samadhi experienced by its author, wherein the principle which was to be set forth in that work was ascertained: "With his heart purified and perfectly poised through bhaktiyoga, he saw the purnapurusa, with maya taking His shelter. The jiva, deluded by that maya,considers himself to be composed of the three gunas, though really beyond them, and consequently comes to grief. Vyasa composed this Satvatasamhita for those people ignorant of the fact that bhaktiyoga directed toward Adhoksaja (i.e. Krishna) directly puts an end to grief. If one but hears this (Satvatasamhita, i.e. Bhagavata), devotion for Krishna, the supreme purusa, will grow in him, putting an end to grief, delusion, and fear. After composing and arranging this Bhagavati Samhita, Vyasa taugh it to his son (suka), then leading a life of renunciation." (Bh.P.1/7/4-8)

  At this point Saunaka asked, "But why did the sage (Suka), then leading a life of renunciation, being unconcerned in all situations, and rejoicing in the Self alone, studythis vast conposition ?" (Bh.P.1/7/9)

  In reply to Saunaka's query, Suta said, "Although such sages rejoice in the Self alone, and are free from all bounds, still they cherish motiveless devotion for Urukrama (i.e. Krishna); indeed such are the virtues of Hari. The venerable son of Vyasa had his heart captivated by the virtues of Hari and studied this great narrative daily, holding the devotees of Vishnu dear to his heart." (Bh.P.1/7/10-12)

  The expression bhaktiyogena ("through bhaktiyoga") means "through preman, or love of God", based on the use of the same term in the following verse: "Bhagavan Mukunda (i.e. Krishna) no doubt grants liberation to those who offer him (mere)worship; but he never grants them bhaktiyoga." (Bh.P.5/6/18) Pranihite ("perfectly poised") means "absorbed in samadhi", since he had been instructed earlier by Narada to "recall the events of Krishna's lila by means of samadhi". (Bh.P.1/5/13) The word purna ("full" or "perfect") should be understood in its unrestricted sense, based on the statement from the Uttara Khanda of the Padma Purana: "The words bhagavat and purusa are both free from limiting adjuncts, and refer to Vasudeva, the Self of all." And the fact that the purnapurusa mentioned here refers to bhagavat himself is also verified by Shridhara's commentary in the following verses: "The desirer of desirer should worship Soma; the desireless one , the supreme purusa. The high-minded ones, whether free from desires, desiring all, or desiring liberation, should worship the supreme purusa with intense bhaktiyoga." (Bh.P.2/3/9-10) According to Shridhara's commentary, the term purusa from the first of the two preceding verses signifies "the paramatman, whose sole limiting adjunct is prakrti", while the same term from the second verse refers to the "purnapurusa, free from all limiting adjuncts." The purnapurusa here refers to the Selfsame Personality of Godhead. 

 

31)  purvam iti pathe purvam evaham ihasam iti tatpuru-

sasya purusatvam iti srautanirvacanavisesapuraskarena ca sa

evocyate / tam apasyat shrivedavyasa iti svarupasaktimantam

evety etat svayam eva labdham purnam candram apasyad ity

ukte kantimantam apasyad iti labhyate / ata eva

  tvam adyah purusah saksad isvarah prakrteh parah /

  mayam vyudasya cicchaktya kaivalye sthita atmani //

ity uktam / ata eva mayam ca tadapasrayam ity anena tasmin

apa apakrsta asrayo yasyah niliya sthitatvad iti mayaya na tat-

svarupabhutatvam ity api labhyate / vaksyate ca maya paraity

abhimukhe ca vilajjamana iti / svarupasaktir iyam atraiva vyakti

bhavisyati anarthopasamam saksad bhaktiyogam adhoksaje

ity anena atmaramas ca ity anena ca / purvatra hi bhaktiyoga-

prabhavah khalv asau mayabhibhavakataya svarupasaktivrtti-

tvenaiva gamyate paratra ca te guna brahmanandasyapy upari-

carataya svarupasakteh paramavrttitam evarhantiti / maya-

dhisthatrpurusas tu tadamsatvena brahma ca tadiyanirvisesa-

virbhavatvena tadantarbhavavivaksaya prthan nokte iti jneyam /

ato 'tra purvavad eva sambandhitattvam nirdharitam //

 

31)  Even if the reading purvan is accepted (for purnam),still Lord alone is indicated, based in the etymological interpretation of Sruti which derives the essential nature of the purusa from his statement, "I existed here even prior (purvam) (to the universe)."

  It is self-evident that the phrase "he, i.e. Vyasa, saw the purusa" means that he saw him indowed with his sarupasakti alone,just as when someone says, "he saw the full moon", it is understood that he saw the moon endowed with all its effulgence . Therefore Arjuna said to Krishna, "You are the primordial purusa, the visible Lord, beyone prakrti. Having cast aside maya by means of Your cicchakti (power of consciousness), You dwell in a state of supreme independence within Yourself." (Bh.P. 1/7/23)

  Therefore, the phrase mayam ca tadapasrayam indicates that maya does not constitute svarupa sakti of bhagavan, since, having had her ground removed from her (indicated by the preverb apa), she remains concealed from bhagavat. As stated later, "Maya, imbarrassed to remain in his presence, flees..." (Bh.P.2/7/47)

  The nature of this svarupasakti will now be explained by means of Bhagavata verses 1/7/9 and 1/7/10. In the first of these, the power of bhaktiyoga is understood to be a function of the svarupasakti, based on its ability to everpower maya; and in the latter, the virtues (of Hari) deserve to be considered the highest functioning  of the svarupasakti, since they surpass even the bliss of brahman.

  It should be understood that no separate mention is made of the purusa which presides over maya (i.e. the paramatman), or of brahman, since both are considered to fall within the domain of the purnapurusa, the former as a partial aspect of him, and the latter as his unqualified manifestation. Thus, just as before, the related principle sambandhy tattva is here set forth.

 

32) atha prakpratipaditasyaivabhidheyasya prayojanasya ca sthapakam jivasya svarupa eva paramesvarad vailaksanyam

apasyad ity aha yayeti / yaya mayaya sammohito jivah svayam

cidrupatvena trigunatmakaj jadat paro 'py atmanam triguna-

tmakam jadam dehadisamghatam manute tanmananakrtam

anartham samsaravyasanam cabhipadyate / tad evam jivasya

cidrupatve 'pi yaya sammohitah iti manute iti ca svarupabhuta-

jnanasalitvam vyanakti prakasaikarupasya tejasah svaparapra-

kasanasaktivat /

  ajnanenavrtam jnanam tena muhyanti jantavah /

iti shrigitabhyah / tad evam upadher eva jivatvam tannasasyaiva

moksatvam iti matantaram parihrtavan / atra yaya sammohitah

ity anena tasya eva tatra kartrtvam bhagavatas tatrodasina-

tvam / vaksyate ca

  vilajjamanaya yasya sthatum iksapathe 'muya /

  vimohita vikatthante mamaham iti durdhiyah // iti /

atra vilajjamanaya ity anenedam ayati tasya jivasammohanam

karma shribhagavate na rocata iti yady api sa svayam janati

tathapi bhayam dvitiyabhinivesatah syad isad apetasya iti disa

jivanam anadibhagavadajnanamayavaimukhyam asahamana

svarupavaranam asvarupavesam ca karoti //

 

32) Then, Vyasa saw the essential distinction between  the jiva and paramesvara  which forms the basis for the abhidheya and prayojana of this work, as stated earlier. Thus was it described by Suta in Bh. P. 1/7/5.

  "The jiva, deluded 'by that', i.e. by maya. considers himself to be 'composed of the three gunas', i.e. to be the insentient aggregate of the body etc., even though as a conscious entity, he is 'beyond', i.e. beyond the insentient combination of the three gunas, and 'consequently', i.e. as a result of that misconception, 'comes to grief', i.e. experiences the misery of repeated birth and death."

  Thus, even though the jiva is a conscious entity, the phrases "deluded by maya" and "he considers himself (to be composed of the three gunas)" reveal the fact that consciousness, which constitutes his essential nature, is as attribute of the jiva, just as the power of illumination, which represents the essential nature of light, is also capable of illuminating both itself and other entities. This view is verified by the words from the Bhagavatagita: "Knowledge is covered by ignorance; hence are beings deluded." (5.15)

  Thus, Vyasa rejected that other doctrine which maintains that it is the limiting adjuncts, or upadhis, which constitute the nature of the jiva, and it is their destrution which constitutes his liberation.

  The phrase "deluded by maya" indicates that she alone is responsible (for deluding jivas), while the Lord remains uninvolved. As stated leter, "Foolish people are deluded by maya, who is ashamed to stand in the presence of the Lord and speak boastingly of 'I' and 'mine'." (Bh.P.2/5/13) Here, the word "ashamed" indicates that maya, thougth realising that her practice of deluding jivas is not pleasing to the Lord, is nevertheless unable to bear the fact that jivas have been ignorantly turning their backs on the Lord from time immemorial as indicated by the line, "Those who turn away fron the Lord experience fear because of their devotion to a second" (Bh.P. 11/2/37)-and so conceals their real nature and engrosses him in matter.

 

33)  shribhagavams canadita eva bhaktayam prapancadhi-

karinyam tasyam daksinyam langhitum na saknoti / tatha tad-

bhayenapi jivanam svasammukhyam vanchann upadisati

  daivi hy esa gunamay mama maya duratyaya

  mam eva ye prapadyante mayam etam taranti te //

  satam prasangam mama viryasamvido              

                             bhavanti hrtakarnarasayanah kathah /

  tajjosanad asv apavargavartmani

                             sraddha ratir bhaktir anukramisyati // iti /

lilaya shrimadvyasarupena tu visistataya tad upadistavan ity

anantaram evasyati anarthopasamam sasad iti / tasmad dva-

yor api tattatsamanjasam jneyam / nanu maya khalu saktih

saktis ca karyaksamatvam tac ca dharmavisesah  tasya katham

lajjadikam / ucyate evam saty api bhagavati tasam saktinam

adhisthatrdevyah sruyante yatha kenopanisadi mahendramaya-

yoh samvadah / tad astam prastutam prastuyate //

 

33)  And the Lord is unable to withhold His favor from maya who, being in charge of creation, has been His devotee from time immemorial. So, desiring that jivas turn within, even if out of fear of maya, He instructs them as follows: "This divine maya of Mine, composed of the three gunas, is indeed difficult to transcend. They cross over this maya who take refuge in Me alone." (Bh.G. 7/14) "As a result of holy company, conversations concerning My prowess take place, pleasing the heart and ear. By taking part in these, one quickly attains faith in the path of salvation, followed in turn by attachment and devotion." (Bh.P. 3/25/25) And as seen in the verse immediately following this, (Bh.P.1/7/6), the Lord taught this in a special way, by assuming the form of Vyasa, through His divine sport. Therefore, the respective activities of both (bhagavata and maya) should be deemed proper.

  But if maya is nothing but a sakti, and sakti is nothing but the capacity to perform a function, which is itself a kind of attribute, how can you speak of it as possessing such characteristics as embarrassment etc. ?

  To this we reply: What you say is true. However, we do find mention in Sruti of the presiding deities of the saktis which reside in the Lord, such as in the dialogue detween Indra and Maya in the Kena Upanisad. But enough for now. Let us return to the topics already introduced.

 

34)  tatra jivasya tadrsacidrupatve 'pi paramesvarato vai-

laksanyam tadapasrayam iti yaya sammohita iti ca darsayati //

 

34)  Here, the phrases "maya resting outside of him" (Bh.P. 2/7/4) and "deluded by maya" (Bh.P. 2/7/5) indicate that the jiva, even though, like paramesvara, being essentially pure consciousness, is nevertheless distinct from paramesvara.

 

35)  yarhy eva yad ekam cidrupam brahma mayasrayatabali-

tam vidyamayam tarhy eva tanmayavisayatapannam avidya- parabhutam cety ayuktam iti jivesvaravibhago 'vagatah / tatas

ca svarupasamarthyavailaksanyena tad dvitayam mitho vilaksa

nasvarupam evety agatam //

 

35)  It is thus erroneous to contend that one and the same brahman, pure consciousness itself, is simultaneously the embodiment of knowledge, as it functions as the substratum of maya, as well as overpowered by ignorance, falling under the sway of that maya. In fact, this is the very sense in which the distinction between isvara and jiva is to be understood. It thus follows that, due to the respective differences in their natural capacities, the two (ie. isvara and jiva) are essentially distnct.

 

36)  na copadhitaratamyamayaparicchedapratibimbatva-

divyavasthaya tayor vibhagah syat //

 

36)  Nor can the distinction between the two (i.e. isvara and jiva) be explained on the basis of limitation by, or reflection in, defferent grades of adjuncts, etc.

 

37)  tatra yady upadher anavidyakatvena vastavatvam tarhy

avisayasya tasya paricchedavisayatvasambhavah / nirdharma-

kasya vyapakasya niravayavasya ca pratibimbatvayogo 'pi upa-

dhisambandhabhavat bimbapratibimbabhedabhavat drsyatva-

bhavac ca / upadhiparicchinnakasasthajyotiramsasyaiva prati-

bimbo drsyate na tu akasasya drsyatvabhavad eva //

 

37)  Here, if the limiting adjuncts are objectively real, and not the result of ignorance, then braman, who is beyond the abjective realm, cannot be sobject to division by them. Furthermore, that which is attributeless, all-pervading, and without "limbs" cannot be reflected, since (what is attributeless) can have no connection with adjuncts, (what is all-pervading) admits of no distinction between the object and its reflection, and (what is without "limbs") cannot be perceived. The reflection of luminous bodies resting in the sky, sepsrated by their own adjuncts, alone can be seen, but never the reflection of the sky itself, for the simple reason that the sky possesses no visible attributes.

 

38)  tatha vastavaparicchedadau sati samanadhikaranyajna-

namatrena na tattyagas ca bhavet / tatpadarthaprabhavas tatra

karanam iti ced asmakam eva matasammatam //

 

38)  Similary, if division and reflection are real, then they cannot be negated merely by thinking that the terms tat and tvam

(indicating isvara and jiva respectively) refer to one and the same reality (namely, brahman). If it is maintained, however, that the extraordinary power of the being denoted by the term tat is responsible (for the removal of the limiting adjuncts), then  their view concurs with our own.

 

39)  upadher avidyakatve tu tatra tatparicchinnatvader apy

aghatamanatvad avidyakatvam eveti ghatakasadisu vastavo-

padhimayataddarsanaya na tesam avastavasvapnadrstantopa-

jivanam siddhantah sidhyati ghatamanaghatamanayoh sangateh kartum asakyatvat / tatas ca tesam tat tat sarvam avidyavilasi-

tam eveti svarupam apraptena tena tena tat tad avasthapayitum

asakyam //

 

39)  If, on the other hand, the limiting adjuncts are caonsidered to be unreal, then the division etc. which they allegedly effect must also be unreal, since it simply could not take place. Thus, the doctrine of those who base thier position on the analogy of the unreal dream state cannot be substantiated with the help of analogies involving real limiting adjuncts, such as jars and space, etc., since no logical connection can be showm to exist between that which is possible and that which is not. And so, these notions of theirs are nothing but a phantas magoria, as it is not possible to establish the existence of various phenomena on the strength of these two theories, which are themselves not related with reality.

 

40) iti brahmavidyayoh paryavasane sati yad eva brahma

cinmatratvenavidyayogasyatyantabhavaspadatvac chuddham tad

eva tadyogad asuddhya jivah punas tad eva jivavidyakalpita

mayasrayatvad isvaras tad eva ca tanmayavisayatvaj jiva iti

 virodhas tadavastha eva syat / tatra ca suddhayam city avidya

tadavidyakalpitopadhau tasyam isvarakhyayam vidyeti tatha

vidyavattve 'pi mayikatvam ity asamanjasa ca kalpana syad

ityady anusandheyam //

 

40)  If one, then, tries to reduce everything to brahman and avidya alone, the end result is also a contradictory state of affair, namely that the one brahman which, as pure consciousness, is untainted due to a perfect absence of contact with avidya (ignorance), is none other than the jiva, who has become tainted through contact with avidya. Furthermore, this same brahman is caonsidered to be isvara when seen as the substratum for maya, which is itself superimposed by avidya belonging to the jiva, and is called jiva, when seen to fall within the domain of maya, which belongs to isvara. Thus, avidya is said to exist within pure consciousness, and vidya (knowledge) within that consciousness which is known as isvara, and which possesses upadhis superimposed by the aforementioned avidya. The unhappy result of all this is that he who is the embodiment of vidya is, nevertheless, held to be the source of illusion. This and other questions merit close scrutiny.

 

41)  kinca yady atrabhedavada eva tatparyam abhavisyat

tarhy ekam eva brahmajnanena bhinnam jnanena tu tasya

bhedamayam duhkham viliyata ity apasyad ity evavaksyat /

tatha shribhagavalliladinam vastavatvabhave sati shrisukahrdaya-

virodhas ca jayate /

 

41)  Moreover, if the doctrine of Abhedavada ("non-difference") represented the actual significance here, then Vyasa would have seen that it is brahman alone which (appears) divided due to ignorance, and that the suffering which results from this (apparent) division within brahman can be removed by means of knowledge; and Suta would have described it as such. Also, if the lila etc. of the Lord were to be considered unreal, a contradiction would result with regard to the experience of Suka.

 

42)  tasmat paricchedapratibimbatvadipratipadakasastrany

api kathancit tatsadrsyena gaunyaiva vrttya pravarteran / am-

buvadagrahanat tu na tathatvam vrddhihrasabhaktvam antar-

bhavad ubhayasamanjasyad evam iti purvottarapaksamayanya-

yabhyam //

 

42)  Therefore, one should also make use of scriptures which teach such doctrines as Pratibimbavada and Paricchedavada, accepting these doctrines in a secondary sense, as indicating partial similarity (between the metaphor and the reality). This is corroborated by Brahmasutra 3/2/19 ("The jiva is not a reflection of the Supreme, like the sun reflected in water, because it is not so perceived") and 3/2/20,("The comparison is not appropriate in its primary sense but in its secondary sense of participating in increase and decrease, because the purposes sastra is attained by that and thus both comporisons become appropriate.") The former representing the apponent's objection, and the latter the author's reply.

 

43) tata evabhedasastrany ubhayos cidrupatvena jivasamu-

hasya tadekatve 'pi durghataghatanapatiyasya svabhavikatada-

cintyasaktya svabhavata eva tadrasmiparamanuganasthani-

yatvat tadvyatirekenavyatirekena ca virodham parihrtyagre

muhur api tadetadvyasasamadhilabdhasiddhantayojanaya yoja-

niyani //

 

43)  Therefore, those scriptures which propound non-difference can be employed to arrrive at the conclusion reached by Vyasa in samadhi, by avoiding the contradiction between the views that the jiva is either identical with or distinct from isvara; for despite the two of them being one with respect to their  pure conscious nature, due to the inconceivable potency of the Lord, making even the impossible possible, jivas and isvara are both identical and distinct, like innumerable atomic rays and the sun.

 

44)  tad evam mayasrayatvamayamohitatvabhyam sthite

dvayor bhede tadbhajanasyaivabhidheyatvam ayatam //

 

44)  Therefore, since isvara and jiva are thus shown to be distinct, the former as the substratum of maya and the latter as deluded by maya, it follows that the worship of isvara alone constitutes the abhidheya.

 

45)  atah shribhagavata eva sarvahitopadestrtvat sarvaduh-

khaharatvat rasminam suryavat sarvesam paramasvarupatvat

sarvadhikagunasalitvat paramapremayogatvam iti prayojanam

ca sthapitam //

 

45) And since the Lord alone teaches what is benefiecial for all, destroys all sorrow, represents the ultimate nature of all beings, like the sun with respect to its rays, and is endowed with a superabundance of virtues, he alone is deserving of the highest love; thus is the prayojana (of the Bhagavata) also established.

 

46)  tatrabhideyam ca tadrsatvena drstavan api yatas tat-

pravrttyartham shribhagavatakhyam imam satvatasamhitam

pravartitavan ity aha anartheti / bhaktiyogah sravanakirta-

nadilaksanah sadhanabhaktiyogah na tu premalaksanah //

anusthanam hy upadesapeksam prema tu tatprasadapeksam

iti / tathapi tasya tatprasadahetos tatpremaphalagarbha-

tvat saksad evanarthopasamanatvam na tv anyasapeksa-

tvena yat karmabhir yat tapasa jnanavairagyatas ca yat

ityadau sarvam madbhaktiyogena madbhakto labhate

'njasa / svargapavargam ityadeh / jnanades tu bhaktisape-

ksatvam eva sreyahasrtim bhaktim ityadeh / athava anar-

thasya samsaravyasanasya tavat saksad avyavadhanenopa

samanam sammohadidvayasya tu premakhyasviyaphaladva-

retyarthah / atah purvavad evatrabhidheyam darsitam //

 

46) And Vyasa also realized the abhidheya in this sense while in samadhi for, as explained by Suta in Bh. P.1/7/6, he undertood the writing of this Satvasamhita, known as the Bhagavata, in order to initiate that (i.e. the worship of bhagavat which forms the abhideya of the Bhagavata). The term bhaktiyoga in this verse indicated the preliminary  stage of bhakti (sadhana bhakti), characterized by such practices as listening to the scriptures, singing the praises of the Lord, etc.; it is not characterized by the highest love of God, for devotional practices alone require instruction, while love of God depends soley on the grace of the Lord. Still, bhaktiyoga may be said to directly remove misery since, as the means of acquiring the grace of the Lord, it ultimately ripens into love for Him; it does not require the aid of anything else (to remove misery). This is verified in the following lines: "Whatever benefits come from the perfomance of rituals or austerity, from knowledge or renunciation, through the practice of yoga, charity or virtue, or any other righteous means, My devotee attains them all without effort, through bhaktiyoga aimed at realizing Me, whether it be heaven, liberation, My own abode, or whatever else he might desire." (Bh.P.11/20/32-33) Knowledge etc., on the other hand, are themselves dependent on bhakti, as indicated in the following verse : "Those,O Lord, who take pains solely to realize Brahman, rejecting the higher path of devotion, will receive as thier gain wasted effort alone, like those who engage in the husking of chaff." (Bh.P.10/14/4)

  Or it may be that bhaktiyoga removes only worldly suffering directly, i.e. without intermediary, but removes the double misery of delusion etc. by means of its effect, love of God. Thus, the abhidheya is presented here (Bh.P.1/7/6) just as it was earlier (Bh.P.1/7/4-5).

 

47)  atha purvavad eva prayojanam ca spastayitum pur-

voktasya purnapurusasya ca shrikrishnasvarupatvam vyanjayi-

tum granthaphalanirdesadvara tatra tadanubhavantaram

pratipadayann aha yasyam iti / bhaktih prema sravanarupaya

sadhanabhaktya sadhyatvat / utpadyate avirbhavati / tasya-

nusangikam gunam aha soketi atraisam samskaro 'pi nasyatiti

bhavah /   pritir na yavan mayi vasudeve na mucyate dehayogena tavat

iti shrisabhadevavakyat / paramapuruse purvoktapurna-

puruse / kimakara ity apeksayam aha krsne / krishnas tu bha-

gavan svayam ityadi sastrasahasrabhavitantahkarananam

paramparaya tatprasiddhimadhyapatinam casamkhyaloka-

nam tannamasravanamatrena yah prathamapratitivisayah

syat tatha tannamnah prathamaksaramatram mantraya kal-

pyamanam yasyyabhimukhyaya syat tadakara ityarthah / ahus

ca namakaumudikarah krishnasabdasya tamalasyamalatvisi

yasodayah stanandhaye parabrahmani rudhih iti //

 

47)  Then, in order to clarify the nature of the prayojana, as was done earlier, and to reveal the fact that the purnapurusa mentioned in Bh. P. 1/7/4 is none other than Krishna, Suta utters the verse, Bh.P. 1/7/7, explaining another experience of Vyasa's by indicating the effects of listening to the Bhagavata.

  The word bhakti in this verses means preman, since it is the goal of sadhanabhakti in the form listening (to the Bhagavata); the verb utpadyate means "become manifest". Suta mentions a concomitant virtue of preman with the phrase " destroying grief, delusion, and fear", namely, that with the manifestation of preman, even the subtle impressions of grief, delusion, and fear are destroyed. For in the words of the Lord Rsabhadeva: "As long as one has no love for Me, Vasudeva, he will not be freed from association with a body." (Bh.P. 5/5/6)

  The paramapurusa mentioned in this verse is identical with the purnapurusa of Bh.P. 1/7/4. In answer to the question " What form does He take?", Suta replies, krsne. The idea is that His is the form which first comes to the mind, at the mere hearing of His name, of all those whose hearts have been nourished by thousands of scriptural statements, such as "But Krishna is Lord Himself" (Bh.P.1/3/28), as well as to those countless individuals who have fallen under the influence of His through an unbroken tradition; it is that which is visualized after uttering merely the first syllable of His name, in order to attract Hid attention. As the author of the Namakaumudi explains, "The word krishna primarily signifies 'black like the tamala tree', 'he who was suckled by Yasoda', 'the supreme brahman'."

 

48)  atha tasyaiva prayojanasya brahmanandanubhavad

api paramatvam anubhutavan / yatas tadrsam sukam api tada-

nandavaisistyalambhanaya tam adhyapayamasety aha sa sam-

hitam iti / krtvanukramya ceti prathamatah svayam samkse-

pena krtva pascat tu shrinaradopadesad anukramena vivrtye-

tyarthah / ata eva shrimadbhagavatam bharatanan aram yad

atra sruyate yac canyatrastadasapurananantaram bharatam iti

tad dvayam api samahitam syat / brahmanandanubhavani-

magnatvat nivrttiniratam sarvato nivrttau niratam tatravyabhi-

carinam apityarthah //

 

48)  Now, Vyasa realized that this prayojana (i.e. love of God) was superior even to the experience of the bliss of brahaman, and so taught the Bhagavata to Suka, who was accustomed to remaining absorbed in the bliss of brahman, so that he might realize the superiority of the bliss of the Lord. Thus is it described by Suta in Bh.P. 1/7/8.

  Here, the phrase "arfter composing and arranging" indicates that Vyasa first composed the Bhagavata himself, in an abbreviated form, and later, according to the instructions of Narada, expanded it serially. Thus, the statements which are found in the Bhagavata to the affect that the Bhagavata is later than the Mahabharata, and the statements found elsewhere that the Mahabharata is later than the eighteen Puranas can both be regarded as true.

  (Suka is described here as) "engaged in a life of renunciation" since he remained absorbed in the experience of the bliss of brahman; he was in all respects engaged in a life of renunciation and did not swerve from the ideal.

 

49)  tam etam shrivedavyasasya samadhijatanubhavam shri-

saunakaprasnottaratvena visadayan sarvatmaramanubhavena

sahetukam samvadayati atmaramas ceti / nirgrantha vidhini-

sedhatita nirgatahankaragranthayo va / ahaitukim phalanu-

sandhirahitam / atra sarvaksepapariharartham aha itthambhuta

atmaramanam apy akarsanasvabhavo guno yasya sa iti / tam

evartham shrisukasyapy anubhavena samvadayati harer guneti /

shrivyasadevad yatkincicchrutena gunena purvam aksipta matir

yasya sah / pascad adhyagad mahad vistirnam api / tatas ca

 tatsamkathasauhardena nitya visnujanah priya yasya tatha-

bhuto va tesam priyo va svayam abhavad ityarthah / ayam

bhavah brahmavaivartanusarena purvam tavad ayam gar-

bham arabhya shrikrishnasya svairitaya mayanivarakatvam jna-

tavan / tatah svaniyojanaya shrivyasadevenanitasya tasyantar-

darsanat tannivarane sati krtartham manyataya svayam ekantam

eva gatavan / tatra shrivedavyasas tu tam vasikartum tadananya-

sadhanam shribhagavatam eva jnatva tadgunatisayaprakasama-

yams tadiyapadyavisesan kathancic chravayitva tena tam aksi-

ptamatim krtva tad eva purnam tam adhyapayamaseti shri-

bhagavatamahimatisayah proktah / tad evam darsitam vaktuh

shrisukasya vedavyasasya ca samanahrdayam / tasmad vaktur

hrdayanurupam eva sarvatra tatparyam paryalocaniyam nan-

yatha / yad yat tadanyatha paryalocanam tatra tatra kupatha-

gamitaiveti nistankitam /1/7 shrisutah //

 

49)  In answer to Shri Saunaka's question Shri Suta explained the experience of Vyas, born of samadhi or trascendental trance, as superior to the bliss of Brahman and he further corroberates it by  the experiences Atmaramas, with logic in Bh.P.1/7/10.

  Here, the word nirgrantha ("free from ties") means either "beyond all injunctions and prohibitions" or "free from the bonds of egoism". Ahaituki ("motiveless") means "not seeking any results". In order to remove any doubt, he explains, "The nature of Hari is such that even those who rejoice in the Self alone feel an attraction for Him".

  This same fact is related in Bh.P. 1/7/11 by explaining Suka's own experience. Suka had earlier had his heart captivated by what little he had heard of Hari's nature from Vyasa. Later he studied  the Bhagavata, despite its great length. Thereafter his nature became such that the devote of Vishnu became dear to him, due to the friendship which grew out of daily discourses with him about the Lord. Or (the expression visnujanapriyah) may mean that Suka had himself become dear to them.

  The idea is this: According to the accounts of the Brahmavaivarta Purana, even prior to this, while still lying in his mother's womb, Suka realized that Krishna was capable of subduing maya at will. Thus, according to Suka's own order, Vyasa brought Krishna there, who revealed Himself to Suka (still lying in his mother's womb). Being thus freed from the bonds of maya, and considering his goal of life accomplished, Suka (took birth) and retired to a secluded spot. Now, Vyasa relized that the Bhagavata was the only affective means to captivate him, and so somehow managed to have him hear a few selected portions of the Bhagavata, in which the gratness of Hari's nature is particularly evident. By this means, Vyasa captivated Suka's heart, and taught him the whole of the Bhagavata. Thus (the example of Suka) also speaks of the extreme greatness of the Bhagavata.

  It is thereby demonstrated that Suka, the narrator of the Bhagavata, and Vyasa shared the same sentiments (with regard to the Bhagavata). Therefore, in every instance, the significance of this work must be evaluated in accordance with the understanding of its narrator, Suka, and not otherwise. Whatever interpretations are found to be contrary to this should be considered mere deviations from the proper path.

 

50)  atha kramena vistaratas tathaiva tatparyam nirnetum

sambandhabhidheyaprayojanesu prathamam yasya vacya-

vacakatasambandhidam sastram tad eva dharmah projjhitakai-

tavah ityadipadye samanyakaratas tavad aha vedyam vastavam

atra vastu iti / tika ca atra shrimati sundare bhagavate vasta-

vam paramarthabhutam vastu vedyam na tu vaisesikadivad

dravyagunadirupam ity esa / 1/1 shrivedavyasah //

 

50)  Now, in order to determine the significance of the BHagavata in the manner just indicated, the sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana will be ascertained, one after the other, and in detail, in these six sandarbhas. The first of these (i.e. the Tattvasandarbha) will deal with the sambandha,or the relationship    

between the principle being taught and the medium through which it is taught. The substance of this relationship is described by Vyasa in a general manner in Bh.P. 1/1/2 with the phrase vedyam vastavam atra vastu ("The absolute reality is to be discovered in the BHagavata.."). According to the commentary of Shridhara: "Here, in this beautiful Bhagavata, the absolute reality, i.e. vastu in the highest sense, is to be discovered, and not vastu in the sense of substance or attribute, as interpreted by the Vaisesikas etc."

 

51)  atha kimsvarupam tad vastutattvam ity atraha

  vadanti tat tattvavidas tattvam yaj jnanam advayam / iti/

jnanam cidekarupam / advayatvam casya svayamsiddhata-

drsatadrsatattvantarabhavat svasaktyekasahatatvat parama-

srayam tam vina tasam asiddhatvac  ca / tattvam iti parama-

 purusarthatadyotanaya paramasukharupatvam tasya bodhyate /

ata eva tasya nityatvam ca darsitam /1/2 shrisutah //

 51)  Then, in reply to the question, "What is the nature of this principle of reality (tattva)?", Suta states: "The knowers of reality declare non-dual   consciousness to be reality." (Bh.P.1/2/11)

  Here, jnana ("consciousness") means "having pure consciousness as its essential nature". This consiousness is termed advaya ("non-dual") for the reasons that there exists no other self- existent tattva, either similar or dissimilar; it represents the sole support for its saktis; and without this consciousness as their ultimate substratum, these saktis could not exist.

  Since the term tattva indicates the highest goal of life, this conscousness is understood to be of the nature of supreme bliss. Consequently it is also shown to be eternal.

 

52)  nanu nilapitadyakaram ksanikam eva jnanam drstam

tat punar advayam nityam jnanam katham laksyate yan

nistham idam sastram ity atraha

  sarvavedantasaram yad brahmarmaikyatvalaksanam

  vasrv advitiyam tan nistham kaivalyaikaprayojanam //iti/

satyam jnanam anantam brahma iti yasya svarupam uktam

yenasrutam srutam bhavati iti yadvijnanena sarvavijnanam

pratijnatam sad eva saumyedam agra asit ityadina nikhilaja-

gadekakaranata tad aiksata bahu syam ityanena satyasan-      

kalpata ca yasya pratipadita tena brahmana svarupasaktibhyam

sarvabrhattamena sardham anena jivenatmana iti tadiyoktav

idantanirdesena tato bhinnatve 'py atmatanirdesena tadat-

mamsavisesatvena labdhasya badarayanasamadhidrstayukter

atyabhinnatarahitasya jivatmano yad ekatvam tat tvam asi

ityadau jnata tadamsabhutacidruparvena samanakarata tad

eva laksanam prathamato jnane sadhakatamam yasya tatha-

bhutam yat sarvavedantasaram advitiyam vastu tan nistham

tad ekavisayam idam shribhagavatam iti praktanapadyasthena-

nusangah / yatha janmaprabhrti kascid grhaguhavaruddhah

suryam vividisuh kathancid gavaksapatitam suryamsukanam

darsayitva kenacid upadisyate esa sa iti etat tadamsajyotih-

samanakarataya tan mahajyotir mandalam anusandhiyatam           ityarthas tadvat / jivasya tatha tadamsatvam ca tadacintya-

saktivisesasiddhatvenaiva paramatmasandarbhe sthapayisya-

mah / tadetajjivadilaksanamsavisistatayaivopanisadas tasya

samsatvam api kvacid upadisanti / niramsatvopadesika srutis tu

kevalatannistha / atra kaivalyaikaprayojanam iti caturthapadas

ca kaivalyapadasya suddhatvamatravacanatvena suddhatvasya

ca suddhabhaktitvena paryavasanena pritisandarbhe vyakhyas-

yate / 12/13 shrisutah //

 

52)  But consciousness is seen to be absolutely momentary, taking the form of a blue object (one moment) and a yellow  object (the next). How can such a consciousness be characterized as non-dual and eternal, as the Bhagavata is intent on doing?(Objection raized by ksanik visnanvadis)

  To this Suta replies: "The Bhagavata has for its subject matter that non-dual reality which forms the essence of all the Upanisads, and is characterized by the oneness of atman and brahman; its sole purpose is to bring about the attainment of kaivalya." (Bh.P.12/13/12)   That is, this Bhagavata has for its nistha, i.e. its sole concern, that non dual reality which forms the essence of all the Upanisads. Its primary and most efficacious teaching is characterized as oneness between the jiva and brahman. This oneness is understood, in such statements as tat tvam asi ("You are that," Ch.U.6/8/7), to be an identity of form, since the jiva, being a portion of brahman, shares his conscious nature. Due to his nature and power, brahman is the most extensive of all. He is that whose esential nature has been described by the words satyam jnanam anantam brahma ("Brahman is truth, knowledge, and infinity," Tai.U. 2/1/1); by knowing whom, all is said to be known: yenasrutam srutam bhavati ("...by learning about whom, the unheard become heard..."Ch.U.6/1/3); who is declared to be the single cause of the universe: sad eva saumyedam agra asit ("In the beginning, my boy, this was being alone," Ch.U. 6/2/1); and who has been described as being able to create by a mere wish: tad aiksata bahu syam ("He looked about and thought, 'May I be many.'"Ch.U.6/2/3). That the jiva is not absolutely non-different from brahman has been established by arguments based on Vyasa's vision in samadhi. Still, he is one with brahman in that he represents a particular portion of Him. This is demostrated by the phrase, anena jivenatmana ("by this living self",Ch.U.6/3/2), in which the employment of the pronoun idam ("this") implies difference from brahman while the use of the word atman ("self") indicates inclusion within brahman.

  The edea is this: Suppose someone who has been confined to a dark room froom his birth wishes to know the nature of the sun. Then, someone points out to him a tiny ray of light which has somehow managed to peep through a small hole, and instructs him as follows:"This is that (sun). Seek to realize the sun as agreat sphere of light, identical in nature with this ray of light, which is but a particle of that sun." We will demonstrate in the Paramatmasandarbha that the jiva similarly represents a portion of the paramatman, owing his very existence to a particular aspect of His unthinkable power. Therefore, the Upanisads teach in places that brahman possesses parts, but only in the sense that He is qualified by these parts, characterized as "jiva" etc. The Sruti texts, on the other hand, which indicate brahman, to be partless are concerned only with His absolute aspect.

  The fourth pada of this verse, kaivalyaikaprayojanam ("its sole purpose is to bring about the attainment of kaivalya"), will be analyzed in the Pritisandarbha by taking kaivalya to mean "purity" alone, and by showing "purity" to be synonymous with "pure bhakti".

 

53)  tatra yadi tvampadarthasya jivatmano jnanatvam

nityatvam ca prathamato vicaragocarah syat tadaiva tatpadar-

thasya tadrsatvam subodham syad iti tad bodhayitum anyarthas

ca paramarsah iti nyayena jivatmanas tadrupatvam aha /

  natma jajana na marisyati naidhate 'sau

                             na ksiyate savanavid vyabhicarinam hi /

  sarvatra sasvad anapayy upalabdhimatram

                             prano yathendriyabalena vikalpitam sat //

atma suddho jivah na jajana na jatah janmabhavad eva

tadanantarastitalaksano vikaro [pi nasti / naidhate na vardhate vrddhyabhavad eva viparinamo 'pi nirastah / hi yasmat /

vyabhicarinam agamapayinam balayuvadidehanam deva-

manusyadyakaradehanam va / savanavit tattatkaladrasta / na

hy avasthavatam drasta tadavastho bhavatityarthah / niravas-

thah ko 'sau atma / ata aha upalabdhimatram jnanaikarupam /

kathambhutam / sarvatra dehe sasvat sarvada anuvartamanam

iti / nanu nilajnanam nastam pitajnanam jatam iti pratiter na

jnanasyanapayitvam / tatraha indriyabeleneti / sad eva jnanam

ekam indriyabalena vividham kalpitam / niladyakara vrttaya

eva jayante nasyanti ca na jnanam iti bhavah / ayam

agamapayatadbadhabhedena prathamas tarkah / drastrdrsya-

bhedena dvitiyo 'pi tarko jneyah / vyabhicarisv avasthitas-

yavyabhicare drstantah yatheti //

 

53)  And here, only if the conscious and eternal nature of the jiva first comes to mind in connection with the word tvam, will his similarity with the being signified by the word tat be easily comprehended. Therefore, in accordance with Br.S. 1/3/20, anyarthas ca paramarsah (" The reference to the jiva has a different meaning"), Pippalayana utter the following words to King Nimi, showing the conscious and eternal nature of the jiva, in order to enlighten him about brahman: "The atman was not born, nor will it die; it neither increases nor decreases, since it is the witness of the changes which occur in all ephemeral things. Just as prana is conceived of as manifold on account of the senses, so is the atman, though eternal, everywhere unchanging, pure awareness, conceived of as many  ." (Bh.P.11/3/38)

  That is, "the atman",i.e. the pure jiva, "was not born". Since it has no birth, it is likewise free from the modification classified as astita ("existence") which immediately follows birth. "It does not increase." Since it is free from increase, the modification known as viparinama ("transformation") is likewise ruled out. The particle hi introduces the reason: "It is the savanavit", i.e. the witness of the different phases of time, "of all ephemeral things",i.e. of all things having a beginning and an end, whether bodies in the stages of childhood, youth, etc., or bodies in the form of gods, mortals, etc. The idea is that the obsetver of things subject to certain states is not itself subject to those states.

  What is this unconditioned atman? He replies, upalabdhimatram, i.e. he whose nature is consciousness alone. What is it like? It exists "everywhere",i.e. in every body, "eternally", i.e. at all times. But we see that consciousness of a blue object disappears, and that of a yellow object arises. Doesn't this prove the changing nature of consciousness? To this he replies, indryabalena ("on account of the senses"). Consciousness, which is existence itself, is one; it is conceived of as manifold on account of the senses. It is the mental states (vrtti) alone, in the form of blue objects etc., which appesr and disappear, not consciousness. This is what is meant.

  The first argument is based in the distinction between that which is subject to origination and annihilation, and that which is free from them. The second argument is to be understood in terms of the distinction between the seer and the seen. The phrase"just as prana" represents as illustration of something which does not swerve from its own state, even in the midst of things which are themselves changing. 

 

54) drstantam viirnvann indriyadilayena nirvikaratmo-

palabdhim darsayati

  andesu pesisu tarusv aviniscitesu

                             prano hi jivam upadhavati tatra tatra /

  sanne yad indriyagane 'hami ca prasupte

                             kutastha asayam rte tadanusmrtir nah //

andesu andajesu / pesisu jarayujesu / tarusu udbhijjesu / avini-

scitesu svedajesu / upadhavati anuvartate / evam drstante nir-

vikaratvam pradarsya darstantike 'pi darsayati / katham /

tadaivatma savikara iva pratiyate yada jagare indriyaganah

yada ca svapne tatsamskaravan ahankarah yada tu prasuptam

tada tasmin prasupta indriyagane sanne line ahami ahankare

ca sanne line kutastho nirvikara atma / kutah / asayam rte linga-

sariram upadhim vina vikarahetor upadher abhavad ityarthah /

nanv ahankaraparyantasya sarvasya laye sunyam evavasisyate

kva tada kutastha atma / ata aha tadanusmrtir nah tasyakhan-

datmanah susuptisaksinah smrtih nah asmakam jagrad-

drastrnam jayate etavantam kalam sukham aham asvapsam na

kincid avedisam iti / ato 'nanubhutasya tasyasmaranad asty

eva susuptau tadrgatmanubhavah visayasambandhabhavac ca

na spasta iti bhavah / atah svaprakasamatravastunah suryadeh

prakasavad upalabdhimatrasyapy atmana upalabdhih svasra-

ye 'sty evety ayatam / tatha ca srutih yad vai tan na pasyati

pasyan vai drastavyan na pasyati na hi drastur drster vipari-

lopo vidyate iti //

 

54)  Pippalayana further develops this metaphor, and shows how, with the merging of the senses, the unchanging atman is realized: "For prana follows the jiva wherever he may go, whether in eggs, fetuses, trees, or sweat-born creatures. When the senses and 'I'- consciousness have merged in deep sleep, then the immovable atman is free from its dwelling place, and (upon waking) we remember that." (Bh.P. 11/3/39) Here, andesu refers to creatures born from eggs, pesisu to those born from wombs, rarusu to those born from sprouts, and aviniscitesu to those born from sweat or heat. The verb upadhavati means "follows".

  Having thus shown the changeless nature (of prana) in the illustration, he goes on to show the changeless nature (of the atman) in the illustrated portion of this analogy. How is that? The atman appears to be changing when the senses are functioning in the waking state, or when the sense of "I", made up of impressions from the waking state, functions in the dream state. When, however, one is in deep sleep, his senses and "I"-consciousness both merged, then the atman remains kutastha, i.e. unchanging. In what way? Asayam rte, i.e. free from its limiting adjunct, the subtle body. The idea is that it is unchanging since it lacks upadhis, which are the cause of change.

But when everything, including even the sense of "I", becomes merged, only a void remains. Where is this changeless atman then? To this he replies: "We remember that." "We",i.e. the waking perceivers, remember that indivisible atman, the witness of the state of deep sleep, and say (upon waking): "I slept soundly for a long time. I wasn't awere of anything." The experience of the atman in deep sleep is such since there can be no memory of that which has not been experienced; it is hazy due to the absence of  any connection with sense objects. This is the idea. It therefore follows that the atman, which is pure awareness itself, possesses th power of knowing, which is grounded in itself, just as self- luminous objects, like the sun etc., possess the power of illumination. As states in Sruti: "And when (in deep sleep), he does not see, still he sees, though he does not see objects of sight, for there can be no severing if sight from the seer.."(Br.U.4/3/23)

  This is the third argument, based in the distinction between the categories of "witness" and "objects" witnessed". The fourth argument is understood in terms of the categories, "the sufferer" and "the repository of love"

 

55) tad uktam

anvayavyatirekakhyas tarkah syac chaturatmakah /

agamapayatadbadhabhedena prathamo matah //

drastrdrsyavibhagena dvitiyo 'pi matas tatha /

saksisaksyavibhagena trtiyah sammatah satam //

duhkhipremaspadatvena caturthah sukhabodhakah /

11/3 iti shripippalayano nimim //

 

55)  Therefore it is said: " This reasoning is known as 'anvayavyatireka' (positive and negative concomitance') and is of four kinds. The first argument is based on the distinction between that which is subject to orogination and annihilation, and that which is free from them; the second is based on the distinction between the seer and the seen. The thirt is considered by the wise to turn on the distinction between the witness and the objects witnessed, while the fourth convincing argument rests on the distinction between the sufferer and the repository love."

 

56) evambhutanam jivanam cinmatram yat svarupam tayai-

vakrtya tadamsitvena ca tadabhinnam yat tattvam tad atra

vacyam iti vyastinirdesadvara proktam / tad eva hy asrayasam-

jnakam mahapuranalaksanarupaih sargadibhir arthaih samasti-

nirdesadvarapi laksyata ity atraha dvabhyam

  atra sargo visargas ca sthanam posanam utayah /

  manvantaresanukatha nirodho muktir asrayah //

  dasamasya visuddhyartham navanam iha laksanam /

  varnayanti mahatmanah srutenarthena canjasa //

manvantarani cesanukathas ca manvantaresanukathah / atra

sargadayo dasartha laksyanta ityarthah / tatra ca dasamasya

visuddhyartham tattvajnanartham navanam laksanam svaru-

pam varnayanti / nanv atra naivam pratiyate / ata aha srutena

srutya kanthoktyaiva stutyadisthanesu anjasa saksad varnayanti

arthena tatparyavrttya ca tattdakhyanesu //

 

56)  The tattva which forms the subject matter of the Bhagavata is the principle of non-difference between the jiva, whose nature has just been deshribed, and brahman, based on the fact that the jiva is, by nature, pure consciousness and a portion of brahman; this has been described from the vyasti, or individual, point of view. The same tattva is also described from the samasti, or aggregate, point of view, by means of the categories which form the characteristics of Mahapuranas, such as sarga etc.; it is then termed asraya, the ultimate ground of existence. These categories are enumerated by Suka in the following two verses: "We find in the Bhagavata the  categories: 1)sarga, 2)visarga, 3) sthana, 4)posana, 5)uti, 6)manvantara, 7)isanukatha, 8)nirodha, 9)mukti, and 10)asraya. The great souls deshribe the characteristics of the first nine, either directly, with the aid of Sruti, or by explaining their significance (indirectly) in order to clarify the meaning of the tenth." (Bh.P. 2/10/1-2)

  Here, manvantaresanukathas is a dvandva compound meaning "manvantaras and isanukathas". The idea is that these ten topics, sarga etc., are described here. And of those ten, they describe the laksana, i.e. the nature, of the first nine, "in order to clarify the meaning of the tenth", i.e. in order to bring about an understanding of the true nature (tattva) of the tenth. But this is not at all evident in this verse. To clear this up, Suka replies, "They describe them srutena, i.e. by means of Sruti (text) uttered in eulogistic passages etc., anjasa,i.e. directly, and also arthena, i.e. by demonstrating their significance through a variety of legends."

 

57)  tam eva dasamam vispastayitum tesam dasanam vyut-

padikam saptaslokim aha

  bhutamatrendriyadhiyam janma sarga udahrtah /

  brahmano gunavaisamyad visargah paurusah smrtah //

bhutani khadini matrani ca sabdadini indriyani ca /  dhisabdena

mahadahankarau / gunanam vaisamyat parinamat / brahmanah

paramesvarat kartur bhutadinam janma sargah / puruso vairajo

brahma tatkrtah paurusah caracarasargo visarga ityarthah /

  sthitir vaikunthavijayah posanam tadanugrahah /

  manvantarani saddharma utayah karmavasanah //

  avataranucaritam hares casyanuvartinam /

  pumsam isakathah prokta nanakhyanopabrmhitah //

vaikunthasya bhagavato vijayah srstanam tattnmaryadapala-

nenotkarsah sthitih sthanam / tatah sthitesu svabhaktesu tasya -

nugrahah posanam / manvantarani tattanmanvantarasthitanam  

manvadinam tadanugrhitanam satam caritani tany eva dhar-

mas tadupasanakhyah saddharmah / tatraiva sthitau nana-

karmavasana utayah / sthitav eva harer avataranucaritam asya-

nuvartinam ca katha isanukathah prokta ityarthah /

  nirodho'syanusayanam atmanah saha saktibhih /

  muktir hitvanyatharupam svarupena vyavasthitih //

sthityanantaram catmano jivasya saktibhih svopadhibhih saha-

sya harer anusayanam harisayananugatatvena sayanam nirodha

ityarthah / tatra hareh sayanam prapancam prati drstinimila-

nam jivanam sayanam tatra laya iti jneyam / tatraiva nirodhe

'nyatharupam avidyadhyastam ajnatvadikam hitva svarupena

vyavasthitir muktih //

 

57)  In order to clarify the meaning of the tenth topic alone, Suka utters the following seven verses, explaining the significance of all ten: "The origination of the elemnts, sense objects, sense organs, and mahat,Ahmkara, due to the disturbance of the equilibrium of the gunas by Lord is known as sarga. The gross creation produced by the Brahma is called visarga."(Bh.P.2/10/3)

  Here, the term bhuta refers to the elements, ether etc.; matra signifies sense objects, such as sound etc. Indriya ("sense organs") represents the thirt element of this compound, and the term dhi indicated that mahat and ahankara are also to be included. "Due to the disturbance of the equilibrium of the gunas" means "due to the transformation of the gunas". This origination of the elements etc. "from Brahman", i.e. from the creator, paramesvara, is what is known as sarga. The purusa is Brahma, born from Viraj; what is created by him is known as paurusa. This paurusa creation of the moving and the unmoving is known as visarga. This is the idea.

  "Sthiti signifies the triumph of Vaikuntha (i.e. Vishnu); posana indicates his grace; manvantara stands for the virtuous conduct of the holy; and uti, for the subtle impressions from past actions. The descriptions of the deeds of the avataras of Hari and Him associates, supplemented by various legends, are known as isakatha." (Bh.P.2/10/4-5)

  Here, sthiti, or sthana, signifies the "triumph", i.e. execellence, " of Vaikuntha", i.e. of the Lord, in maintaining the different rules and regulations for creatures. Posana indicates the grace of the Lord on His devotees dwelling within this period of maintenance. Manvantara refers to lives of virtuous individuals, such as Manu etc., who have reveived the grace of the Lord, and who dwell within the different manvantaras. Their lives are themselves considered dharma; worship of Lord is known as saddharma. Uti stands for the impressions formed by the various activities performed during the period of maintenance. The stories of the deeds of the avataras of Hari and his followers during the period of maintenance are called isanukatha. This is the idea.

  "Nirodha signifies the coming to rest of the jiva, together with his saktis, in consequence of the cosmic sleep of Hari. Mukti indicates the abandonment of what is foreign to one's own nature, and the establishment in one's own true nature." (Bh.P.2/10/6)

  That is, following the period of maintenance, "the atman", i.e. the jiva, comes to a state of rest "together with his saktis", i.e. with his own limiting adjuncts, as a consequence of "His" ,i.e. Hari's, rest; this is what is known as nirodha. Here, the "rest of Hari" (sayana) signifies a closing of the eyes from the manifest universe, while the "rest of the jiva" signifies the marging of the jivas in the state of nirodha. Mukti indicates the steady dwelling in one's own true nature   in the condition of nirodha, by abandoning all that is foreign to one's own nature, i.e. ignorance etc., superimposed by avidya.

 

58)  abhasas ca nirodhas ca yato 'sty adhyavasiyate /

     sa asrayah param brahma paramatmeti sabdyate //

abhasah srstih nirodho layas ca yato bhavati adhyavasiyata

upalabhyate jivanam jnanendriyesu prakasate ca sa brahmeti

paramatmeti prasiddha asrayah kathyate / iti sabdah pradara-

rthah tena bhagavan iti ca / asya vivrtir agre vidheya //

58)  "That is the asraya, form which come the origin and dissolution of the universe, and by virtue of which it is perceived; it is designated the supreme brahman and paramatman." (Bh.P. 2/10/7)

  That is, he who is well-known under the designations brahman and paramatman, from whom come the abhasa, i.e. the origin, and the nirodha, i.e. the dissolution (of the universe), and because of whom it adhyavasiyate, i.e. is perceived, or shines, through the sense organs of jivas, He is known as the asraya. Since the particle iti indicates variety, Bhagavan is also to be understood. A further explanation (of this topic) is given below.

 

59)  sthitau ca tatrasrayasvarupam aparoksanubhavena vya-

stidvarapi spastam darsayitum adhyatmadivibhagam aha

  yo 'dhyatmiko 'yam purusah so 'sav evadhidaivikah /

  yas tatrobhayavicchedah puruso hy adhibhautikah //

  ekam ekatarabhave yada nopalabhamahe /

  tritayam tatra yo veda sa atma svasrayasrayah //

yo 'yam adhyatmikah purusas caksuradikaranabhimani drasta

jivah sa evadhidaivikas caksuradyadhisthata suryadih / deha-

srsteh purvam karananam adhisthanabhavenaksamataya karana-

prakasakartrtvabhimanitatsahayayor ubhayor api tayor vrtti-

bhedanudayena jivatvamatravisesat / tatas cobhayah karanabhi-

manitadadhisthatrdevatarupo dvirupo vicchedo yasmat sa adhi-

bhautikas caksurgolakadyupalaksito drsyo dehah purusa iti

purusasya jivasyopadhih / sa va esa puruso 'nnarasamayah ity-

adisruteh //

 

59) In order to clearly demonstrate the nature of the asraya during the period of maintenance, from the vyasti point of view as well, that is, in terms of one's own immediate experience, Suka explains the distinction between the categories, adhyatmika etc., in the following two verses: "He who is the adhyatmika purusa is verily the adhidaivika purusa. The purusa who is responsible for the division of these two is verily the adhibhautika purusa. In the absence of any one of these three, we do not perceive the others. Then, he who knows all three is the atman (i.e. the jiva), who is himself grounded in Him (i.e. in parmatman) who has no asraya other than Himself." (Bh.P.2/10/8-9)

  That is, he who is hte adhyatmika purusa, the jiva, or perceiver, who identifies himself with the sense organs, such as the eyes etc., is also the adhidaivika purusa, the presiding deity of the eye setc., such as Surya (the sun) etc. Prior to the creation of the body, there exists no dwelling place for the sense organs, which are thus rendered imponent. Consequently, no distinct modifications arise within either (the adhyatmika purusa), who considers himself to be the illuminator of the senses, or his ally (the adhidaivika purusa). As a result, both remain indistinguishable from the pure jiva. Then, on account of the adhibhautika purusa,i.e. the visible body, endowed with eyeballs etc., the other two purusas are divided, and assume their respective forms, the one identifying himself with the senses, and the other as the presiding deity of the senses. The adhibhautika purusa (i.e. the physical body) is referred to a purusa (literally, a "person") insofar as it represents the limiting adjunct of the purusa, or jiva. This usage is justified by the following Sruti text: "This purusa (i.e. the physical person) is the embodiment of the essence of food." (Tai.U.2/1/1)

60) ekam ekatarabhava ity esam anyonyasapeksasiddha-

tvenanasrayatvam darsyati / tatha hi drsyam vina tatpratitya-

numeyam karanam na sidhyati napi drasta na ca tadvina

karanapravrttyanumeyas tadadhisthata suryadih na ca tam

vina drsyam ity ekatarasyabhava ekam nopalabhamahe /

tatra tada tat tritayam alocanatmakena prayayena yo veda

saksitaya pasyati sa paramatma asrayah / tesam api parasparam

asrayatvam astiti tadvyavacchedartham visesanam svasrayo

'nanyasrayah / sa casav anyesam asrayas ceti / tatramsamsinoh

suddhajivaparamatmanor abhedamsasvikarenaivasraya uktah /

atah paro 'pi manute 'nartham iti

  jagratsvapnasusuptam ca gunato buddhivrttayah /

  tasam vilaksano jivah saksitvena vivaksitah //

iti suddho vicaste hy avisuddhakartuh ityady uktasya saksisam-

jninah suddhajavasyasrayatvam na sankaniyam / athava nanv

adhyatmikadinam apy asrayatvam asty eva / satyam tathapi

parasparasrayatvan na tatrasrayatakaivalyam iti te tv asraya-

sabdena mukhyataya nocyanta ity aha tritayam iti / sa atma

saksi jivas tu yah svasrayo 'nanyasrayah paramatma sa eva-

srayo yasya tathabhuta iti / vaksyate ca hamsaguhyastave

  sarvam puman veda gunams ca tajjno

                             na veda srvajnam anantam ide / iti

tasmat abhasas ca ityadinoktah paramatmaivasraya iti /2/10

shrisukah //

 

60) The second of these two verses (i.e. Bh. 2/10/9) reveals the fact that none of these (three purusas) can be considered the asraya, since they are all mutually dependent. That is, in the absence of the visible object, it is not possible to establish the existence of either the sense organ, whose existence is inferred from the  perception of the object, or the seer. And in the absence of either the sense organ or the seer, is not possible to establish the existence of the presiding deities of the senses, such as Surya (the sun) etc., whose existence is inferred from the functioning of the sense organs. Furthermore, without the presiding deity, the sense organs cannot function; and in the absence of the senses, the existence of the visible object cannot be established. Thus, in the absence of any one of these, we do not perceive the others. Then He who "knows" these three, i.e. perceves them as the witness through a reflective cognition, He, i.e. paramatman,is the asraya. The qualifier svasraya, i.e. "having no asraya other than itself", is meant to distinguish paramatman from the other three, which also function as asrayas, each being the asraya for the others. And (in addition to being its own asraya) , the paramatman is also the asraya for the others.

The term asraya is used here only with reference to that aspect of the pure jiva, or "part", which is identical with the paramatman , or "whole". Thus, there should be no hesitation in considering the pure jiva, known as the "witness" and characrized in the following verses, to be the asraya: "...though beyond the three gunas, he considers himself to be composed of the three gunas, and consequently comes to grief" (Bh.P.1/7/5); "The states of waking, dream, and dreamless sleep are all modifications of the intellect based on the gunas. The jiva, being their witness, is considered distinct from them" (Bh.P. 11/13/27); and "...the pure (witness) observes the modifications of the mind, the impure agent" (Bh. P.5/11/12).

  But then, shouldn,t the adhyatmika purusa and the others also be considered asrayas? True, but since they are mutually dependent, they cannot be considered asrayas in any absolute sense; threfore, the term asraya should not be applied to them in its primary sense. This is hte significance of the phrase, "In the absense of any one of these three, we do not perceive the others." 

  Then why not consider the witness alone to be the asraya? To this Suka replies, "Then he who knows all three is the atman..." This atman is the jiva, or witness. But He who represents His own asraya, i.e. has no asraya other than Himself, is paramatman. It is He who is the asraya for the witnessing jiva.

As stated in the Hamsaguhyastava, "Man knows all, including the gunas; but knowing all that, he still does not know the alldnowing infinite (paramatman). My salutations to that (paramatman)" (Bh.P. 6/4/25). Therefore, the paramatman alone is declared to be the asraya in the Bhagavata verse(Bh.P. 2/10/7).

 

61)  asya shribhagavatasya mahapuranatvavyanja-

kalaksanam prakarantarena ca vedann api tasyaivasra-

yatvam aha dvayena

  sargo 'syatha visargas ca vrtti raksantarani ca /

  vamso vamsanucaritam samstha hetur apasrayah //

  dasabhir laksanair yuktam puranam tadvido viduh /

  kecit pancavidham brahman mahadalpavyavasthaya //

antarani manvantarani / pancavidham

  sargas ca pratisargas ca vamso manvantarani ca /

  vamsanucaritam ceti puranam pancalaksanam //

iti kecid vadanti / sa ca matabhedo mahadalpavyavasthaya

mahapuranam alpapuranam iti bhinnadhikaranatvena /

yady api visnupuranadav api dasapi tani laksyante tathapi

pancanam eva pradhanyenoktatvad alpatvam / atra

dasanam arthanam skandhesu yathakramam praveso na

vivaksitah tesam dvadasasankhyatvat / dvitiyaskandhokta-

nam tesam trtiyadisu yathasankhyam na samavesah niro-

dhadinam dasamadisv astamavarjam anyesam apy anyesu

yathoktalaksanataya samavesanasakyatvad eva / tad

uktam shrisvamibhir eva

  dasame krishnasatkirtivitanayopavarnyate /

  dharmaglaninimittas tu nirodho dustabhubhujam //

  prakrtadicaturdha yo nirodhah sa tu varnitah / iti ato

'tra skandhe shrikrishnarupasyasrayasyaiva varnanapradhan-

yam tair vivaksitam / uktam ca svayam eva

  dasame dasamam laksyam ashritasrayavigraham / iti

evam anyatrapy unneyam / atah prayasah sarve 'rthah

sarvesv eva skandhesu gaunatvena va mukhyatvena va

nirupyanta ity eva tesam abhimatam / srutenarthena can-

jasa ity atra ca tathaiva pratipannam sarvatra tattatsam-

bhavat / tatas ca prathamadvitiyayor api mahapuranata-

yam pravesah syat / tasmat kramo na grhitah //

61)  Suta also declares (paramatman) alone to be the asraya, in the following two verses, though enumerating the characteristics which  indicate the Bhagavata to be a Mahapurana in a dirrenent  fashion: "The knowers of Puranas understand  a Purana to have the following ten characteristics:

  1)sarga, 2)visarga, 3)vrtti. 4)raksa, 5)antara, 6) vamsa, 7)vamsanucarita, 8)samstha, 9)hetu, and 10)apasraya. Some, O Brahmana, consider the characteristics  to be fivefold based on a distinction between major and minor."(Bh.P.12/7/9-10)

  Here, antarani signifies manvantaras. Some sonsider the characteristics of Puranas to be fivefold by citing the following verse: "Sarga, pratisarga, vamsa, manvantara, and vamsanucarita are the five characteristics of a Purana." This difference of opinion is "based on a didtinction between major and minor",i.e. based on the fact that major and minor Puranas each  have their own distinctive topics. Even though all ten topics are descibed in such Puranas as the Vishnu Purana etc., still, since only five are principally discussed, they are considered minor.

  This in not to say that these ten topics can be found one after the ather in the subsequent skandhas of the Bhagavata, for the Bhagavata contains twelve such  skandhas. Nor can the characteristics  enumerated in the second skandha be found one after the other in skandhas three through twelve, since it is not possible to find the topics nirodha, mukti, and asraya in skandhas ten, eleven, and twelve; the same is also true regarding the other characteristics and skandhas, with the exception of skandha eight (which deals with the topic manvantara).Therefore, Shridhara himself states: "The destruction (nirodha) of the wickced kings, necessitated by a decline in righteousness, is described in skandha ten, in order to spread the fame of Krishna. The four kinds of nirodha, prakrta,etc., have already been deshribed." Thus, Shridhara considers the tenth skandha to be chiefly concerned with describing the asraya alone, in the form of Krishna. As he himself says: "The tenth topic (asraya), in the form of him (i.e. Krishna) who is the refuge for all who seek shelter with him, is the aim of the tenth skandha." And the same conclusion can be reached with regard to the other skandhas as well. Thus, according to Shridhara, virtually every topic is described either directly or indirectly, in every skandha. This same idea is indicated by the phrase, "(The first nine topics are described) either directly, with the aid of Sruti, or by explaining their significance (indirectly)," since one or the other of these methods is met with throughout the Bhagavata. Thus, the first and second skandhas are also to be considered as parking of the nature of a Mahapurana. Therefore, we do not accept the idea that the ten topics are dealt with in successive chapters.

 

62) atha sargadinam laksanam aha

  avyakrtagunaksobhan mahatas trivrto 'hamah /

  bhutamatrendriyarthanam sambhavah sarga ucyate //

pradhanagunaksobhan mahan tasmat triguno 'hankarah

tasmad bhutamatranam bhutasuksmanam indriyanam ca

sthulabhutanam ca tadupalaksitataddevatanam ca sambha-

vah sargah / karanasrstih sarga ityarthah /   purusanugrhitanam etesam vasanamayah /

  visargo 'yam samaharo bijad bijam caracaram //

purusah paramatma / etasam mahadadinam jivasya purva-

karmavasanapradhano 'yam samaharah karyabhutas cara-

carapranirupo bijad bijam iva pravahapanno visarga ucyate /

vyastisrstir visarga ityarthah / anenotir apy ukta /

  vrttir bhutani bhutanam caranam acarani ca /

  krta svena nrnam tatra kamac codanayapi va //

caranam bhutanam samanyato 'carani cakarac carani

ca kamad vrttih / tatra tu nrnam svena svabhavena kamac

codanayapi va ya niyata vrttir jivika krta sa vrttir ucyata

ityarthah /

  raksacyutavatareha visvasyanuyuge yuge /

  tiryanmartyarsidevesu hanyante yais trayidvisah //

yair avataraih / anenesakatha sthanam posanam ceti trayam

uktam /

  manvantaram manur deva manuputrah suresvarah /

  rsayo 'msavataras ca hareh sadvidham ucyate //

manvadyacaranakathanena saddharma evatra vivaksita ityar-

thah / tatas ca praktanagranthenaikarthyam /

  rajnam brahmaprasutanam vamsas traikaliko 'nvayah /

  vamsyanucaritam tesam vrttam vamsadharas ca ye //

tesam rajnam ye ca vamsadharas tesam vrttam vamsyanucaritam //

 

62)  Suta then describes the characteristics of sarga etc.:" The origination of mahat from a disturbance of the gunas of the unmanifest (prakrti), of the three-fold 'I'-consciousness, and of the subtle elements, senses, and sense objects is called sarga." (Bh.P.12/7/11)

  That is, mahat originates from a disturbance of the gunas of prakrti; from mahat comes ahankara, composed of the three gunas; from ahankara arise the bhutamatras, or subtle elements, the senses, and the gross elements, along with their respective presiding deities. This process of origination is termed sarga. That is to say, sarga indicates causal creation.

  "The assembling of these (elements of creation), with the aid of the purusa, based on the stored-up impressions (of jivas), is called visarga. It is the creation of all moving and unmoving beings, and proceeds like one seed growing out of another."(Bh.P.12/7/12)

  Here, the purusa stands for paramatman. The assembling of these elements of creation, i.e. mahat etc., is based primarily on the stored-up impressions from past actions of the jiva. It represents the affect in the form of living beings, both moving and unmoving. This unbroken cycle, like one seed arising from another,is called visarga; that is, it is the creation of the particular. The category uti ("the subtle impressions from past actions") is also indicated by this verse.

  "Unmoving being constitute the vrtti,or means of subsistence, for moving being. The means of subsistence for men is accomplished naturally, out of desire, or in accordance with scriptural injunction." (Bh.P.12/7/13)

  That is, unmoving beings generally constitute the means of subsistence for moving beings, based on desire. The conjunction ca in this verse indicates that moving beings are also to be understood (as constituting the means of means of subsistence for other moving beings). The regulated vrtti of men, however, performed to maintain their livelihood, is carried out "naturally",i.e. based on their own nature, either out of desire, or according to scriptural injunction; this is what is known as vrtti.

  "Raksa ('protection of the universe) indicates the exploits of the avataras of Acyuta (i.e. Vishnu), who come age after age, amongs animals, mortals, rsis, and devas, and who destroy the enemies of the Vedas." (Bh.P.12/7/14)

  Here, the pronoun yaih indicates that it is the avataras who destroy the enemies of the Vedas. The three categories, isakatha ("stories of the avataras"), sthana ("maintenance of the universe"),and posana ("the grace of the Lord on his devotees") are also indicated by this verse.

  "Manvantara is said to contain six elements: the Manu, the sons of Manu the devas the rulers of the devas, the rsis, and the partial avataras of Hari." (Bh.P. 12/7/15)

  By the descriptions of the deeds of Manu etc. Saddharma is indicated. Thus this characterization (of the categories) is identical with the earlier one.(Bh.P. 2/4/10)

  "The dynastic succession, past, present, and future, of the kings fathered by Brahma is known as vamsa. The descriptions of the lives of their descendants is known as vamsanucarita." (Bh.P.12/7/6)

  Here, "of their (descendants)" means "of the descendants of the kings". It is the description of the lives of these                                                                         descendants which is known  as vamsanucarita.

 

63)  naimittikah prakrtiko nitya atyantiko layah /

  samstheti kavibhih proktas  caturdhasya svabhavatah // asya

paramesvarasya / svabhavatah saktitah / atyantika ity anena

muktir apy atra pravesita /

  hetur jivo 'sya sargader avidyakarmakarakah /

  yam canusayinam prahur avyakrtam utapare //

hetur nimittam / asya visvasya / yato 'yam avidyaya karmakara-

kah / yam eva hetum kecic chaitanyapradhanyenanusayinam

prabhuh apara upadhipradhanyenavyakrtam iti /

  vyatirekanvayau yasya jagratsvapnasusuptisu /

  mayamayesu tad brahma jivavrttisv apasrayah //

shribadarayanasamadhilabdharthavirodhad atra ca jivasuddha--

svarupam evasrayatvena na vyakhyayate kintv ayam evarthah

jagradadisv avasthasu mayamayesu mayasaktikalpitesu mahad-

adidravyesu ca kevalasvarupena vyatirekah paramasaksitaya-

nvayas ca yasya tad brahma ca jivanam vrttisu suddhasvarupa-

taya sopadhitaya ca vartanesu sthitisv apasrayah sarvam aty-

atikramyasraya ityarthah / apa ity etat khalu varjane varjanam

catikrame paryavasyatiti / tad evam apasrayabhivyaktidvara-

bhutam hetusabdavyapadistasya jivasya suddhasvarupajnanam

aha dvabhyam

  padarthesu yatha dravyam tanmatram rupanamasu /

  bijadipancatantasu hy avasthasu yutayutam //

  virameta yada cittam hitva vrttitrayam svayam /

  yogena va tadatmanam vedehaya nivartate //

rupanamatmakesu padarthesu ghatadisu yatha dravyam prthi- vyadi yutam ayutam ca bhavati karyadrstim vinapy upalam-

bhat tatha tanmatram suddham jivachaitanyamatram vastu gar-

bhadhanadipancatantasu navasv apy avasthasv avidyaya yutam

svatas tv ayutam iti suddham atmanam ittham jnatva nirvinnah

sann apasrayanusandhanayogyo bhavatity aha virameteti /

vrttitrayam jagratsvapnasusuptirupam / atmanam paramatma-

nam / svayam vamadevader iva mayamayatvanusandhanena

devahuyader ivanusthitena yogena va/tatas cehayas tadanu-

silanavyatiriktacestayah/12/7 shrisutah/ uddistah sambandhah//

 

63)  "Samstha, or dissolution, is declared by the wise to result from the essential power (of paramesvara), and to be of four kinds: naimittika (causal), prakrta (natural), nitya (necessary), and atyantika (final)." (Bh.P. 12/7/17)

  Here, the pronoum asya indicates paramesvara, and the term svabhavatah means "due to His sakti". The mention of atyantika, or final dissolution, indicates that mukti is also included here.

  "The jiva performs actions out of ignorance, and is thus the hetu, or cause, of the creation tec. of the universe. Some call that anusayin, while others call it avyakrta." (Bh.P. 12/7/18)

  Here, the term hetu indicates the efficient cause; asya means "of the universe". The compound avidyakarmakarakah provides the reason: "since he performs actions out of ignorance". Some refer to this hetu as anusayin, emphasizing the conscious aspect, while others call it avyakrta, emphasizing its association with upadhis. 

  "That brahman, who is both associated with and distinct from the states of waking, dream, and deep sleep as well as the products of maya, serves as the apasraya, or ground, for the functions of the jiva (Bh.P. 12/7/19)

  The pure form of the jiva is not explained here to be the asraya, since that would contradict Vyasa's experience in samadhi. Rather, the idea is this: Brahman, in his pure form, is distinct from the states of waking etc., as well as from the products of maya, such as mahat etc., which are conceived through the power of maya; but in His role as the supreme witness, He is associated with them. That is to say, though the apasraya is the ground (asraya) for the functions of the jivas, both in its pure form, and in its qualified form, as dwelling in the midst of these functions, it is all-trascending. This is indicated by the preverb apa (in apasraya) which indicates "abandonment", which is itself synonymous with "trascendence".

  Therefore, Suta, in the following two verses, speaks of the pure conscious nature of the jiva, designated by the term hetu, as a means to revealing the true nature of the apasraya: "Just as a material element, is both associated with and distinct from the objects which it constitutes, made up of names and form, so is the At man both associated with and distinct from the various stages of life, beginning with inception and ending with death. When one withdraws the mind and goes beyond the three states (waking, dreaming, and deep sleep), either on his own, or with the aid of yoga, he realizes the atman, and refrains from endeavors." (Bh.P. 12/7/20-21)

  That is, just as a substance, such as earth etc., is associated with objects, such as jars etc., and is also distinct from them when viewed without regard for its effect, so also the tanmatra, i.e. the reality, or pure consciousness of the jiva, is associated, through avidya, with the nine stage of life, beginning with conception and ending with death, and yet is, in itself, unassociated.

  Having realized the pure atman to be such, one becomes indifferent and qualified to inquire into the nature of the apasraya. This is explained by Suta in the second of these two verses (Bh.P.12/7/21). Here, the "three states" are those of waking, dreaming and deep sleep; the term atman signifies paramatman. The expression "on his own" means "by inquiring into the illusory nature of things, as did Vamadeva etc.", and "through yoga" means "through the practices of yoga, performed by Devahuti etc." "Refraining from all endeavors" means "from all endeavors other than the pursuit of paramatman".

  Thus has the sambandha been indicated.

 

  iti kaliyugapavanasvabhajanavibhajanaprayojanavatarashri-

shribhagavatkrishnachaitanyadevacarananucaravisvavaishnavaraja-

sabhasabhajanabhajanashrirupasanatananusasanabharatigarbh

eshribhagavatasandarbhe tattvasandarbho nama prathamah

sandarbhah //

 

Here ends the firs volume of the Bhagavatasandarbha, entitled Tattvasandarsha, written according to the teachings of Rupa and Sanatana, the objects of veneration in the assemblies of all great Vaishnavas, and the companions of the Supreme Lord Krishna Chaitanya, the purifier of the Kali Yuga, who incarneated in order to bestow the boon of His own worship.