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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Verses > Gaudiya Kanthahara > Bhagavat-tattva

Bhagavat-tattva

 

 

Bhagavatam is the Crown Jewel of all Revealed Scriptures

 

2.1

dharmah projjhita-kaitavo 'tra paramo nirmatsaranam satam

vedyam vastavam atra vastu-sivadam tapa-trayonmulanam

shrimad-bhagavate maha-muni-krte kim va parair isvarah

sadyo hrdy avarudhyate 'tra krtibhih susrusubhis tat-ksanat

 

          Completely rejecting all religious principles that are materially motivated, Bhagavata-Purana propounds the highest truth, which is understandable by those devotees who are fully pure in heart. The highest truth is reality distinguished from illusion for the welfare of all. Such truth uproots the threefold miseries. This beautiful Bhagavatam, compiled by the great sage Vyasa in the maturity of his spiritual realization, is sufficient in itself for God-realization. What is the need for any other scripture? As soon as one attentively and submissively hears the message of Bhagavatam, by this culture of knowledge, the Supreme Lord is established within his heart. (Bhag. 1.1.2)

 

2.2

'krishna-bhakti-rasa-svarupa' shri-bhagavata

tate veda-sastra haite parama mahattva

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam gives direct information of the mellows derived from service to Krishna. Therefore Shrimad-Bhagavatam is above all other Vedic literature. (Cc. Madhya 25.150)

 

 Bhagavatam is the Ripened Fruit of the Vedic Desire Tree

 

 2.3

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam

suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam

pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam

muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the essence of all Vedic literature. It is the ripened fruit of the desire tree of Vedic knowledge. It has been sweetened by emanating from the mouth of Sukadeva Gosvami. O thoughtful men, who relish transcendental mellows, always taste this fully ripened fruit. As long as you are aspiring to be absorbed in the transcendental bliss derived from the Lord's loving service, you should continue tasting Shrimad-Bhagavatam even after liberation. (Bhag. 1.1.3)

 

Bhagavatam is the Literary Incarnation of Krishna

 

2.4

krsne sva-dhamopagate dharma-jnanadibhih saha

kalau nasta-drsam esa puranarko' dhunoditah

         Shrimad-Bhagavatam is as brilliant as the sun. After Lord Krishna has left for His abode, accompanied by dharma and knowledge, it has arisen to save us from the darkness of the age of Kali. (Bhag. 1.3.43)

 

Paramahamsas Sing Bhagavatam for the Benefit of all Souls

 

2.5

anarthopasamam saksad

bhakti-yogam adhoksaje

lokasyajanato vidvams

cakre satvata-samhitam

yasyam vai sruyamanayam

krsne parama-puruse

bhaktir utpadyate pumsah

soka-moha-bhayapaha

 

          The material miseries of the living entity, which are superfluous to him, can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service; but the mass of people do not know this, therefore the great sage Vyasa compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth. Simply by hearing this Vedic literature, the feeling for devotional service to Krishna sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion, and fearfulness within the heart. (Bhag. 1.7.6,7)

 

Bhagavatam is Dear to the Topmost Paramahamsas

 

2.6

shrimad-bhagavatam puranam amalam yad vaishnavanam priyam

yasmin paramahamsyam ekam amalam jnanam param giyate

tatra jnana-viraga-bhakti-sahitam naiskarmyam avisktam

tac chrnvan su-pathan vicarana-paro bhaktya vimucyen narah

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the spotless Purana. It is especially dear to the Vaishnavas; it has knowledge that is especially appreciated by the paramahamsas. When carefully studied, heard, and understood again and again, it opens the door to pure devotion through which one never returns to the bondage of illusion. (Bhag. 12.13.18)

 

Bhagavatam is the Natural Commentary on Vedanta, Mahabharata, Gayatri, and the Vedas

 

2.7

artho 'yam brahma-sutranam bharatartha vinirnayah

gayatri-bhasya-rupo 'sau vedartha-paribrmhitah

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam explains the meaning of Vedanta and the purpose of Mahabharata. It reveals the inner meaning of the gayatri mantra and the essence of the Vedas. (Hari-Bhakti-Vilasa 10.394)

 

2.8

gayatrira arthe ei grantha-arambhana

"satyam param" sambhandha, "dhimahi" sadhane prayojana

 

          In the beginning of Shrimad-Bhagavatam is an explanation of the brahma-gayatri mantra: satyam param dhimahi, "We meditate upon the Absolute Truth." Here dhimahi indicates the execution of devotional service and the attainment of the ultimate goal of life, Shri Krishna, who is satyam param, the Supreme Absolute Truth. (Cc. Madhya 25.147)

 

2.9

cari-veda-upanisade yata kichu haya

tara artha lana vyasa karila sancaya

yei sutre yei rk visaya vacana

bhagavate sei rk sloke nibandhana

ataeva brahma-sutrera bhasya shri bhagavata

bhagavata-sloka, upanisat kahe 'eka' mata

 

          Vyasadeva collected whatever conclusions were in the four Vedas and 108 Upanisads, and composed them in the form of codes as the Vedanta-sutras. In Vedanta-sutra the purpose of all Vedic knowledge is explained, and in Shrimad-Bhagavatam, it is elaborated upon in 18,000 verses. What is explained in Shrimad-Bhagavatam and in the Upanisads serves the same purpose. (Cc. Madhya 25.98-100)

 

2.10

ye sutra-karta, se yadi karaye vyakhyana

tabe sutrera mula artha lokera haya jnana

 

          If the Vedanta-sutras are explained by their author, Vyasadeva, their original meaning can be easily understood by the people in general. (Cc. Madhya 25.93)

 

2.11

ataeva bhagavata sutrera 'artha'-rupa

nija-krta sutrera nija-'bhasya'-svarupa

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam gives the actual meaning of the Vedanta-sutras. The author of the sutras is Vyasadeva and he has explained their meaning in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. (Cc. Madhya 25.142)

 

2.12

ataeva bhagavata karaha vicara

iha haite pabe sutra- srutira artha-sara

 

          Study Shrimad-Bhagavatam meticulously. Then you will understand the actual meaning of Vedanta-sutra. (Cc. Madhya 25.153)

 

Bhagavatam is the essence of all the scriptures

 

2.13

sarva-vedetihasanam

saram saram samuddhrtam

 

          The essence of all Vedic literature, the Vedas, Puranas, and Itihasas, has been collected in the Shrimad-Bhagavatam. (Cc. Madhya 25.145)

 

Whoever Disregards Bhagavatam and Relies

on Saokaracarya 's Commentary is Lost

 

2.14

jivera nistara lagi' sutra kaila vyasa

mayavadi-bhasya sunile haya sarva-nasa

 

          Vyasadeva presented the Vedic literature for the deliverance of the conditioned souls, but if one hears the commentary of Sankaracarya everything is spoiled. (Cc. Madhya 6.169)

 

Bhagavatam Reveals the Inner Meaning of Vedanta

 

2.15

sarva-vedanta-saram hi shri-bhagavatam isyate

tad-rasamrta-trptasya nanyatra syad ratih kvacit

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam is accepted as the essence of all Vedic literature and Vedantic philosophy. Whoever tastes the transcendental mellow of Shrimad-Bhagavatam is never attracted to any other literature. (Bhag. 12.13.15)

 

Bhagavatam is the Cream of the Vedas and the Very Form of Krishna

 

2.16

sabe purusartha 'bhakti' bhagavate haya

'premarupa bhagavata' carivede kaya

cari veda-dadhi bhagavata

mathilenn suke-khailenu pariksita

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam speaks of the highest goal of life, devotional service, divine love of Krishna. According to all the Vedas Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the very form of divine love. The four Vedas are like yogurt, but the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is like butter. The churner of this butter is Sukadeva Gosvami, and the eater of this butter is Pariksita Maharaja. (Cb. Madhya. 22.15-l6)

 

2.17

krishna-tulya bhagavata vibhu, sarvasraya

prati-sloke prati-aksare nana artha kaya

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam is as great as Krishna Himself, the Supreme Lord and the shelter of everything. In each and every verse and syllable of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, there are multi-faceted meanings, for it is as infinite as Krishna. (Cc. Madhya 24.318)

 

2.18

bhagavata, tulasi gangaya, bhaktajane

caturdha vigraha krishna ei cari sane

 

          Wherever Shrimad-Bhagavatam, Tulasi-devi, the Ganges, and the devotees are found, Krishna is always present. (Cb. Madhya 22.81)

 

Self-Manifest and Eternal, Bhagavatam is not Ordinary Materialistic Literature

 

2.19

adi-madhya-antye bhagavate ei kaya

visnu-bhakti nityasiddha aksaya avyaya

(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Antya 3.506)

bhagavata-sastre se bhaktir tattva kahe

teni bhagavata-sama kona sastra nahe

yena rupa matsya-kurma-adi avatara

avirbhava-tirobhava apanei haya

(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Antya 3.509-511)

isvarera tattva yena bujhane na yaya

eimata bhagavata sarva-saste gaya

(Cb. Antya 3.513)

premamaya bhagavata krsnera shri anga

tahate kahena yata gopya krsneranga

(Chaitanya Bhagavata, Antya 3.516)

hena bhagavata kona duskrti padiya

nityananda ninda kare tattva na janiya

(Cb. Antya 3.534)

 

          In the beginning, middle, and end, the Shrimad-Bhagavatam speaks only of devotional service to Krishna. As such, this literature is eternally perfect, infallible, and infinite, because it contains all truths pertaining to the infinite. Since the Shrimad-Bhagavatam speaks exclusively of the truths of pure devotional service, it is unparalleled among the sastras. No other scripture can compare with Shrimad-Bhagavatam. In the same way that the avataras of Krishna beginning with Matsya and Kurma appear and disappear transcendentally, the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is not of mundane origin. It appears and disappears of its own accord. In the same way that truth about God Himself is inconceivable, the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is beyond all material understanding. The Shrimad-Bhagavatam is full of krishna-prema. It is a part of Krishna Himself, for it describes Krishna's confidential pastimes. Whoever offends the lotus feet of Lord Nityananda is a great sinner. Despite his deep study and scholarship, such a person will never understand the Shrimad-Bhagavatam.

 

Bhagavatam is Beyond Sensual Experience

 

 2.20

padau yadiyau prathamadvitiyau trtiyaturyau kathitau yaduru

nabhistatha pancama eva sastho bhujantaram doryugalam tathanyau

kanthas tu rajan navamo yadiyo mukharavindam dasamam praphullam

ekadaso yasya lalatapattakam siro'pi tu dvadasa eva bhati

tamadidevam karunanidhanam tamalavarnam suhitavataram

aparasamsara samudra-setum bhajamahe bhagavata-svarupam

 

          I worship that Supreme Lord Shri Krishna, the origin of all the gods, the abode of mercy, whose transcendental form is black like the tamal tree, and who has appeared in the form of His sound avatara, Shrimad-Bhagavatam. It is the literary incarnation of Krishna, a bridge by which lost souls can cross the ocean of repeated birth and death.

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam has twelve cantos, which correspond to the twelve different parts of Krishna's divine form. The first two cantos are the lotus feet of Krishna. The third and fourth cantos are His lotus thighs. The fifth canto is His lotus navel. The sixth canto is His torso and chest. The seventh and eight cantos are his lotus arms. The ninth canto is his throat. The tenth canto is his beautiful lotus face. The eleventh canto is His forehead, and the twelfth canto is His crown. (Padma Purana)

 

Two Kinds of Bhagavata the Book and the Person

 

2.21

dui sthane bhagavata nama suni matra

grantha-bhagavata, ara krishna-krpa-patra

 

          The name bhagavata applies to two things: the book Bhagavata, and the agent of Krishna's mercy, the devotee bhagavata. (Cb. Antya 3.532)

 

2.22

eka bhagavata bada bhagavata-sastra

ara bhagavata bhakta bhakti-rasa-patra

 

          One of the bhagavatas is the great scripture, Shrimad-Bhagavatam. The other is the pure devotee bhagavatam, who is absorbed in bhakti-rasa. (Cc. Adi 1.99)

2.23

dui bhagavata dvara diya bhakti-rasa

taohara hrdaye taore preme haya vasa

 

          Through the actions of these two bhagavatas the Lord instills the mellows of bhakti-rasa into the heart of a living being and thus the Lord, in the heart of His devotee, comes under the control of His devotee's love. (Cc. Adi 1.100)

 

2.24

maya-mugdha jivere nahi svatah krishna-jnana

jivere krpaya kaila krishna veda purana

 

          The conditioned soul cannot revive his Krishna consciousness by his own effort, but out of causeless mercy, Krishna, in the form of Vedavyasa, compiled the Vedic literature and its supplements, the Puranas. (Cc. Madhya 20.122)

 

The Inconceivable Nature of Bhagavatam

 

2.25

mahacintya bhagavata sarvasastre gaya

iha na bujhiye vidya, tapa, pratisthaya

bhagavata bujhi heno yara acche jnana

se na jane kabhu bhagavatera pramana

 

          According to all the revealed scriptures, the Shrimad-Bhagavatam is inconceivable, beyond mundane understanding. Its meaning cannot be understood either by scholarship or penance. One who is not a devotee of Krishna, no matter how great a scholar he may be, will never understand Shrimad Bhagavatam. (Cb. Madhya 22.13-14)

 

2.26

bhagavate acintya isvara-buddhi yaora

se janaye bhagavata-artha bhakti-sara

 

          Shrimad-Bhagavatam has inconceivable knowledge about the Supreme Lord. One who knows this knows the Shrimad-Bhagavatam gives the essence of devotion to Krishna. (Cb. Madhya 22.25)

 

2.27

aham vedmi suko vetti

vyaso vetti na vetti va

bhaktya bhagavatam grahyam

na buddhya na ca tikaya

 

          I know Sukadeva knows the meaning of Shrimad-Bhagavatam, whereas Vyasadeva may or may not know it. The Shrimad-Bhagavatam can only be known through bhakti, not by mundane intelligence or by reading many commentaries. (Cc. Madhya 24.313)

 

Bhagavatam is Understood Through Vaishnavas

 

2.28

"yaha, bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane

ekanta asraya kara chaitanya-carane

 

          If you want to understand Shrimad-Bhagavatam you must approach a self-realized Vaishnava and study it under his guidance while at the same time taking exclusive shelter of the lotus feet of Lord Chaitanya. (Cc. Antya 5.131)

 

2.29

vaishnava-pasa bhagavata kara adhyayana

 

          [Lord Chaitanya said to Raghunatha Bhatta.] Study Shrimad-Bhagavatam from a pure Vaishnava who has realized God. (Cc. Antya 13.113)

 

Study Bhagavatam Under the Spiritual Master

 

2.30

vipra kahe, murkha ami sabdartha na jani

suddhasuddha gita padi guru-ajna mani

yavat padon, tavat pana tanva-darasana

ei lagi' gitapatha na chade mora mana

 

          Sometimes my reading of the Bhagavad-gita is correct and sometimes it is incorrect. I simply do so on the order of my guru. As long as I read Bhagavad-gita, I can see Krishna. It is for this reason I read Bhagavad-gita, and my mind cannot give it up. (Cc. Madhya 9.98,101)

 

Study Bhagavatam in Light of Previous Acaryas

 

2.31

shridhara-svami-prasade 'bhagavata' jani

jagad-guru shridhara-svami 'guru' kari' mani

shridharanugata kara bhagavata-vyakhyana

abhimana chadi' bhaja krishna bhagavan

 

          By the mercy of Shridhara Svami, one can understand the meaning of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. For this, reason he is the guru of the whole world, and I consider him my guru. You should explain the Shrimad-Bhagavatam by following the version of Shridhara Svami. Giving up all false ego, you should worship Shri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (Cc. Antya 7.133,136)

 

Who Does not Recognize Bhagavatam is Doomed

 

2.32

mui, mora bhakta, ara grantha-bhagavate

yara bheda acche tara nasa bhalamate

 

          Myself, My devotees, and the scripture Shrimad-Bhagavatam one who sees any difference between these three will find that all his intelligence has been destroyed. (Cb. Madhya 18)

 

2.33

ye va bhattacarya, cakravarti, misra saba

ta'ra o na jane saba grantha-anubhava

sastra padaiya sabe ei karma kare

srotara sahita yamapase dubi' mare

 

         The so-called Bhattacaryas, Cakravartis, Misras, and others make a business out of the scripture, but have no realization at all. All their study of scripture is simply karmic activity. Whoever hears from them will be bound by Yamaraja and dragged down to hell at the time of death. (Cb. Adi 2.67-68)

 

2.34

bhagavata ye na mane, se yavana sama

tara sasta acche janme janme prabhu yama

 

          Whoever has no regard for Shrimad-Bhagavatam is the same as a yavana, an untouchable heathen. He will be punished birth after birth by Lord Yamaraja. (Cb. Adi 2.39)

 

Those Proud of Their Piety Cannot Relish the Nectarean Juice of the Bhagavatam

 

2.35

mauna-vrata-sruta-tapo-'dhyayana-sva-dharma-

vyakhya-raho-japa-samadhaya apavargyah

prayah param purusa te tv ajitendriyanam

varta bhavasty uta na vatra tu dambhikanam

 

          O Lord, there are ten prescribed methods on the way to liberation: silence, vows, hearing of Vedic knowledge, penance, study of Vedic literature's, piety, explaining the sastras, solitude, japa, and samadhi. These are generally a means of livelihood for those who have not conquered their senses. Because they are falsely proud of their religious practices, however, these methods are all unsuccessful. (Bhag. 7.9.46)

 

NOTE: The implication here is that because they are proud of practicing these unsuccessful methods of liberation, so-called religionists (who cannot control their senses) cannot appreciate Shrimad-Bhagavatam, despite performing all manner of pious activities. Shrila Prabhupada comments, ". The ten processes of liberation or improvement on the path of liberation are not meant for devotees; kevalya bhaktya, if one simply engages in devotional service to the Lord, all ten methods of liberation are automatically observed."

 

Lecturing on Bhagavatam as a Profession is Prohibited

So is Initiating Unqualified Disciples to Increase One's Wealth

So is Reciting Bhagavatam to the Faithless for One's Prestige

 

2.36

na sisyan anubadhnita granthan naivabhyased bahun

na vyakhyam upayunjita narambhan arabhet kvacit

 

          A sannyasi must not present allurements of material benefits to attract disciples. He should not initiate unqualified disciples in order to expand the number of his followers for prestige and material gain. He should not unnecessarily read many books, nor should he lecture on scriptures like the Shrimad-Bhagavatam as a way of making his livelihood. He must not attempt to increase material opulence unnecessarily. He must renounce endeavors for things that are beyond his means that cannot be attained even at the expense of great time and energy (Maharambha). (Bhag. 7.13.8)

 

Shrila Prabhupada comments: Sannyasis sometimes indulge in material opulence by unnecessarily constructing many temples and monasteries, but actually, such endeavors should be avoided. Temples and monasteries should be constructed for the preaching of Krishna consciousness, not to provide free hotels for persons who are useful for neither material nor spiritual purposes. Temples and monasteries should be strictly off-limits to worthless bands of crazy men. In the temples and monasteries, gatherings of unnecessary, rejected, lazy fellows should be strictly disallowed. Temples and monasteries should be used exclusively by devotees who are serious about spiritual advancement in Krishna consciousness. Shrila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura explains the word arambha as meaning mathadivyaparan, which means "attempts to construct temples and monasteries." The first business of a sannyasi is to preach Krishna consciousness, but if by the grace of Krishna facilities are available, then he may construct temples and monasteries to give shelter to serious students of Krishna consciousness. Otherwise such temples and monasteries are not needed.

 

Who will not hear the Shrimad-Bhagavatam

 

2.37

kathanciddhanadikakamanaya yadi karmi vakta

srota va syat tada sa virajyed evetyaha pasughnadvina

 

          One who is attached to enjoying the fruits of his work is called a karmi. Whenever such a karmi (influenced by lusty desires, beginning with the desire for material wealth), hears a lecture on Shrimad-Bhagavatam, he will stop listening and go away, because he sees such hearing as a hindrance to his sense gratification. The Bhagavatam refers to such persons as "killers of the self," because they commit spiritual suicide by ignoring the message of Shrimad-Bhagavatam. Who but the killer of the soul or an animal-killer would avoid hearing the sublime message the Bhagavatam? (Sarartha-darsini commentary, on Bhag. 10.1.4.)

 

Further Prohibitions Against Lecturing on Bhagavatam for Money

 

2.38

sudranam supakari ca yo harer nama-vikrayi

yo vidya-vikrayi vipro visahino yathoragah

 

          One who is devoid of devotional service to Krishna, who cooks for sudras, who initiates disciples in the holy name for money, or who lectures on the scriptures for pay is a brahmana in name only. His brahminical status is destroyed by such misdeeds. These so-called vipers without posion who frighten the ignorant, they control their ignorant disciples through fear and materialistic partiality, without having to show them any really praiseworthy spiritual achievements. (Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Prakrti-khanda, Chapter 21)

 

Don't Hear Bhagavatam From non Devotees

 

2.39

avaishnava mukhodgirnam putam harikathamrtam

sravanam naive kartavyam sarpocchistam yatha payah

 

          Just as milk touched by the lips of a serpent has a poisonous effect, hari-katha, when heard from the lips of non-devotees, is poisonous. Both those who speak it and those who hear it will suffer from the effects of poison. (Padma-Purana)

 

The Eighteen Puranas

 

2.40

brahmam padmam vaishnavamca saivam laiogam sagarudam

naradiyam bhagavatam agneyam skanda-samjnitam

bhavisyam brahmavaivarttam markandeyam savamanam

varaham matsyam kaurmam ca brahmandakhyamiti trisat

 

          There are eighteen Puranas: Brahma, Padma, Vishnu, Siva, Lioga, Garuda, Naradiya, Bhagavata, Agni, Bhavisya, Skandha, Brahma-Vaivarta, Markandeya, Vamana, Varaha, Matsya, Kurma-and Brahmanda. (Bhag. 12.7.23-24)

 

The Puranas Have Three Divisions: sattvika, rajasika, and tamasika

 

2.41

vaishnavam naradiyam ca tatha bhagavatam subham

garudan ca tatha padmam varaham subhadarsane

sattvikani puranani vijneyani manisibhih

brahmy andam brahmavaivarttam markandeyam tathaiva ca

bhavisyam vamanam brahmam rajasani nibodhata

matsyam kaurmam tatha laiogam saivam skandam tathaiva ca

agneyanca syadetani tamasani nibhodhata

 

          O you of perfect vision! The self-realized sages have determined that there are three divisions of the eighteen Puranas corresponding to the modes of goodness, passion, and ignorance. The Vishnu, Naradiya, Bhagavata, Garuda, Padma and Varaha Puranas are in the mode of goodness. The Brahmanda, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Bhavisya, Vamana, and Brahma Puranas are in the mode of passion. The six Puranas in the mode of ignorance, are Skandha, Matsya, Kurma, Lioga, Siva, and Agni. (Brahma-vaivarta Purana)

 

2.42

sattvikesu ca kalpesu mahatmyamadhikam hareh

rajasesu ca mahatmyamadhikam brahmano viduh

tad-vadagnesca mahatmyam tamasesu sivasya ca

saokirnesu sarasvatyah pitrnansca nigadyate

 

          The Puranas in the mode of goodness glorify the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna; those in the mode of passion promote the glories of Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe; and those in the mode of ignorance celebrate the greatness of Agni, Siva, and Durga. In addition many other scriptures have different mixtures of goodness, passion, and ignorance, and promote the worship of demigods like Sarasvati and Laksmi along with worship of ancestors, and many other lower religious processes. (Tattva-Sandarbha, annucheda 17)

 

What is to be Known as Sastra

 

2.43

rg-yajuh-samatharvanca bharatam pancaratrakam

mula-ramayanancaiva sastramityabhidhiyate

yacchanukulametasya tacca sastram prakirtitam

ato'nya granthavistaro naiva sastram kurvatma tat

 

          The Rg, Yajur, Sama, and Atharva Vedas, as well as the Mahabharata, the Narada-Pancaratra, and the Ramayana, are certainly known as sastra. Those books that favorably follow in the footsteps of these authorized scriptures are also designated as sastra. All other literature simply lead one down the wrong path, and can never be known as scripture. (Madhva-Bhasyadhrta, Skanda-vacana)

 

What is Pancaratra

 

2.44

ratran ca jnanavacanam jnanam pancavidham smrtam

tenedam pancaratram ca pravadanti manisinah

 

          Panca means five. Ratra means jnana. According to auth-orities there are five kinds of knowledge. (Narada Pancaratra, 1.2.44)

 

Note: These five kinds of knowledge are: 1) Vedic, 2) Yogic, 3) Knowledge that is a product of the world of birth and death, or experiential knowledge, 4) Knowledge by which liberation is attained, and 5) Knowledge by which one attains to the loving service of Shri Krishna. To explain these, saints and sages have composed scriptures known as Pancaratra the treatise on five kinds of knowledge.

 

2.45

evam ekam saokhyayogam vedaranyakarmeva ca

parasparanganyetani pancaratrastu kathyate

 

          Literature that explains the five different kinds of Vedic literature: Sankhya-sastra; Yoga-sastra, the Vedas; the different branches of the Vedas, and the sub-branches of all of these is known as Pancaratra. (Mahabharata, Santiparva, Moksa-Dharma, Chapter 349)

 

The Words of the Pancaratra are as Good as God

 

2.46

jnanam paramatattvam ca janma-mrtyu-jarapaham

tato mrtyunjayah sambhuh samprapa krishnavaktratah

 

          The best of innumerable Vaishnavas, death-conquering Sambu, heard the Pancaratra from the lotus mouth of Krishna. The knowledge contained in the Pancaratra puts an end to birth, death, old age, and disease and reveals the Supreme truth. (Narada Pancaratra 1.2.45)

 

Narada Pancaratra is the Cream of all Vedic Literature

 

2.47

drstha sarvam samalokya jnanam samprapya Sankarat

jnanamrtam pancaratram cakara narado munih

 

          Shrila Narada Muni, after studying all the sastras, heard this unparalleled transcendental knowledge from the lotus mouth of the best of devotees, Lord Siva, who heard it from Krishna. At that time he compiled the Pancaratra, which is the essence of nectar. (Narada Pancaratra 1.2.56)

 

2.48

sarabhutam ca sarvesam vedanam paramadbhutam

naradiyam pancaratram puranesu sudurlabham

 

          Narada Pancaratra is the essence of all the Vedas. It has extremely wonderful and divine qualities. Among the Puranas, it is rare to find such a wonderful scripture. (Narada Pancaratra 1.2.61)

 

 Narada Pancaratra is Authorized.

 

2.49

"pancaratrasya krtsnasya vakta tu bhagavan svayam

sarvesu ca nrpasrestha jnanesvebhesu drsyate

yathagamam yathajnanam nistha narayanah prabhuh

na caivamenam jananti tamobhuta visampate

tameva sastrakartarah pravadanti manisinah

nihsamsayesu sarvesu nityam vasanti vai harih

sa samsayaddhetu balannadhyavasati madhavah"

atra pancaratrameva garisthamacestha pancaratrasetyadau

bhagavan svayamiti.

daivaprakrtayastu tattatsarvavalokanena pancaratraprapti padye shri narayana ei paryavasantityaha sarvesviti.

asuramstu nindati na cainamiti.

nihsamsyesviti tasmat jhatiti vedartha-pratipattaye pancaratramevadtayamiti.

 

          O best of Kings, Lord Narayana spoke the Narada Pancaratra. After carefully scrutinizing all the revealed scriptures, and having divined their essential meanings, He established this truth, which is without material boundaries. O my Lord! Those who are ensconced in the mode of ignorance, and who are saturated with the qualities of ignorance can never understand the different kinds of truths this literature expounds. Throughout the scriptures they have compiled the rsis glorify Lord Narayana. Without doubt, Shri Krishna eternally resides in those literature. In those scriptures that are filled with doubts and arguments, Shri Krishna doesn't reside there.

 

Note: Shrila Jiva Gosvami quoted the above passage from the Mahabharata in his Paramatma-sandarbha. His comment follows:

"Pancaratrasya krtsnasya vakta tu bhagavan svayam," means that God Himself spoke the Narada Pancaratra. It is therefore the best of all scripture. The line beginning with sarvesu means that Lord Narayana established Narada Pancaratra on the basis of divine reality, and that Narada Pancaratra is therefore supernaturally excellent among all revealed scriptures. The line beginning with the words na cainam explains that those whose nature is envious, and non devotional, the asuras, will never be able to understand this sublime literature. The line beginning with nihsamsayesu explains that for one who properly studies the Narada Pancaratra all the imports of the Vedas will be clear, and he will be purified of all doubts in a very short time. (Paramatma-Sandarbha, annucheda 18, and Mahabharata)

 

Thus ends the Second Jewel of the Gaudiya Kanthahara entitled Bhagavat-tattva.