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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura > Bhagavatamrita Kanika

Shri Bhagavatamrita Kanika


A particle of Shri Bhagavatamrta

[The nectar of Shrimad Bhagavat]

Shri Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur


[Brhad Bhagavatamrta is a work by Shri Sanatana Gosvami]

[Laghu Bhagavatamrta is a work by Shri Rupa Gosvami]

This short essay entitled A Particle of Shri Bhagavatamrta is by Shri Visvanath Cakravarti Thakur.


He Who has been ascertained in the pages of the book `Shrimad Bhagavatamrta' as the Supreme God, and Whose opulences (His unlimited and extraordinary supremacy being above comparison) and sweetness (possessing the intrinsic and enchanting feature of charming loveliness which totally captivates all others) are eternally existing, without any dependence whatsoever on any other divine personage, is none other than Shri Krishna Himself, the supremely independent Absolute Truth.


He Who has almost the same potencies as the self-same God (Shri Krishna) and Who is His plenary expansion, is exemplified in the person of Shri Narayan, the Lord of the spiritual sky [Vilas vigraha]. Those whose potencies are inferior to that possessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead are His incarnated parts, like Matsya, Kurma, etc. [Svansa - subjective portion].


Those living entities in whom the Lord's potencies of knowledge and superior activity have been infused, become known as avesa - specially empowered human beings. Examples include: Vyasadeva - empowered with the Lord's devotional prowess: Prthu Maharaja - endowed by the Supreme Lord with the ability to perform superhuman activities: & the Four Kumaras - endowed with superhuman intelligence.


Hereafter, there are three other categories of avatars, namely: purusavatar, gunavatar and lilavatar.


The purusavatars are further subdivided into first, second and third purusha incarnations. The first purusha is Karanarnavasayi, Who is the indwelling Soul of material nature, the Creator of the mahat-tattva (total material ingredients) and Who is a separated portion of Sankarsan, Who is situated in the spiritual sky. The second purusha is Garbhodasayi, the indwelling Soul of the total conscious aggregate, the Creator of Lord Brahma, and Who is the separated portion of Pradyumna, Who is situated in the spiritual sky. The third purusha is Ksirodasayi, the indwelling Soul of individual consciousness, the separated portion of Aniruddha, Who is situated in the spiritual sky.


Hereafter the gunavatars are being introduced.


By the action of the mode of goodness, the Master of the milk ocean, Shri Vishnu, maintains the universe. By the action of the mode of passion, the universe is created by Lord Brahma, who is generated from the lotus flower arisen from Garbhodasayi Vishnu's navel. In some kalpas, a jiva (living entity) who has amassed profuse piety takes the position of Lord Brahma and creates the universe. In this instance, due to the infusion of the Lord's potency in that jiva, he is referred to as an avesavatar. Because in that Brahma there is a connection with the mode of passion, he cannot be compared on a equal footing with Lord Vishnu. In those kalpas when there is an absence of any qualified jiva to take up the position of Lord Brahma, then Lord Vishnu Himself becomes Lord Brahma. Similarly, during some manvantaras, the incarnation of the Lord as Yagya has to take up the position of Lord Indra. During that manvantara when Yagya becomes Indra and during that kalpa when Vishnu becomes Brahma, then it can be said that they (Brahma and Indra) attain equality with Lord Vishnu.


The gross body of Brahma, consisting of the total material substance (the aggregate of the universal form of material nature, extending from Patala up to Satyaloka), is also known as Brahma. Hiranyagarbha, Who is manifested within that gross body as subtle living entities, is also known as Brahma. The indwelling soul therein, the second purusha, Garbhodasayi, is Iswar, the Supreme Controller. He Who is the destroyer, by the action of the mode of ignorance is Lord Siva. The indwelling purusha within the Universal Form as well as the subtle form of the Creator, Hiranyagarbha, Who is the super excellent controller born of the lotus flower, have both been referred to as Brahma. This Brahma also accepts the form of Siva for the purpose of destruction. During some kalpas very pious jivas attain this position whereas in others, Lord Vishnu Himself accepts the position of Lord Siva. However, the personality of Sadasiva, is a plenary portion (vilas-vigraha: as distinct from svamsa expansions which are endowed with a smaller degree of potency from the original Godhead) of the self-same form of the Supreme Lord, Shri Krishna, and He is transcendental to the three modes of material nature. It is from Him that the gunavatar of Siva is expanded. Therefore He should be understood to be superior to Brahma, equal to Lord Vishnu, and entirely separate from jivas, who are influenced by the material modes of nature.


The four Kumaras, Narada, Varaha, Matsya, Yajya, Nara-Narayan, Kapila, Datta, Hayagriva, Hamsa, Prsnigarbha, Rsabha, Prthu, Nrsimha, Kurma, Dhanvantari, Mohini, Vamana, Parasurama, Raghunath, Vyasa, Balabhadra, Krishna, Buddha, Kalki, etc., appear once in every kalpa (therefore They are also known as kalpavatars).


Thereafter are the manvantaravatars: Yajya, Vibhu, Satyasen, Hari, Vaikuntha, Ajit, Vamana, Sarvabhauma, Rsabha, Visvaksena, Dharmasetra, Sudama, Yogesvara and Brhadbhanu.


The yugavatars are as follows, beginning with Satya-yuga: Sveda, Rakta, Shyam and Krishna.


Amongst all of these avatars (kalpavatar, manvantaravatars and yugavatar) some are:

avesh - specifically empowered living entities.

          prabhab - supreme, chief, main, principal, total (mastership).

          vaibhab - divine power, opulence, Sivaship, Brahmaship, manifest

     superior potencies compared to prabhav.

          paravastha - these incarnations manifest even superior sakti.


Avesh - Catuhsan, Narada, Prthu, etc.

Prabhab - Mohini, Dhanvantari, Hamsa, Rsabha, Vyasa, Datta, Sveda, Etc.

Vaibhab - Matsya, Kurma, Nara-Narayana, Varaha, Hayagriva, Prsnigarbha,

     Balabhadra, Yagya, Etc.

Paravastha - Nrsimha, Ram, Krishna.


These are successively graded in terms of superior sakti. Amongst these Shri Krishna is the Supreme Personality of Godhead Himself (Svayam Bhagavan) - no one is superior to Him.


Krishna has four abodes: 1) Braja 2) Madhupur 3 ) Dvaravati and 4) Golok. He is supra-supremely perfect in Braja (where He resides along with His family and Baladev). In Mathura He is supremely perfect and in Dvaraka, accompanied by His family members, Pradyumna, Aniruddha, etc., He is perfect.


[Note: Krishna Sandarbha 106  Shri Jiva Gosvamipada

Gokul (inner) and Svetadwip (outer) both taken together - Golok.

Brindaban - both prakat (manifested) and aprakat (unmanifested), whereas Golok lila is only aprakat (unmanifest to our vision).


In Goloka Shri Krishna is complete and His aims and desires are totally fulfilled. Goloka lila and Shri Brindaban lila are generically the same, therefore Goloka is also said to be of the same nature or kind as supra-supremely perfect. {In terms of measure and multifariousness, Shri Brindaban lila distinctly and predominantly expresses and manifests that supra-supreme perfectness to the highest possible degree.} Because the sweetness and beauty of Brindaban exceeds that of Mathura, (is manifest in greater degrees than in Mathura), and that of Mathura exceeds that of Dvaraka, for this reason opulence is also manifested in various degrees. These differences in opulence are directly related to the decreasing expression of sweetness and beauty in these graded realms. What this means is that because there is a decrease in sweetness and beauty from Brindaban to Mathura, therefore in Mathura there is a greater manifestation of opulence. Similarly due to a decrease in sweetness from Mathura to Dvaraka, there is a concomitant increase in the development of opulence in Dvaraka.


Tens and tens of millions of universes are generated from the pores of Maha-Vishnu, Who is lying in the Causal Ocean. Situated above the Viraja, which is likened unto a protective moat, is Maha-Vaikunthalok, the upper portion of which is Goloka. In that realm the performer of celestial pastimes, Shri Krishna, Who is the Lord of Goloka, is present with His family, friends and attendants. The Lord of the spiritual sky, Paramatma, is His plenary expansion (vilas-vises), and Brahman (Brahma) is His non-distinguishable, undifferentiated aspect. The second self of Shri Krishna, Lord of Goloka, is Baladeva, and the Sankarshan of Maha-Vaikuntha (the second expansion of Narayan) is His plenary expansion (vilas). Karanarnavasayi Maha-Vishnu is a separated portion of this Sankarshan. The indwelling Supersoul of the universe, Garbhodakasayi, is the plenary expansion of Karanarnavasayi, and a separated portion of Pradyumna (Who is the third expansion of the Lord of Vaikuntha [Narayan]). Ksirodakasayi is the plenary expansion (vilas) of Garbhodasayi. According to the variegatedness of Krishna's pastimes, His abodes of Dvaraka, Mathura and Brindaban also manifest varying degrees of sweetness and beauty.


His pastimes are of two kinds: manifest and unmanifest. The pastimes Shri Krishna performs with His family, friends and attendants which is everlastingly revealed but imperceptible in the world, wherein He simultaneously performs these eternal pastimes as a child, young boy and early youth, is called unmanifest pastimes. When these pastimes with His associates are gradually and successively revealed in the phenomenal world, then they are known as manifest pastimes.


Though there is going and coming from one dham to another, from Brindaban to Mathura, and from Mathura to Dvaraka, this is all within the manifest lila. This should be understood as a special characteristic of the manifest lila (in the unmanifest pastimes there is no departure or arrival of Krishna within His dhams, from one dham to another).


Beginning from His pastime of taking birth, up to His final pastime at Prabhas-ksetra (Mausal-lila), each and every one of His pastimes is observed by the inhabitants of the various universes, as these pastimes are revealed in all of the universes, one after another. Within each of the multitude of tens of millions of universes, there is a Bharat bhumi within which are located Brindaban, Mathura and Dvaraka, where the respective residents are graced with the vision of these pastimes. The manifestation of these pastimes within the different universes can be likened unto the manifestation of the sun's rays in different parts of the zodiac. When the sun is setting in one place, it is simultaneously rising somewhere else, and sometimes it cannot be seen at all from certain places. Similarly, though Krishna resides in His own abode, as His manifest pastimes are being concluded within one universe, within another universe they again become revealed, whereas in some universes they aren't revealed at all. As in the unmanifest pastimes, in the manifest pastimes also, His eternal lila, beginning with the childhood pastimes, is continuously revealed (as the water of a river is continually present though in a continuous state of movement), and this lila is full with eternality, knowledge and bliss.


The pastimes at Prabhas ksetra and those involving the stealing of the queens, however, are of the same nature as a magic spell and therefore totally false and a part of the realm of make-believe. These artificial pastimes should be understood as having been introduced for the purpose of keeping the perpetually, infinity and eternality of Krishna's lila a secret, when the time has come for the curtain to fall on the present act. These two pastimes cannot be counted as part of the genuine lila of the Lord due to the fact that neither pastime contains any worshipper.


During the manifested lila of the Lord,  some amongst His associates are (according to His desire), able to perceive the essential quality of Brindaban, being composed of touchstone and jewels as it is , and some amongst them cannot. After His pastimes have been wound up, some devotees, as a result of their intense worship and eagerness, are blessed with the vision of Krishna's pastimes in the places where they were performed, even during the present time. The cause of this is Krishna's desire in fulfilling the desire of His devotee.


In this way, the superiority of the form of Shri Brajendranandan, amongst all of Krishna's expansions and incarnations, and the superiority of Shri Gokula, amongst all of His abodes or dhams, has been substantiated.


Prem-madhurya (the sweetness of love of Krishna and Krishna's love for Radha and His other devotees), Lila-madhurya (the sweetness of His pastimes), Benu-madhurya (the sweetness of His flute), and Shri Vigraha-madhurya (the sweetness of His bodily form) - these four pinnacles of sweetness and beauty are existent in Braja dham alone.


Hereafter are mentioned the Vaishnava devotees: Markendeya, Ambarish, Basu, Vyas, Vibhisana, Pundarik, Bali, Sambhu, Prahlad, Vidura, Uddhava, Dalbhya, Parasar, Bhisma, Narada, etc. It is a great offence not to worship all of these devotees as Shri Hari is worshipped. Amongst these devotees Prahlad is considered to be the best. The Pandavas are better than Prahlad, and some of the Yadavas are better than the Pandavas. Amongst the Yadavas, Uddhava is the best. The Braja gopis are better than Uddhav, and amongst them Shri Radha is the best of all.


For those who have not studied grammar but who are nevertheless very eager to perform devotional service to Krishna, (for all of these such persons) Bhagavatamrta Kanika has been composed as jewels are set in a golden ornament.