This is a review of the Fifth Canto of Śrīmad Bhāgavata, with the most interesting commentaries of Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda -
5.1.5 ity-ādy-ukter bhaktānām antarāyo nāsty eva? satyaṁ kāla-karmādi-hetuko’sau nāsty eva. kintv antarāyo hi bhaktānāṁ dvividhaḥ, mahad-aparādha-hetuko bhagavad-icchā-hetukaś ca
Normally obstacles are time and karma but for devotees the obstacles are offences to the saints and the Lord’s wish.
5.1.35 tanvaṁ tanuṁ tat-kṣaṇa eva tanūtyāgādarśanāt tanvārambhakaṁ karmeti prārabdha-karma-kṣaya uktaḥ | tattvaṁ mahad-ādi-pṛthivy-antaṁ sthūlas-sūkṣma-dehāv ity arthaḥ | tad api tad-deha-sthitir nāmna evācintya-prabhāvatvād iti jñeyaṁ gaty-antarābhāvāt
”One does not immediately see one giving up one’s body on chanting the holy name once. Thus the sentence means that the karmas that are experienced in the body are destroyed. tattvam means that the gross and subtle elements from mahat tattva to earth, the gross and subtle bodies of the jīva are destroyed, but the body remains by the inconceivable influence of the holy name of the Lord, since there is no alternative.”
Viśvanātha also comments on this verse in his ṭīkā of SB 1.6.28:
"What should be amazing? Even an outcaste (vidura-vigataḥ) who chants the name of the Lord once, now, at the time of accepting the name, gives up his body (tanvam). Since we do not see anyone giving up their body simultaneously with chanting, "body" here means his prārabdha-karmas which are being experienced in the present body. This is the opinion of some. Others say by the association of bhakti, like a touchstone, the body made of the three guṇas becomes free of the guṇas, as seen in the case of Dhruva. Thus, giving up the body means giving up the body made of three guṇas. This will be explained later at the beginning of the Rāsa-dance with jahur guṇamayaṁ dehaṁ sadyah prakṣīṇa-bandhanāḥ: "free of bondage, those gopīs abandoned their gross material bodies made of guṇas." (SB 10.29.11) But others say that sometimes the Lord shows devotees, literally, giving up their bodies in order that the opinion of others not be negated. Thus Nārada, who had developed prema already, gave up his body. However it should be understood that he had already destroyed his prārabdha-karmas during his practice of bhakti."
5.5.18 Do not be parent, Guru, relative etc. if you cannot free your subject from death.
Viśvanātha comments: baliḥ śukram iva taṁ guruṁ tyajed eva, tasya praṇaty-anuvṛtty-ādy-abhāve'pi na pratyavāyī syād iti bhāvaḥ. evaṁ vibhīṣaṇo rāvaṇam iva taṁ svajanam, prahlādo hiraṇyakaśipum iva taṁ pitaram, śrī-bharataḥ kaikeyīm iva tāṁ jananīm, khaṭvāṅga indrādim iva tad daivaṁ, yājñika-brāhmaṇī yājñika-vipram iva taṁ patiṁ tyajed evety arthaḥ –
“Bali gave up his Guru Śukrācārya and did not suffer any reaction to not following and worshipping him. Similarly Vibhīṣana gave up his relative Rāvana, Prahlāda gave up his father Hiraṇyakaśipu, Śrī Bharat rejected his mother Kaikeyī, Khaṭvaṅga his devatā Indra and the wives of the offering brahmins of Vṛndāvana gave up their husbands.”
5.5.33 In the discussion on Vilāpa Kusumānjali’s verse 18, in which Raghunātha dās Goswāmī prays that he/she can clean Rādhārāṇī’s toilet with her hair, it must be remembered that there is no jugupsa rasa or vībhatsa rasa (the mellow of disgust) in relation to Kṛṣṇa. In the story of Ṛṣabha-deva in Śrīmad Bhāgavata (5.5.33) is is said: tasya ha yaḥ purīṣa-surabhi-saugandhya-vāyus taṁ deśaṁ daśa-yojanaṁ samantāt surabhiṁ cakāra: “The wind, fragrant from the smell of his stool, made the place fragrant for ten yojanas around.” Viśvanātha Cakravartīpāda comments: tasya cinmaya-śarīrasyaitad-bībhatsitam ity āśaṅkyāha—tasyeti. purīṣasya surabhinā gandhena saugandhyaṁ yasya sa vāyuḥ - “One may think that this condition is disgusting for a spiritual body. This verse explains. The air became fragrant with the smell of his stool.”
5.6.18 ”Blessed is the dynasty of Priyavrata, where Lord Ṛṣabha descended. Blessed is also the dynasty of Uttānapāda, where Pṛthu appeared. Blessed is also the Raghu-dynasty where Rāma appeared. Of the current Yadu- and Puru-dynasties the Yadu-dynasty is the most fortunate, for Kṛṣṇa appeared there. But our Puru-dynasty is unfortunate in all respects, because the Lord did not appear in it at all." Speaking to himself in this way Parīkṣit became dejected. Understanding his mind because he was omniscient, Śukadeva gave him bliss by showing him the superiority of bhakti over liberation – ”O King! Kṛṣṇa is the protector of the Pāṇḍavas, their Guru (instructor), their worshipable deity, their loving benefactor and the master of their family (controller). Although He appeared in the Yadu-dynasty He acted equally towards the Yadus and you. But sometimes He acted as your messenger or servant. He did not do that for the Yadus. He did more for you than for the Yadus because of His greater love for you. That He gave the highest prema to you, who do not worship Him, is the highest position. He does not even give bhāva bhakti (bhakti yoga) to those who worship Him. He gives the inferior liberation but never bhakti. But He does not give liberation to those practising pure bhakti who do not desire liberation. To those pure devotees He gives bhakti."
It is not clear to me why the Purus [Pāṇḍavas] are said to 'not worship Him'. Perhaps Viśvanātha means they did not worship Him in awe as Bhagavān?
5.8.1 - dayām api tyajed bhakti-bādhinīm iti darśayan – it is shown here that even compassion must be given up if it damages bhakti. This is in relationship to Bharat getting attached to the deer. Śrīla Ānanda Gopāl Goswāmī said the same thing in Bengali during his famous Vilāpa Kusumāñjali lectures - bhajaner pratikūl jadi doyā-o hoy, tabe tā'ke-o bāda dite hobe. He might have been inspired by this statement of Viśvanātha. The point is that if one gets materially entangled out of compassion or sentimental attraction. and that entanglement takes away one's money, time and attention from bhajan, then this is not a smart thing to do for a Vaiṣṇava.
5.8.26 mṛga-dārakam ābhāsayati prakāśayati yat tena svārabdha-karmaṇeti | prārabdhaṁ hi dvividhaṁ—śobhanam aśobhanam ca | tatrādyaṁ bhakta-priyeṇāpi nayana-tīvrāñjana-dāna-nyāyena sva-bhakty-utkaṇṭhā-varṇana-vidagdhena bhagavataiva svecchayaiva prārabdha-tulyatvāt prārabdham upapādyate yad udarko viṣayābhiniveśa eva syāt | atra tu śobhanenārabdheneti sākṣāt suśabda evopanyastaḥ | bhakti-yogenaiva hetunā tāpasaḥ sarva-viṣaya-tyāga-rūpaṁ tapaḥ kurvāṇaḥ | apy-arthe ca-kāraḥ | yadyapi bhakti-yogo bahu-vighnākulo na bhavati, tad api bhagavad-icchayā atvd-ārādhanād vibhraṁsita ity arthaḥ
“There are two kinds of prārabdha karma - śobhana and aśobhana (beautiful and not-beautiful). The first one is like a biting eye-ointment administered by the Lord, who is dear to His bhakta (bhakta-priyena), which serves to increase the devotee’s eagerness (to attain Him) and which is freely (independently) bestowed by this vidagdha (clever) Lord. It appears to be just like ordinary prārabdha. This is even possible to happen to those who have attained rati- or bhāva-bhakti level. The second type of prārabdha is made of one’s old karma and is caused by absorption in the sense objects. The former, śobhana, is mentioned in this verse.”
5.10.1 paramahaṁsatvena sarvatra tasya samyasyaucito’pi mahā-bhāgavatatvād eva kṛpā vyākhyeya 'Although as a paramahaṁsa one should be equipoised everywhere, due to being a mahā bhāgavata [great devotee] one should also be compassionate." This confirms the theory that a great devotee comes down from the platform of uttama adhikārī to the stage of madhyama adhikārī [though these three adhikārīs in the 11th canto have not been described in relation to a missionary attitude per se] in order to preach.
5.14.43 — malavad iti yathā malasya tyāga eva nirvṛtiḥ tyāgābhāve kaṣṭaṁ tyaktasya tasya smaraṇe’pi niṣṭhīvanodgamas tathaiveti tyāge’py anyebhyo vailakṣaṇyād utkarṣaḥ | tatra hetuḥ—uttamaḥ sarvotkṛṣṭaḥ rūpa-guṇa-līlā-mādhuryaiśvarya-sambandhī ślokā yaśo yasya tasmin lālasaḥ darśādy-autsukyaṁ yasya saḥ
"Just as it is blissful to pass stool and it is miserable to be unable to do so (due to constipation or so), and one feels disgusted even by remembering the stool, king Bharata considered the things he renounced to be just like stool. This shows that his renunciation of sense objects was distinct from the renunciation of jñānīs and yogis, because he had developed a yearning for Śrī Govinda, who is the abode of sweet names, forms, pastimes and attributes."
5.19.21 etādṛśa-bhāgyasya puṇya-janyatvāsambhavād iti bhāvaḥ | bhāratājire bhāratāṅgane | nanu durātmanām api tatra janma dṛśyate ity ato viśinaṣṭi—mukunda-sevaupāyikaṁ hi yasmān no’smākaṁ kevalaṁ spṛhaiva yatra, na tu prāptiḥ
"The fortune of taking human birth in India is not just a question of good karma, as we see bad people also taking birth there. We devatās can only covet this, but we do not attain it."
5.19.25 If one wastes one's human birth in India one is most lamentable - it is like a farmer who finds a Cintāmaṇi gem and still continues to plough. They are like birds that are released by a hunter but get caught again because they are inattentive and play about in the tree.
5.19.27 What to speak of pure devotees, even sakāma bhaktas are blessed in the way the niṣkāma bhaktas are. Their desires are fulfilled but not in such a way that they will go on asking for the same thing again and again. Like Dhruva he gets the Lord's lotus-feet which includes all desires. He may forcibly give those feet, which destroy all other desires, too. Sometimes the father gives the child candy although he does not want it. In this way he makes the child give up eating dirt. Similarly the Lord may give the nectar of His lotus-feet so the devotee gives up material endeavour. That which is given sponteaneously is greater than that which is given by force. Thus the excellence of Hanumān is greater than that of Dhruva.
5.26.3 Visvanatha's commentary: anādy-avidyā-sambandho jīvasya kadā kathaṁ veti vaktum aśakteḥ 'No one can say when or how the jīva ended up in a beginningless relationship with ignorance.' That is just because it is beginningless and is its very definition.