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Monday, December 02, 2013

Śrīmad Bhāgavata, Canto 2

This is a segment of an anthology of Śrī Viśvanātha Cakravartī’s commentary on Śrīmad Bhāgavata –

Bhānu Swāmi makes an interesting footnote to the commentary on SB 2.1.29 – “A distinction is made by Viśvanātha between the sense organ and the place of the sense organ in the Lord because the real material sense organ such as the ear is subtle in nature and travels with the jīva birth after birth. This is distinct from the gross organ which perishes at death.” It would be wonderful to have śāstrik back up for this.

2.3.17 āyur harati vai pumsam - when one branch of the tree bears fruit, the whole tree becomes successful, what to speak of all the branches bearing fruit. If one spent one’s whole life absorbed in Kṛṣṇa’s topics, how wonderful it would be! “If that is so, and life is not taken away by hearing about Kṛṣṇa, from the moment of hearing about Kṛṣṇa, a person should not die.” Viśvanātha retorts that after death a bhakta will become an eternal associate of the Lord – tat pārṣadatva prāptyā.

2.3.18 The person whose life is not stolen away does not receive rebirth in this world. Do not the trees live? They live much longer than the humans. But they do not breathe. Does not the bellows breathe? The bellows breathe more strongly than the humans. But the bellows do not eat. Do not the animals eat and mate? They can eat more than the humans. Apare indicates animals in human form. 

2.3.19 ‘hogs, dogs, camels and asses…’ - Their animalistic life is to be condemned. They are glorified profusely by dogs, pigs, camels and donkeys. He as one person accepts the qualities of us four (animals), whereas we are all incapable of taking up another animal’s qualities. He, being a human, can take up so many qualities of animals, and we being animals, cannot take up even one quality of another animal. Overstepping his scripture ordained by dharma, he accepts our qualities with passion. We however are fixed in our qualities by destiny. He is aware of the hell into which he will be born by following our qualities, whereas we are dull-witted and cannot understand anything of the future. In this way the animals praise him in four ways. The dog’s quality is to become angry without reason. The pigs quality is to eat filthy things. The quality of the camel is carrying heavy burdens. The quality of the donkey is to get kicked by his mate. Kṛṣṇa has never gone in that person’s ears. Gadāgraja means “he who appears in front of sickness (gada) as its enemy.” Thus he will appear and destroy the sickness of anger and other bad qualities of the animalistic man.

In his ṭīkā to the anti-sahajiya verse 2.3.24, Viśvanātha quotes Ś.B. 3.28.34 –
“The unfortunate yogī who has developed love for the Lord, full of all sweet qualities, whose heart is somewhat soft because of devotion, whose body hairs stand on end in ecstasy, who is constantly overcome with intense tears of joy, gradually withdraws his hook-like mind from the Lord's form.”

Then he adds: “Dravad-dhṛdaya means his heart has melted. However baḍiśa (fish hook) means it is still iron since the fish hook is made of iron. The bhāva that he attains and the melting of the heart are ābhāsas or semblances only, since he gradually withdraws the mind from the Lord. Why give up the Lord who is the real goal of life? By the bhakti in this meditation, he cannot be called a devotee but a yogī since he gives pain to the limbs of the Lord, the object of his meditation, by his fish hook heart, which is hard and bent.”

2.9.34 In order to show how prema is restricted by realization of power, Arjuna realized the universal form and the form of Paramātmā when it was revealed by yoga-māyā. Because of the covering of yogamāyā, he did not experience the svarūpa of Kṛṣṇa which was still present. At other times he did not experience either the universal form or Paramātmā, which was covered by yogamāyā, but experienced Kṛṣṇa’s two-armed form. At one time one form of the Lord was revealed, while another was covered….

The material māyā actually arises from yoga-māyā and is its vibhūti or expansion. It is said in Nārada-pañcarātra, in the speech of Śruti-vidyā:

asyā āvaraṇikā śaktir mahā-māyākhileśvarī
yayā mugdhaṁ jagat sarvaṁ sarva-dehābhimāninaḥ

“Material māyā, the controller of all beings in the material world is the covering energy of yoga-māyā. By her the whole universe becomes bewildered and everyone thinks they are their bodies.” When the snake gives up his skin which arises from him, that skin becomes material and inactive, as if arising from a non-living source.

2.9.36 yathā yathā harer nāma kīrtayanti ca nārakāḥ
tathā tathā harau bhaktim udvahanto divaṁ yayuḥ

When those in hell chant the name of the Lord they develop bhakti to the Lord and go to the spiritual world.  Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa (I must note here that the word diva means heaven)

2.10.9 - Without the gross organ on the body, the subtle sense which is known to function by performing perception cannot function.  Without the subtle sense organ, the presiding deity of the sense, whose presence is inferred from action of that sense, cannot function. Without the presiding deity of the sense, the subtle sense organ cannot operate, and without the subtle sense organ, the gross organ cannot operate.

3 comments:

  1. From your post:

    SB 2.3.19 He is aware of the hell into which he will be born by following our qualities, whereas we are dull-witted and cannot understand anything of the future. In this way the animals praise him in four ways. The dog’s quality is to become angry without reason. The pigs quality is to eat filthy things. The quality of the camel is carrying heavy burdens. The quality of the donkey is to get kicked by his mate. Kṛṣṇa has never gone in that person’s ears.

    I can not very clearly understand your commentary. Are the comments which I quoted above, your explanations or the Acharya's commentary? Am I right to say that the quotes above do not suggest the condemnation of devotees that have animals as companions because animals have low quality of life, eg. they can not directly realize absolute truth?

    But I have to take the verse to suggest that the verse is rather an analogy; thusly (from SP's Bhagavatam commentary on the verse): "The Bhāgavatam openly declares that although a person may be a great leader of such dogs and hogs disguised as men, if he has no taste for being enlightened in the science of Kṛṣṇa, such a leader is also an animal and nothing more. He may be designated as a powerful, strong animal, or a big animal, but in the estimation of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam he is never given a place in the category of man, on account of his atheistic temperament. Or, in other words, such godless leaders of dogs and hoglike men are bigger animals with the qualities of animals in greater proportion."

    What about the Gita verses below? Do the verses refer to the real identity of the living entities; that we are all spririt soul, including animals and that a genuinely realized person sees animals true identity?
    (Nitai das translation) Bhagavad Gita. 5.18
    The humble minded brahmin wise,
    An elephant, a cow, a dog,
    Even the lowest outcaste, know,
    Are to the sages all the same.

    (SP translation) Bhagavad Gita. 5.18
    The humble sages, by virtue of true knowledge, see with equal vision a learned and gentle brahmana, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a dog-eater (out-caste).

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  2. Malati, because we are intrinsically all spirit soul it does not mean we marry a spider or a cockroach. There is physical difference between species. No, I did not write these comments myself. They are by Visvanath Cakravartipada. See also my second blog of August 27, 2006. http://madangopal.blogspot.in/2006/08/brahmins-dogs.html
    The commentaries do not discuss humans keeping pets.

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  3. ...because we are intrinsically all spirit soul it does not mean we marry a spider or a cockroach. There is physical difference between species.

    Sheesh.... I was not suggesting anything of that sort. My point is that SP's commentary on the verse was clearly expressed than what you wrote which you confirmed was your translation of Sri Visvanath's commentary.

    Most of the time, your translation of a commentary by a particular acharya was very clear to me but not in this particular case; something seems to have gotten lost in the translation. (That's just my impression at least, that's why I asked for clarification).

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