Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat, Antya Kanda, Chapter 3, English translation by Bhumipati dasa, Commentary by Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Prabhupada
Devananda Pandita’s request to the Lord as to how to preach Srimad Bhagavatam
eka nivedana prabhu tomara carane
ki kari upaya prabhu, balaha apane//CB, Antya 3.501//
“O Lord, I have one request at Your lotus feet. Please instruct me.
muni asarvajna-sarvajnera grantha laiya
bhagavata padana apane ajna haiya//CB, Antya 3.502//
“I am an ignorant person yet I teach Srimad Bhagavatam, which is a book meant for the most intelligent persons.
Sarvajna Visnusvami has accepted Srimad Bhagavatam as the commentary on Vedanta. Devananda Pandita said, “It is true that I am proud of teaching Srimad Bhagavatam, which is a book meant for the most intelligent persons, but I am ignorant and less intelligent. Please therefore instruct me. How should I recite Srimad Bhagavatam?”
kiba vakhanimu, padaimu va kemane
iha more ajna prabhu, karaha apane”//CB, Antya 3.503//
“How should I explain it, and what should I teach? O Lord, kindly instruct me.”
suni’ tana vakya gauracandra bhagavan
kahite lagila bhagavatera pramana//CB, Antya 3.504//
On hearing Devananda’s words, Lord Gauracandra began to quote evidence from Srimad Bhagavatam.
“suna vipra, bhagavate ei vakhaniba
`bhakti’ vina ara kichu mukhe na aniba//CB, Antya 3.505//
“Listen, O brahmana, while teaching Srimad Bhagavatam you should not explain anything other than devotional service.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (2.7.51-52).
adi-madhya-antye bhagavate ei kaya
visnu-bhakti nitya-siddha aksaya avyaya//CB, Antya 3.506//
“In the beginning, middle, and end of Srimad Bhagavatam devotional service to Visnu is described as eternally perfect, inexhaustible, and infallible.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (12.13.11).
anante brahmande sabe satya visnu-bhakti
mahapralaye o yara thake purna-sakti//CB, Antya 3.507//
“Devotional service to Visnu is the only truth throughout the innumerable universes. It remains fully potent even during the universal devastation.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (2.9.4-18 and 3.25.38). In the Rg Veda (1.22.20) it is stated: om tad visnoh paramam padam sada pasyanti surayah—“Those who are spiritually advanced simply look to the lotus feet of Visnu.” In the Visnu Purana it is stated: na cyavanti yato bhakti mahati pralaye sati—“Even during the universal devastation, devotional service is not lost.”
moksa diya bhakti gopya kare narayane
hena bhakti na jani krsnera krpa vine//CB, Antya 3.508//
“Narayana awards liberation but hides devotional service. One cannot attain devotional service without Krsna’s mercy.
In answer to Devananda’s questions, Sriman Mahaprabhu said, “Devotional service is the sum and substance of Srimad Bhagavatam. That devotional service is eternally perfect, devoid of deterioration, and is not lost even during the universal devastation. By awarding material enjoyment and liberation, the Supreme Lord keeps devotional service hidden from the living entities. Without the mercy of the Supreme Lord there is no possibility of attaining devotional service.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (5.6.18).
bhagavata-sastre se bhaktira tattva kahe
teni bhagavata-sama kona sastra nahe//CB, Antya 3.509//
“Because Srimad Bhagavatam glorifies devotional service, there is no literature equal to it.
The word teni means “therefore.”
Since Srimad Bhagavatam describes the glories of devotional service, there is no literature in the entire world equal to Srimad Bhagavatam.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (12.13.14-15 and 1.7.7).
yena rupa matsya-kurma-adi avatara
avirbhava-tirobhava yena ta’-sabara
ei mata bhagavata karo krta naya
avirbhava tirobhava apanei haya//CB, Antya 3.510-511//
“As the various incarnations of the Lord headed by Matsya and Kurma appear and disappear, the Srimad Bhagavatam, which is not composed by man, appears and disappears by its own sweet will.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (11.14.3 and 1.3.43). In the Brhad-aranyaka Upanisad (2.4.10) it is stated:
are ‘sya mahato bhutasya nisvasitam etad yad rg-vedo yajur-vedah sama-vedo ‘tharvangirasa itihasah puranam vidya upanisadahslokah sutranyanuvyakhyananyasyai vaitani sarvani nisvasitani
“The Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda, the Itihasas, or histories, the Puranas, the Upanisads, the slokas, or mantras chanted by the brahmanas, the sutras, or accumulations of Vedic statements, as well as vidya, transcendental knowledge, and the explanations of the sutras and mantras are all emanations from the breathing of the great Personality of Godhead.”
bhakti-yoge bhagavata vyasera jihvaya
sphurti se haila matra krsnera krpaya//CB, Antya 3.512//
“Simply by the mercy of Krsna and the devotion of Vyasadeva, Srimad Bhagavatam manifested from the tongue of Vyasa.
Srimad Bhagavatam is an eternal literature. Even when it is lost in the course of time, by the Lord’s mercy it again appears on the tongue and from the writing of Sri Vyasa. This literature is incomprehensible to those mortal beings who are punished by Yamaraja.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (1.7.2-7).
isvarera tattva yena bujhane na yaya
ei mata bhagavata—sarva sastre gaya//CB, Antya 3.513//
“The Srimad Bhagavatam is as incomprehensible as the science of the Supreme Lord. This is the statement of all scriptures.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (6.3.21).
`bhagavata bujhi’ hena yara ache jnana
sei na janaye bhagavatera pramana//CB, Antya 3.514//
“One who thinks, `I understand Srimad Bhagavatam,’ does not know the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam.
One who is qualified for Srimad Bhagavatam knows that Srimad Bhagavatam is certainly the crest jewel of all scriptures. If even foolish people take shelter of Srimad Bhagavatam, Srimad Bhagavatam manifests in their hearts.
ajna hai’ bhagavate ye laya sarana
bhagavata-artha tara haya darasana//CB, Antya 3.515//
“If a foolish person takes shelter of Srimad Bhagavatam, the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam is revealed to him.
prema-maya bhagavata—sri-krsnera anga
tahate kahena yata gopya krsna-ranga//CB, Antya 3.516//
“The Srimad Bhagavatam is filled with ecstatic love. It is the body of Lord Krsna. All confidential pastimes of Krsna are described in it.
Srimad Bhagavatam, which is filled with ecstatic love, is known as a form of Sri Krsna.
veda-sastra purana kahiya vedavyasa
tathapi cittera nahi payena prakasa//CB, Antya 3.517//
“After compiling the Vedic literatures and the Puranas, Vedavyasa did not feel satisfied.
The word prakasa means “enlivened.”
yakhane sri-bhagavata jihvaya sphurila
tata-ksane citta-vrtti prasanna haila//CB, Antya 3.518//
“But as soon as Srimad Bhagavatam manifested on his tongue, his heart was filled with joy.
In the Srimad Bhagavatam (1.7.4-7) it is stated:
bhakti-yogena manasi samyak pranihite ‘male
apasyat purusam purnam mayam ca tad-apasrayam
yaya sammohito jiva atmanam tri-gunatmakam
paro ‘pi manute ‘nartham tat-krtam cabhipadyate
anarthopasamam saksad bhakti-yogam adhoksaje
lokasyajanato vidvams cakre satvata-samhitam
yasyam vai sruyamanayam krsne parama-puruse
bhaktir utpadyate pumsah soka-moha-bhayapaha
“Thus he fixed his mind, perfectly engaging it by linking it in devotional service [bhakti-yoga] without any tinge of materialism, and thus he saw the Absolute Personality of Godhead along with His external energy, which was under full control. Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries. 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 does not know this, and therefore the learned Vyasadeva compiled this Vedic literature, which is in relation to the Supreme Truth. Simply by giving aural reception to this Vedic literature, the feeling for loving devotional service to Lord Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, sprouts up at once to extinguish the fire of lamentation, illusion, and fearfulness.”
Srimad Bhagavatam is not a literature intended for Mayavadis and karmis. There is nothing other than devotional service in the Srimad Bhagavatam. If one understands this, one can attain transcendental
peace at heart.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (1.7.11 and 2.4.14).
hena grantha padi’ keha sankate padila
suna akapate dvija, tomare kahila//CB, Antya 3.519//
“O brahmana, listen sincerely. I tell you that some people even become perplexed after reading such a literature.
adi-madhya-avasane tumi bhagavate
bhakti-yoga matra vakhanio sarva-mate//CB, Antya 3.520//
“You should explain devotional service in the beginning, middle, and end of Srimad Bhagavatam.
tabe ara tomara nahiba aparadha
sei-ksane citta-vrttye paiba prasada//CB, Antya 3.521//
“Then you will no longer commit any offense, and you will immediately become joyful at heart.
The word prasada means “joy” or “happiness.”
sakala sastrei matra `krsna-bhakti’ kaya
visese sri-bhagavata—krsna-rasa-maya//CB, Antya 3.522//
“All the scriptures glorify devotional service to Krsna. Srimad Bhagavatam is especially filled with the mellows of devotional service to Krsna.
In the Hari-vamsa (Bhavisyat-parva 132.95) it is stated:
vede ramayane caiva purane bharate
tatha adav ante ca madhye ca harih sarvatra giyate
“In the Vedic literature, including the Ramayana, Puranas, and Mahabharata, from the very beginning (adau) to the end (ante ca), as well as within the middle (madhye ca), only Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, is explained.” See also Srimad Bhagavatam (1.1.3).
cala tumi yaha adhyapana kara giya
krsna-bhakti-amrta sabare bujhaiya”//CB, Antya 3.523//
“Go and teach Srimad Bhagavatam by explaining the nectarean devotional service of Krsna.”
devananda pandita prabhura vakya suni’
dandavat hailena bhagya hena mani’//CB, Antya 3.524//
After hearing the Lord’s instructions, Devananda Pandita offered his full obeisances and considered himself fortunate.
prabhura carana kaya-mane kari’ dhyana
calilena vipra kari’ vistara pranama//CB, Antya 3.525//
After offering the Lord repeated obeisances, he meditated on the lotus feet of the Lord with full concentration as he departed.
sabarei ei bhagavatera akhyana
kahilena sri-gaurasundara bhagavan//CB, Antya 3.526//
In this way Lord Gaurasundara revealed the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam to everyone.
bhakti-yoga matra bhagavatera vyakhyana
adi-madhya-antye kabhu na bujhaye ana//CB, Antya 3.527//
Devotional service is the only topic described in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Nothing else is explained in the beginning, middle, or end.
na vakhane bhakti, bhagavata ye padaya
vyartha vakya vyaya kare, aparadha paya//CB, Antya 3.528//
One who teaches Srimad Bhagavatam but does not explain devotional service speaks uselessly and commits offense.
If nondevotees recite Srimad Bhagavatam, their words are useless. Moreover, they are drowned in an ocean of offenses. This inauspiciousness results from their disrespect to devotional service.
See Srimad Bhagavatam (12.12.51 and 12.12.49).
murtimanta bhagavata—bhakti-rasa matra
iha bujhe ye haya krsnera priya-patra//CB, Antya 3.529//
Srimad Bhagavatam is the direct form of the mellows of devotional service. One who understands this becomes dear to Krsna.
bhagavata-pustaka thakaye yara ghare
kona amangala nahi yaya tathakare
bhagavata pujile krsnera puja haya
bhagavata-pathana-sravana bhakti-maya//CB, Antya 3.530-531//
No inauspiciousness can enter a house wherein Srimad Bhagavatam is kept. By worshiping Srimad Bhagavatam, Krsna is worshiped. The reading and hearing of Srimad Bhagavatam awards one devotional service.
Those who keep Srimad Bhagavatam, which is worshiped by the devotees, in their house do not face any inauspiciousness. Simply by worshiping Srimad Bhagavatam, Krsna is worshiped. Simply by hearing and reading Srimad Bhagavatam, one attains devotional service and executes the worship of Krsna.
In the conversation between Krsna and Arjuna in the Skanda Purana it is stated:
yatra yatra bhaved vipra sastram bhagavatam kalau
tatra tatra harir yati tridasaih saha narada
tatra sarvani tirthani nadi nada saramsi ca
yatra bhagavatahsastram tisthate muni-sattama
tatra sarvani tirthani sarve yajnasu
daksinahyatra bhagavatahsastram pujitam tisthate grhe
“O brahmana Narada, wherever in Kali-yuga the scripture Bhagavatam is present, there Lord Hari will go along with the thirteen principal demigods. Wherever the scripture Bhagavatam is present, all the sacred places, rivers, and lakes are present. In that home where the scripture Bhagavatam is worshiped, all sacred places and sacrifices performed with ample charity are present.”
dui sthane bhagavata-nama suni-matra
grantha-bhagavata, ara krsna-krpa-patra//CB, Antya 3.532//
There are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the person who has attained the mercy of Krsna.
There are two types of Bhagavatas, namely the book Bhagavata and the devotee Bhagavata. One who faithfully recites Srimad Bhagavatam is certainly a devotee Bhagavata.
In the Caitanya-caritamrta (Adi 1.99) it is stated:
eka bhagavata bada——bhagavata-sastra
ara bhagavata——bhakta bhakti-rasa-patra
“One of the Bhagavatas is the great scripture Srimad Bhagavatam, and the other is the pure devotee absorbed in the mellows of loving devotion.”
nitya puje pade sune cahe bhagavata
satya satya seha haibeka sei mata//CB, Antya 3.533//
It is true that one who regularly worships, hears, reads, or sees Srimad Bhagavatam will also become a Bhagavata.
hena bhagavata kona duskrti padiya
nityananda ninda kare tattva na janiya//CB, Antya 3.534//
Yet even after reading this Srimad Bhagavatam some sinful people blaspheme Nityananda, without knowing His glories.
If out of misfortune a reciter of Srimad Bhagavatam blasphemes Nityananda, he accumulates sin rather than recites Srimad Bhagavatam. Sri Nityananda certainly always sings the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam with His thousand tongues and mouths.
iha jane ye haya parama bhagyavanta//CB, Antya 3.535//
Lord Nityananda is the personification of the devotional mellows of Srimad Bhagavatam. One who knows this becomes most fortunate.
niravadhi nityananda sahasra-vadane
bhagavata-artha se gayena anuksane//CB, Antya 3.536//
Nityananda constantly sings the purport of Srimad Bhagavatam with His thousand mouths.
apanei nityananda ananta yadyapi
tathapi o para nahi payena adyapi//CB, Antya 3.537//
Although Nityananda is Himself Ananta Sesa, He nevertheless could not yet fully describe the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam.
hena bhagavata yena anantero para
ihate kahila saba bhakti-rasa sara//CB, Antya 3.538//
Srimad Bhagavatam is so glorious that it is beyond the grasp of even Ananta. It describes the essence of all the mellows of devotional service.
devananda panditera laksye sabakare
bhagavata-artha bujhailena isvare//CB, Antya 3.539//
Through His instructions to Devananda Pandita, the Lord revealed the glories of Srimad Bhagavatam to everyone.