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Thus ends Sanatana Gosvami's Dig-Darsini-Tika on the seventh sloka of Sri Sri Damodarastakam

Thus ends Sanatana Gosvami's Dig-Darsini-Tika on the seventh sloka of Sri Sri Damodarastakam

Text 8

namas te 'stu damne sphurad dipti-dhamne

tvadiyodarayatha visvasya dhamne

namo radhikayai tvadiya priyayai

namo 'nanta-lilaya devaya tubhyam

O Lord Damodara! I offer my obeisances unto the exalted rope binding Your waist which is the source of splendrously brilliant effulgence

I offer my obeisances unto Your belly which is the support of the entire universe

I offer my obeisances unto Radhika, Your dearmost beloved

And I offer my obeisances unto Your wondrous, uncommon pastimes


By Srila Sanatana Gosvami

Now at the conclusion of the prayer, in order to summarise the presentation of topics that are being prayed for, and also to arouse the attributes of bhakti, obeisances are given separately unto Bhagavan's unique binding,, bodily limbs, associates, and so on in the verse beginning with namas te 'stu. It is stated te damne namo 'stu - I bow to the maha-pasa, the magnificent rope that binds Your belly. What is this grand rope like? It is sphurantya dipte dhama - the source or shelter of a splendrous effulgence. In this regard, it is suggested by the author that such a maha-pasa is the very abode of the (endlessly radiant) concentrated brahma-teja, or all-pervading brahman effulgence.

After that, tvadiyaya udaraya namo 'stu - I bow to Your belly. The reason for this is because while bound with ropes, You especially manifest the beauty and other qualities of Your belly as well as the glorious characteristics of vatsalya-lila and other pastimes. What is that belly like? It is stated visvasya dhama - that belly is the support for all the universes in creation, including all the stationary and moving beings contained therein. From the lotus navel on His abdomen has sprouted a gigantic lotus flower that sustains the fourteen worlds. Additionally, (during His childhood pastimes in Vrndavana) He bodily displayed the visva-rupa or universal form to His mother on two occasions. This is another indication. Therefore, in such a pastime of binding Him by the waist, mother Yasoda bound up the whole universe, indeed, she brought the entire creation under her control. This is the proclamation.

It is never possible to factually bind the (all-pervading, limitlessly potent) Lord, Who is Isa (the supreme controller), but He willingly accepts binding as an attribute of His superexcellent affection for His devotees (bhakta-vatsalya-visesa). And by that acceptance of binding we are informed that such pastimes are imperceptible to all the logic and reasoning available within all the material universes. This is an intimation of His aisvarya-visesa or attributes of majesty.

The reason for offering obeisances first unto the rope (dama) and then unto the Lord's belly (udara) is - because the rope is situated upon His belly. Or furthermore, to indicate the ascending superiority in the significance of different things, (respects are first offered to the rope, then to His belly).

Now, namo radhikayai - obeisances are offered unto His beloved, Bhagavati Sri Radhika. This is done in order to show that the mercy of His beloved enables one to fully attain the desire objective - including objectives that are even beyond the range of desire. By offering obeisances unto Sri Radhika, it is implied that obeisances are also being offered unto all the gopis. Or else, since Sri Radhika is the foremost of them all, obeisances are offered only unto Her.

The word radhika is used here to denote the attributes and excellence of one who is always engaged in Sri Bhagavan's aradhana or worship (arranging only for His pleasure); this is the purpose of using Her specific name “Radhika” in this text. Therefore - tvadiya-priyayaih - obeisances unto Your beloved. Or else, this name “Radhika” indicates rudhi (in grammatical terms, it is capable of conveying a meaning not supported by derivation). Therefore, regardless of Her aradhana or worship of You, She is still Your eternally dearmost beloved (nitya-priya). In this connection also, the word tvadiya indicates that not only is She dear to Yourself, but to all Your other devotees as well; what more, then, could be said about how dear She is to You? Additionally, this statement implies that You are also Her nitya-priya (eternally dear beloved). By such the excellence of Sri Radhika's love for Sri Krsna (prema-visesa) is suggested. This the words priyayaih namah in this verse can either mean - my obeisances unto You, Radhika's beloved; or, my obeisances unto Radhika, Your beloved. Whoever is beloved to You, such a person is certainly worshipable for the entire universe. Therefore, since Radhika is Your own dearmost beloved, namo 'stu - I bow before Her.

And finally at the conclusion of the prayer, the author desires to describe the supreme superexcellence of the rasa-lila and other transcendental pastimes that Lord Sri Krsna performs with Sri Radhika, but

since these are the topmost of confidential topics, they are not mentioned directly.

The logic of madhurena samapayet - “all undertakings should be completed sweetly” - applies here. Therefore such confidential pastimes are referred to only by a mere dint as they are offered obeisances with the words namo 'nanta-lilaya (obeisances unto Your limitless pastimes) *please see Appendix D, page 29

The word devaya indicates that obeisances are offered unto Bhagavan Who is lokottara - supernatural, divine, transcendental. With this it is intimated that by Damodara Krsna's divinely supernatural quality, then all the lilas performed by Him are also similarly transcendental. Or else, it could also be interpreted to mean - my obeisances unto You Who are continuously engaged in pastimes along with Sri Radhika. Therefore, ananta-lilaya tubhyam namah - I offer my respectful obeisances unto You Who are thus performing limitless pastimes. By the words ananta-lila, it is suggested to include all the pastimes associated with the realm of Gokula Vrndavana. I offer my obeisances unto all those lilas, such a mood is most certainly expressed in this verse.

Thus ends Sanatana Gosvami's Dig-Darsini-Tika on the eight sloka of Sri Sri Damodarastakam


verses from Sri Brhad Bhagavatamrta quoted by the author Sri Srila Sanatana Gosvamipada in his Dig-Darsini commentary on Sri Damodarastakam (as elucidated by Sri Bhakti-Prajnana Kesava Maharaja)

Appendix A

(ref. Text 4, page 14)

Brhad Bhagavatamrta 1.14-15:

Those who worship Bhagavan Sri Krsna without any motive for personal gain (the niskama-bhaktas), go directly to the abode of Vaikuntha. That abode is composed of condensed bliss, it is pervaded with transcendental consciousness, and it is rarely attained even by the liberated souls. (That is, those who become mukta, liberated by dint of their cultivation of brahma-jnana (impersonal knowledge), can never attain that Vaikuntha-dhama). (14)

Those niskama-bhaktas who live in Vaikuntha perpetually enjoy the happiness of directly serving the lotus feet of Sri Krsna. They sport along with Him in numerous pastimes and thereby become immersed in the ocean of bliss. Compared to the pure happiness felt in performing this seva, such devotees consider amrta (the nectar of impersonal liberation) to be totally insignificant.

Appendix B

(ref. Text 4, page 15)

Brhad Bhagavatamrta 2.86-96 Page 24

(Editor's note: The devotee named Gopa Kumara was wandering throughout the universe, from one planetary system up to the next, in search of the flute-playing Lord. By the power of a mantra given by his guru, he now found himself on the planet called Tapo-loka. Surrounded by austere and peaceful urdhva-reta yogindras and naistika-brahmacaris, his thirst for meeting the Lord face to face grew more and more urgent. Finally, he became very restless for running away to meet Lord Jagannatha in Nilacala; consequently the great sage Pippalayana could read his heart and addressed him as follows,, outlining the meditative philosophy of the jnani-bhaktas thus:)

Sri Pippalayana, the son Rsabhadeva, said: Why do you want to leave this Tapo-loka, the exalted abode of great sages, to go elsewhere? And why do you wander about, aspiring for the vision of paramesvara Sri Krsna, Who is not perceivable by any of the senses including the eyes? (86)

First concentrate your mind on deep meditation within, and in such a condition you will naturally see the Lord. Svayam Bhagavan perpetually lives everywhere, both within and without, and thus He is just as perceptible as any other plainly visible thing. (87)

The Lord Vasudeva, Who is known as Paramatma (the Supreme Soul), remains within the heart as the monitor of the soul, and His very form is sac-cid-ananda-vigraha - composed of eternity, knowledge and bliss. Thus He is manifest only unto a heart that is continuously being purified by the mode of visuddha-sattva (pure goodness); He is not perceivable by other senses. (In other words, because His form is composed of sac-cid-ananda, and due to His power of self-manifestation and eternal consistency, He cannot be grasped by the external senses).(88)

(The attainment of bhagavad-darsana in the heart is called dhyana, and if one obtains this, then is that not vision by the eyes? Specifically, is there any need to leave this Tapo-loka and go elsewhere to have His vision with the eyes? In response to this argument, the answer is given:)

When one beholds Sri Hari directly with the eyes, that vision is also perfectly accomplished by the mind. This is because when one sees Bhagavan, then no other thoughts can arise within the mind.

(That is, upon beholding the darsana of Sri Bhagavan-murti within the deeply absorbed meditative mind, that is verily perceived as a vision of the eyes). (89)

(If someone says that all this is acceptable, but still there is more pleasure in beholding Him directly with the eyes, then the response is given:)

Upon the arising of pleasure within the mind, then (why just the eyes?)


the senses naturally become pleased.

(Due to the mind's centralised functioning, the pleasure of all the senses is included in the mind's pleasure).

The functions of all the senses including the tongue, eyes, ears and so forth are accomplished through the sole means of the mind.

(that is, the senses cannot independently grasp their objects such as taste, form and sound without the mind accepting them with its perception.) (90)

Without the function of the mind, the functions of all the senses are ineffective. If the senses grasp their respective objects, and if the mind has not accepted such stimuli, then the objects are still not perceived by the soul. This is because in the absence of the mind's functions, the jivatma cannot perceive those sense objects.

(Therefore Bhagavan is manifest within a purified mind's function - visuddha-chitta-vrtti-visesa - that is actual darsana. The vision that is directly perceived by the eyes is not darsana, because He is imperceptible by the functions of the senses.) (91)

(At this, another question may be raised - we have heard that Sri Dhruva, Prahlada and other devotees have seen the Lord with their own eyes; how was that? In answer to this, it is stated:)

When the Lord sometimes appears before the eyes of His devotee, due to His attribute of bhakta-vatsalya (extraordinary affection for His devotees), then that vision is actually observed through the mind's eyes.

(The word kadacit (sometimes) herein indicates that His appearance is not fixed according to some strictly-calculable rule).

This darsana takes place by the faculty of jnana-drsti - the eyes of knowledge within the functioning of the mind - and not by the physical eyesight.

(This is because the external senses are fully under the sway of temporary things, being completely incapable of grasping objects whose nature is supremely limitless transcendence. Then we note the reason for the celebration of the above-mentioned vision by the eyes:)

Upon receiving the darsana of the Lord within one's mind (purified to a state of suddha-sattva), then the devotee only thinks proudly that this is a vision seen with the eyes.

(Although in actuality, it has not been perceived with the physical eyes). (92)

(Additionally it is said)

Bhagavan occasionally becomes visible to the external eyes of a devotee out of His potency of mercy

(for what cannot be accomplished by His all pervading energies?);

even upon this form of darsana, the bliss created thereof is manifest only in the heart

(since the heart or mind is the seat for the arising of ananda). (93)

And furthermore - if one obtains the darsana of Bhagavan and afterwards He disappears, then the bliss generated in the heart by His vision sports about within the heart, resulting in the experience of many kinds of successive visions and re-visions. Therefore bhagavad-darsana (the vision of the Lord) is resolved only in the mind. And the mind is the single most great receptacle capable of realising the bliss of His vision. (

Therefore there is no need of endeavouring to see Him with one's eyes).(94)

(Someone may say - the mind, just like all the other external senses, is also limited to perceiving only temporary material things; therefore it is similarly incapable of experiencing the darsana of the supreme transcendental bhagavan-murti. The response to this is given:)

Even though the mind is limited to matter, by the mercy of the Lord (prasada) the mind can become pure enough to experience the increase of bliss associated with His direct vision, and such a transformed mind gradually expands in its capacity to behold Him. Other than the mind, the other senses cannot be elevated and illumined in this way because they are all external.

(That is, because the purified mind is so subtle, it is actually capable of perceiving the form of spirit. This principle is well-known - that upon obtaining the form of something seen in the mind's eye, one experiences the arising of knowledge of that thing. None of the other senses have this property; this is because they are external, very dull and bound by strict material limitations). (95)

(One may say - it is accepted that darsana in the mind is superior to seeing with the eyes, but it is only possible to enjoy the bliss of conversing with Sri Bhagavan (about the requesting and granting of boons) during the time of seeing Him with one's eyes. This question is resolved thus:)

When the transparent mind becomes absorbed in uninterrupted meditation and Sri Bhagavan becomes visible in the heart, then that vision is just like the direct sight of the eyes. At that time, Prabhu (the Lord of all potencies) is very pleased and shows His special mercy in bestowing the requested boons (of His jnani-bhaktas)* The chief witness who bears testimony to this process is Lord Brahma, who was born from the lotus. (96)

(At the dawn of creation, Lord Brahma, the first created being who was born from the lotus sprouting from Bhagavan's navel, became immersed in meditation on the Lord for the purpose of begetting progeny in the empty universe; when he attained samadhi, Bhagavan bestowed His darsana. Seeing the vision of the Lord within the rapture of his samadhi, Brahma respectfully bowed down, and Bhagavan personally took him by the hand and said, “I am very pleased with your penance; now you may request a boon.” After praying for a boon, Brahma directly obtained from the Lord the catur-sloki bhagavat - the four seed verses of Srimad Bhagavatam. The pastime illustrates how in the state of samadhi one perceives bhagavad-darsana and has an experience that is complete with the supremely merciful blessings of seeing the Lord, obtaining boons, conversing with Him, being touched by Him, and so forth. For more elaborate information in this regard, one may study the Srimad Bhagavatam, Second Canto, Ninth Chapter, and also the Third Canto, Eight Chapter).

*{Editor's Note: This entire philosophical presentation of antar-darsana being superior to direct vision of the Lord with the physical eyes is true only for the jnani-bhaktas - the austere, meditative devotees who prefer sitting in seclusion while deeply focusing on the Supersoul, the Lord in the heart. Later we will find that Srila Sanatana Gosvami quotes further passages from his Brhad Bhagavatamrta in his commentary on the sixth verse of Damodarastaka, and these verses will ultimately prove that the best type of the Lord's darsana is that which is perceived directly with the senses, as in the case of His suddha-bhaktas or pure devotees}.

Appendix C

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