Śrī Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī CommentaryŚrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī Commentary – Verses 31-40
Śrī Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī CommentaryŚrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī Commentary – Verses 51-62

Verses 41 – 50

With the Prakāśinī Commentary by Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura

(translated by Swami B.V. Giri)

māyā hi yasya jagad-aṇḍa-śatāni sūte
sattvāvalambi-para-sattvaṁ viśuddha-sattvam-
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the original Person, whose transcendental sattva principle is superior to and the support of material sattva. His inferior potency, māyā is composed of the three modes of nature, sattva, rajas and tamas, and disseminates knowledge of the Vedas related to the mundane universe.

Creation stems from sattva-guṇa. After creation, maintenance is through raja-guṇa combined with sattva-guṇa. And annihilation is caused by tamo-guṇa. Mundane sattva is mixed with the three material modes, but sattva which is not combined with rajas and tamas is aprākṛta (transcendental) and the nature of that superior sattva is eternally existent. He whose intrinsic nature is situated in that existence is viśuddha-sattva (transcendental sattva). It has no connection with māyā, is beyond the gross material world, is beyond the modes of nature and is full of consciousness and bliss. Māyā disseminates all the regulations of the Vedas that are related to the three modes of nature.

ānanda-cinmaya-rasātmatayā manaḥsu
yaḥ prāṇināṁ pratiphalan smaratām upetya
līlāyitena bhuvanāni jayaty ajasram-
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the original Person, who is manifested in the minds of those living beings who remember His form of blissful, transcendental rasa, who always conquers the world with His pastimes.

Those who remember the name, form, qualities and pastimes of the form of Kṛṣṇa, who bewilders the god of love, in conjunction with ujjvala-rasa (mādhurya-rasa), by following transcendental instructions are smaraṇakārīs (‘those who remember’). Kṛṣṇa, who is replete with pastimes, manifests His abode within their consciousness. Those pastimes that manifest in that abode full conquer all the majesty and sweetness of the material world in every sense.

goloka-nāmni nija-dhāmni tale ca tasya
devi maheśa-hari-dhāmasu teṣu teṣu
te te prabhāva-nicayā vihitāś ca yena
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Above Devī-dhāma is Maheśa-dhāma, and above that is Hari-dhāma, and above all of them is His own abode known as Goloka. I worship Govinda, the original Person, who has provided all powers to those particular realms.

The abode of Goloka is situated above all. Looking up at that from his own area where he is situated, Brahmā speaks about the respective realms – first there is Devi-dhāma, or the material world. Within this there are fourteen worlds such as Satyaloka etc. Above that is Śiva-dhāma. One part of that is called Mahākāla-dhāma and it is shrouded in darkness. Penetrating this section, one comes to Sadā-Śivaloka, which is full of great light. Above this is hari-dhāma, in other words, the spiritual world, Vaikuṇṭhaloka. Devi-dhāma exhibits the power of māyā, and Śiva-dhāma exhibits the power of time and the ingredients of the material elements. These are the power of a semblance (ābhāsa) of the Lord’s personal expansion (svāṁśa) as a separated part and parcel (vibhinnāṁśa). However, Hari-dhāma is an exhibition of transcendental majesty, and Goloka is an exhibition of supreme sweetness (mahā-mādhurya) which also includes all majesty. All these powers in these respective abodes are directly and indirectly ordained through Govinda.

sṛṣṭi-sthiti-pralaya-sādhana-śaktir ekā
chāyeva yasya bhuvanāni bibharti durgā
icchānurūpam api yasya ca ceṣṭate sā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

The māyā-śakti, whose form is the shadow of the svarūpa-śakti or cit-śākti, is worshiped by the world as ‘Durgā’ who creates, maintains and destroys the gross material world. I worship Govinda, the original Person, whose desire she attempts to fulfill.

(This is a description of the controlling Devatā of the previously mentioned Devī-dhāma). The universe in which Brahmā, who glorifies Golokanātha, is situated in is Devī-dhāma, comprised of fourteen worlds. It’s presiding goddess is Durgā. She has a form with ten arms signifying the ten types of karma, and standing in heroic splendour, she rides a lion. Subduing pāpa, she kills the demon Mahiṣāsura. She is the mother of Kārtika and Gaṇeśa, her two sons who represent beauty and success. She is situated in between Lakṣmī and Sarasvatī, representing mundane opulence and mundane knowledge. She holds twenty weapons representing the various types of dharma mentioned in the Vedas that destroy pāpa. She is decorated with a serpent representing the beauty of time. Durgā possesses all these forms. Durgā has a prison. The word durga means prison-house. When the jīvas who are manifest from the taṭasthaśakti become opposed to Kṛṣṇa, the prison-world where they are confined is the durga of Durgā. The wheel of karma is their punishment. Such remedial actions for purifying these averse jīvas is according to the will of Govinda. Durgā controls this activity. Eventually by good fortune, when the jīva’s aversion is removed due to sādhu-saṅga, and a favourable disposition arises, by the will of Govinda, Durgā becomes the cause of the jīva’s deliverance. Therefore, by showing a favourable disposition and pleasing Durgā, the prison governor, one should make an endeavour to obtain her genuine grace. Boons such as having wealth, food, healthy children etc. should be understood to be the deceptive mercy of Durgā. The mundane physical pastimes of the daśa-mahā-vidyā (ten Tantrika forms of Durgā) are propagated for the jīvas who are opposed to Kṛṣṇa in this gross physical world. By nature, the jīva is an atomic spiritual particle. When he possesses the fault of opposition to Kṛṣna, he is thrown by the akarṣaṇa-śakti (attracting potency) into the māyika world. As soon as he is thrown, Durgā, like a prison governor, binds him in a physical body with five gross elements, five sense-objects and eleven senses, and propels him into the wheel of karma. The jīva revolves in that and experiences happiness and sorrow, heaven and hell. Furthermore, along with the physical body, she gives a subtle body consisting of the mind, intelligence and false ego. The jīva gives up one physical body and the subtle body takes refuge in another physical body. Unless he is liberated, the jīva cannot leave his subtle body which is comprised of wicked desires. When the subtle body is removed, the jīva bathes in the Virajā and goes to the abode of Hari. All these activities are executed by Durgā according to the desire of Govinda.

vilajjamānayā yasya sthātum īkṣā-pathe ’muyā
vimohitā vikatthante mamāham iti durdhiyaḥ

The bewildering potency is ashamed to stand in front of His gaze, but those who are bewildered boast about ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and are thus considered to be foolish.” (Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 2.5.13)

This statement of the Bhāgavata describes the relationship between the averse jīvas and Durgā. The Durgā worshipped in this materiel world is that Durgā, however within the covering of Bhagavān’s abode, the Durgā mentioned in the mantra is the transcendental Durgā who is a maidservant of Kṛṣṇa. The shadow-Durgā is His servant who executes her duties in this world. One should look at the commentary on the third śloka.

kṣīraṁ yathā dadhi vikāra-viśeṣa-yogāt
sañjāyate na hi tataḥ pṛthag asti hetoḥ
yaḥ śambhutām api tathā samupaiti kāryād
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

Just as milk becomes yoghurt due to a particular transformation, but is not a separate principle from it’s cause, I worship Govinda, the original Person, who similarly takes the position of Śambhu for a particular duty.

(The nature of Śambhu, the controller of the aforementioned Maheśa-dhāma, is being defined). Śambhu is not another Supreme Deity who is separate from Kṛṣṇa. Those who harbour the understanding that he is separate are offenders to Bhagavān. Śambhu’s controlling propensities are subordinate to Govinda’s. Therefore, in reality they are an abheda-tattva (principles that are non-different). The characteristic of their abheda-tattva is that just as yoghurt is a specific transformation of milk, similarly through a specific transformation, the Supreme achieves a separate nature which is subordinate. That nature is not independent. This specific transformation is combined with the tamo-guṇa of māyā, the finite quality of the taṭastha-śakti, and a small quality of samvit (knowledge) mixed with hlādinī stemming from the citśakti. The nature of this specific transformation, which is a semblance of the Supreme’s personal expansion (svāṁśa), is Sadā-Śiva, the form of Śambhu, the effulgent liṅga from whom Rudradeva is manifested. The form and nature of Śambhu is the guṇāvatāra of Govinda – a vibhinnāṁśa accepting the mood of a svāṁśa to accomplish all necessary activities. He becomes the material cause of creation by producing it’s physical ingredients, executes universal maintenance by destroying demons, and performs the duty of cosmic annihilation. Śambhu is said to be the kāla-puruṣa (the presiding deity of the time factor). All evidence is found in the commentary. The explanation of the statement of the Bhāgavata, vaiṣṇavānāṁ yathā śambhuḥ (‘Śambhu is the greatest Vaiṣṇava’) is this – through his time-potency, Śambhu performs his duties along with Goddess Durgā, according to the will of Govinda. In many śāstra such as the Tantra etc., he gives instructions on dharma which are steps towards attaining bhakti according to the eligibility of the jīvas. According to the desire of Govinda, he protected and nurtured pure bhakti while propagating māyāvāda and other imaginary texts. Fifty qualities of the jīvas are manifest in full within Śambhu and five additional qualities, which are not attained by the jīvas, are partially found within him. Therefore, Śambhu cannot be said to be a jīva. He is īśvara, yet he has the nature of a vibhinnaṁśa.

dīpārcir eva hi daśāntaram abhyupetya
dīpāyate vivṛta-hetu-samāna-dharmā
yas tādṛg eva hi ca viṣṇutayā vibhāti
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

The light of one original lamp is spread to other lamps, and although it shines separately in them, it is of an equal nature due to its expansive nature. I worship Govinda, the original Person, who manifests in the same all-pervading way as the forms of Viṣṇu.

(The presiding controller of Hari-dhāma, the svāṁśa-tattva known as Hari, Nārāyaṇa, Viṣṇu etc., are described). Kṛṣṇa’s vilāsa-mūrti (pastime form) is Nārāyaṇa, the Lord of Paravyoma. His expansion is the first puruṣāvatāra, and His expansion is Garbhodakaśāyī, and His expansion is Kṣirodakaśāyī Viṣṇu. The word ‘viṣṇu’ indicates the principle of His being all-pervasive. In this śloka, by presenting the principle of Kṣirodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the svāṁśa-vilāsa form is described. That viṣṇu-tattva, who is the guṇāvatāra of sattvaguṇa, is different to śambhu-tattva which is combined with the modes of māyā. The intrinsic nature of Viṣṇu is the same as Govinda’s. They are both śuddha-sattva (comprised of transcendental goodness). Viṣṇu is the vivṛta-hetu (expanded cause), in other words, He is the form of the manifest causal principle and is of the same nature as Govinda. The sattva-guṇa that exists within māyā’s three modes of nature is impure sattva because it is combined with raja and tama. Brahmā is a vibhinnāṁśa possessing the potency of a svāṁśa which stems from rajoguṇa, and Śambhu is a vibhinnāṁśa possessing the potency of a svāṁśa which stems from tamoguṇa. The reason they are vibhinnāṁśas is because the raja and tamoguṇas of māyā are completely acit (material), and both these principles (Brahmā and Śambhu) originate from them – they are extremely far removed from svayaṁ-rūpa (non-different from the Lord) or tad-ekātma (a direct expansion of the Lord Himself). Although the sattvaguṇa of māyā is mixed, the guṇāvatāra of Viṣṇu appears through the portion of viśuddha-sattva. Thus, Viṣṇu is a complete svāṁśa-vilāsa and is maheśvara-tattva (the principle of being the greatest controller). He is not associated with māyā, but is the Lord of māyā. Visṇu is another form belonging to Govinda (the original source of all forms). All the majesty of Govinda is found in Nārāyaṇa, His vilāsamūrti – in other words, all six qualities in full. Therefore, although Brahmā and Śiva are guṇāvatāras combined with māyā’s modes, Viṣṇu is not like that. Nārāyaṇa’s apperance as Mahā-Viṣṇu, Mahā-Viṣṇu’s appearance in the forms of Garbhodakaśāyī and Kṣirodakaśāyī Viṣṇu are examples of His pervasive nature. Viṣṇu is the Supreme Controller and the other two guṇāvatāras and all the Devatās are specifically qualified tattvas who are dependent upon Him. From the great lamp of Govinda’s vilāsamūrti, Mahā-Viṣṇu, Garbhodakāśyī, Kṣīrodakaśāyī, Rāma and all other svāṁśaavatāras manifest like separate lamps in their respective locations through the cit-śakti of Govinda.

yaḥ kāraṇārṇava-jale bhajati sma yoga-
nidrām ananta-jagad-aṇḍa-sa-roma-kūpaḥ
ādhāra-śaktim avalambya parāṁ sva-mūrtiṁ
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the original Person, who lies on the Causal Ocean with infinite universes within the pores of His skin, enjoying yoga-nidrā (mystic slumber) as He is supported by His great form known as Śeṣa who is His ādhāra-śakti (all-sustaining potency).

(The principle of Ananta, the bed of Mahā-Viṣṇu, is described). The eternal bed whereupon Mahā-Viṣṇu reclines is Ananta – He is a specific avatāra known as Śeṣa who by nature is a servant of Kṛṣṇa.

yasyaika-niśvasita-kālam athāvalambya
jīvanti loma-vilajā jagad-aṇḍa-nāthāḥ
viṣṇur mahān sa iha yasya kalā-viśeṣo
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

One exhalation of Mahā-Viṣṇu is the lifespan of Brahmā and the controllers of this universe which is born from His skin pores. I worship Govinda, the original Person, whose specific expansion, in other words, whose expansion of an expansion, is that Mahā-Viṣṇu.

The great power of viṣṇu-tattva is indicated here.


bhāsvān yathāśma-śakaleṣu nijeṣu tejaḥ
svīyam kiyat prakaṭayaty api tadvad atra
brahmā ya eṣa jagad-aṇḍa-vidhāna-kartā
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the original Person, from whom Brahmā, with the nature of a vibhinnāṁśa, obtains potency to create the universe, just as the sun manifests its own effulgence to a finite degree within many jewels such as the sūrya-kantha etc.

There are two kinds of Brahmā. In any kalpa, if a suitable jīva is empowered with Bhagavān’s potency, that jīva becomes Brahmā and executes his duties. And in some kalpas, if there is no jīva who is suitable and the Brahmā from the previous kalpa was liberated, then Kṛṣṇa creates the rajo-guṇa-avatāra Brahmā from a portion of His own potency. Factually, Brahmā is superior to the ordinary jīva, however, he is not directly the Supreme. The aforementioned Śambhu has more supremacy than Brahmā. The fundamental understanding is that Brahmā possesses fifty of the jīva’s qualities to a greater extent, and five other qualities to a lesser degree. Śambhu has these fifty qualities and the five other qualities in greater measure.

yat-pāda-pallava-yugaṁ vinidhāya kumbha-
dvandve praṇāma-samaye sa gaṇādhirājaḥ
vighnān vihantum alam asya jagat-trayasya
govindam ādi-puruṣaṁ tam ahaṁ bhajāmi

I worship Govinda, the original Person, whose lotus feet are placed by Gaṇeśa on the twin domes of his forehead in order to achieve the potency to execute his duties of removing the obstacles of the three worlds.

Gaṇeśa has achieved the eligibility of executing the duty of removing obstacles and is the worshippable object of persons of a particular qualification. He has even achieved the position of one of the five Devatās worshipped as saguṇa-brahma (Brahman with qualities). This Gaṇeśa is an empowered governing Devatā, who attains his greatness by the grace of Govinda.

Śrī Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī CommentaryŚrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī Commentary – Verses 31-40
Śrī Śrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī CommentaryŚrī Brahma-saṁhitā Prakāśinī Commentary – Verses 51-62

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