Skip to main content
January - March 2023

Advaita In Srimad Bhagavatham – 10 P. R. Kannan

Skandha 10(1)

निवृत्ततर्षैरुपगीयमाना-द्भवौषधाच्छ्रोत्रमनोभिरामात् ।

क उत्तमश्लोकगुणानुवादा-त्पुमान् विरज्येत विना पशुघ्नात् ॥१. ४॥

Those, whose thirst for mundane things has been totally wiped out, sing the glory of Bhagavan, which is the medicine for the disease of Samsara for such Mumukshus (those keen on Moksha) and brings bliss to the ears and mind of even those who are attached to Samsara. Who other than the killer of animals (and his own Self) would turn away from such songs of glory of the high-famed Bhagavan? (1.4)


मृत्युर्जन्मवतां वीर देहेन सह जायते ।

अद्य वाब्दशतान्ते वा मृत्युर्वै प्राणिनां ध्रुवः ॥१. ३८॥

O Valorous one, death is born along with the body of those who are born; death is certain for living beings today, or at the end of a hundred years. (1,38)


देहे पञ्चत्वमापन्ने देही कर्मानुगोऽवशः ।

देहान्तरमनुप्राप्य प्राक्तनं त्यजते वपुः ॥१. ३९॥

When the body dies (goes back to the five constituent elements), the jiva, as per his karma, attains a new body and abandons the old body involuntarily. (1,39)


व्रजंस्तिष्ठन् पदैकेन यथैवैकेन गच्छति ।

यथा तृणजलूकैवं देही कर्मगतिं गतः ॥१. ४०॥

Just as a human being lifts one foot of his only after resting the other foot firmly on earth while walking, and the leech catches hold of a grass before leaving the earlier grass, the jiva catches hold of his new body before leaving his old body, driven by his karma. (1.40)


स्वप्ने यथा पश्यति देहमीदृशं  मनोरथेनाभिनिविष्टचेतनः ।

दृष्टश्रुताभ्यां मनसानुचिन्तयन्  प्रपद्यते तत्किमपि ह्यपस्मृतिः ॥१. ४१॥

A person sees the wealth of a king and hears of the glory of Indra and develops strong desire and sees himself as king and Indra in dream. Sometimes, even in waking state, he day-dreams and loses consciousness of his own body. Similarly the jiva attains a new body, driven by karma born of desire and forgets his old body. (1.41)

यतो यतो धावति दैवचोदितं  मनो विकारात्मकमाप पञ्चसु ।

गुणेषु मायारचितेषु देह्यसौ  प्रपद्यमानः सह तेन जायते ॥१. ४२॥

The mind of jiva is the abode of many transformations. At the time of death, whichever body, made of the five basic elements, created by Maya with different attributes, is the subject of thought of the jiva, driven by tendencies accumulated over the large volume of Sanchita (accumulated) and Prarabdha (destined in this birth) karmas, the jiva develops affinity with that body and takes birth in that body. (1.42)


ज्योतिर्यथैवोदकपार्थिवेष्वदः  समीरवेगानुगतं विभाव्यते ।

एवं स्वमायारचितेष्वसौ पुमान्  गुणेषु रागानुगतो विमुह्यति ॥१. ४३॥

Just as the reflected image of Sun or Moon in water appears to toss about here and there along with wavy movement of waters due to the force of wind, the jiva develops desire and attachment in bodies created by his own ignorance (Maya) and reckons the coming and going of those bodies as his own. (1.43)


तस्मान्न कस्यचिद्द्रोहमाचरेत्स तथाविधः ।

आत्मनः क्षेममन्विच्छन् द्रोग्धुर्वै परतो भयम् ॥१. ४४॥

Hence one, who wishes for his own wellbeing, should not conspire against anyone. Jiva is under the spell of karma, and against whomsoever he conspires, he will have to be afraid of his enemy here and the next world later. (1.44)


सत्यव्रतं सत्यपरं त्रिसत्यं  सत्यस्य योनिं निहितं च सत्ये ।

सत्यस्य सत्यमृतसत्यनेत्रं  सत्यात्मकं त्वां शरणं प्रपन्नाः ॥२. २६॥

O Bhagavan, your will is truth; you can be attained only through truth; prior to creation, during sustenance and after dissolution of the universe – in all these three illusory states, you are truth; earth, water, fire, air and space – for these five elements which are experienced, you are the cause; you are the indweller in all of them; you are the hidden truth behind this seen universe; you are the source of sweet speech and equanimity; you are indeed of the form of truth; we have taken refuge in you. (2.26)


एकायनोऽसौ द्विफलस्त्रिमूल-श्चतूरसः पञ्चविधः षडात्मा ।

सप्तत्वगष्टविटपो नवाक्षो  दशच्छदी द्विखगो ह्यादिवृक्षः ॥२. २७॥

Of this Samsara, which is an eternal tree, the source is one – Prakriti (Shakti); fruits are two – pleasure and pain; roots are three – Satva (tranquillity), Rajas (passion), Tamas (inertia); essences are four – Dharma, Artha (wealth), Kama (desire), Moksha (Liberation); five are the means of knowing this – eyes, ears, tongue, nose, skin; six are its manifestations – birth, being, growth, change, decline, death; seven (dhatus) are the skins of this – plasma, blood, muscle, fat, bones, bone marrow, reproductive tissue; eight are its branches – five elements, mind, intellect, ego; nine are the hollows in the tree – mouth, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, generatory organ, excretory organ; ten are the leaves – the ten Pranas – Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Samana, Naga, Kurma, Krukala, Devadatta, Dhananjaya; on this tree of Samsara are two birds – Jiva, Iswara. (2.27)


त्वमेक एवास्य सतः प्रसूति-स्त्वं सन्निधानं त्वमनुग्रहश्च ।

त्वन्मायया संवृतचेतसस्त्वां  पश्यन्ति नाना न विपश्चितो ये ॥२. २८॥

Of this tree of Samsara, you are the only source of its creation; in you alone, its dissolution happens; with your blessings alone, it is protected; those, whose minds are covered by your Maya, perceive you as many (performing creation, sustenance and dissolution); the men of discrimination see you alone. (2.28)


बिभर्षि रूपाण्यवबोध आत्मा  क्षेमाय लोकस्य चराचरस्य ।

सत्त्वोपपन्नानि सुखावहानि  सतामभद्राणि मुहुः खलानाम् ॥२. २९॥

You are Atman of the form of Gnana; you assume different forms for the well being of the world of moving and non-moving objects; those forms of yours are pure and blissful and bestow happiness on the virtuous; for the vicious, they are inauspicious. (2.29)


त्वय्यम्बुजाक्षाखिलसत्त्वधाम्नि  समाधिनाऽऽवेशितचेतसैके ।

त्वत्पादपोतेन महत्कृतेन  कुर्वन्ति गोवत्सपदं भवाब्धिम् ॥२. ३०॥

O lotus eyed Bhagavan, only a few chosen persons concentrate completely on your form, which is the refuge of all living and non-living objects and cross the ocean of Samsara on the boat of your feet, easily as if crossing the puddle of water of the size of the hoof of a calf. Saints have indeed crossed the ocean this way. (2.30)


स्वयं समुत्तीर्य सुदुस्तरं द्युमन्  भवार्णवं भीममदभ्रसौहृदाः ।

भवत्पदाम्भोरुहनावमत्र ते  निधाय याताः सदनुग्रहो भवान् ॥२. ३१॥

O Bhagavan of Splendour, your devotees cross this fearful and difficult-to-cross ocean of Samsara; being the well-wishers of mankind, they establish here the boat of your lotus feet for them to cross; your blessing of such great devotees is special indeed. (2.31)

Adi Shankara says:

शान्ता महान्तो निवसन्ति सन्तो वसन्तवल्लोकहितं चरन्तः ।
तीर्णाः स्वयं भीमभवार्णवं जना-नहेतुनान्यानपि तारयन्तः ।। (Vivekachudamaṇi 37)

“Great saints, men of peace, move about like the spring season, doing good to the world; having crossed the terrible ocean of Samsara themselves, they extend causeless help to others also in crossing the ocean.”


श‍ृण्वन् गृणन् संस्मरयंश्च चिन्तय-न्नामानि रूपाणि च मङ्गलानि ते ।

क्रियासु यस्त्वच्चरणारविन्दयो-राविष्टचेता न भवाय कल्पते ॥२. ३७॥

One, who directs his mind to listening to your auspicious names and stories of your forms and sports, speaking of them, thinking of them, meditating on them, and in service of your lotus feet, does not return to this Samsara. (2.37)


स एव स्वप्रकृत्येदं सृष्ट्वाग्रे त्रिगुणात्मकम् ।

तदनु त्वं ह्यप्रविष्टः प्रविष्ट इव भाव्यसे ॥३. १४॥

You alone project through your Prakriti this world of three attributes (Satva-peace, Rajas-passion, Tamas- inertia) at the beginning of creation. Though you do not enter into the world in reality, you appear to have entered. (3.14)


यथेमेऽविकृता भावास्तथा ते विकृतैः सह ।

नानावीर्याः पृथग्भूता विराजं जनयन्ति हि ॥३. १५॥

सन्निपत्य समुत्पाद्य दृश्यन्तेऽनुगता इव ।

प्रागेव विद्यमानत्वान्न तेषामिह सम्भवः ॥३. १६॥

When the primeval principles like Mahat are all separate, their powers are also separate. When they mix with evolutes like Indriyas (sense organs), they create this world and appear to enter into them. But the truth is that they do not enter into any object, the reason being that they are already present in any object they have made. (3.15-16)


एवं भवान् बुद्ध्यनुमेयलक्षणै-र्ग्राह्यैर्गुणैः सन्नपि तद्गुणाग्रहः ।

अनावृतत्वाद्बहिरन्तरं न ते  सर्वस्य सर्वात्मन आत्मवस्तुनः ॥३. १७॥

Through the intellect, the characteristics of the three attributes can only be estimated; through the sense organs the objects with attributes can only be grasped. Though you are present in the objects, grasping of the attributes does not lead to grasping you. This is because you are everything, indweller in all and the supreme truth, Atman. The covering of the attributes cannot hide you. In you there is neither inside, nor outside. Where then will you enter? (3.17)


य आत्मनो दृश्यगुणेषु सन्निति  व्यवस्यते स्वव्यतिरेकतोऽबुधः ।

विनानुवादं न च तन्मनीषितं  सम्यग्यतस्त्यक्तमुपाददत्पुमान् ॥३. १८॥

One, who reckons these attributes, which are seen, as different from himself, is ignorant. On enquiry, objects like the body, the house etc. are established to be nothing but verbiage. If the existence of an object is not established through enquiry, but is in fact limited, how can one, who reckons such an object to be real, be intelligent? (3.18)


त्वत्तोऽस्य जन्मस्थितिसंयमान् विभो  वदन्त्यनीहादगुणादविक्रियात् ।

त्वयीश्वरे ब्रह्मणि नो विरुध्यते  त्वदाश्रयत्वादुपचर्यते गुणैः ॥३. १९॥

O all – pervading one, they say that you are free from all actions, attributes and modifications. Even then, the creation, sustenance and dissolution of this world happen only through you. This is not inappropriate for you, who are Iswara, Parbrahman. As the three attributes are in you alone, the evolutes of those attributes are also linked to you. (3.19)


रूपं यत्तत्प्राहुरव्यक्तमाद्यं  ब्रह्म ज्योतिर्निर्गुणं निर्विकारम् ।

सत्तामात्रं निर्विशेषं निरीहं  स त्वं साक्षाद्विष्णुरध्यात्मदीपः ॥३. २४॥

You are indeed a form of that Brahman, which is indescribable, primeval, luminescence, attributeless, changeless, pure existence. You are indeed the all-pervading Vishnu, the indwelling light. (3.24)


नष्टे लोके द्विपरार्धावसाने  महाभूतेष्वादिभूतं गतेषु ।

व्यक्तेऽव्यक्तं कालवेगेन याते  भवानेकः शिष्यते शेषसंज्ञः ॥३. २५॥

When Brahma’s life-span of two Parardhas comes to an end, the created worlds are destroyed; the five great elements merge into their cause; the manifested world dissolves into the Unmanifest principle by the dynamics of Time; you alone remain; that is why you are called Sesha. (3.25)


योऽयं कालस्तस्य तेऽव्यक्तबन्धो  चेष्टामाहुश्चेष्टते येन विश्वम् ।

निमेषादिर्वत्सरान्तो महीयां-स्तं त्वेशानं क्षेमधाम प्रपद्ये ॥३. २६॥

O Lord, whose indivisible characteristic is Avyakta (Prakriti, the power of Maya), it is said that this phenomenon called Time is indeed of your making, which results in manifestation of this universe; you are the great lord of the inexhaustible Time measured from Nimesha (time taken to close the eye) to Vatsara (year); you are the abode of all wellbeing; I take refuge in you. (3.26)


मर्त्यो मृत्युव्यालभीतः पलायन् लोकान् सर्वान्निर्भयं नाध्यगच्छत् ।

त्वत्पादाब्जं प्राप्य यदृच्छयाद्य स्वस्थः शेते मृत्युरस्मादपैति ॥३. २७॥

The human being, caught in the cycle of birth and death, is afraid of the great serpent of death and runs to several worlds, but does not get relief from fear. By a stroke of good destiny, he attains to your lotus feet and then rests there free from fear; Death flees from him in fear. (3.27)


नैतद्विचित्रं मनुजार्भमायिनः परावराणां परमस्य वेधसः ।

अघोऽपि यत्स्पर्शनधौतपातकः प्रापात्मसाम्यं त्वसतां सुदुर्लभम् ॥१२. ३८॥

This is not strange. The very touch of the Supreme lord of the high and the low, who, through his Maya, has taken the child’s form, destroys the sins of the worst sinner and bestows on him status of equality with him, unimaginable for such sinners. (12.38)


सकृद्यदङ्गप्रतिमान्तराहिता मनोमयी भागवतीं ददौ गतिम् ।

स एव नित्यात्मसुखानुभूत्यभि- व्युदस्तमायोऽन्तर्गतो हि किं पुनः ॥१२. ३९॥

To one, who but meditates once on the image of Bhagavan, which carries the imprint of his mind, Bhagavan grants the state of his own. Is it then necessary to explain the destined state of one, who has lost himself on the Lord, who is the very experience of eternal bliss of Atman and who is beyond the ken of Maya?


सर्वेषामपि भूतानां नृप स्वात्मैव वल्लभः ।

इतरेऽपत्यवित्ताद्यास्तद्वल्लभतयैव हि ॥१४. ५०॥

O king, for all living beings, their own Atman alone is the dearest. The rest – children, wealth etc. – are dear because they are dear to Atman. (14.50)


तस्मात्प्रियतमः स्वात्मा सर्वेषामपि देहिनाम् ।

तदर्थमेव सकलं जगदेतच्चराचरम् ॥१४. ५४॥

Hence one’s own Atman is the dearest for all living beings; only because of that, all this world of moving and non-moving objects is dear.

(to be continued)