Srila Prabhupada on Srimad Bhagavatam, Part 22


Apr 03, 2011 — CANADA (SUN) — A serial exploration of Srila Prabhupada's preaching on Srimad Bhagavatam.

Today we begin the next sloka of Srimad Bhagavatam -- 1.1.3 – first giving the sloka and purport from Srila Prabhupada's original Srimad Bhagwatam, offering a side-by-side comparison of the sloka and translation as it appeared in the Bhagwatam and the first BBT Bhagavatam edition.

Here is Text 3 of the First Chapter, First Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam, with the sloka from Bhagwatam on the left, and from Bhagavatam (without diacritics) on the right:

Nighama kalpataror galitan phalam
Sukha mukhatd amritam draba samyutam.
Pivata bhagwatam rasam alaym
Muhur aho rasika bhubi bhab ukah

nigama-kalpa-taror galitam phalam
suka-mukhad amrta-drava-samyutam
pibata bhagavatam rasam alayam
muhur aho rasika bhuvi bhavukah

Here is the original Bhagwatam text for SB 1.1.3:


Nighama kalpataror galitan phalam
Sukha mukhatd amritam draba samyutam.
Pivata bhagwatam rasam alaym
Muhur aho rasika bhubi bhab ukah


    Nigama—the Vedic literatures, Kalpataror—the desired tree, Galitam—fully matured, Phalam—fruit, Suka—Srila Sukdeva Goswami the original speaker of Srimad Bhagwatam, Mukhad—from the lips of, Amritam—nectarine, Draba—easily swallowable on account of becoming semisolid and soft, Samyutam—perfect in all respects, Pivata—do relish it, Bhagwatam—the book dealing in the science of eternal relation with the Lord, Rasam—juice (what is relishable), Alayam—until liberation or even in libarated position, Muhur—always, aho—oh, Rasika—those who are full of humour or full in the knowledge of mellows, Bhabuka—expert and thoughtful, Bhubi—on the earth.


    "Oh the expert and thoughtful men! Please know it that Srimad Bhagwatam is the mature fruit of the desired tree of Vedic literatures and it is emanated from the lips of Sri Sukdeva Goswami. For this the nectarine fruit has become more tasteful although it is already readily swallowable nectarine juice which is relished by all up to those who are already liberated souls.


    In the two previous slokas it has been definitely proved that Srimad Bhagwatam is the sublime literature above all other vedic scriptures because it is transcendental to all prescribed mundane activities and superier to all mundane knowledge. In this sloka it is stressed herewith that Srimad Bhagwatam is not only superior in terms of its text but it is the ripen fruit of all vedic literatures. In other words it is the cream of all vedic knowledge also. And considering all these important points patient hearing and submissive aural reception of the transcendental message of the great literature is definitely essential. With great respect and attention one should receive the message and lessons imparted by the Srimad Bhagwatam.

    The Vedas are compared with the desired tree because they contain all things knowable by the human being both for mundane necessities as well as spiritual realisation. The Veda contains regulated principles of knowledge covering social, political, religious, economical, military, medical, chemical, physical, metaphysical and all that may be necessary for the proper up keep of the body and the soul together and above all there is specific direction for spiritual realisation also. Regulated knowledge means to raise the living entity gradually to the spiritual plane and the highest spiritual realisation is to know the Personality of Godhead as the reservoir of all mellows (Rasas).

    Every living being beginning from Brahma the first born living being within this material world down to the insignificant ant,—all are after relishing some short of mellows derived from sense perceptions. These sensual pleasures derived from another object is technically called the (Rasa. Such Rasas are of different varities. In the revealed scriptures such varieties of (Rasas are calculated to be twelve in all. They are are as follow. 1. (Roudra (anger). 2. (Adbhuta (wonderful), 4. (Sringar (conjugal), 4. (Hasya (comic), 5. (Vira (chivulrous), 6. (Daya (mercy), 7. (Dasya (servitorship), 8. (Sakhya (fraternity), 9. (Bhayanaka (Ghastly), 10. (Vivatsa (shocking), 11. (shanta (Neutral), 12. (Vatsalya (parental).

    Sumtotal of all these (Rasas is called affection or Love. Primarily such signs of Love are manifested in adoration, service, friendship, paternal affection and conjugal love. And indirectly in the absense of the abovementioned five stages of manifestations of Love, there is anger, wonder, comedy, chivoulry, fear, sock etc. For example when a man is in love with a woman call it the Rasa of conjugal love. But when such loving affairs are disturbed some way or other the same loving affairs are displayed in a different way may be wonderful, anger, shoeking, or even ghastly. Sometimes it so happens that love affairs of two persons are culminated in ghastly scene by commitment of murdur or similar other shocking and wonderful things. The peculiarity of such display of different Rasas are exhibited between man to man, animal to animal and so on. There is no possibility of such exchange of Rasas between man to animal or between man to other species of living beings within this material world. The Rasas are exchanged between similar class of entities. But so far the spirit soul is concerned qualitatively they are one with the spiritual quality of the Supreme Lord. Therefore originally the Rasas are exchanged between the spiritual living being with the spiritual Whole The Supreme Personality of Godhead. These spiritual exchange of Rasa are fully exhibited in spiritual existence between the spiritual living beings and the Spiritual Supreme whole the Personality of Godhead.

    The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore described in the Sruti Mantras (vedic hymns),—as 'He is the Fountain Head of all Rasas'. When one gets the association of the Supreme Lord and exchanges one's constitutional Rasas with the Lord, then the living being is actually happy'.

    These Sruti Mantras indicate that every living being has his constitutional position endowed with a particular type of Rasa to be exchanged with the Personality of Godhead and in the liberated condition only such primary Rasas are experienced in fullness. In the material existance snch Rasas are experienced in a perverted form by temporary manifestations. And as such the Rasas in the material world are exhibited in the form of Roudra (anger) etc.

    One who attains therefore full knowledge of these different Rasas which are the basic principles of living activities, one can know the false representations of the original Rasas reflected in the material world. Such learned scholar, therefore, seeks to relish the real Rasa in the Spiritual form and beginning of such spiritual form of relishing Rasa is the desire to become one with the Supreme. Less intelligent transcendentalist cannot go beyond the conception of becoming one with the Spirit whole without any knowledge of spiritual display of different Rasas.

    In this sloka it is definitely informed that Spiritual Rasa which are relished even in the liberated stage can be experienced in the literature of Srimad Bhagwatam on account of its being the ripen fruit of all Vedic knowledge. By submissive aural reception of the transcendental literature Srimad Bhagwatam, one can get full pleasures of his heart's desire and as such one must be very earefull to have the messages from the right sources. Srimad Bhagwatam is exactly received from the right source because it was brought by Srila Narada Muni from the Spiritual World and given to his disciple Sri Vyasadeva. The latter in his turn delivered the massages to his son Srila Snkdeva Goswami and Srila Sukdeva Goswami delivered the messages for the first time to Maharaja Parikshit just seven days prior of the king's death. Srila Sukdeva Goswami is liberated soul from the very beginning of his birth. Even in the womb of his mother he was a liberated being so much so that he did not undergo any sort of spiritual proficiency as it is a rule for all others, after his birth. By birth no body is qualified either in mundane or in the spiritual qualities. But Srila Sukdeva Goswami on account of his becoming a perfect liberated soul before his birth there was no necessity for him specifically for such evolutionary process of spiritual training. But inspite of his becoming a complete liberated person and situated in the transcendental position above the three mundane modes, he was attracted by the transcendental Rasa ef the Supreme Personality of Godhead Who is adored by the liberated souls by the vedic hymns. The Supreme Lord's pasttimes are attractive more to the liberated souls than to a mundane person. He is necessarily therefore not impersonal but the transcendental Personality of Godhead the reservoir of all kinds of transcendental Rasas.

    In the Srimad Bhagwatam, description of the transcendental pastimes of the transcendental Personality of Godhead is narrated. And the narration is systematically depicted by the transcendentally realised soul Srila Sukdeva Goswami. As such the whole subject matter has become more appealing for all classes of persons including those who are after liberation and relishing the mellow of becoming one with the Superme Whole.

    In Sanskrit language the bird parrot is also known as Suka whose red beaks are imperagnated with the quality of enhancing the sweetness of a ripen fruit which is cut by such beaks. Here also the same simile is applied in the matter of the ripen fruit of the Vedic literature referred to above. The Vedic Fruit which is matured and ripen in knowledge is also spoken through the lips of Srila Sukdeva Goswami who is compared with the parrot not for his ability to recite the Bhagwatam exactly in the manner as he heard it from His learned father but because He could present the whole thing in a manner appealing to all classes of men.

    The whole subject matter is so presented through the lips of Srila Sukdeva Goswami that any sincere audience who will lend his ears submissively to this message of the transcendental world, will at once relish the transcendental mellows distinguished from the perverted mellows of the material world. The ripen fruit is not dropped all of a sudden from the highest planet of Krishna Loka but it has come down carefully being handled by the chain of descliplic succession without any change or disturbance in the formation of the soft and ripen fruit. Foolish people who do not come in the chain of such transcendental desciplic succession, commit great blunder by trying to understand the highest transcendental Rasa known by the name transcendental Rasa Dance quickly without following the foot prints of Sukdeva Goswami who presents the fruit very carefully by stages of transcendental realisation. One should be intelligent enough to know the position of Srimad Bhagwatam by judging the personalities like Sukdeva Goswami who deals in the subject matter so carefully. This process of desciplic succession of the Bhagwat school suggests that in future also for all the time Srimad Bhagwat has to be understood from a person who is factually a representative of Srila Sukdeva Goswami. A professional man who lives on the business of Bhagwat recitation illegally is certainly not a representative of Sukdeva Goswami. Such professional man's business is to earn his livelihood and therefore one should refrain from hearing the lectures of the professional man. Such professional man, goes upto the most confidential part of the literature without undergoing the gradual process of evolutionary stages of understanding the grave subject and he wants to draw the attention of the ordinary man to the Rasa Dance which is misunderstood by the foolish class of men. Some of them do take it up in the immoral sense while others want to cover it by their own stupid interpretation without following the foot prints of Srila Sukdva Goswami.

    The conclusion is, therefore, that a serious student of Rasa may receive the message of Bhagwatam constainly in the line of the chain of desciplic succession from Srila Sukdeva Goswami who describes the Bhagwatam from the very beginning of the scripture and not whimsically to satisfy the mundaner who has very little knowledge in the transcendental science. Srimad Bhagwatam is so carefully presented that a sincere and serious student can at once have the ripen fruit of the Vedic knowledge simply drinking the nectarine juice through the mouth of Sukdeva Goswami or his bonafied representative."

As seen below, there are a number of differences between the original Bhagwatam sloka translation (left) and the later BBT edition version (right):

"Oh the expert and thoughtful men! Please know it that Srimad Bhagwatam is the mature fruit of the desired tree of Vedic literatures and it is emanated from the lips of Sri Sukdeva Goswami. For this the nectarine fruit has become more tasteful although it is already readily swallowable nectarine juice which is relished by all up to those who are already liberated souls."

"O expert and thoughtful men, relish Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature fruit of the desire tree of Vedic literatures. It emanated from the lips of Sri Sukadeva Gosvami. Therefore this fruit has become even more tasteful, although its nectarean juice was already relishable for all, including liberated souls."

In the text of the purport, we find one phrase that Srila Prabhupada had originally put in bold text, but the bolding was eliminated in the first BBT edition:

    "The Supreme Personality of Godhead is therefore described in the Sruti Mantras (vedic hymns),—as 'He is the Fountain Head of all Rasas'."


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