Monday, November 3, 2014

The ‘Juice of the Great Bhagavata’: Translation of A Few Passages from the Nama Ghosa of Madhavadeva

The Srimad Bhagavata is held, in the Eka-Sarana faith, to be সমস্ত-বেদান্ত-সাৰ, the essence of the entire Vedanta, the crest or the highest culmination of the Vedas. The Bhagavata is the supreme sastra or scripture. It is মহাভাগৱত, the Great Bhagavata. And it is পৰম-আনন্দ-ৰসময়, saturated with the nectar (rasa) of supreme joy. In his Nama Ghosa, Madhavadeva writes:

সমস্ত-বেদান্ত-সাৰ মহাভাগৱত শাস্ত্ৰ
ইহাৰ অমৃত-ৰস পাই |
পৰম সন্তোষে পান কৰিল যিজনে তাৰ
অন্যত্ৰ ৰসত ৰতি নাই ||১৮

Essence of all Vedanta—scripture of the Great Bhagavata;
obtaining its nectarine juice,
the one who has drunk with extreme satisfaction, that one
has no liking for any other juice. [18]

Here, it seems, the Bhagavata is compared to a fruit and the joy obtaining from its discussion to the enjoying of the nectarine drink (rasa) of this fruit. Moreover, rasa has also another meaning in Sanskrit and it is indicative of the feeling or sentiment prevailing in any literary or poetical work. It means also the ‘taste or character of a work’ (Sanskrit Dictionary). Thus, overall, it seems to be the transcendental flavour of bhakti—the feeling of supreme joy—that is being referred to as rasa in this passage.

মহাভাগৱত-ৰস মাধৱৰ নাম-যশ
আক পান কৰিল যিজনে |
কৃষ্ণৰ চৰণে চিত্ত দিয়া মোক্ষ-আদি ৰসে
ৰতি আৰ নকৰয় মনে ||১৯

The juice of the Great Bhagavata—Madhava’s Name and Glory;
one who has drunk of it [once];
offering mind at the Feet of Krsna, in beverages of salvation, etc.,
one never again develops fondness in mind. [19]

In this passage again, the nectar (rasa) of the Bhagavata, consisting [solely] of the Name and Glories (nama-yasa) of Madhava is the supreme juice, extremely tasty and delightful, drinking which a person forsakes all liking for any other juice, apart from it, like that of salvation (moksa) etc. Indeed the taste obtained from these ordinary beverages would be nothing compared to that of the nectar of the Bhagavata.

নিগম কল্পতৰু তাৰ
ফল মহাভাগৱত |
সেহি ফলৰস হৰি-গুণ-যশ
পিয়োক সাধু-সঙ্গত ||৪০৩

All the scriptures of release are the wish-yielding tree.
The fruit of that is the Great Bhagavata.
The juice of this fruit only—the qualities and glories of Hari—
you drink in the company of the devotees. [403]

In this passage, Madhavadeva exhorts us all to have a taste of the excellent juice of the fruit called Bhagavata in the company of ‘fellow drinkers’—the devotees of Hari. Here, the Bhagavata is explicitly referred to as a fruit (phala). All the scriptures of release (nigama) constitute, as it were, a ‘tree of wishes’ (kalpataru) and the Bhagavata is the fruit of this ‘tree of wishes’. The juice of this fruit (phala rasa) consists [solely] of the qualities and glories (guna-yasa) of Hari.

সকলে নিগমে কল্পতৰু তাৰ ফল মহাভাগৱত
শুক-মুখে আসি ভূমিত ভৈলা বিদিত |
ৰসত চতুৰ যিটোজন কৃষ্ণৰ চৰণে দিয়া মন
পৰম সন্তোষে পিয়োক ফল-অমৃত ||৬০৩

All the scriptures of release are the tree of wishes; the fruit of that [tree] is the Great Bhagavata;
touched by the mouth of Suka, it has fallen on earth and become well-known.
All those who are the connoisseurs of rasa, laying one’s mind at the Feet of Krsna,
enjoy the nectar of this fruit with great satisfaction. [603]

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