Śrī Gāyatrī Mantrārtha Dīpikā – Illuminations on the Essential Meaning of Gāyatrī
Chapter Three – Śrī Gāyatrī Nigūḍhārtha Saṁpada – The Wealth and Glory of Śrī Gāyatrī Nigūḍhārtha
The explanation of brahma-gāyatrī, the mother of all Vedas, signifying devotional worship unto Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, śrī rādhānudhyāna-parā, explanation which was revealed in the depth of realization of Pūjyapāda Śrīdhara Deva Gosvāmī Mahārāja, possessed with the divine grace of Paramārādhya Śrī Śrīla Prabhupāda (Bhaktisiddhānta Saraswatī Ṭhākura) upon his head — is deeply appreciated by those fortunate, intelligent devotees who are aware of the relishable beauty of pure devotional service.
The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is revealed in the transcendental meditation of Śrī Veda Vyāsa, is the quintessential scripture of all the Vedas, Vedāntas, Purāṇas and Pañcarātras. Vrajendra Nandana, Śrī Vṛndāvana Candra Kṛṣṇa, has alone been manifested therein as the supreme worshipable non-dual object (the Supreme Personality of Godhead — the summum bonum of our lives) through this following definition:
ete cāṁśa-kalāḥ puṁsaḥ kṛṣṇas tu bhagavan svayam
indrāri-vyākulaṁ lokaṁ mṛḍayanti yuge yuge
“All of the above mentioned incarnations are either plenary portions or portions of the plenary portions of the Lord, but Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the original Personality of Godhead. All of them appear on planets whenever there is a disturbance created by atheists. The Lord incarnates to protect the theists.” (Bhāg. 1.3.28)
The full-fledged internal potency of that svayam-rūpa, the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the divine embodiment of sat-cit–ānanda, has also been described as the supreme worshipper and pleasure-giving potency through this verse of Śrīmad–Bhāgavatam:
anaya rādhikā nūnaṁ bhagavan harirīsvaraḥ
yan no vihāya govindaḥ prīto yām anayad rahaḥ
“Certainly this particular gopī has perfectly worshiped the all-powerful Personality of Godhead, Govinda, since He was so pleased with Her that He abandoned the rest of us and brought Her to a secluded place.” (Bhāg. 10.30.28)
Thus both of the divine personalities are interrelated as ārādhya and ārādhikā (worshipable and worshipper).
This conjugal conception of Godhead is our supreme worshipable goal and it is the final aim and object of Śrīmad–Bhāgavatam. It is said in the Garuḍa Purāṇa:
artho ‘yaṁ brahma sūtrānāṁ bhāratārta vinimayaḥ
gāyatrī bhāṣya rūpo’sau vedārtha paribṛṁhita
granthāṣöa-daśa sāhasra śrīmad-bhāgavatābhidha
“The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is most highly regarded within the meanings of the Brahma Sūtras, the deep significance of Mahābhārata and the profundity of Veda-mātā gāyatrī, and is ultimately the quintessence of all the Vedas”.
The king of scriptures Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is naturally full of the most valuable verses:
tad idaṁ grāhayām āsa sutam ātmavatāṁ varam
sarva vedetihāsānaṁ sāraṁ sāraṁ samuddhṛtam
“Śrī Vyāsadeva delivered it to his son, who is the most respected among the self-realized, after extracting the cream of all Vedic literature and histories of the universe.” (Bhāg. 1.3.41)
sarva vedam tvṣaranghi śrīmad bhāgavatam iśyate
tad-rasāmāta-tāptasya nānyatra syād ratiḥ kvacit
“Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is declared to be the essence of all Vedānta philosophy. One who has felt satisfaction from its nectarine mellow will never be attracted to any other literature.” (Bhāg. 12.13.15)
In these verses Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam has been described and defined as the quintessence of all Vedas, Vedānta and Purāṇas. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmīpāda also has written:
gāyatrīra arthe ei grantha ārambhana
“satyaṁ paraṁ” — sambandha
“dhīmahi” — sādhana-prayojana
“In the beginning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam there is an explanation of the brahma-gāyatrī mantra. ‘The Absolute Truth (satyaṁ-param)’ indicates the relationship, and ‘we meditate (dhīmahi) on Him’ indicates the execution of devotional service and the ultimate goal of life.” (C.c. Madhya-līlā 25.147)
In his Anubhāsya commentary to these lines, our Paramārādhya Śrīla Prabhupāda has commented:
“The meaning or deep significance of the gāyatrī-mantra has been presented in the first verse of Śrīmad–Bhāgavatam, which is known as maṅgalācaraṇa or the auspicious invocation. All efforts of our wisdom and consciousness to discover and attain our eternal relationship with the supreme reality, and consequently to know our properly adjusted or harmonized relationship with all animation through that central relationship with the truth is known as sambandha-jñāna. Following the regulative principles for the attainment of the highest goal of life — the purely blissful devotional service of the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇacandra is known as abhidheya. And tasting the supremely blissful nectarine devotional fruits (prema-bhakti) to those genuine devotional practices is known as prayojana.”
In Śrīmad Bhāgavad-gītā Śrī Kṛṣṇa is described as the supreme subject known by the transcendental knowledge of the Vedas. He is also the composer of the Vedas and Vedānta in His form of Śrīla Vyāsadeva and finally, He is the true knower of the real meanings and significance of all the Vedas. Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmīpāda has written thus:
ataeva bhāgavata sūtrera’ artha’ rūpa
nija kṛta sūtrera nija’bhāṣya ‘svarūpa
“As it is He who is the writer and commentator of the Upaniṣads which are the most essential form of the four Vedas and their profound meanings and as if is that same great personality, the incarnation of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is the writer of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is regarded as the quintessential commentary and wider, positive explanation of the Vedas, then it is the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam alone which presents to the world the deepest meanings of all Vedas, Vedānta and revealed scriptures.” (C.c. Madhya-līlā 25.142)
kṛṣṇa bhakti rasa svarūpa śrī bhāgavata
tāte veda śāstra haite parama mahattva
“Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the divine personification of the matchless ecstasies of kṛṣṇa-bhakti. Because of that she is much more exalted than the Veda śāstras—excelling and transcending them all.” (C.c. Madhya-līlā 25.150)
In the commentary of this verse Śrīla Prabhupāda has said:
“Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is the ocean of transcendental ecstasy of śrī-kṛṣṇa-bhakti and the revealed Vedic scriptures. The Vedas, which comprise the transcendental messages of Śrī Bhagavān, are compared to a desire tree, the best ripened fruit of which is Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. Therefore, the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is much greater than the Vedas in comparative study.”
In the revealed truth of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Vrajendra-nandana Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the sole matchless wealth of Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī’s life, is the supreme reality and supreme object of all adoration. Śrī Rādhā, the crown jewel of all Vraja-devīs, is the full-fledged divine potency and is the exclusive pleasure giver in all respects to Her dear Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa Candra. Therefore, it is only under submission to Her that that glorious, fathomless devotional service to the Lord, that genuine worship and adoration of the Lord, the very means of attaining divine grace, can become a reality. By realizing this deep meaning of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam and revealing it in his commentary, Parama-pūjyapāda Śrīdhara Deva has presented to the world this most beautiful, full-fledged explanation of gāyatrī, the mother of śruti. He has shown us this treasure of the most beautiful opulent wealth of the supreme reality; that the loving adoration of varenya bhargo, who is the supreme loving worshipper, ecstasy giver and internal potency of the supremely worshipable Śrī Līlā Puruṣottama Deva, is the best way to attain the grace of Śrī Kṛṣṇa. She is the benevolent source of pure devotional inspiration and intelligence required to attain the grace of Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the Divine Lord of this universe, and that it is the exclusive meaning of the expression: śavalāccyāmani prapadye (Upaniṣads).
Śrīla Raghunātha Dāsa Gosvāmīpāda did not like to accept Śrī Kṛṣṇa merely as Bakārī (the slayer of Bakāsura and other demons), nor the idea of residing in Śrīdhāma Vraja without the grace of Śrīmatī Rādhā Thākurāṇī. One cannot live in Her domain or have the fortune of darśana of the original transcendental form of Śrī Vṛndāvana-vihāri Śrī Kṛṣṇa without the grace and sanction of His svarūpa-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhā Thākurāṇī.
rādhayā mādhavo devaḥ
“Mādhava Deva belongs exclusively to Śrīmatī Rādhā Thākurānī”.
We find in Śrī Kavirāja Gosvāmī’s writings:
hlādinī karāya kṛṣṇe ānandāsvadana
lādinīra dvārā kare bhaktera poṣaṇa
“The hlādinī-śakti, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī, is always engaging Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Her Divine Lord, in tasting and profoundly relishing the divine pleasures and infinite divine ecstasies, and it is through that hlādinī-śakti that Śrī Kṛṣṇa maintains and sustains the devotional life of His devotees”. (C.c. Ādi-līlā 4.60)
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura has written in his Amṛta Prābhava Bhāṣya as follows:
“Śrīmatī Rādhikā is the svarūpa-śakti of Śrī Kṛṣṇa and is known as hlādinī because She always keeps Him merged in the ocean of supreme ecstasy. In addition, She is also defined as the supreme maintainer and sustainer of divine devotional life, the supreme promoter of śrī-kṛṣṇa-prema within the original selves of all jīva souls, who are the eternal parts and particles of the infinite transcendental potency of Śrī Kṛṣṇa.”
Śrīla Kavirāja Gosvāmīpāda continues:
sac cid ānanda pūrṇa kṛṣṇera svarūpa
eka-ī-cic chakti tāìra dhare tina rūpa
ānandāṁśe hlādinī sad aṁśe sandhinī
cid aṁśe samvit yāre jñana kari māni
“Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s body is eternal, full of knowledge, and full of bliss. His one spiritual energy manifests three forms. Hlādini is His aspect of bliss; sandhīni, of eternal existence; and samvit, of cognizance, which is also accepted as knowledge.” (C.c. Ādi-līla 4.61-62)
Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura comments on this verse as follows:
“The full-fledged reality of the almighty Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the embodiment of eternity, divinity and ecstasy and His conscious potency has threefold manifestations: Sandhinī-śakti is that potency which manifests in the quality of eternity and which connects or relates all jīva souls with the original Absolute Reality, expanding and extending that relationship and which thereby expands, widens and improves the very existence of all jīva souls.”
Samvit-śakti is the perfect plane of full-fledged knowledge or consciousness through which we can know the original Supreme Personality of Godhead Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Hlādinī-śakti is the potency of supreme transcendental ecstasy which eternally pleases Śrī Kṛṣṇa with limitless beauty and bliss and most graciously distributes that ānandam (pleasure) to be tasted by all other specially fortunate devotees.
Paramārādhya Śrīla Prabhupāda has commented on the same śloka in his Anubhāṣya:
“The potency by which the Supreme Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa maintains and sustains the entire entity, the existence of all, is called sandhinī-śakti, the revealer of time, place, things and circumstances. That potency by which He Himself can know and make others know is called samvit -śakti or jñāna-śakti. That supreme consciousness potency of Śrī Kṛṣṇa by which Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī can directly know of the ānandam and most graciously allow others to know, feel and taste the same ānandam is called hlādinī-śakti. That original supreme ecstasy potency, hlādinī-śakti, is always engaged in giving pleasure to Her dear Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the dearmost son of the King of Vraja and the full moon of Vṛndāvana-dhāma. Therefore, essentially, we must do all our devotional duties, services and worship with the acceptance of unconditional surrender at the lotus feet of Śrī Vṛṣabhānu Rādhānandinī, the dearmost daughter of the King Vṛṣabhānu and the crown jewel of all the Vraja-devīs. Hence, abhideya means the profound thinking, feeling and absorption in all respects upon the Supreme Lord and through that process of meditation and absorption, the attainment of that plane of pure devotional consciousness prayojana or premāvastā — the lofty storage of divine love.”
Therefore, this pure devotional meditation upon Śrī Rādhārāṇī is the topmost confidential meaning of brahma-gāyatrī. The commentary upon gāyatrī revealed by Pūjyapāda Śrīdhara Mahārāja is known as Śrī Gāyatrī-Nigūḍhārtha. This commentary has been elaborately explained and I am bereft of the proper language to elucidate the profound meaning of gāyatrī revealed by Pūjyapāda Mahārāja, which is that sublime śrī-rādhā-dāsya or śrī-rādhā-pāda-dhyāna — the exclusive devotional servitude to Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī. Therefore, it can only be presented and understood through his own illustrious transcendental language and by his exclusive divine grace. This deepest meaning of gāyatrī has been nobly established by every aspect of the message emanating from his lotus lips and by the jubilant mood radiating from the core of his heart.