With Commentary By Sri Srimad Bhakivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja
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We learn from the great sages and saints of India that the transcendental literature called Srimad-Bhagavatam is the essence of all this timeless Vedic knowledge, and it was manifested in this world by Sri Vyasadeva, the literary incarnation of God Himself. The all cognizant and fully independent source of creation, maintenance, and destruction is described in the first verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam as Sri Krsna, and that Supreme Absolute Truth is present on each page of this great epic.
The sages teach that Gopi-gita is one of Srimad-Bhagavatam’s five most important chapters. We are therefore first presenting to the respected reader the miraculous, magical effect of reading or hearing Srimad-Bhagavatam, and then we present the benefit of reading or hearing Gopi-gita.
The Sanskrit words gopi-gita mean ‘the beautiful song of the gopis.’ We learn from the ancient Vedic literature and from our lineage of spiritual masters that the gopis are the transcendental expansions of Sri Krsna’s inherent inconceivable power, His pleasure-giving potency, Sri Radha. It is by the influence of this internal power that the Absolute Truth Sri Krsna exists in four features: His personal form as the supreme cause of all causes and supreme relisher of all transcendental mellows; His incarnations along with Their abodes and infinity of divine pastimes; all living entities; and the unmanifest state of material nature.
Five thousand years ago, the great sage Srila Sukadeva Gosvami mercifully revealed the gopis’ divine song during his recitation of Srimad-Bhagavatam to the saintly King Pariksit, as they sat together on the banks of the Ganga, surrounded by numerous sages and self-realized souls. Those Gopi-gita verses later manifested as Srimad-Bhagavatam’s Canto Ten, Chapter Thirty-one.
A most elevated, sacred, and confidential subject, Gopi-gita is far beyond the comprehension of conditioned souls. Therefore, with deep compassion, certain recipients of the gopis’ mercy have written commentaries on its verses. Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja explains, 'Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu respected Srila Sridhara Svami’s commentary. Using that as a foundation, Srila Sanatana Gosvami established Mahaprabhu’s beautiful mood of bhakti in his own commentary on Canto Ten. Srila Jiva Gosvami gave further light to that explanation with his Vaisnava-tosani commentary. Then, accepting both commentaries as remnants, Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura extracted their ambrosial essence and composed his own.'
Srila Sridhara Svami’s commentary is entitled Bhavartha-dipika, which means 'Illuminations on the Inner Meanings of the Moods.' Srila Jiva Gosvami is the author of the Vaisnava-tosani commentary, which means 'Bringing Satisfaction to the Vaisnavas;' and Srila Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura has given us Sarartha-darsini, meaning 'Revealing the Essential Meanings.' The editors asked Srila Narayana Gosvami Maharaja if he would kindly give a name to the written form of his own discourses, his spoken commentary, and he named it Bhava-prakasika Vrtti, meaning 'The Commentary That Illuminates the Mood.'
Contents: Preface, A Note From The Editors, Introduction, Verses One to Nineteen, Chapter Thirty-two: Verses One and Two, About The Commentators, Glossary.
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