15.03 SPIRITUAL CONTENT OF SHRIMAD BHAGAVATAM IN FOUR SHLOKAS
(Essence of Bhagavatam in four verses)
With translations from three modern commentators
II – 9 – 32 aham-eva-Asam-eva-agre na-anyad-yat sad-asat-paraM /
pashchAd-aham yad-etat-cha yo’vashishhyeta so’smy-ahaM //
Before creation I alone was, there being no other existence of the nature of cause and effect different from Me. After the creative cycle ends also, I alone exist. For, this universe (which seems to have a separate existence) is also Myself (deriving its substantiality from Me alone), and when everything is dissolved in its cause in pralaya, what remains is only Myself.
It is I, who was existing in the beginning, when there was nothing but Myself. There was nothing else, neither Being nor non-Being nor anything which transcends them. That which you see now is also Me, and after annihilation what remains will also be Me.
Prior to this creation I alone existed and that too in my absolute state. Other than Me there was nothing gross or subtle, nor the cause of both, PrakRRiti. I exist even after creation as well as in the form of this phenomenal world and I am also that which remains (after all this has disappeared)
II-9-33•RRite’rthaM yat-pratiyeta na pratiyeta-cha-Atmani /
•tad-vidyAd-Atmano mAyAM yathA’’bhAso yathA tamaH //
What is presented on the Atman without any substantial reality apart from It, and what fails to leave anything as residue apart from the Atman when it ceases to be presented – know that to be due to my divine Power, Maya. Such presentation is like a reflected image (totally dependent on the object) and like darkness (which leaves no residue when it dissolves).
• Whatever appears in the Atman, be it a reflection-like appearance where there is nothing of value, be it a darkness-like non-existence where there is existence, all this is to be considered as my mAyA .
•That which makes it possible for something inexplicable to appear in My Being (as apart from Me) without any corresponding reality, just like the illusion of the second moon, and which obscures My Being (even though I am present everywhere) like the presence of the planet Rahu (which has a shadowy form) in the midst of the other luminaries should be regarded as My MAyA (deluding potency).
•II-9-34. yathA mahAnti bhUtAni bhUteshhu-ucchAvacheshhv-anu /
•pravishhTAny-apravishhTAni tathA teshhu na teshhv-ahaM //
•The great basic elements of Nature combine and constitute all objects, high and low, pure and impure. Though entering into these combinations formed by them, these elements do not lose their elemental nature and take on the qualities found in the combinations. They can thus be said to be in these combinations and also outside them at the same time. Similarly I constitute these beings, and in that sense I have entered into them, yet I have not entered into them in the sense that My pristine Nature is not affected by the nature and experience of the combinations that make up the bodies of these beings.
•Know thou that just as the universal fundamental subtle elements appear to have entered into the cosmos but in reality there is no such ‘entry’, so also I appear to have pervaded into everything but in reality there is no ‘pervasion’.
•Even as the gross elements (earth, water etc.) may be said to have entered (the bodies of) all living beings, both great and small, (made up as they are of these very elements) after their creation, and they can as well be said not to have entered them (in that they already inhered in them as their material cause), similarly I can be said to have entered the bodies of these living beings as their indwelling spirit (when they are viewed materially), and I can be equally said not to have entered them (when they are viewed spiritually, there being no other reality than the Spirit, viz., Myself)
•II-9-35. etAvad-eva jij~nAsyaM tattva-jij~nAsunA’’tmanaH /
•anvaya-vyatirekhAbhyAM yat-syAt-sarvatra sarvadA //
• What the seeker after Truth has to grasp is that Substance which persists always through all its transformations into its various effects or forms, but suffers no diminution in the process as also when all these effects or forms are eliminated in the causal condition. The Supreme Spirit is that ultimate Substance.
•By the two exercises of logic known as ‘anvaya’ and ‘vyatireka’ what is known to exist everywhere and every time is the only thing to be known by those who seek to know the truth of the Atman.
•He who is eager to know the truth of the Spirit should enquire into and ascertain that Reality alone which is proved to exist everywhere and at all times – whether you argue by the negative process, excluding everything else as ‘not that’ or by the positive method of affirming everything as that.