Prologue | Sri Brahma-samhita | SCSMath International
 

SRI BRAHMA-SAMHITA


Prologue

 

Ever since the day that I, by the causeless Grace of the All-Auspicious Descent of the Supreme Lord in the Forms of Sri Sri Nitai-Chaitanyadev, attained the shelter of the lotus feet of my Most Worshippable Srila Guru Maharaj Om Visnupad Paramahamsa Sri Srimad Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, by his boundless Mercy the inspiration for the genuine search for the Ultimate Truth was awakened in my heart; and further, that causelessly gracious Srila Guru Maharaj gave me that initial connection, the vital link that enables us to attain the qualification to enter into the basic land of faith (adau sraddha) in accordance with Sri Srimat Rupa Goswami's guiding verse for the progressive life of Divine Service (bhajana): adau sraddha tatah sadhu-sangah. From that very time, I, by his Grace, got the fortune of having this message of Gitopanisad take its tangible shape in my heart: tad viddhi pranipatena pariprasnena sevaya, upadeksyanti te jnanam jnaninas tattva-darsinah—“Satisfy the enlightened Guru with your prostrate obeisances, reasonable enquiries and sincere service, and you will be able to realize the Knowledge I have spoken of. The great souls who are adept in the Scriptures and endowed with direct experience concerning the Supreme Spirit, Param Brahman, will teach you.” Similarly, it is also mentioned in the Upanisads: tad vijnanartham sa gurum evabhigacchet samit panih srotriyam brahma-nistham—“To attain specific (Devotional) Knowledge of the Supreme Lord, one aspiring for auspiciousness must bring offerings, and approach, by his thought, word and deed, a genuine Guru who is versed in the purport of the Vedas and who knows the Reality of Krishna.”

Whether in the Divine World or in the ordinary world, in order to properly learn whatever subject we wish, we must take the shelter of a specialist—a genuine teacher. Actually, there is no way to achieve Divine Knowledge without the Grace of the genuine Divine Master, and that Knowledge will manifest according to the degree of one's surrender.

The primeval poet, four-headed Lord Brahma who was born from the universal lotus flower, is the original Guru of our Divine Succession. So this Divine Succession stemming from Lord Brahma is naturally illuminated by the Divine Light of his perception, his worship and his revelation. In the beginning, by the Grace of the Supreme Lord, through the agency of His Divine Sound Vibration (Divya Saraswati), Lord Brahma was taught the eighteen-syllabled Sri Krishna Mantra and he practised penances in pursuance of cultivating that Mantra. He propitiated his Worshippable Object by his perfect meditation, and he was raised to the twice-born status by being initiated and purified by the Lord's Divine Flute Song emanating (muralista-kirttana-dhanam) as the Kama-Gayattri Mantra. He was thus initiated by the Original Guru of Gurus who is like a vast rolling ocean of the waves of Divine Pastimes—the Matchless Reality in Person—the Supreme Lord Sri Krishna. In other words, by the Potency of that function he attained to his second birth—the Divine Realm was completely unveiled before him.

Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has written, “Kama-Gayattri ... is the Gayattri taken after the eighteen-syllabled Mantra .... In this Gayattri is indicated the realization of the Lila or Divine Pastimes of Sri Gopijanavallabha, the Beloved of the Gopis, after complete meditation upon Him; and the prayer to attain to (the Service of) that Transcendental Cupid. In the entire Transcendental World there is no higher pursuit for Divine Love in the shelter of an Ecstatic Relationship with Him.”

Empowered by faithfully meditating upon and singing that Gayattri, Lord Brahma freely wandered throughout the length and breadth of the Ocean of Truth; and his prayers in glorification of Sri Govinda, which are the Quintessence of all the Vedas, are the basis of the fifth of the hundred chapters of Sri Brahma-samhita. Moreover, the fortunate, faithful virtuous souls can enter into a crystal-clear conception of the entire mundane world's and Transcendental World's manifestation, existence and flow, by reading or singing this Hymn with due regard and devotion.

The Supremely Magnanimous Source of all Avataras, the Bestower of shelter in the shade of the umbrella of His Own Perfect Philosophy (siddhanta) of Inconceivable Oneness and Distinction (Acintya-bhedabheda)—the Supreme Lord Sri Chaitanyadev—was filled with Divine Ecstasy upon observing the perfect reflection of the Light of the Perfect Philosophy revealed by the fifth chapter of Sri Brahma-samhita rich with the Songs of the Glories of Sri Srila Govindadev, the Tips of the Toes of whose Lotus Feet are eternally illuminated by the arati or worship offered by the radiance of the crown-jewels of all the Vedas. With great Love, He brought in His Own Hand the manuscript of the Book from South India and joyfully offered it to the hands of the devotees. In the words of Srila Krishnadasa Kaviraja we find:

siddhanta-sastra nahi 'brahma-samhita'-samana,
govinda-mahima-jnanera parama karana.
alpa aksare kahe siddhanta apara,
sakala-vaisnava-sastra-madhye ati sara.

“As a Scripture embodying Perfect Truths, Sri Brahma-samhita has no equal; it is the Supreme Wisdom of the Glories of the Supreme Lord Govinda. Endless Perfect Truths are expressed in few words. It is the Quintessence of all Vaisnava Scriptures.”

I feel the need to mention just one more important point, regarding our reading Srimad-Bhagavatam as Sriman Mahaprabhu has had it made known to us: yaha bhagavata pada vaisnavera sthane—“Go and learn the Bhagavat from a Vaisnava.” Taking the gist of this instruction to heart, it is definitely everyone's duty to give careful attention to their supreme benefit by singing and preaching this King of Holy Books, faithfully following the path chalked out by Srila Sachchidananda Bhaktivinoda Thakur; because faithfully following the commentary of that great King of Acaryyas, the Guardian of the Sri Brahma-Madhva-Gaudiya Sampradaya, Srila Sri Jiva Goswami—Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakur has brought ever-increasing joy to the hearts of the true devotees by illuminating the Lotus Feet of Saccidananda-vigraha Sri Govinda, the Embodiment of Truth, Consciousness and Joy, in the tender lotus flower of Perfect Truths that has been brought to bloom in his personal Divine Revelations. This is the unique, safe refuge for the sincere seekers and also the exclusive Saraswata-Gaudiya-Vaisnavas who are already conversant with the Art of Divine Service.

By the Grace of our Grand-Guru, the Embodiment of Sri Gaura's Grace—Om Visnupad Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Prabhupada—and his Personal Associates, we now find that fortunate souls the world over have become intoxicated with Sri Gaura-Sankirttana. In this way singing and singing the Glories of Sri Gaurahari, floating and floating down the Ocean of Joy of the Hare Krishna Mahamantra taught by Him, they are progressing towards the Divine Abode of Transcendental Touchstone in their divine aspirations for Loving Service unto the Divine Couple Sri Sri Radha-Govinda, who are ever attended by the Loving Service of hundreds of thousands of Laksmis. This jewel of Holy Books, as the elixir of life of all such blessed souls, will fortify them more and more. With this faith we are attempting to bring this Book to light in the international English language. If I may quote Srila Prabhupada's words, abhakta prayasa, dekhiya na hasa, iha guru-gaura-dasya—“Don't laugh to see this nondevotee's attempt, for he's trying to serve Guru and Mahaprabhu.” With the aim of fulfilling the heart's desires of our Supremely Worshippable Srila Guru Maharaj, today we are overjoyed because this greatly aspired-for service attempt has borne fruits by the mercy of the Vaisnavas who are Transcendental wish-fulfilling trees incarnate.

Needless to say, the painstaking work of translation, etc., of this great Treatise can be appreciated by the learned. Still, our dear and close friend, to whom Srila Guru Maharaj was so affectionate, and who has been given the responsibility of continuing and expanding our Sri Math's work in the Western countries, the well-known and qualified preacher Tridandi Swami Sripad Bhakti Ananda Sagar Maharaj has, by his sincere serving efforts, day and night, fulfilled the task. For the basis of the translation he has felt himself fortunate to have been able to consult our Grand-Gurudev Jagad-Guru Prabhupada Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Goswami Thakur's Madras Gaudiya Math and Mayapur Sri Chaitanya Math's English and Bengali editions respectively. He not only rendered the translation, but he accepted the entire responsibility of bringing the publication to light, and he has spared no pains in bringing it out in a beautiful and faultless form. Still, our unsuspecting errors, omissions, etc., may occur, as the essence-drinking, liberal Vaisnavas and the devoted readers are not unaware of, yet we have full confidence that they never suffer any dearth of benevolence in their natural forbearance. In conclusion, in the words of Srila Guru Maharaj I would beg to offer my obeisances unto the lotus feet of them all.

granthartham jada-dhi-hrdi tv iha mahotsahadi-sancaranair
yesan catra satam satirtha-suhrdam samsodhanadyais va
yesan capy adhame krpa mayi subha pathadibhir vanyatha
sarvvesam aham atra pada-kamalam vande punar vai punah

“Those dear Godbrothers and true devotees who by bringing out this Book have given much life to my poor heart, or who have assisted in its refinement, or who may read it, or who have in any other way bestowed or may in the future bestow their auspicious goodwill upon this humble soul—I now offer my humble obeisances unto the lotus feet of them all.”

Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math,
Svargadvar, Puri, India.
Ratha-yatra Day, 13th July, 1991

A humble servant
of the Lord's devotees,
Sri Bhakti Sundar Govinda

 

 

⇐ Feelings of Appreciation

Translator's Note ⇒

 

CONTENTS:

For Reader's Appreciation
Feelings of Appreciation
Prologue
Translator's Note
Illumination
Sri Sri Brahma-samhita
Verse Contents

"HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS | HUMILITY, TOLERANCE, GIVING HONOUR TO OTHERS"