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Wonder of the Bhagavat - A sloka

Madanmohan das - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 17:08:37 +0530
sanke nItAh sapadi dasama-skandha-padyAvalInAm
varnAh karnAdhvani pathikatAmAnupUrvyAd bhavadbhih/
hamho dimbhA! paramasobhadAn hanta dharmArthakAmAn
yad garhantah sukhamayamamI moksamapyAksipanti//

Ah me! it appears that the sylables of the verses from the tenth skandha have sudenly become travellers on the pathway of your ears. Alas, ye fools, hence you are now censuring dharma, artha and kama, which yield great fortune, and spurn the blissful moksa.
(Bh R S 1,2,240 from Haberman's, slightly altered)

If anyone can supply Sri JIva's tika on the above it would be nice. I don't have it but Bon Maharaja's version does.
Jagat - Tue, 19 Oct 2004 19:04:38 +0530
zaGke nItAH sapadi dazama-skandha-padyAvalInAM
varNAH karNAdhvani pathikatAm AnupurvyAd bhavadbhiH |
haMho DimbhAH parama-zubhadAn hanta dharmArtha-kAmAn
yad garhantaH sukhamayam amI mokSam apy AkSipanti ||

You foolish children! It seems that you have gone
and let the syllables of the Tenth Canto's verses
suddenly enter the pathways of your ears, one after the other.
Why otherwise would you show such horror
for those most auspicious goals of duty, success and pleasure,
and deride that supremely blissful state of liberation?

Or perhaps better--

You foolish children! You show such horror
for those most auspicious goals of duty, success and pleasure,
and deride that supremely blissful state of liberation;
I can only assume that you have allowed
the syllables of the Tenth Canto's verses
to suddenly enter the pathways of your ears, one after the other.

The commentaries pick up on the particular alankars being used in this verse. First of all, it is what is known as a "vyAja-stuti", where one pretends to be criticizing something, but is in fact praising it. We could perhaps call it "irony." *

It is also called "aprastuta-prazaMsA." Here is Apte's definition: "A figure of speech which, by describing what is not the subject matter (aprastuta) conveys a reference to the intended subject." This also applies to the previous BRS verse, (smerAM bhaGgi, etc.), where the poet instructed the reader to not look upon Krishna's form. This was not his real intention, of course, but rather to incite one to look at it, for this would bring a greater happiness than that available in a worldly life. Here also, the poet describes the first three goals of life as "most auspicious" and liberation as "supremely blissful," but by so doing shows that hearing the verses of the Tenth Canto brings about a mood that exceeds these merits.

The purpose of addressing the audience as "foolish children" is not to deride them, but to emphasize the contrast. The degree of the condemnation brings out the degree of glory of the Bhagavatam. (Sri Jiva)

Mukunda adds that the word "Dimbha" indicates that these hearers had no preliminary faith in Krishna, and the words "karNAdhvani pathikatAm" ("travellers on the pathway of your ears," which I think is unnecessary to translate literally) indicate that the listening was not done with intense concentration, but was even inadvertent or superficial, [though it may be argued that "AnupUrvyeNa" ("one after the other, in sequence" negates that sense.]

And Vishwanatha further says that "varNA eva karNAdhvani pathikatAm" means the sounds alone entered the ears, but not necessarily an understanding of their meaning. Otherwise he pretty much summarizes the same as Jiva.


Additional comment: The address "DimbhAH" invokes the mood of a teacher or parent chastizing his students or children. He is out to protect them by keeping them away from the "drugs" of devotional service, and yet sees the symptoms of such "use" in his charges.

*Irony is usually used in the reverse manner--condemnation or criticism are hidden behind praise. But here is Fowler's definition: "Irony is a form of utterance that postulates a double audience, consisting of one party that hearing shall hear and shall not understand, and another party that, when more is meant than meets the ear, is aware both of that more and of the outsider's incomprehension."
Madanmohan das - Wed, 20 Oct 2004 20:17:43 +0530
That's fantastic Jagat. It's funny it makes laugh so much. I like the idea of "Alas, ye fools", because it is so humourous, meaning actually wisest. And the "smeram bhangi sloka too. Me off to work now, but on the morrow I'll post that one as well.
It is also very funny; I had a tape of A C Bhaktivedanta giving katha on the smeram bhangi sloka and he did it so well with dramatic intonation withall.
Madanmohan das - Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:40:20 +0530
smerAm bhangitrayaparicitAmsAcivistIrnadrstim
vamsinyastAdharakisalayAmujjvalAm candrakena/
govindAkhyAm haritanumitah kesitIrthopakanthe
mA preksistAstava yadi sakhe! bandhusange'sti rangah//

Down by the river at Kesi ghat is the form of Hari called Govinda whose smile is so enchanting. He stands in most graceful tripple-curved posture, glancing here and there from his elongated eyes, keeping the flute pressed to his sprout-like lower lip and adorned with a bright peacock's plumage. But O my friend if you desire to enjoy with your family and friends, I caution you don't go there,don't see him.

(Bh R S)
Jagat - Thu, 21 Oct 2004 19:03:04 +0530
That would also be Haberman, I assume?
Madanmohan das - Thu, 21 Oct 2004 21:29:55 +0530
No, it's in despite of my own invention. Haberman's had reversed the clauses as it were and put the caution first, whereas I have followed the original and put the caution last, which seems better to me. It was a very quick thing and I may have got it wrong.