KIRTAN ILLUMINATIONS

BEYOND THE CONFINES OF MATTER

Song 4 from the Yāmuna-bhāvāvalī in Gītā-mālā

By Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur

To begin his composition Gītā-mālā (‘A Garland of Songs’), Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur composed a series of three verse songs which illuminate the meaning of twenty-seven verses selected from Śrī Yāmuna Āchārya’s Śrī Stotra-ratna, also known as the Ālavandāra-stotra and Ālamandāru-stotra. Śrīla Bhakti Vinod Ṭhākur offered two titles for this initial section of Gītā-mālā: (1) Yāmuna-bhāvāvalī (A series of the sentiments of Śrī Yāmuna Āchārya) and (2) Śānta-dāsya-bhakti-sādhana-lālasā (Longing to engage in bhakti with śānta- and dāsya-rati).

This text is being published as a series with each song presented in the following format:

  • The original text of each verse in each song in Bengali script and roman transliteration,
  • A verse-ordered word by word gloss of each verse,
  • A prose-ordered word by word gloss of each verse,
  • A prose translation of each verse.

Preceding each song, the verse from Śrī Stotra-ratna upon which it is based will be presented in Devanagari and roman transliteration and then in the same format as the Bengali verses.

***

Śrī Stotra-ratna: 16

उल्लङ्घितत्रिविधसीमसमातिशायि-
सम्भावनं तव परिव्रढिमस्वभावम् ।
मायाबलेन भवतापि निगूह्यमानं
पश्यन्ति केचिदनिशं त्वदनन्यभावाः ॥१६॥

ullaṅghita-trividha-sīma-samātiśāyi-
sambhāvanaṁ tava parivraḍhima-svabhāvam
māyā-balena bhavatāpi niguhyamānaṁ
paśyanti kechid aniśaṁ tvad-ananya-bhāvāḥ

ullaṅghita–defied; tri–three; vidha–type; sīma–limitation; sama–equal; atiśāyi–superior; sambhāvanam–possibility; tava–Your; parivraḍhima–supreme; svabhāvam–nature; māyā–illusion; balena–by power; bhavatā–by You; api–yet; niguhyamānam–being hidden; paśyanti–see; kechit–some; aniśam–always; tvat–to You; ananya–unalloyed; bhāvāḥ–those with devotion.

kechit–Those [with] ananya–unalloyed bhāvāḥ–devotion tvat–to You paśyanti–see aniśam–always tava–Your parivraḍhima–supreme svabhāvam–nature [which] ullaṅghita–defies [the] tri–three vidha–types [of] sīma–limitations [and] sambhāvanam–the possibility [of You having any] sama–equal [or] atiśāyi–superior [and] api–yet niguhyamānam–is hidden balena–by the power [of] bhavatā–Your māyā–illusion (Yogamāyā).

“Those with unalloyed devotion to You see always Your supreme nature which defies the three limitations (space, time, and form or thought) and the possibility of You having any equal or superior and yet is hidden by the power of Your illusion.”

***

Yāmuna-bhāvāvalī: 4

হরি হে !
জগতের বস্তু যত বদ্ধ সব স্বভাবতঃ
দেশ কাল বস্তু সীমাশ্রয়ে ।
তুমি প্রভু সর্ব্বেশ্বর নহ সীমা-বিধি-পর
বিধি সব কা̐পে তব ভয়ে ॥১॥

hari he!
jagatera vastu yata baddha saba svabhāvataḥ
deśa kāla vastu sīmāśraye
tumi prabhu sarveśvara naha sīmā-vidhi-para
vidhi saba kā̐pe tava bhaye [1]

hari–Hari; he!–O!; jagatera–of world; vastu–thing; yata–as much; baddha–confined; saba–all; svabhāvataḥ–by nature; deśa–space; kāla–time; vastu–form; sīmāśraye–in confines; tumi–You; prabhu–Master; sarva–all; īśvara–Lord; naha–You are not; sīmā–boundary; vidhi–law; para–subject to; vidhi–law; saba–all; kā̐pe–tremble; tava–Your; bhaye–in fear. [1]

he–O hari!–Hari! yata vastu saba–Everything jagatera–in the world [is] baddha–confined svabhāvataḥ–by nature sīmāśraye–within the boundaries [of] deśa–space, kāla–time, [and] vastu–form. tumi–You, prabhu–O Master, [are] īśvara–the Lord sarva–of all. naha–You are not para–subject to sīmā–boundaries [or] vidhi–laws. saba–All vidhi–laws kā̐pe–tremble bhaye–in fear tava–of You. [1]

O Hari! Everything in the world is confined by nature within the boundaries of space, time, and form. But You, O Master, are the Lord of all. You are not subject to boundaries or laws. Rather, laws tremble in fear of You.

সম বা অধিক তব স্বভাবতঃ অসম্ভাব
বিধি লঙ্ঘি’ তব অবস্থান ।
স্বতন্ত্র স্বভাব ধর আপনে গোপন কর
মায়াবলে করি’ অধিষ্ঠান ॥২॥

sama vā adhika tava svabhāvataḥ asambhāva
vidhi laṅghi’ tava avasthāna
svatantra svabhāva dhara āpane gopana kara
māyā-bale kari’ adhiṣṭhāna [2]

sama–equal; –or; adhika–superior; tava–Your; svabhāvataḥ–by nature; asambhāva–impossible; vidhi–law; laṅghi’–defying; tava–Your; avasthāna–position; svatantra–independent; svabhāva–nature; dhara–You have; āpane–Yourself; gopana–hiding; kara–You do; māyā–illusion; bale–by power; kari’–doing; adhiṣṭhāna–residence. [2]

[It is] svabhāvataḥ–by nature asambhāva–impossible [for anything to be] tava–Your sama–equal –or adhika–superior [as] tava–Your avasthāna–position laṅghi’–defies vidhi–law. dhara–You have [an] svatantra–independent svabhāva–nature, [and] adhiṣṭhāna kari’–You exist [and] gopana kara–hide āpane–Yourself bale–with the power [of Your] māyā–illusion (Yogamāyā). [2]

It is by nature impossible for anything to be equal or superior to You as Your position defies all laws. You have an independent nature, and You exist and hide Yourself with the power of Your māyā.

তথাপি অনন্য-ভক্ত তোমারে দেখিতে শক্ত
সদা দেখে স্বরূপ তোমার ।
এ ভক্ত-বিনোদ দীন অনন্য-ভজন হীন
ভক্তপদ-রেণু-মাত্র সার ॥৩॥

tathāpi ananya-bhakta tomāre dekhite śakta
sadā dekhe svarūpa tomāra
e bhakti-vinoda dīna ananya-bhajana hīna
bhakta-pada-reṇu-mātra sāra [3]

tathāpi–still; ananya–unalloyed; bhakta–devotee; tomāre–You; dekhite–to see; śakta–able; sadā–always; dekhe–see; svarūpa–true nature; tomāra–Your; e–this; bhakti-vinoda–Bhakti Vinod; dīna–poor; ananya–unalloyed; bhajana–devotion; hīna–devoid; bhakta–devotee; pada–foot; reṇu–dust; mātra–only; sāra–substance. [3]

tathāpi–Still, [Your] ananya–unalloyed bhakta–devotees [are] śakta–able dekhite–to see tomāre–You. [They] sadā–always dekhe–see  tomāra–Your svarūpa–true nature.  e–This bhakti-vinoda–Bhakti Vinod [is] dīna–poor [and] hīna–devoid [of] ananya–alloyed bhajana–devotion. [For him,] reṇu–the dust [of] bhakta–the devotees’ pada–feet [is the] mātra–only sāra–substance. [3]

Still, Your unalloyed devotees are able to see You. They always see Your true nature. This Bhakti Vinod is poor and devoid of unalloyed devotion. For him, the dust of the devotees’ feet is the only substance.

About the Author:

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur is the foremost pioneer of progressive modern Gaudiya Vaisnavism. Scholarly and systematic yet compassionate, loving, and joyful, Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur has succeeded in spreading the divine love brought to the world by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu all over the world through his prolific literature, profound forethought, and devout followers. For more information on Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur, please visit his biography page.
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