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Bhagavata Purana :: Canto 10 :: Rasa-panchadhyaya :: Ten Commentaries (Part IV)

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Title
Bhagavata Purana :: Canto 10 :: Rasa-panchadhyaya :: Ten Commentaries (Part IV)
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Part IV. Chapters 29-33, Rasa Lila.
Source texts
NOTA BENE:
Updated to version 1.00 on March 15, 2019. now complete.
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The principal source for the commentaries found in this edition is the Bhagavata Vidya Pith edition: (ed.) Bhagavata Rishi and Krishna Shankar Shastri (Sola Karnavati, 2052 saM=1996). Vol. III. I have not included all the commentaries that are found in this huge volume, but only those that are of principal interest to Gaudiya Vaishnavas. Hopefully all these commentaries will one day be available electronically. That day is probably not too far off, but for the time being we will take the small step of offering this portion.

I have access to a few other commentaries which I have used to confirm and check readings. That information, along with a few comments, is given here.:

1. śrīmad-ānanda-tīrtha-madhvācāryasya bhāgavata-tātparyam This commentary is not included in the Bhagavata Vidya Pith edition. Only two verses of the Rasa Lila have comments by Madhva (10.29.11, 15). Madhva lived in the 13th century. I have used (ed.) Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha, Calcutta : Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, 1995.

2. śrī-śrīdhara-svāminaḥ bhāgavata-bhāvārtha-dīpikā (ed. Ramateja Pandeya, Benares: Chowkhamba, 1996). The text for Sridhar Swami's commentary was entered by Robert Gafrik. Sridhar's commentary is probably not the earliest

3. śrī-vaṁśīdharasya bhāvārtha-dīpikā-prakāśaḥ This 19th century author's commentary is of some value. I have included it immediately after Sridhar because it follows that commentary rather than the Bhāgavata verses directly. It appears that in most cases, Vamsidhar also repeated Vishwanath's commentaries (see below) and occasionally the Vaishnava Toshani as well. I considered this unnecessary repetition and a waste of space, so I have not included this reduplicated material.

4. śrī-śrīnātha-cakravartinaḥ caitanya-mañjuṣā As far as I know, the only published edition of this commentary comes from Haridas Das. I do not have a copy of this. Srinath Chakravarti was the spiritual master of Kavi Karnapur. It is thus a fairly early text, though it probably does not precede Sanatan Goswami's work.

There is a discernable influence of this commentary on Jiva's Bṛhat-krama-sandarbha, which apparently was written after Jiva had the occasion to read it. So, in the future, I will likely displace this commentary to immediately before Bṛhat-krama-sandarbha

5. śrī-sanātana-gosvāminaḥ bṛhad-vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī This is the most influential Gaudiya commentary. There is a little confusion about the authorship of the two Toshanis.

Where Sanatan writes anyat tair vyākhyātam, I believe he is refering to Sridhara, though I confess this is not always obvious.

6. śrī-sanātana-gosvāminaḥ [laghu]-vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī. My only source for this was the Bhagavata Vidya Pitha edition. The confusion over the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇīs is compounded by the common knowledge that there is also a Laghu-vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī. My suspicions are that this text is in fact a supplementary commentary to the tenth canto by Sanātana himself. Further investigation into this matter is still required.

7. Jīva-gosvāminaḥ Krama-sandarbhaḥPuridasa Mahasaya's 1952 edition is the principal source here. It is noteworthy that with the exception of the Tenth Canto, Krama-sandarbha is basically a sequential (krama) displacement of the comments found in Jiva's Sandarbhas. This exception is to me inexplicable, as the Sandarbha comments to the Tenth Canto verses are not duplicated in any of Jiva's other Bhagavata commentaries (unless they are in the [Laghu]-vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī). I felt therefore that it was worthwhile to insert those texts here.

8. Jīva-gosvāminaḥ Bṛhat-krama-sandarbha Puridas's edition. See Caitanya-mata-mañjuṣā above.

9. Nārāyaṇa-bhaṭṭasya Rasikāhlādinī This commentary is also quite early, perhaps preceding Jiva Goswami. Narayan Bhatta was born in 1532 (saM. 1588) in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, but came to live in Braj in 1546. He was initiated by Krishna Das Brahmachari, a disciple of Gadadhar Pandit who was serving at the Madan Mohan temple in Radha Kund. He is famous for a number of works like Vraja-bhakti-vilāsa and Vraja-pradIpikā, etc., which are the most exhaustive early descriptions of the Braja Dham parikrama (See Entwistle's Braja: A Place of Pilgrimage). He also had great influence in establishing the Rasa Lila performance tradition in Braja (see Vasant Yamadagni's Rāsa-līlā tathā rāsānukaraṇa vikāsa, New Delhi: Sangita Nataka Academy, 1980). This edition was published by Kusumasarovarawala Krishna Das in the 1950's. The editor is Prabhu Dayal Mittal, a very highly reputed scholar of the Radha Vallabha Sampradaya. This edition was the source of the Bhagavata Vidya Pith edition, to the extent that even obvious errors have been repeated. Though Narayan Bhatta was contemporary to Jiva Goswami, there appears to be little influence of his work, or even of Rupa Goswami, to the extent that he cites Rasārṇava-sudhākara to the total exclusion of Ujjvala-nīlamaṇi.

10. Viśvanātha-cakravartinaḥ sārārtha-darśinī(ed. Bhakti Ballabh Tirtha, Calcutta : Chaitanya Gaudiya Math, 1995). Nothing really needs to be said here except that Vishwanath's popularity has led to neglect of the Vaiṣṇava-toṣaṇī, which is, in my opinion, unjustified.

11. Baladeva-vidyābhūṣaṇasya Vaiṣṇavānandinī' Though the Bhagavata Vidya Pitha has published Baladeva's commentary to the Tenth Canto, there does not seem to be anything at the Rasa Lila. Whether Baladeva actually did comment on these verses is unknown to me.

Jan Brzezinski
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Entry added: June 22nd 2005
Entry updated: May 22nd 2019
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