Bhagavān

All śāstras confirm Kṛṣṇa as Svayaṁ Bhagavān, Part II

Śrī Jīva Goswami provides two examples in which the Bhāgavata purāṇa is seen to override other scriptures. The first is from the story of the Syamantaka gem. The sun god had given Satrājit this marvelous jewel, which produced eight bhāras of gold every day and in the proximity of which no calamitous events occurred. One day, when Satrājit’s brother, Prasena, went to the forest wearing the gem, he was killed by a lion. Later, Jāmbavān killed that lion and took away the jewel. Satrājit, however, spread the rumor that it was Kṛṣṇa Himself who had killed his brother, because, like so many others, He also coveted the jewel. in order to clear Himself of this false accusation, Kṛṣṇa retrieved the gem after vanquishing Jāmbavān in a duel and returned it to Satrājit.

Thereafter, the saga took a new twist. Śatadhanvā killed Satrājit and stole the gem. Fearing Kṛṣṇa’s wrath, he entrusted it to Akrūra and fled from Dvārakā. Kṛṣṇa chased him down and killed him, but he could not find the gem on his person. Meanwhile, when Akrūra heard of Śatadhanvā’s death, he too left Dvārakā, taking the Syamantaka gem with him.

It is said that as soon as Akrūra left the city, inauspicious events began to occur there. The residents of Dvārakā suffered physical, mental and natural calamities (cf. 10.57.30). A description of this is given in Brahmāṇḍa purāṇa:

At that time, the kingdom suffered a great drought. As a result, the Kukkuras and Andhakas propitiated Akrūra. When Akrūra, the chief among those charitably disposed, returned to Dvārakā, Indra sent heavy rains in the midst of the sea. (Brahmāṇḍa purāṇa 2.71.90)

After this, Śrī Śukadeva speaks the verse that is quoted in this anuccheda (SB 10.57.31), in which he refutes the validity of such statements. He reasons that people who speak in this manner forget that nothing inauspicious could ever occur in the presence of Kṛṣṇa.

Śuka echoes the same conclusion in verse 10.77.30. Prior to this, Śuka had described how Kṛṣṇa became morose when He saw Śālva cutting off the head of His father, Vasudeva. This was a mere illusion created by Śālva through his magical powers. In other words, Śukadeva, who is the original speaker of the Bhāgavata purāṇa, does not accept the versions of events that might be found in other Purāṇas when they are seen to contradict the import of the Bhāgavata teachings. His reasoning is that the sages who condone such statements forget their own words in which they describe Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Person. How could Kṛṣṇa fall into illusion? And how could any inauspicious event occur independent of His will?

These statements demonstrate the Bhāgavata purāṇa’s supreme authority over other scriptures. Therefore, if one finds any statement in other scriptures describing Nārāyaṇa or Vāsudeva as supreme, it is to be understood that these forms are expansions of Kṛṣṇa. This was concluded by Brahmā in his prayers to Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa also counts Vāsudeva as one of his vibhūtis (SB 11.16.29). Kṛṣṇa, however, is Svayaṁ Bhagavān, as stated conclusively in Bhāgavata purāṇa.

Śrī Jīva Goswami points out an additional reason for the supreme authority of Bhāgavata purāṇa. He maintains that the superiority of a text may also be understood from the preeminence of its speaker. Bhāgavata purāṇa was spoken by the topmost illustrious sage, Śukadeva Goswami, who was favored by Vyāsa over all his other disciples. The extraordinary character of Śukadeva is described in various places in Bhāgavata purāṇa, such as in 1.2.2-3, 1.4.5 and 12.12.68.

Moreover, Bhāgavata purāṇa was recited in the council of great sages, such as Vyāsa, Nārada, Vasiṣṭha, Parāśara, and Paraśurāma. This assembly included three of the avatāras from the list of twenty two given in the third chapter of the First Canto. There is no other scripture within the Vedic canon recited in a gathering of sages and scholars of such magnitude. This suggests that whatever was spoken by Śukadeva had the approval of these sages and scholars. The sages present included the authors of various theological and philosophical systems. Consequently, what is concluded in Bhāgavata purāṇa supersedes all other doctrines propounded in other scriptures.

In the next anuccheda, Śrī Jīva cites references to show that Kṛṣṇa is the source of other forms like Vāsudeva.

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