We saw in a different post, how Śrī Jīva Gosvāmi explains the essence of the Bhagavad Gītā. Here we examine how he derives the essence of the Bhāgavatam. As a reminder, I reproduce the sixfold criteria from Pūrva-mīmāṁsā for assessing the essence of a work below.
The sixfold criteria for determining the essence or main message of a book
Śrī Jīva Gosvāmi cites the following statement in Anuchheda 105 of the Paramātmā Sandarbha which lists these indicators:
upakramopasaṁhārāv abhyāso’pūrvatā phalam
arthavādopapattī ca liṅgaṁ tātparya-nirṇaye
The sixfold criteria by which one can establish the meaning [of a text] are ( 1 ) the introductory and concluding statements, ( 2 ) repetition, ( 3 ) originality, ( 4 ) result, ( 5 ) glorification, and ( 6 ) logical confirmation.
The essence of the Bhāgavatam derived from the sixfold criteria
After the conclusion of many long Anucchedas in the Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmi concludes his treatise with the following statement:
tad evam abhyāsādīny api tasmin vispaṣṭāny eva pūrvodāhṛta-vākyeṣu |
In this manner, the six hermeneutical indicators, beginning with repetition of the primary subject ( abhyāsa ), clearly establish the same conclusion [that Kṛṣṇa is the essential purport of the Bhāgavata ], as evidenced in the verses cited earlier.
As evident in this statement, in the preceding many Anuchhedas in the Kṛṣṇa Sandarbha, Śrī Jīva Gosvāmi has established that the essence of the Bhāgavata is Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Babaji in his commentary summarizes how the six hermeneutical indicators were used to deduce this conclusion. I tabulate below how Śrī Jīva Gosvami derives the meaning of the Bhāgavatam through these terms.
|upakrama||What is discussed in the opening statement||Anuchheda 82: Kṛṣṇa Is the Reality Signified in the Bhāgavata’s Opening Verse||satyaṁ paraṁ dhīmahi = Śrī Kṛṣṇam dhīmahi – let us meditate on Śrī Kṛṣṇa|
|upasaṁhāra||What is discussed in the concluding statement||Anuchheda 83: Kṛṣṇa Is the Reality Signified in the Bhāgavata’s Concluding Verse||satyaṁ paraṁ = Śrī Kṛṣṇa|
|abhyāsa||What is repeated||Anuccheda 44-74||Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the only interest of all major speakers of the Bhāgavata|
|apūrvatā||What extraordinary claim is made||Anuchheda 28||kṛṣṇas tu bhagavān svayam — Śrī Kṛṣṇa is Svayam Bhagavān|
|phalam||What is the result to be attained||Verses such as 11.20.33:|
My devotee easily attains everything through devotion to Me, even if he should somehow desire heaven, liberation, or residence in My abode. ( SB 11.20.33
|Bhakti for Śrī Kṛṣṇa|
|arthavāda||What is praised||Verses such as 10.14.32:|
How fortunate! How fortunate are the residents of Nanda’s cowherd community of Vraja, for their dear friend is Śrī Kṛṣṇa, the eternal complete Brahman, who is the embodiment of supreme bliss. ( SB 10.14.32 )
|upapattī||What is ascertained through logical analysis||Verses such as 3.2.23:|
How astonishing indeed! Although the unvirtuous demoness Pūtanā, the sister of the demon Baka, applied deadly poison to her breast and suckled Śrī Kṛṣṇa with the intent to kill Him, she was granted the position appropriate for a foster-mother. Consequently, could there be anyone more merciful than Him, whom we should approach for shelter? ( SB 3.2.23
|Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the supreme Bhagavān, source of everyone and everything|
Application of the six hermeneutical indicators of Pūrva-mīmāṁsā all reveal that Śrī Kṛṣṇa is the subject of the Bhāgavata Purāṇa and that He is Svayaṁ Bhagavān.