chatuHshloki bhAgavatam

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Fri Jul 28 00:15:23 CDT 2000

Mrs. Vidyaranya mentioned the chatuHshloki bhAgavatam which as the name
suggests condenses the essence of the this purana into 4 verses.  It was
imparted by Vishnu Bhagawan to Brahmadeva who is about toperform creation
but has doubts as to the nature of what he is about to create..  It occurs
in the Bhagavata Purana itself in the 9th adhyaya of the 2nd skandha.

|| shrI bhagavAnuvAcha ||

Shri Bhagawan said

GYAnaM paramaguhyaM me yadviGYAnasamanvitaM |
sarahasyaM tada~NgaM cha grhANa gaditaM mayA || 30 ||

I shall tell you the most secret knowledge which is characterized by
insight and bhakti, and the methods of achieving it. listen
carefully to it!. (30)

yAvAnamahaM yathAbhAvi yadrUpaguNakarmakaH |
tathaiva tattvaviGYAnamastute te madanugrahAt || 31 ||

Also you will learn through my mercy, the true knowledge of my form,
existence, identity, qualities and activities.

[ The actual four shlokas start here ]

ahamevAsamevAgre nAnyadyatsadasatparam |
pashchadahaM yadetachcha yo'vashiShyate so'smyaham || 32 ||

Before creation I alone existed. all things gross and subtle and the maya
which causes them did not exist.  After creation also I alone exist.
That world which is seen is also just me.  After the pralaya also I alone
will exist.[1]

R^ite'rthaM yatpratIyeta na pratIyeta chAtmAni |
tadvidyaAdAtmano mAyAM  yathamAso yathA tamaH || 33 ||

What seem to be the qualities of the atma[2] are really just my Maya.  In
truth know the atma is a small fraction of Myself[3]. (33)

yathA mahAnti bhUtAni bhUteShUchchaAvacheshvanu |
praviShTAnyapraviShTAni yatha teShu na teShvaham || 34 ||

Just as all the various substances of the world are composed of the five
mahabutas[4] yet the mahabhutas are distinct, so all the various
substances[5] are pervaded by me yet I am more than their sum.

etAvadevajiGYAsyaM tattvajiGyAsunA'tmanA |
anvayavyatirekAbhyAM yatsyAtsarvatra sarvadA || 35 ||

One who wishes to know the true nature of the Atma should understand
simply this:  Only that which by anvaya and vyatireka[6] is in all places
at all times is the Atma.

[Here ends the actual four shlokas.]

etanmataM samAtiShTa parameNa samAdhinA |
bhavAnkalpavikalpeShu na vimuhyati karhichit || 36 ||

Take heed of my teachings and meditate upon them single-mindedly.  Then
through countless creations you will never be deluded.

|| iti chatuHshloki bhAgavatam saMpurNaM ||

[1] Accoring to Shridharacharya this means that Bhagawan is anadi, ananta,
and advitiya.

[2] such as height, weight a certain name etc.

[3] Just as because of cataracts in the eye, the moon which is one appears
double, the atma and paramatma appear to be seperate but are not.  Just as
the planet Rahu (actually the shadow of the moon) is there but not visible
except during an eclipse, the oneness of the paramatma and atma is not
visible except at the dawn of Jnana.

[4] The primal elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Akasha from which
all other substances are made of.  They pervade all substances and yet are
distinct from them.

[5] including the mahabhutas

[6] The meanings of these terms is explained in the Panchadashi of
Vidyaranya Swami. When in the dream state we lose normal consciosness the
consciousness of the self that remains is anvaya.  Without it we would
never wake up or we would lose our memory whenever we woke up.  But
because of the resident atma there is continuity betwwen these lapses of
consciousness.  Vyatireka is he opposite.  It is the power of
consciousness to distinguish moments which is why we can experience time
as successive instances as opposed to everythng occurring at once.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at>

bhava shankara deshikame sharaNam

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