Canto 10: The Summum BonumChapter 47: The Song of the Bee

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 10.47.58

etāḥ paraḿ tanu-bhṛto bhuvi gopa-vadhvo

govinda eva nikhilātmani rūḍha-bhāvāḥ

vāñchanti yad bhava-bhiyo munayo vayaḿ ca

kiḿ brahma-janmabhir ananta-kathā-rasasya


etāḥ — these women; param — alone; tanu — their bodies; bhṛtaḥ — maintain successfully; bhuvi — on the earth; gopa-vadhvaḥ — the young cowherd women; govinde — for Lord Kṛṣṇa; eva — exclusively; nikhila — of all; ātmani — the Soul; rūḍha — perfected; bhāvāḥ — ecstatic loving attraction; vāñchanti — they desire; yat — which; bhava — material existence; bhiyaḥ — those who are afraid of; munayaḥ — sages; vayam — we; ca — also; kim — what use; brahmaas a brāhmaṇa or as Lord Brahmā; janmabhiḥ — with births; ananta — of the unlimited Lord; kathā — for the topics; rasasya — for one who has a taste.


[Uddhava sang:] Among all persons on earth, these cowherd women alone have actually perfected their embodied lives, for they have achieved the perfection of unalloyed love for Lord Govinda. Their pure love is hankered after by those who fear material existence, by great sages, and by ourselves as well. For one who has tasted the narrations of the infinite Lord, what is the use of taking birth as a high-class brāhmaṇa, or even as Lord Brahmā himself?


Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī explains that here the term brahma-janmabhiḥ, "brahminical births," refers to the threefold birth by (1) seminal parenthood, (2) sacred-thread initiation and (3) sacrificial initiation. These cannot compare to pure Kṛṣṇa consciousness. In fact, Śrī Uddhava, who spoke this verse, took birth as a pure brāhmaṇa, but he deprecates this position in comparison to that of the exalted gopīs.

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