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SB 1.7 - Explanation of the ātmārāma verse

Lord Caitanya’s explanation of the verse follows.

There are eleven words in the verse, namely (1) ātmārāma (2) munayaḥ (3) nirgrantha (4) api (5) ca (6) urukrama (7) kurvanti (8) ahaitukīm (9) bhaktim (10) ittham-bhūta-guṇaḥ (11) hariḥ.

There are seven synonyms for the word ātmā: (1) Brahman (brahma) (Absolute Truth) (2) body (deha) (3) mind (mana) (4) endeavor (yatna) (5) endurance (dhṛti) (6) intelligence (buddhi) (7) nature (svabhāva). The word ātmārāma refers to one who enjoys these seven items.

The word munayaḥ refers to (1) those who are thoughtful (manana śīla) (2) those who are grave or silent (maunī) (3) ascetics (tapasvī) (4) those who keep great vows (vratī) (5) mendicants (yati) (6) sages (ṛṣi).

The word nirgrantha refers to one who is liberated from nescience (avidyā-granthi-hīna), one who is freed from the obligation of the rules and regulations (vidhi-niṣedha) mentioned in the Vedas (veda-śāstra), one who has no knowledge (jñāna), an illiterate (mūrkha), lowborn (nīca), unclean persons (mleccha), unregulated (śāstra-rikta-gaṇa), capitalist (dhana-sañcayī), and the penniless (nirdhana). The prefix ni is used in the sense of certainty, gradation, construction or forbiddance, and grantha is used in the sense of wealth, thesis and composition.

The word urukrama means one whose activities are glorious. This word specifically indicates the Lord’s incarnation as Vāmana, who covered the whole universe by immeasurable steps (krama). Thru His all pervasive feature, the Lord has expanded the entire creation, and in His personal feature He is always present in Goloka. He maintains the material creation by His external potency, Goloka by His conjugal potency and Vaikuṇṭha planets by His aiśvarya potency. The word kurvanti refers to doing things for someone else. Therefore, it means that the ātmārāmas render devotional service unto the Lord not for personal interest but for the pleasure of the Lord, Urukrama. In Sanskrit, the verb ‘to do’ has two forms, called parasmai-pada and ātmane-pada. When things are done for one’s personal satisfaction, the form is called ātmane-pada. In that case kurvate is used in Sanskrit. When things are done for others, the verb form changes to kurvanti.