The Bhagavata is a work of exceptional literary merit. It is as graceful
as it is tough. Whether it is a description
of nature (10.20) or of places like Mathura
and Dwarka (10.41; 10.37) or depiction
of the well-known navarasas (nine poetic
sentiments 10.29; 10.60; 10.37; 10.8;
10.80, 81), Bhagavata excels in every way.
No wonder then, that the community of
scholars have, for centuries, accepted it
as a touchstone of their erudition.
For this very reason, the Bhagavata
has attracted the attention of several
scholars who have composed commentaries
on it. As many as 44 commentaries are
known to exist.
By far, the Bhavarthadipika of
Sridharasvamin (14th cent.) seems to be
the most popular of these commentaries.
Brevity and clarity, a rather difficult
combination, are its chief characteristics.
It has also steered clear of controversies.
Dipini is sub-commentary on this work
by Radharamanadasa Gosvamin. Since
Sridhara was a monk of the Advaita school
of Vedanta, the other two schools Visistadvaita and Dvaita-did not want to
lag behind. The Bhagavata-candrika of
Viraraghavacarya and the Padaratnavali of Vijayadhavaja-tirtha are the commentaries, respectively, of these two schools. The other well-known commentaries still holding their sway among the
followers of the respective cults are: Subodhini of Vallabhacarya (A. D. 1473-1531); Siddhanta-pradipa of Nimbarkacarya (12th cent.); Kramasandarbha of Jivagosvamin (15th cent.) and Sararthadarsini of Visvanatha-cakravartin (17th cent.). Sanatana Gosvamin (15th cent.) has chosen to comment only on the tenth skandha. This work, Brhad-vaisnavatosini, is highly venerated by the followers of the Caitanya school.
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