Srimad Bhagavatam 12.09.01-03 - Glories of Markandey Rishi (download mp3)
by Keshav Chandra Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty
saṁstuto bhagavān itthaṁ
prīta āha bhṛgūdvaham
Sūta Gosvāmī said: The Supreme Lord Nārāyaṇa, the friend of Nara, was satisfied by the proper glorification offered by the intelligent sage Mārkaṇḍeya. Thus the Lord addressed that excellent descendant of Bhṛgu.
bho bho brahmarṣi-varyo ’si
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Mārkaṇḍeya, you are indeed the best of all learned brāhmaṇas. You have perfected your life by practicing fixed meditation upon the Supreme Soul, as well as by focusing upon Me your undeviating devotional service, your austerities, your study of the Vedas and your strict adherence to regulative principles.
vayaṁ te parituṣṭāḥ sma
varaṁ pratīccha bhadraṁ te
vara-do ’smi tvad-īpsitam
We are perfectly satisfied with your practice of lifelong celibacy. Please choose whatever benediction you desire, since I can grant your wish. May you enjoy all good fortune.
Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura explains that the Lord used the plural form in the beginning of this verse — “We are satisfied” — because He was referring to Himself along with Śiva and Umā, who will later be glorified by Mārkaṇḍeya. The Lord then used the singular — “I am the bestower of benedictions” — because ultimately only Lord Nārāyaṇa (Kṛṣṇa) can award the highest perfection of life, eternal Kṛṣṇa consciousness.