Who can be called Bhagvan?
Maharishi Parashara was the author of many ancient Indian texts. He is accredited as the author of the first Purana, the Vishnu Purana, before his son Vyasa wrote it in its present form. He was the grandson of Vasishtha, the son of Śakti Maharṣi, and the father of Vyasa.
ऐश्वर्यस्य समग्रस्य वीर्यस्य यशसः श्रियः।
ज्ञान-वैराग्ययोश्चैव षण्णां भग इतीरणा॥
aiśvaryasya samagrasya vīryasya yaśasaḥ śriyaḥ
jñāna-vairāgyayoś caiva ṣaṇṇāṁ bhagam itīṅganā
(Viṣṇu Purāṇa 6.5.47)
The term ‘Bhagavan’ or God, is thus defined by Parasara Muni as one who is full in six opulences—
1. who has unlimited strength
5. beauty and
This is a very simple but comprehensive definition of God or Bhagavan. In fact, the etymological meaning of the word Bhagavan is “one who possesses all opulences” (bhaga – opulences; van – one who possesses).
While Shri Kṛṣṇa was present on this earth, He displayed all six opulences. Therefore great sages like Parāśara Muni have all accepted Kṛṣṇa as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
And as far as the strength of Krishna is concerned, He demonstrated superhuman acts such as the lifting of the Goverdhan Hill and killing of Puthana and other demons even as a child. No one in history could ever match His strength
Further, Krishna’s fame is spread all over the world. People in every part of the world know about Krishna, even 5000 years after He wound up His pastimes on this planet. Thus His fame surpasses that of any other.
As such no one can equal the richness of Krishna since everything belongs to Him. As a king he builds 16,108 palaces for each of his wives. An ordinary man can-not maintain one wife.
Krishna’s wisdom is acclaimed all over the world. What he spoke in less than an hour to Arjuna, in the battlefield of Kurushetra, became the summary of all Vedic literature. We study it as Bhagvad Gita.
His beauty is legendary. Every one is attracted to his form even today.
Krishna’s renunciation is demonstrated by the fact that although He has created this world, He is not attached to it. We are born in this world for a few years and during that temporary period we claim many things as our own. Thus His renunciation is unparalleled and hence He is worshipped by great sages and renouncers. All his girl-friends (gopis) in Vrindaan and 16,108 wives could not agitate him.
- Lord Ram also qualifies in the above definition and displays all the six opulence. In fact all the avtars or incarnations of Vishnu that the scriptures identify are all ‘Bhagvan’.
- Sometimes people use this term for any great personality like Narad Muni, Valmiki etc. if they display any one of the above opulence. But, that is more out of respect than anything else. They are not Bhagvan.
- We must not consider Devtas to be Bhagvan. None of our scriptures accept it.
- The trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are considered to be equal in certain Panths (sects). They use this term for all three of them.
- But generally Lord Shiva is called Mahadev.
This is the definition of Bhagavān. There are many rascals who advertise themselves as Bhagavān. Sometimes certain people show some magic or jugglery and fool innocent public. We must be aware of them and reject them as fraud immediately.
Maharishi Parashar is credited with being the seer of many verses of Rig Veda, compiler of Parashara Smṛti & Vishnu Puran. He is also the compiler of many foundation texts on astrology, botany & medicine.
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