Bhagavatam is a Vaishnava text. Are there any advaitic verses in it? If yes, what are they? Verse and translation please.

  • 2
    Vaishnava and Advaita are different issues. Yes, there are Advaita sounding verses in Bhagvatam though it may be the matter of interpretation.
    – Pandya
    Jan 3 '19 at 16:51
  • @Pandya Yes you are right .Advaita of Shreemad Bhagvatam is little different than shankar advita.But Nirguna Brahman is also reveraed in it and Shankar Advita is also there. Jan 3 '19 at 17:32
  • @SwiftPushkar does bhagavatam support nirguna or saguna brahman as higher?
    – user16895
    Jan 4 '19 at 3:47
  • AFAIK in some of the verses which i recently saw a Nirguna Brahman in its Saguna form is mentioned. So overall i think no such comparison is there and the devotee should ultimately decide it after fully going through the text. Not just looking at some verses and concluding. Jan 4 '19 at 5:16

In Srimad Bhagavatam 10.14.22, Brahma said the following:

तस्मादिदं जगदशेषमसत्स्वरूपं स्वप्नाभमस्तधिषणं पुरुदुःखदुःखम् ।

त्वय्येव नित्यसुखबोधतनावनन्ते मायात उद्यदपि यत्सदिवावभाति ॥

Therefore this entire universe, which like a dream is by nature unreal, nevertheless appears real, and thus it covers one’s consciousness and assails one with repeated miseries. This universe appears real because it is manifested by the potency of illusion
emanating from You
, whose unlimited transcendental forms are full of eternal happiness and knowledge.

In the verse 28th of the same chapter and Canto, the analogy of rope and snake, which is given as an example for Advaita by Advaitins is mentioned.

अन्तर्भवेऽनन्त भवन्तमेव ह्यतत्त्यजन्तो मृगयन्ति सन्तः

असन्तमप्यन्त्यहिमन्तरेण सन्तं गुणं तं किमु यन्ति सन्तः ॥

O unlimited Lord, the saintly devotees seek You out within their own bodies by rejecting everything separate from You. Indeed, how can discriminating persons appreciate the real nature of a rope lying before them until they refute the illusion that it is a snake?


These verses are are not indicative of Nirvishesha Advaita i.e. the well-known advaita, Nirvishesha advaita denies everything including Bhagavan, the abstract self alone is said to be true. In some sense Advaita is not much different from the Sankhya philosophy, Prakriti maps to Maya and Purusha maps to Nirguna Brahman.

On the other hand, the verses quoted above are saying Bhagavan the personal God is the only reality. This philosophy is called Advaitic theism and much different from Nirvishesha Advaita. The very first verse of Bhagavatam starts with saying "The one who imparted Vedas to Lord Brahma is the Satyam Param" and the world which is of the nature of illusion (because what exists today doesn't exist tomorrow) is due to the power of Bhagavan. And Bhagavatam by and large stays true to this salutatory verse in all its cantos.

O my Lord, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, son of Vasudeva, O all-pervading Personality of Godhead, I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. I meditate upon Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa because He is the Absolute Truth and the primeval cause of all causes of the creation, sustenance and destruction of the manifested universes. He is directly and indirectly conscious of all manifestations, and He is independent because there is no other cause beyond Him. It is He only who first imparted the Vedic knowledge unto the heart of Brahmājī, the original living being. By Him even the great sages and demigods are placed into illusion, as one is bewildered by the illusory representations of water seen in fire, or land seen on water. Only because of Him do the material universes, temporarily manifested by the reactions of the three modes of nature, appear factual, although they are unreal. I therefore meditate upon Him, Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, who is eternally existent in the transcendental abode, which is forever free from the illusory representations of the material world. I meditate upon Him, for He is the Absolute Truth.

You may want to read the book "The Advaitic Theism of Bhagavata Purana" by Daniel Sheridan and the author clarifies how the philosophy of Bhagavata is different from Advaita.