Narada Bhakti Sutras

Monday, September 11, 2006

Learning of Narada Bhakthi Sutras


Prostrations to all.

Vedanta again and again stresses that the ultimate reality of Brahman is realized as once our very nature through knowledge of the reality. Knowledge is of two types or two stages – first is Paroksha Jnaana or knowing indirectly from the Guru and scriptures. Second is Aparoksha Jnaana or knowing directly or intuitive experience of oneself as the ultimate reality of Brahman which is the substratum of all illusions & of the nature of Sat, Chit, Ananda (Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute).

We find mention about bhakthi in Bhagavad Gita. When we hear the name Bhakthi, we generally consider it as going to temple, being pious and god believing. But this definition of Bhakthi is not the real definition of Bhakthi as per bhakthi acharyas and scriptures.

Bhakthi is primarily of two types – Para Bhakthi and Apara Bhakthi. Apara Bhakthi or lower devotion is wherein the devotee finds himself as different from the Lord but yet being totally and unconditionally devoted to the Lord as the all-pervasive essence of all existences. As to what is the real definition of Bhakthi, we will see it at a later time. Para Bhakthi or higher devotion is that devotion in which the devotee merges into the Lord – thus there is no difference between the Lord and the devotee. This bhaava is called Atma nivedanam or offering oneself completely unto the Lord.

Vedanta says that real devotion of para bhakthi is the same as jnaana or knowledge. As Swami Paramarthananda of Chennai (who is a disciple of Dayananda Saraswathi of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam) says, in jnaana the seeker merges the TAT into the TVAM by seeing everything as the Self which is TVAM or “I”. Whereas in devotion, the devotee merges the TVAM into the TAT and here TAT remains behind. In jnaana, TVAM alone remains whereas in devotion TAT alone remains. Both ways, what remains behind is adviteeya atman whether it is one’s own inner Self of Consciousness or the ultimate reality of Lord.

We have already learnt the 12th chapter of Gita from Rajesh Kumar which is available at

But there are two main works which are considered as the basic scriptures for bhakthi (where bhakthi is explained from all perspectives and in perfect harmony with shruthi wherein jnaana is stressed). The two works are Narada Bhakthi Sutras and Shaandilya Bhakthi Sutras. We all very well know that there is no other person in the world who knows devotion better than Narada. Thus to learn the different facets of bhakthi from none other than Narada is but a great boon to seekers of the ultimate reality.

We will try to learn the Narada Bhakthi Sutras from tomorrow. We will try to learn the sutras slowly and in depth so that the concept of bhakthi becomes very clear. The sutras are very simple and easy to understand unlike other sutras like yoga sutra, brahma sutras etc.

As to details about the work and introduction, we will see starting from tomorrow.

Hoping that this particular study is welcomed and fruitful to everyone in the forum.

Prostrations to all.



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