Narada Bhakti Sutras

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sutra 11 and 12


Prostrations to all.

Sutra 11 –

loka vedeshu tad anukoola aacharanam tadvirodhishu udaaseenatha

Word meaning
Tadvirodhishu udaseenathaa – Being indifferent to things against the Lord (is)
Aacharanam – doing activities
Loka vedeshu – both worldly and vaidik
Tad anukoola – with respect to the Lord.

Sutra meaning
“Being indifferent to things against the Lord” is doing all activities both worldly and vaidik with respect to the Lord.

Narada is here explaining the indifference to activities opposing the Lord quite clearly beyond any doubt or contradiction.

As explained earlier, Vedanta never stresses a person to renounce actions. Sankara does mention about two paths of Nivritti (renunciation) and Pravritti (activity) in his introduction to the Gita bhashya as well as in the Isha bhashya but it has been clearly mentioned in Atma Rahasyam (English commentary on the Ishavasya Upanishad) that pravritti and nivritti are not external – they are more to do with attitude than with the actions as such. Vedanta does speak about renunciation of all actions but this renunciation is not the mere external sanyaas that we know currently.

It cannot be that the sanyaasa which Sankara among other early Vedanta acharyas spoke the sanyaasa that we see today wherein people take resort to renunciation but just indulge in criticism of all philosophies except theirs. Thus we find the madhva mathas fighting against advaita and vishista advaita whereas the vishista advaitins fighting against advaita and dvaita. This fight goes to such an extent that instead of seeking the Ishwara who is almost same to all the three philosophies, great acharyas of even udipi, uttaradi mutt indulge in challenging advaita scholars. It is but the height that even at the old age of 90s, a learned scholar like B N K Sharma indulges in thorough criticism of advaita. And when it is seen that dvaita doesn’t get the publicity (this is the exact word to used as seen from the emotional outbursts of BNKS on advaita being accepted in many universities contrary to dvaita), all sorts of resorts are taken. It should be questioned to BNKS among other “scholarly” pundits who know nothing but to indulge in vaada-vivaada as to whether their respective acharyas (who propagated the system) did just speak about indulging in debates. This is not limited to dvaita scholars but learned scholars of advaita also even among various saints in the various traditional sankara mutts as well.

No criticism of any of the mutts or acharyas including the Sringeri and Kanchi mutt is meant here but these are few words to show the sad state of the world wherein instead of contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord whether he is savishesha or nirvishesha, all other things which are prohibited in the scriptures are resorted to.

Mundaka Upanishad clearly speaks about a learned person not indulging in vaadas except for the sake of knowledge which is only between a guru and a shishya. We find all these open emotional outbursts and challenges only in the recent times. If we trace back to the time of Vidyaranya when Jaya Teertha was present as well as akshobhya teertha of Madhva philosophy as well as Vedanta desika of Vishista advaita, we find all of them teaching the respective philosophies in a calm way. Even though there are tradition about debates among them, they never indulged in emotional outbursts and open attack on other systems.

Alam athivishtharena – enough of this “non-useful” lecturing.

What is meant above is that the moment a person forgets the ultimate reality of Lord, he enters into all these controversies. He is but a fool who doesn’t spend time contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord instead of entering into all these other resorts. Thus Narada anticipating all these says that indifference means not renunciation of actions but doing all actions remembering the ultimate reality of Lord.

Whether the action is worldly or vadik, a devotee should always offer it to the ultimate reality of Lord. This is real renunciation than the external renunciation which leads only to egoistic approach and intellectual indulgence in philosophical attacks. What Narada mentions as doing all activities with respect to the Lord is offering all actions unto the Lord thereby doing nishkaama karma or karma without desiring any fruit thereof.

As there has been enough “lecturing” today, will stop with explanation of this sutra (as the meaning has been quite brought out in previous sutra explanations). We will continue with the next sutra in the next day.

Sutra 12 –
bhavathu nishchayadaardhyaadoordhvam shaastra rakshanam

Word meaning
Bhavathu - yet
Nischayadaadhyaad oordhvam – even after determination about the Lord has happened
Shaastra rakshanam – the scriptures have to be protected (through performance of scriptural injunctions).

Sutra meaning
Even after determination about the Lord or pure devotion has been developed, the scriptures have to be protected (through performance of scriptural injunctions).

Why scriptural injunctions have to be followed????

continued in next sutra..

Prostrations to all.

Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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