Narada Bhakti Sutras

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sutra 23 and 24


Prostrations to all.

Sutra 23 –

Tadviheenam jaaraanaamiva

Word meaning
Tadviheenam – if the glory of knowledge was forgotten
Jaaraanaam iva – the love would be like the illicit love of an adulterous woman.

Sutra meaning
If there is not remembrance of the glory of knowledge, love would be like that of an adulterous woman.

Sutra 24 –

Naasti eva tasmin tat sukha sukhitvam

Word meaning
Tasmin – in the love of an adulterous woman
Tat sukha sukhitvam – becoming happy when the other person is happy
Na asthi eva – surely is not there.

Sutra meaning
In such a false love, there is surely not present the happiness in the other person being happy.

With these two sutras, Narada finishes the first chapter of Bhakthi Sutras. Narada mentioned in the previous sutra that in pure devotion there is no forgetfulness of the glory of the ultimate reality of Lord or that pure devotion is not different from knowledge of the ultimate reality of Lord. In these two sutras, Narada gives the logic for the same.

In pure devotion, there always is a dedication. As is generally depicted in the movies, a lover does want just the happiness of his love. Even though this is just a depiction which is not at all real except in the case of the devotion of a bhaktha towards the Lord and a shishya towards the Guru, still it throws in the main point of becoming happy when the other person is happy. Real devotion is that wherein the devotee is happy just remembering the Lord. The devotee is ever happy to remember the Lord, to be of any service to the Lord, to spread the name of the Lord, to continuously speak about the Lord etc. For the devotee, the Lord alone is everything. If the Lord is happy, the devotee becomes very happy even though his physical or mental state would be sorrowful. We find this in the stories of great devotees of the Lord. The various stories of the 63 nayanmars (saivite saints) and alwars (vaishnavite saints) clearly show that they were happy to be of any service to the Lord or to his devotees rather than seeing themselves as happy. It is this quality of becoming happy when the other person who is loved is happy which is found only in pure devotion or love. All other loves are like the love of an adulterous woman. The woman seemingly shows love towards her husband when he is around but all her mental thoughts are towards her lover (who is different from her husband). The love which the woman shows towards her husband is a false one as she is not dedicated to that love. The woman is not dedicated towards her lover as well because a person who is not dedicated to her husband cannot be dedicated towards anyone else.

It is this attitude which we find in the lives of celebrities who live with a particular person for a few years and then break the relationship to start a new one. Real devotion or love is that in which the devotee does anything for the sake of his love. We find this clearly in the life of kannappa (one of the saivite saint) who cut his own eyes to give eye to the siva linga (as the eye of the sivalinga was bleeding). He never bothered about his life because he was happy with happiness of the Lord. It is this pure devotion that we rarely we find in few mothers who are so dedicated to their children. It is but a pity that all mothers don’t show such pure devotion towards children as for them their preference comes first and children come second only.

That devotion which is bereft of knowledge can never be pure because there the devotee doesn’t know the glory of the Lord who is sought through devotion. Only if we know that the Lord who is being sought is eternal and gives eternal bliss (himself) to the one who seeks, we would be seeking the Lord all the while with pure devotion and surrender. Since we are unaware of the nature of the Lord as eternal bliss, we don’t seek him – instead we give less importance to the Lord devoting only a few moments of our day to him & the rest to the world. As Swami Gautamananda of Ramakrishna Mission says, we have to spend 18 hours for spirituality and rest for the world to realize the Lord, but we spend 18 hours with the world and just an hour or two for the Lord (that too on a weekly basisJ).

A real devotee will always think about the Lord alone – he doesn’t want anything other than thought of the Lord. This is what is clearly found in the case of gopis who used to think about the Lord alone and they used to surrender everything for the sake of the Lord, even their husbands. Such pure devotion is possible only when we know the nature of the Lord as the non-dual reality of Consciousness.

It may be argued that gopis were devoted and didn’t have knowledge – but this argument can be raised only out of ignorance. The gopis first itself in the gopi gitam speak thus:

Na khalu gopikaa nandano bhavaan
Akhila dehinaam antharaatma drik

O Krishna! You are not the son of Nanda but you are the indwelling Self of all beings.

Even after learning the gopi gitam if a person claims that gopis are filled with devotion alone, he is but a fool only.

Thus through this two sutras, Narada shows that pure devotion is nothing but knowledge alone. Knowledge and devotion go hand in hand and one cannot be there without the other.

With this, we come to the end of the first chapter of Narada Bhakthi Sutras titled “nature of ultimate devotion”. We will see the summary of the first chapter in the next day and then start with the second chapter.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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