Narada Bhakti Sutras

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Chapter 3 Sutra 14 and 15


Prostrations to all.

Sutra 14 –
Yo viviktha sthaanam sevathe, yo lokabandham unmoolayathi, nistraigunyo bhavathi, yogakshemam tyajathi

Word Meaning
Yo viviktha sthaanam sevathe – He who stays in a quiet place and in solitude,
Yo lokabandham unmoolayathi – he who removes all bondages from the world from the roots (fully),
(Yah) Nistraigunyo bhavathi – he who goes beyond the three gunas,
(Yah) Yogakshemam tyajathi – he who renounces both acquiring and maintaining,

(He crosses over Maya).

Sutra Meaning
He who stays in a quiet place (in solitude), he who removes bondages from the world, he m he who goes beyond the three gunas and he who renounces both good & bad, he crosses over Maya.

We saw in the previous sutra, Narada enumerating three qualities essential for crossing over Maya as renouncing all attachment, serving Mahatmas and being devoid of the attitude of “mine” (possession). Here Narada continues this enumeration by pointing out four more qualities.

It is able to fully renounce the world both internally and externally only when we are in a place which is quiet. Such solitude is essential in order to get out of the shackles of bondage with people and things. Internal solitude is what is to be ultimately aimed but such internal solitude is possible only through external solitude. Thus a person has to try to be in solitude. Such quiet and calm places make a person’s mind relax thereby making it easy to forget everything and contemplate on the Lord.

Attachment to things and people is due to considering the world to be real. Thus it is bondage to the world which causes attachment to people and things. Therefore it is essential to get rid of bondage to the world fully. Solitude will help a person to get rid of attachment and associations with the world (both of which lead a seeker to get more and more bonded to the world). Removing bondages from the world is nothing but knowing the world to be illusory and unreal. Even an avatar like Krishna couldn’t stay away from the world. As long as we are in the world, we have to bound to people and things. It is impossible to live in the world without external bondages. Thus what is important is internal non-bondage which is possible only through knowing and remembering that the world is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord.

When we consider the world to be unreal, then we are not bind to the world. This non-binding will make us cease to have the three gunas which are the innate nature of the mind based on the surrounding and helping us to do activities. When a person knows the world to be unreal, all activities just happens – he is not attached to activities. As he is not attached to activities, there is no quality in the mind which forces such activities. Such a seeker is thus beyond the three gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas.

When a seeker is beyond the three gunas, he is not bound by activities. Thus such a person doesn’t bother about his well-being. Therefore he has renounced both acquiring things (desire to acquire things) and maintaining things (desire to maintain things). Such a person fully is beyond good and bad seeking in the world. He is ever immersed in contemplation of the Lord – as he is beyond the three gunas, he is not bound by fruits of actions leading to good and bad categorization of the fruits. Such a person alone gets rid of the bondage of Maya which causes duality and likes-dislikes to the duality. Likes and dislikes in turn causes good and bad fruits. A seeker who is devoid of seeking good or bad fruits is therefore not having likes-dislikes. Such a seeker considers the duality as a mere illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord. Therefore he overcomes Maya.

We will continue with Narada’s enumeration in the next sutra the next day.

Sutra 15 –
Yah karmaphalam tyajathi karmaani sanyasyathi tatho nirdhvandhvo bhavathi

Word Meaning
Yah karmaphalam tyajathi – He who renounces craving for fruit of actions,
(Yah) karmaani sanyasyathi – he who renounces all actions
Tatah – therefore
Nirdhvandhvo bhavathi – becomes unaffected by dual notions like happiness-sorrow, cold-heat etc.

(He crosses over Maya).

Sutra Meaning
He who renounces craving for the fruits of actions, who renounces all actions and therefore becomes unaffected by dual notions of the world, he crosses over Maya.

Narada here continues the enumeration of qualities in a seeker which helps in crossing over Maya. The last quality that Narada mentioned was renouncing the idea of acquiring and maintaining. When a person is not bothered about yoga and kshema, he renounces the fruits of all actions. Renouncing the fruits of actions means that when a person does any activity, he is not craving for the fruit of the activity. He does actions because it happens. If by change an action doesn’t happen, then he is not affected. The person is not affected by the outcome of that action. Let’s say the action is applying for a job – if he gets the job, he doesn’t get over-excited; if he doesn’t get the job, and he doesn’t get sad. He remains as if he is not at all involved with the activity as he is unaffected by the outcome and isn’t craving for the fruits of the action.

Such non-craving and unaffected state of mind for the outcome of any action is possible only if the seeker is not the doer of the action. The doer of the action always has to be the enjoyer. If “I” do the action of typing the mail, then “I” will be the enjoyer of the outcome which might be appreciation mails or abusive mails. But the moment I cease to be affected by the outcome of the action, then I cease to the doer as well. Doer-ship and Enjoyer-ship both go hand in hand. We cannot have one without the other. Thus if a person is not the doer, then he is not affected by the fruit. If a person is not affected by the fruit, then he is not the doer.

This is as good as telling that “I” am not affected by the performance of the cricket team (reallyJ) because “I” am not part of the cricket team in any way thereby ceasing to the doer of any activity related to the cricket team. But if I am attached to the cricket team and do the activity of watching cricket, then I will be the enjoyer of the outcome of the cricket team’s performance.

Thus a person who is unaffected by the outcome of an action is the non-doer of the action. A devotee who wishes to cross over Maya will have to remain unaffected by the outcome of an action therefore has to renounce all actions. Here renouncing actions doesn’t mean “inactivity” or “non-activity” going to a forest and just sitting with closed eyes. This only means renouncing the notion of “doer-ship”. As long as “I” don’t identify myself with the doer of Ego, I am not doing any action. As long as I am not doing any action, I have renounced the craving for the fruit and am unaffected by the outcome of the action.

This unaffected and unattached state wherein the seeker renounces the doership and is thereby unaffected by the outcome is termed as saakshi bhaava or witnesshood in Vedanta. We are all in fact saakshi or witness of all activities as we are of the nature of Consciousness which is distinct from the doer of Ego. But due to ignorance, we mix the “I” Consciousness with “I” ego. Thereby starts doer-ship notion and attachment to fruits of actions. Thus when good happens, I become happy – when bad happens, I become sad. The moment we realize our nature of witness of all activities, we will be unaffected by activities and their outcome. This is the state where we are a mere witness to all activities even as the Sun is a mere witness to all activities on Earth. Such witness-hood will make us ever immersed in our nature of blissful Lord thereby ever rejoicing in the bliss inherent in each one of us.

When we are ever blissful, we will not be affected by the dual notions of the mind like happiness-sorrow, cold-heat as we are not doers to enjoy the fruit of any activity. Thus we overcome dhvandhva bhaava which causes most of the sorrow in the world. Therefore we will overcome the ocean of Maya characterized by likes-dislikes which in turn lead to the dhvandhva bhaava of the mind.

We will continue with Narada’s enumeration in the next day.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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