Narada Bhakti Sutras

Monday, June 04, 2007

Chapter 4 Sutra 1, 2

Prostrations to all.

Sutra 1 -
Anirvachaneeyam premasvaroopam

Word Meaning
Premasvaroopam - nature of love
Anirvachaneeyam - is beyond words

Sutra Meaning
The nature of pure love is beyond words (cannot be explained to another

Sutra 2 -
Mooka aasvaadanavat

Word Meaning
Aasvaadanavat - Like taste enjoyed
Mooka - by a dumb person

Sutra Meaning
(Nature of love is beyond words) Like taste enjoyed by a dumb person.

Narada starts this chapter by explaining that pure love or devotion is beyond words. The ultimate reality of Brahman is proclaimed in Upanishads as "yatho vaacho nivarthanthe apraapya manasaa sah" or that which is beyond words and thoughts. Pure devotion is something that has to be experienced and this experienced cannot be put into words as such an experience is bereft of an EXPERIENCER. Such an experience doesn't have triputi involved in it (triputi of experiencer, experience and object of experience). Put it in Sri Ramakrishna's beautiful words, pure love is when a salt doll takes a dip in the ocean. After the dip, there is no doll at all separate from the ocean in order to speak about the experience of the ocean. Pure love is when the devotee merges unto the ultimate reality of Lord and there is no distinction whatsoever between the devotee and the Lord. In such a case, there is no devotee to speak about such an experience. This experience of pure love is not at all an experience but it is a state beyond all states - it is that state wherein
there is nothing but the Lord alone exists.

It is futile to try to explain such a state in words. Words are expressions of the mind. The mind is nothing but a bundle of thoughts. Both thoughts and words have their limitations. Thoughts cannot go beyond a particular realm - words cannot be spoken beyond the grammar letters and rules. Thus both have limitations. Since these have limitations, they cannot reach the unlimited Lord who is beyond all limitations. Even as we can only apprehend space and define it vaguely as present everywhere, similarly the ultimate reality of Lord can only be vaguely explained as
being present everywhere.

Narada here gives a very beautiful analogy for indefinable nature of devotion. Let's say we have a dumb person. The dumb person eats a laddoo which is very sweet. Though the laddoo is very sweet, when his friend asks him as to how is the laddoo the dumb person cannot say anything in response. Though the laddoo's taste is sweet, but the taste cannot be spoken by the dumb person. Even as taste cannot be expressed in words by the dumb person, similarly devotion cannot be put into words or thoughts. As is the case with all analogies, we should limit the analogy only to the comparison which here is taste expressed in words by a dumb person and devotion expressed in words. If we tend to extend the analogy out of this realm, we will only end up in confusions. We shouldn't ask that "a dumb person can show that the laddoo is tasty by expressions in his face or through hands" and hence such an analogy is faulty. Here the analogy is not faulty but it is our fault of extending the analogy
beyond what is being compared in the two cases. As Vachapasthi Mishra beautifully explains in his tattva kaumudi of Sankhya Karika, we cannot have any two entities or experiences as the same in the world. Thus in analogy, we cannot ever have two things same. If we consider similarity with respect to everything, we cannot have anumaana or examples or analogies.

Narada thus explains in these two slokas that devotion is beyond words as it is an experience which ends all experiences and beyond all experiences. Such a state is beyond words or conceptions of the mind. We can only dive into the ocean of Lord and experience for ourselves the state of pure love (after which there will no be distinctions to even speak about the Lord).

We will continue with the next sutra in the next day.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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