Narada Bhakti Sutras

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Chapter 4 Sutra 5, 6


Prostrations to all.

Sutra 5 -

tad praapya tadeva avalokathi tadeva srunothi tadeva
bhaashayathi tadeva chinthayathi

Word Meaning
Tat praapya - Having attained pure devotion
Tadeva avalokathi - (the devotee) comprehends that alone
Tadeva srunothi - hears that alone
Tadeva bhaashayathi - speaks that alone
Tadeva chinthayathi - thinks that alone.

Sutra Meaning
Having attained pure devotion, the devotee comprehends that alone;
hears that alone; speaks that alone and thinks about that alone.

Narada in the previous sutra spoke about the characteristics of bhakthi whereas in this sutra he speaks about the activities of a person who has attained paraa bhakthi or supreme devotion.

We have already learnt that Supreme devotion is when the devotee completely merges unto the Lord. Once a devotee merges into the Lord, there is no distinction between the devotee and the Lord. When there is no such distinction, therefore all ctivities will be directed towards the Lord alone.

A seeker who is in the path tries to always contemplate on the Lord whereas a person who has realized the Lord will naturally contemplate on the Lord. In the former case, it is forced contemplation whereas the latter is natural contemplation which doesn't require any effort at all. Even if a devotee tries not to speak about the Lord, he cannot but speak about the Lord.

Narada enumerates few activities of the bhaktha here by telling that such a person will be ever comprehending the Lord, ever hearing about the Lord, ever speaking about the Lord and ever thinking about the Lord. In short, Narada means to say that there is nothing apart from the Lord for the bhaktha. Therefore whatever activities are done by the bhaktha will have the vishaya or object as the Lord alone. If such a bhaktha becomes angry, he becomes angry with the Lord (Narada will be making this bold statement later in this chapter). If the bhaktha cheats, he will be cheating the Lord -- there is also a fun in cheating the Lord or tricking the Lord.

Narada following the Lord in Gita thus enumerates some activities in order to remove the doubt that all activities will be directed towards the Lord or just spiritual activities alone.

Sankara proclaims in Sivamanasa puja thus about the activities of a devotee:

Aatma tvam girija matih sahacharaah pranaah shareeram griham
Pooja te vishaya upabhogarachanaa nidraa samadisthithih
Sanchaara padayoh pradakshina vidhih stotraani sarva girah
Yad yad karma karomi tad tad akhilam shambho tava aaraadhanam

You are my Self; my intellect is Parvathi Devi; prana is my friend; my body is the house; pooja is enjoyment of sense objects (sensual pleasure); sleep is Samadhi; walking is your pradakshina; all words are stotras (praises of you); whatever actions I do O Lord, those are your worship (have you as the object).

A very similar verse is mentioned in Soundarya Lahari starting with "japo jalpah shilpam" by Sankara.

This is also mentioned by the famous verse ending with "krishnaat param kimapi tattvam aham na jaane" - I don't know any other tattva than Krishna (param can mean supreme tattva or any other tattva as well). For a devotee, there is nothing but the Lord alone - all objects are the Lord alone and hence all activities have the Lord as the vishaya or object.

Sutra 6 –
gauni tridhaa gunabhedhaat aarthaadibhedaat vaa

Word Meaning
Gauni tridhaa – Gauni bhakthas (devotees based on their qualities) are three
Gunabhedhaat – depending on the three gunas
Vaa – or
Aarthaadibhedaat - depending on the classification or artha, arthaarthi and jijnaasu.

Sutra Meaning
The lower type of devotees (gauni bhakthas) are of three types depending on their quality (guna or disposition) or depending on the level of discontentment (as to what is being sought).

Explanation with the next sutra..

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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