Narada Bhakti Sutras

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Chapter 4 Sutra 15, 16


Prostrations to all.

Sutra 15 –
Tadarpitha akhila aachaarah san kaamakrodhaadikam tasminneva karaneeyam

Word Meaning
Tadarpithah akhila aacharah san – After having offered all activities unto him,
Kaamakrodhaadikam – desire, anger etc.
Tasmin eva karaneeyam – should be had towards Ishwara alone.

Sutra Meaning
After having offered all activities unto him, desire, anger etc. should be had towards Ishwara alone.

Narada here gives a very beautiful way of overcoming desire, anger etc. It is easy to say that we should overcome the six emotions of kaama, krodha etc. But a person who has tried to overcome these will know as to how tough it is. Arjuna himself had this doubt when the Lord proclaimed to him as to controlling the mind. At that time Krishna replied saying that the mind though is very tough to control it can be controlled through dispassion and practice. But it is a well known fact that it might take years of practice in order to control the emotions of the mind.

But Narada gives the easiest way to overcome the passions of the mind in this sutra. Whenever we feel that we are overcome by passions, we should divert those passions unto the Lord. If we are feeling too much attachment towards a person or entity in the world we should direct the attachment towards Ishwara. This can be done through offering all actions whether it is in the form of mental emotions or physical activities unto Ishwara. Thus the moment a person gets attached to another person, he should offer the attachment to Ishwara. This means that we should consider Ishwara as the only person closest to us so that we may divert our attachment, aversion etc. unto him than any other person or entity in the world. This is very easy and simple to do if we consider Ishwara as our closest friend or our father or our mother. When we are very devoted to Ishwara with the knowledge that Ishwara alone is real and he alone is our refuge in the world, we can very easily divert all passions of the mind towards him. Thus whether it is attachment, aversion, anger or greed, we should have it towards the Lord.

Therefore whenever we get angry, we should divert the anger towards Ishwara. Whenever we become overly attached, we should divert the attachment towards Ishwara. When this is done continuously, we will find that after a point of time we will not be able to get attached or averted to anyone as we cannot direct it towards Ishwara whom we love the most. Even as getting angry to our beloved lover is impossible, similarly getting angry with our beloved Lord is impossible. Though by impulse we may feel ourselves getting angry at certain points of time, we should at that time remember to offer the anger unto Ishwara. Though we may not want to, yet because of impulse we will be forced to direct it towards our beloved Ishwara. Slowly as we find it tough to direct attachment and aversion towards Ishwara, we will be forced to stop having the emotions of attachment and aversion. Thus the only emotion that will remain in the mind will be pure love and devotion towards Ishwara. This pure love is neither a bondage nor an obstacle to the seeker as it helps in purifying the mind and making the mind always focus itself on the ultimate reality of Lord. The more and more a person follows this attitude of having just love alone in the mind, the mind will become more and more directed towards the reality than towards illusory entities of the world. Thus slowly the seeker will be lead from the crocodiles of kaama, krodha etc. towards the shore of immortality which is termed as mukthi or liberation in the scriptures.

Thus here we find a beautiful way of overcoming desire, anger etc. by not abstaining from them but directing them towards Ishwara. There have been many people who have realized the ultimate reality of Lord through desire and anger towards the Lord himself. Kamsa, Jarasandha etc. were asuras who had the mental emotion of anger towards the Lord which finally lead them to realization. The gopis as well uddhava had the emotion of attachment or lust towards the Lord which in turn lead them to realization. Thus rather than trying too hard to abstain from emotions of the mind which might finally burst like a fully blown balloon, we just need to direct it towards the ultimate reality of Lord.

We will see the last sutra of this chapter of Narada Bhakthi Sutras in the next day wherein Narada will say that prema or love alone is to be done or practiced in the world.

Sutra 16 –
Triroopabhangapoorvakam nityadaasya nityakaanthaa bhajanaatmakam prema karyam premaiva karyam

Word Meaning
Triroopabhangapoorvakam – Going beyond the three factors of experiences, love and consisting of constant service
Nityadaasya nityakaanthaa bhajanaatmakam prema karyam – a person should have love as in the case of a devoted servant or wife
Premaiva karyam – such a love alone should be followed.

Sutra Meaning
Going beyond the three factors of experiences, love and constant service, a person should have love as in the case of a devoted servant or wife.

Narada concludes this fourth chapter of Bhakthi Sutras with this particular sutra. He concludes by telling that Prema or pure love (which is inexplicable as explained in the very first sutra of this chapter) alone is to be aspired and practiced in life by a seeker.

Narada says here that we have to go beyond everything. All limitations have to be crossed over for a person to became a real devotee of the Lord. This is done through constant remembrance of the Lord; speaking about the Lord alone; thinking about the Lord alone as has been explained in an earlier sutra in this chapter. The goal of bhakthi is paraa bhakthi in which the devotee merges into the reality of Lord. The Lord is infinite, unlimited and thereby blissful. In order for a person to gain pure devotion with which he merges into the Lord, he has to cross over all limitations; he has to break all limitations.

Is it possible to go beyond limitations in the world?
Yes, it is possible to do that; limitations are broken when a person is ever immersed in thought or contemplation of the Lord. During that time, the devotee knows nothing but the Lord. Whatever is seen in the world is the form of the Lord; whatever is spoken are words of the Lord; whatever activities are done are worship of the Lord – thus whatever is there is the Lord alone for a real devotee who is ever immersed in contemplation of the Lord. The Lord in Gita terms such contemplation as ananya bhajanam – meditation without any other thoughts. “No other thoughts” doesn’t mean that such a devotee will not be doing activities in the world. This only means that the devotee’s mind will convert all names and forms of the world into the ultimate reality of Lord. Once the devotee convinces his mind and intellect that whatever is seen and present in the world is only an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Conscious Lord even as various gold ornaments are mere illusions of names and forms in gold, then the devotee internally will be asserting each and every moment that the Lord alone is present here. It is this intellectual or mental assertion when anything is seen or heard that the Lord terms as ananya bhajanam. That such contemplation wherein all limitations are broken is possible is proved by Narada giving a couple of examples for the same.

The examples that Narada gives is that of a devoted servant and a wife. We can add a mother as well to the list as Sri Ramakrishna beautifully explains. A devoted servant is fully devoted to the house and the people in the house she works. She calls the child of the house as “my child” and takes care of everything in the house as if it is her house. A wife does a similar thing with her husband. She doesn’t see her husband as different from herself – she sees her husband as part of her life. Thus each and every activity of the husband is looked into by the wife. It is for this reason that such a wife will be able to even judge the thoughts of her husband. If the world still had such devoted wife, we wouldn’t be dealing with too many divorces that happen even in India today. Sri Ramakrishna adds the example of a mother. We all are well aware of the fact that when the child cries, a mother can know it though she might be away from the child. Again this is not seen today as children spend most of their time in day-care centers than with their parents.

These three are beautiful examples wherein we see all the limitations being crossed over. As per Sri Ramakrishna when we merge the three love and direct it towards the Lord, we will become realized and merge unto the Lord. Narada also is saying that such love alone is to be sought and practiced in life by devotees.

With this, Narada ends the fourth chapter of Prema Nirvachanam. We have one more chapter left in the Bhakthi Sutras which we will start after seeing a summary of the fourth chapter in the next day.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God


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