Thursday, May 8, 2014

Narada Bhakti Sutra - A Summary

Bhakti manifests as devotion towards God.  In its higher form, Bhakti is nectarous and manifests as immortality in its highest form.
After gaining Bhakti, perfection, immortality, and satisfaction arise.  Aspirations, lamentation, hate, rejoice or enthusiasm will not occur after its attainment.  Knowing Bhakti makes one intoxicated, stunned and self-satisfied.  Because, of renunciative nature, Bhakti does not generate desires.  
Renunciation refers to totally giving up of all Vedic and worldly activities and logic. Further, renunciation is characterized as exclusiveness to God and indifference to anything that is opposed to this.  It is also giving up all other dependency.  In essence, it means, observance of those activities that are favorable and indifference to those activities that are not favorable.
Even after firmly fixed in renunciation, protection of sAstrAs is to be continued. Otherwise, there is a fear (doubt) of fall for the person.  In the same way, engaging in the worldly affairs with activities such as eating to continue till holding on to the body.
According to son of Paraashara, it is liking towards worship and such activities. According to Garga, Bhakti manifests as a liking towards stories (highlighting the glory of God). Bhakti is that which is not opposed to rejoicing of the self, according to Shandilya.  According to Narada, Bhakti features as dedication of all practices (activities) to God, and experiencing pangs of separation upon disremembering God.
Such features of Bhakti are present in each of the following examples. When Gopikaas of Vraja, feel pangs of separation from Lord Krishna.  There, the forgetfulness of Gopikaas about the greatness of Krishna is not blameworthy.  Because, only by forgetting greatness of Krishna, Gopikas could turn to be paramours.  In the case of Gopikaas, there is happiness of pleasing Krishna and nothing else. Such pleasing is greater than even karma yoga and jnana yoga combined.  Because, of Bhakti providing the fruit of karma-jnana yoga.
God dislikes the proud and likes the humble. Some say, knowledge is the only means for the attainment (of God). Some others say, both (jnAna and bhakti) aid to the attainment (of the God).  According to Brahma-kumara (son of Brahma), god is the result of Bhakti.
An illustration is in glancing of a meal in a palace of a king.    By glancing, the king will not be satisfied or his hunger is not pacified.  By this analogy, seekers should seek Bhakti alone for attainment of God.  Many teachers have sung about the tools (methods) of (towards) Bhakti.
Bhakti is attained through renunciation of sensory objects as well as associations. Through uninterrupted worship.  In this  world, god is attained through chanting and hearing qualities (gunas)) of God.  More importantly, Bhakti is attained through the grace of the great and an iota of grace of the God.  Association of the great is difficult to get, difficult to understand but impossible not to provide results.  Even the association of the great is obtained through the grace of the god.
There is no differentiation possible among the great people.  The association of the great is to be positively aimed at by the aspirants.  Bad associations are the cause of lust, anger, attachment, loss of memory, destruction of intelligence and destruction of everything. Because of this reason, bad associations to be renounced by all means.  Ripples of lust etc. become an ocean by bad associations.
Who crosses the maya of lust etc.? who renunciates the bad company and serves the great selflessly would cross the maya. The one who serves in seclusion, uproots worldly bondages, becomes devoid of three gunas, and leaves comfort would cross the maya. The one who renounces actions and fruits of actions and then rises above confusions. The one who even renounces Vedas obtains undivided attraction towards god. These people would cross the world.
The final state of Bhakti is indescribable. Like a mute can never describe what he tastes.  Sometimes Bhakti manifests to a deserving aspirant.  Bhakti manifests in as an experience which is devoid of qualities, free of desires, growing every second,  uninterrupted, and the most subtle.  
After obtaining Bhakti, one only looks at God, only hears about God, Speaks about God, and thinks about the God.  The secondary Bhakti (gauNa bhakti) is of three kinds depending on the three gunas and the differentiation of three aspirants.  
Bhakti has convenience not available in other paths.  Because, Bhakti is self-evident and other evidences are not desirable. Bhakti has the form of peace and highest happiness.  Since worldly and Vedic activities are renounced, a Bhakta is not worried about the worldly losses.  Both during attainment of Bhakti and after attainment, instead of renouncing worldly activities, fruits of activities to be renounced. Narrations of women, wealth, and atheists are not to be heard.  Pride-hypocrisy are to be discarded.  After offering everything to God, one should experience lust, anger, pride, and others only in relation to the God.  
Breaking the three fold forms, in the everlasting moods of servant and beloved, Bhakta engages passionately in activities towards God.  Among the Bhaktas, single focused ones are primary.  With choked throats, horripilated bodies, tearful, conversing with each other in broken words,  Bhaktas purify families and the earth. They sanctify a holy place, make activities auspicious, and lend authority to scriptures.
Bhaktas are absorbed in the God. Due to them, the forefathers rejoice. The Gods dance. And the earth has good masters. There is no distinctions of caste, education, appearance, family, wealth, activities etc. Because,  Bhaktas belong to the God.
Arguments are not helpful for Bhakti. As they have infinite possibilities and are inconclusive.  Reflecting on scriptures related to Bhakti and engaging in activities described therein are helpful. Not wasting even half a second is advised when happiness and distress are renounced.  Nonviolence, truthfulness, purity, compassion, and faith are to be practiced.
Everyone, always, without worries, worship the God.  The God, then, appears quickly and gives them realization.  The one who is truthful in three ways sees Bhakti as bigger goal.