Narada Bhakti Sutras
1. Now, therefore, the doctrine of devotion we shall
2. That (devotion) is indeed of the nature of supreme love in (directed towards) God.
3. The supreme love for the Lord, called devotion divine, is of the nature of immortality also.
4. Having gained this supreme devotion, the devotee attains perfection and immortality and becomes extremely satisfied.
5. Having attained which (devotion) he cares for nothing, never grieves, never hates, never delights in anything and he finds no urge or enthusiasm for sense enjoyment.
6. Having known which (devotion) one becomes intoxicated, silent, and enjoys in the Self.
7. Because it is of the nature of renunciation there is no element of desire in that love divine.
8. The renunciation, indeed, is in the total giving up of all secular and religious activities.
9. In the Lord whole-hearted, single-minded devotion, and in all else that are contrary to it (devotion), complete indifference -this is the nature of renunciation. (nirodha).
10. Renunciation of all other supports is whole-heartedness (in devotion).
11. To perform all secular and religious functions that are congenial to Him and (to have) total indifference to all action that are hostile to Him ... (that is "indifference").
12. After having thus decided to live the life of whole-hearted devotion, let there be protection of the scriptural teachings.
13. Or else, there is the fear of a fall (from the spiritual path).
14. The worldly duties in the various social contacts are also to be performed only to that extent (so long as the consciousness of the external world continues with us), but activities such as eating, etc., indeed will continue as long as the body exists.
15. Its (devotion or bhakti's) characteristics are being described now; due to the existence of different opinions.
16. "In the worship of the Lord with deep Love and firm attachment", thus declares the son of Parasara, Sri Veda Vyasa.
17. "A great attachment to listening to the stories of His glories etc. is bhakti," according to Maharshi Garga.
18. "The devotion for God, which is not opposed to attachment to the inner-Self is true devotion," according to Sage Shandilya.
19. According to Devarshi Narada " total dedication of all actions at the altar of the Lord, and at all moments of forgetfulness of the Lord, excruciating pang" is supreme love-divine (bhakti).
20. Let it be exactly as described above.
21. Just as the love of the Gopis of Vraja.
22. Even there, in this condition of total love, there is no danger of forgetting the glory of Lord.
23. Love without the knowledge of His true nature (is) like the illicit love for the paramour.
24. In the profane love for the paramour the sense of happiness in the happiness given to another, surely does not exist at all.
25. The supreme devotion (bhakti) is indeed, as a technique even superior to the path of action (karma), the path of knowledge (gyana), and the path of disciplined contemplation (yoga).
26. Because it is of the nature of the fruits of all yogas.
27. Also because of God's dislike for egoism and because of the love for meekness (devotion alone is superior).
28. "For the love divine, knowledge alone is the means", so say some Acharyas.
29. "Mutually dependent", declare others.
30. "It (bhakti) is its own fruit" thus say the sons of Brahma the creator.
31. Because it is seen demonstrated as such in the examples of places and dinner etc.
32. Because of it (a mere knowledge alone) neither the favor of the king nor the appeasement of hunger can ever happen.
33. Therefore, that supreme love for God alone is to be sought after by seekers of complete Liberation.
34. Ancient teachers sing differently upon the means of developing this devotion in the human bosom.
35. Indeed the sources of devotion are explored and exploited fully through (1) renunciation of sense-objects and also by (2) giving up attachments to being around.
36. (Also) (3) through continuous tender and loving service of the Lord.
37. (Again) (4) by hearing and singing the glories of the Lord, even while engaged in the activities of the world.
38. Primarily it (pure devotion) is gained (5) through the grace of great souls, or (6) through a little of the divine grace.
39. To come in contact with a great soul is indeed extremely difficult. It is impossible to know them fully. Yet, it is infallible in its effect.
40. "Nevertheless, by the grace of God alone great souls are attained.
41. Because between God and His devotees, there is no sense of difference.
42. That alone is to be accomplished: that alone be accomplished.
43. Evil company is only fit to be renounced by all means.
44. For it is the cause for creating lust, anger, delusion, loss of memory, loss of discrimination, and ultimately our utter ruin.
45. Though appearing as a ripple (in the beginning) these (anger, lust, etc.,) by evil companionship can become an ocean.
46. "Who crosses maya (illusion)? Who really crosses maya? (1) He who gives up all attachments to sense-objects: (2) He who serves the great devotees and (3) He who renounces all sense of possession in himself.
47. …(4) he who keeps himself in a solitary place of quietude, (5) he who plucks off his bondage with the world by the roots, (6) (he who) goes beyond the influences of his "gunas", (7) (he who) renounces all his anxieties for acquiring and maintaining.
48. … (8) he who relinquishes the fruits of actions, (9) who renounces all ego-centric actions, and thus (10) becomes free from the play of the pairs of opposites.
49. … (11) he who renounces even the Vedas and (12) gains a pure unbroken flow of devotion.
50. …he crosses, indeed he crosses. He helps others also to cross.
51. The nature of devotion is indescribable, indefinable.
52. Like the taste enjoyed by the dumb.
53. In some rare ones who are fit recipients this (such pure love) is found to manifest.
54. (This pure love) without attributes, without the poison of desires, every moment increasing, unbroken, subtlest, of the nature of sheer immediate experience…
55. Having reached the supreme love (that), the devotee sees (feels, comprehends) that alone, hears that alone, speaks of that alone, and thinks (contemplates upon) that alone.
56. The secondary devotion is of three kinds - according to the difference in the mental disposition (of the devotee) or according to the type of discontentment (in the devotees).
57. Than each succeeding one, each preceding one become the nobler (the greater).
58. Than all other paths (yogas) devotion is readily available-easily attainable…….
59. …because love depends on no other proof, it in itself being of the nature of a proof, love is self-evident.
60. …also because love is of the nature of peace and it is of the nature of supreme bliss.
61. No worry or anxiety should be entertained at the worldly losses, as it is the nature of a true devotee to constantly surrender his limited-self and all its secular and sacred activities to the Lord of his heart.
62. Till such a consummate love is not gained or on attaining the consummate love -worldly activities are not to be abandoned. But certainly we must diligently pursue love and learn to renounce our anxiety to enjoy the fruit of our activities.
63. (The seeker should not) listen to descriptions of women, wealth, atheists and enemies.
64. Pride vanity, and such other negative urges of the mind should be given up.
65. Having dedicated all activities unto Him, one, should turn all his desire, anger, pride, etc., towards him alone.
66. Going beyond the three-factors of experiences, love, consisting of constant service, as in the case of a devoted servant or wife, alone should be practiced.
67. Devotees, whose sole, single goal is the Lord Himself and whose single-pointed devotion towards the Lord is for its on sake, are the primary (best).
68. When (they) with throats choked with emotion, body covered with horripulation and tears flowing down, converse with each other in broken words, they sanctify their family and tribe, nay, the very earth itself they come to glorify.
69. (They) sanctify the sacred places of pilgrimage, add glory to actions, and lend authority to the scriptures.
70. (For) they live absorbed in Him.
71. The past generations rejoice in their fulfillment, the divine beings in heaven dance in joy and this earth itself becomes endowed with a spiritual Savior.
72. Among them (the perfected saints) there are no distinctions based upon caste, culture, beauty, family, wealth or profession.
73. For they are of His own nature divine.
74. Vain disputation and discussion should not be entered into.
75. (Vain disputations are to be given up) because there can be endless, diverse views and all mere arguments become ultimately inconclusive only.
76. Books on devotion should be reflected upon and their instructions must be pursued diligently.
77. Waiting for a propitious time, when pleasure, pain, desire, profit etc. are not troubling you, even half a second should not be wasted.
78. Virtues, like non-injury to others, truthfulness, cleanliness, compassion, faith in Lord, etc., should be consistently cultivated.
79. Always, free from, in all mental anxiety, the Lord alone is to be invoked and sought after, with all factors of our personality.
80. When invoked, He indeed reveals Himself and makes the devotee realize His absolute nature divine.
81. Of the three "truths" (time or paths) devotion alone is the greatest; indeed, devotion alone is the greatest.
82. (1) Love for glorifying His qualities, (2) love for His divine form, (3) love for worshipping Him, (4) love for remembering Him, (5) love for doing service for Him, (6) love for friendship in Him, (7) love for the Lord as one's own child, (8) love as that to a beloved, (9) love for a total self-offering at His Feet, (10) love for complete absorption in Him, (11) and love as expressed in the pang of separation from Him -thus though love is one only, it is expressed in eleven different modes.
83. Thus declare they, who are fearless of other people and their prattlings, their unanimous opinion- they who are masters of the path of devotion, such as Sanatkumara Vyasa, Suka, Shandilya, Garga, Vishnu, Kaundinya, Sesha, Uddhava, Aruni, Bali, Hanuman, and Vibhishana.
84. He who believes and has faith in this exposition, given out by Narada as taught (commanded) by Lord Siva, he gains the love of God and attains his objective, aye, attains his beloved goal.