Yagna on ‘Narada Bhakti Sutras’ – Part 2 Dec 2016

Talks on “Narada Bhakti Sutras” – Part 2 – by Swami Abhedananda

(Gyan Yagna conducted from 1st Dec till 6th Dec, 2016)

Key Points from the Discourses

Day 1

With an inspiring introduction to the Mission and its amazing Guru lineage by one of the vedant course brahmacharinis, began the monthly yagna on ‘Narada Bhakti Sutra – Part 2’. As in hitting a 6 on the first ball of the match, Swami Abhedananda took those in the auditorium on a devotional journey right from the very start of his discourse. What followed was an hour and a half of heart warming glories of the Lord animatedly talked, sung and enacted by Swamiji. We bring you a few excerpts from the talk below:

day-1_lowres_decBhakti – Biggest need for ALL for us:

  1. Biggest need of our life is that we want someone who can empower us. From time to time, we feel short of power, short of energy and find ourselves in indomitable challenges. The unknown future is unpredictable and holds no guarantee of our well being. Who is the one who can give us the strength, energy and assurance to move forward in life? Alone we can’t manage. The very first need of our life is the Lord!
  2. With Bhakti (devotion of the Lord), many things come in our life but the first thing Bhakti does is that it fills our life with what is absent.
    • Strength: At an emotional & mental level, Bhakti makes us stronger. It simply wont allow one to feel low and crushed by any situation.
    • Fearlessness: It makes one completely fearless. It is with this power of devotion that in India saints leave their houses and sleep under a tree, protected by the divine alone.
    • No Anxiety: Next thing that comes by devotion is that you don’t worry about the future; you feel that things will be fine with time.
    • Patience: You learn to accept what cannot be changed. Devotion makes the ugliest thing acceptable to us. Nobody’s life can be without bitterness. How much that bitterness appears sweet to us depends on our depth of devotion.
  3. World leaves us slowly and steadily. Many have left us, many are leaving and many will be leaving in future. With every severed relationship, the devotee actually feels happy that ‘I have more time to spend with the Lord. I have more hours to do puja, japa’. When you feel the love of the Lord and you are emotionally satisfied by that love, the desire to be loved by the world is not there!

How to have this love for the Lord is the subject of Narad Bhakti Sutra. Let us try to contemplate on some of the sutras of this beautiful text –

Sutra 28: Knowledge of Bhagwan’s nature is the ‘saadhan’

  • It is written in this sutra that Gyaan (Knowledge) is the saadhan i.e., Knowledge of Lord’s nature is the means for developing devotion. Unless we know the nature of the Lord, we won’t be able to love Him. We should try to know Lord’s nature, His greatness, His emotions, and His magnanimity.
  • Lord’s nature is such that if every day you offer something to the Lord, He also wants that you should be given something. Lord is very compassionate. When Sudama went to Lord Krishna’s palace, Lord ran to the door as fast as He could to welcome Sudama and embraced him. When Rukmani said to the Lord, ‘Make me your own,’ Bhagwan ran towards Rukmani and took her with Him.

Sutra 29: Devotion & Knowledge – both facilitate each other

  • It is said here that ‘Bhakti and Gyaan are interdependent.’ More you have Bhakti, more you want to know, and the more you know, more is the love you develop. More you love God, more you will find out what God prefers, which emotions and actions He likes.
  • Lord likes non-violence, He likes sweet speech, He likes bhajan and japa, He likes someone who is very dispassionate and devoid of anger. More we do what He likes, more our Bhakti increases, and more Lord is pleased on us. More the Lord is pleased, more we feel complete. Bhagwan completes us. Without Him, we would be incomplete.

Sutra 30: The fruit of Bhakti is more Bhakti!

  • Here the word ‘Brahmakumar’ means ‘Sanak, Sanatan, Sanandan, Sanat Kumar’ (sons of Lord Brahma). They say that fruit of Bhakti is Bhakti only. Just as Satsang itself is the fruit of all good actions, and being in the company of saints is the fruit of good actions, similarly Bhakti itself is a fruit. What other fruit would anyone want after that? Bhakti means that the Lord is pleased upon us.

Sutra 31-32: The Glory of serving

  • In these sutras, illustrations are shared to establish that simply by knowing about the Lord we cannot come close to the Lord, of course that is a must; but what we need to do is to perform ‘Sewa’ of the Lord. By Sewa (service) alone we can get close to Him and His glory and power can be available for us.
  • If one has served the Lord, he cannot be neglected. The person might appear like any other to the world but he will have the constant silent protection of the Lord on him.
  • If we feel unwanted and unsecured, we must realize that we haven’t served the Lord enough.

Sutra 33: Bhakti – the giver of Moksha

  • Bhakti should be held by those who want to get liberated. World is not a place for everlasting happiness. Again and again there is birth and death, and the pain associated to that. There are problems of health and family. We should go to the One who can cut the knots of birth and death. Pray to him every day. Say to Him ‘I am Yours! Other than You, I don’t know where to go. In my life, only You are important. Please take me out from the bondage.’
  • If Lord is pleased, everything happens very smoothly in life. When you have Bhakti in you, you don’t need anything else. Loneliness goes away. Lord talks to us. The test for us is when we say ‘Oh Bhagwan! I love you a lot’, do we hear Him back saying ‘I too love You’? More and more your devotion, quietness and poise increases, more Lord is felt inside your heart!

Day 2

The ganga of devotion continued to flow as Swami Abhedananda talked of various aspects of devotion, the many pitfalls on the journey to the Lord and how to overcome those. Below are a few take aways from yesterday’s discourse:

day-2_lowres_decFruits of Devotion:

The biggest fruits of devotion are that one would never feel powerless and always have an inner joy in life in every situation.

  • Devotion makes the Lord appear in our heart and from the inside give us the assurance that the issues troubling us are all small and insignificant. This happens when we have served the Lord, when we have gotten close to him with our sadhana, puja and japa.
  • When Bhakti is present, there is ‘ras’ (joy) in life. For small joys in life we do various things, we get married, we have a family, we go to various people and places but at the end we get nothing but suffering. But the joy of establishing a relationship with the Lord is such that we don’t feel the need for anything else after that! There remains no void in our life that needs to be filled by any person or thing outside.

Sutra 35: Attachment – The multi faceted demon

  • Attaining Bhakti: Naradji says in this sutra that Bhakti is attained by two things – Vishaya Tyag & Sang Tyag. ‘Vishaya Tyag’ means renouncing the external sense objects. Sense objects don’t have joy of their own; it is their impressions in our mind that give us joy. The word ‘Vishaya’ here refers to two meanings – one, that which takes to poison; and second, that which ties a person. The word ‘Sang Tyag’ means giving up attachments. Where attachment is there, the person gets over-sensitive and over-worried. Attachment at one place can take away all the joys of our life.
  • The attachment quagmire: What is the cause of attachment? When a person seeks joy from the world then he creates impressions about the object or person of attachment. Then with those impressions he goes more to the person or the object, and when he goes more, he gets more impressions. This way his vasanas increase and his attachment towards that particular person, place or object increases.
  • Maintain safe distance: Outer objects and people appear very good as long as they are at a distance but moment you get close to them, they make your life very difficult. Nobody makes us cry, but our own false relations make us cry. Attachment is loaded with expectations and obsessions; it is loaded with the slavery of wanting a particular response from others. Attachment brings the worst out of a person.
  • Getting rid of attachments: One who analyzes, he only understands that his attachment has given him a lot of problems in his life. Detachment comes only when we suffer from attachment. To get rid of attachment, you go through the process of seeing how much you have suffered. Its important to keep on recording how much suffering we go through. If we don’t record and reinforce in our mind, we will continue to get attached.

Sutra 36: Open Yourself to God

  • ‘Avyavrittbhajanat’ means that Bhajan which has no veil; that Bhajan in which you open yourself. Unless we open our heart to something, the joy doesn’t come. When doing Bhajan or Puja, open up your heart and consider Bhagwan as your own. It is not the duration of our sadhana but the intensity that matters a lot.
  • When you meet God in your puja room, in your japa, you meet Him with an open heart or a closed heart? Do you hold His hands and His feet and do you sometimes embrace Him? Don’t be formal with him. He wants to see that you really want Him. By this want of the Lord, attachment to other areas goes away. When you do japa, don’t do japa because you like doing japa, but do it because God likes to see you doing japa.

Sutra 37: Shravan and Keertan increase Devotion

This sutra says that by Shravan (listening about the Lord) and by Keertan (chanting Lord’s name and His glories), your Bhakti increases. When you constantly hear about the Lord and His leelas, you become a devotee of the Lord. Leelas of the Lord pulls our mind.

Sutra 38: Grace of Mahatmas

  • Bhakti increases by the grace of Mahatmas. Anybody who has money, he can give money; anybody who has power he can give power, similarly one who has love for God, he alone can give love for God.
  • When we go to a Mahatma who is close to God, he wants our devotion should increase and he prays for us and says to God, ‘Please accept him.’ Unless a Mahatma requests, Lord doesn’t accept. Unless somebody prays for us, we cannot grow.
  • A Mahatma is close to the God because he accepts God in all ways. He thinks, ‘If Bhagwan wants to give me pain, I will very happily accept pain. If Bhagwan wants to give me joy, I will take that joy.’ Sudama was close to Bhagwan Krishna because he accepted Lord’s ways.
  • Mahatmas are not ordinary people. Mahatma is the one whom the Lord loves. Ordinary devotees miss the Lord but Mahatma is the one whom the Lord misses!
  • Naradji also says here that to have love for God, what is also important is to have grace of God. If grace of God is not there, we won’t have conducive situations that fosters His love.

Sutra 39: Company of Mahatmas & Sadhus

  • Durlabh: Company of Mahatmas is very difficult to find. You can get a lot of doctors, engineers, other professionals etc., but to get association of a Mahatma is very rare.
  • Agamya: It is difficult to know and understand a Mahatma. Many Mahatmas don’t have the desire to be known because they think that people would flock around them and their time for Bhajan would be lessened.
  • Amogh: If we go to a Mahatma it can never go in vein; he will always give us something big. A Mahatma alone has made another Mahatma. A Sadhu alone has made another Sadhu.
  • Sadhus alone take the person to the Lord; they only create devotion in somebody else’s heart. Therefore it is said in Bhagwat – What do the saints do? They give the eyes. Like the outer sun comes out and we start seeing everything, similarly when a saint comes in our life, we start seeing everything in the right perspective. He gives the eyes to see life, death, birth, relations, expectations, our doer-ship, enjoyer-ship, our faults, ego etc., everything is very vividly seen!


Day 3

In the monthly yagna discourse yesterday, Swami Abhedananda dealt in detail on the topics of Attachment and Maya, and how it affects us. He analysed the topic so deeply as though putting our mind on a table in front of us and clinically helping identify each of our flawed thought patterns, the association actions and the following repercussions. Below are a few take aways where in Swamiji delivered the short yet very potent sutras from ‘Narada Bhakti Sutra’ as capsules of wisdom:

  • The source of our sorrows or our joys are our relationships. Whether we are feeling happy or sad, strong or weak, its all dependent on who we are associated with and the health of that relationship. The irony is that we don’t know whom we should tie ourselves to. Instead of getting related to the Lord, we associate ourselves to something worldly, something very small, which sooner or later becomes a source of our sorrows and drains us of our strength.
  • How many people have we loved since our childhood? How many have really cared for us? How many have left us – willingly or unwillingly? This thought doesn’t occur to us that in this world there is no permanent relation possible and no one is truly lovable other than the Lord. In ‘Narada Bhakti Sutra’, Naradaji has enumerated many points on how we can go back to our original beloved, how we can go back to the one we belong.

day-3_lowres_decLet us go to Narada Bhakti Sutra and find out how to come closer to the Lord.

Sutra 41: The Lord and His devotees are non-different

  • Where from you will get Bhakti? You will get Bhakti from the saints, from the devotees of the Lord. It is the saints who teach us how to love. Nobody learns by oneself to write even simple alphabets, how will be know by ourselves how to love God? We need saints to teach us!
  • One who has thought about the Lord a lot, who has deep remembrance of Lord all the time, who does Puja of Lord, he ‘becomes’ like the Lord. One who thinks about Lord Shiva, in his character Shivji’s reflection would be there. One who worships Lord Krishna and thinks about Lord Krishna, in his ways, in his laughter, Lord Krishna would be there. Hence, it is said in the 41st Sutra that the Lord and His devotees are no different. Such a glorification Naradaji has given to the devotees!

Sutra 42: Strive for Association of Saints

  • In 42nd sutra, it is written that just as one has worldly dreams and goals, similarly one should have an aim to listen to the glories of the Lord, and to go to saints, serve them & please them in all ways. When one has such a goal, Lord is very happy. To attain higher goals in life, one has to pray and listen to satsang from saints and learn from them.
  • The joy in the company of a saint is much more than any worldly joy. A saint’s presence exudes peace and quietness and his mind has love. When one goes to a saint, he gets accepted unconditionally because a saint’s nature is a replica of Lord’s.

Sutra 43: Giving-up Bad company

  • Bad company is an obstacle in your path of devotion. Bad company does not necessarily mean people alone; it can be literature, it can be other things that we see, hear or talk about.
  • There is an animal (uncontrolled personality) hidden in all of us. Bad company brings out this uncontrolled personality and therefore it is said that one should be alert about one’s company. Falling is very easy, but to rise is very difficult. Be alert!

Sutra 44: Bad company brings out Evil tendencies

  • It is said here that anybody is good because his intellect is good. But when a person loses his intellect, you don’t know what he will say or do. Anybody is a safe person when he knows what to say and what not to say, what is his duty and what is not his duty, what he should do and what he should not do. When we say that a person is not good, it means he has lost his intellect due to anger, expectations or jealousy etc.
  • Bad company brings out the evil qualities of lust, anger, delusion and becomes the cause of one’s destruction. Therefore, in the name of friendship, we should not mingle everywhere. While seeing somebody, while touching somebody, while watching something, while coming close to somebody, while talking – be extremely careful. A little mistake can be fatal!

Sutra 45:

  • Bad tendencies, materialistic tendencies are like ‘tarang’ (small waves) and due to our attachment they transform into an ocean. Even a little bad tendency when it gets conducive situation, it makes the person a big problem for his family and others. When one is climbing a mountain, even small slips here and there are sufficient to make him fall down. Hence on a loftier path, even a small mistake can make a person fall considerably.
  • Every fault means that we have lost our independence. This is how things multiply in a cancerous fashion. The cost of carelessness is very heavy and sometimes we have to pay for our whole life.

Sutra 46: Who crosses the ocean of Maya?

  • Here the scripture tells about ‘who crosses the ocean of Maya’. Maya means that ‘in unreal we see reality’. It is the cause of all our sorrows. The same body that was loved and cared, after death it is kept on the ground; anybody who comes to see the dead body, goes and takes bath afterwards as the dead body is considered impure.
  • A jeeva can never be close to another jeeva. There is no joy in the false relations; they eat away our time and energy, our inner wealth and physical body. All the material wealth (house, money, jewelry etc.) that we collect all our life, are left behind.
  • The one who can leave attachments can cross this ocean of Maya. Attachment is too much dependency on someone – physically, emotionally or intellectually. Such person becomes the source of one’s sorrow. Hence one should not get too close to anybody. We should instead get attached to the Mahatmas and the saints. When attachment with saints is developed, then attachment with the world gets cut. And then ultimately the saint would cut his attachment as well and attach you to God alone.
  • The best thing to pray to God is that may we never get attached to anybody. World is not meant to give away our heart, it is to be served from a distance seeing the Lord in it.

Sutra 47:

  • Propounding further on ‘who can cross Maya?’, the scripture tells that its the one who serves in solitude, one who cuts-off all worldly attachment and the attachment to the three gunas, and one who gives-up the desire to attain and secure material possessions.
  • Nobody should become indispensable in our life. Even if Yamaraj comes to us and asks us to leave, we should be ready to go with him; we should be ready to leave everybody. We should not be weak. Every day for half an hour, one should practice being a Sannyasi – go to a room in solitude and chant Lord’s name.
  • All worldly duties should take one to duty towards God alone. Our mindset should be such that at the time of death, we should not feel like calling and seeing any worldly person. One should be only with the Lord at that time. Such a person is also not attached to the three gunas. He leaves Yoga (attaining something) and Kshema (securing what he has already attained), since he has the firm belief that God will take care of him.
  • If you have surrender, Lord takes over your life. Ordinary person works a lot for meeting the ends. Saint is the one who does not plan and work for his future. His biggest work is to remember the Lord and remember the absolute Truth. And therefore he is carefree. Such a person alone can cut asunder the Maya!


Day 4

On the fourth day of the monthly yagna, Swami Abhedananda provided a fresh perspective on Bhakti – how it is our most basic need which holds in it the secret of true happiness and pease; and like food & water is the nourishment to the body, bhakti nourishes our soul. Below are a few excerpts from yesterday’s discourse:

  • There are five elements in this cosmos namely Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space. We eat food everyday so that the earth element of the body can be connected to the outer earth element. We drink water so that the water element in the body can be connected to the cosmic water. We breathe so that outer air can be connected to the inner air. If connection between outer which is macrocosm, and inner which microcosm, is cut, we will die. As the connection between inner small and outer big is required for all elements, similarly, the inner finite jeeva has to be connected with the cosmic Ishwar, otherwise we will mentally die.
  • The thing that connects the outer Ishwar and the inner jeeva is called Bhakti. If anytime you feel sad, worried, sorrowful, just check this connection. The biggest hunger of a jeeva is for the Lord alone but in his ignorance he keeps satisfying his sense organs. His hunger is to do bhajan, to think about the glories of Lord, but he keeps getting attached in the world. Those who recognize their real hunger, they become saints.
  • Saints are those who constantly want to be connected to God. They leave aside all those joys and issues which disconnect them from the God and dampen their love for Him. The day we realize that our existence cannot be divorced from the existence of our Lord, we become Sadhu. The day we realize that our joy and Lord’s joy cannot be separate, we become quiet. Quietness is the name of inner merging. Quietness is not the name of satisfying our sense organs, or attaching ourselves to someone, or earning some wealth; quietness is the name of meeting the one who was lost for long.
  • Devotion is not confined to some puja or japa time; it is a ceaseless realization that ‘My life should be for the One from whom I am getting everything.’ Devotion is a constant remembrance that ‘I want to give to the One from whom I am constantly taking.’ The aspect that makes these facts realized is called Bhakti.
  • Without Bhakti we will feel very empty, powerless and lost. Without Bhakti we are like moving corpse burning from inside. Bhakti is like the cool water, constantly dripping from our heart, silencing us, and cooling us down.

day-4_lowres_decLet us go back to our Lord. Naradaji will help us!

Sutra 48: Crossing Maya by offering our actions

  • In this sutra, it is said that we should not bother about something which cannot be changed. In our life, what has come unasked and what will be coming unasked (Karma-phal), whether it is people or job, promotion or demotion, house or food, health or disease, insult or praise, nothing is in our control. Our effort should be to convert the Karma-phal into medicinal value. If something is very good in life then thank the God for that and serve Him with what you have got. And if sorrow is there, then see it as an opportunity to reduce your attachment & ego and increase devotion for God. Both joy and sorrow are given by the Lord alone.
  • You can cross Maya by offering all your actions to the Lord. Howsoever insignificant an action may be, it has the capacity to make the God happy or unhappy. We are all small but our intention can be very big. Every action can be highly divinized, it can be self-purifying and self-fulfilling. Only thing we have to keep in our mind is that action is not for our ego but it is for the Lord.
  • Life is not meant to hoard, possess, and accumulate; it is not meant to slog like a horse; life is meant to become like a cloud that showers rain; life is meant to become like the Sun which emanates light. Life is meant for God! Everything has been offered to us by the Lord. Let us give him back what we have falsely possessed including our body, family, knowledge, love, and strength.

Sutra 49: One who crosses Maya is beyond Vedas

  • The devotee who crosses Maya, he is beyond Vedas. He has a continuous flow of thoughts towards God. He has unbroken joy. The joy of the lover of God is that every moment he wants to live for the God.
  • Love is not for some time. More is the continuity in love, more is the intensity. More is the intensity, more is the depth. More is the depth, more is the quietness. We love ourselves continuously, not discreetly. But we remember God only some times, and at other times we forget Him. There are gaps and breaks in our love. Love doesn’t tolerate forgetfulness of the beloved. More we forget, more we distance ourselves.

Sutra 50: Crosses Maya himself & helps others too

  • The sign that a devotee has crossed Maya is that his happiness is unchanged in all circumstances. More are our crutches of happiness, more we are embedded in Maya. Crossing Maya means that there is no attachment, aversion, sadness, obsession or expectation in the devotee’s mind. Wherever God keeps him, he is happy. He has no strings attached. Even if he is poor or rich, treated good or bad, in all ways he is happy. This is the life which scriptures want for us.
  • Such a devotee not only crosses Maya himself, but makes others cross over Maya too. One Sadhu makes many Sadhus. One Swami Chinmayananda Maharaj made many Swamis.

Sutra 51, 52, 53: Love of God is Indescribable

  • Although Naradaji has been talking about devotion and love for God since the beginning, here he says that the love of God cannot be described and explained. It is very mysterious.
  • Trying to describe the love of God is like a mute’s effort to describe what he tastes. Some things cannot be objectified, and you grapple to find words to describe. Love of God is like that. Every expression falls short.
  • This love of God shines only in some qualified devotees. Not everybody feels the love of God. Most of us don’t know how to love, how to be grateful, how to feel that there is no one like Him and how much He has given us. We live in our own selfish world governed by our ego and expectations. Blessed few are able to break the shell and feel the soft showers of the divine love!


Day 5

In the penultimate day of the monthly yagna, Swami Abhedananda described the various attributes of the Love of the Lord and delved in detail on the categories of devotees as mentioned in the Narada Bhakti Sutra text. In the discourse, filled with a lot of devotion and emotions for the Lord, there were many valuable messages for us all. Below is a synopsis of the talk:


  • In our life, if we have done something for someone or given something to someone, be it money, or attention or love; we don’t want it to be forgotten by the other person. It is hurtful if the other person does forget and neglect. Similarly, nobody has done more in our life than how much Lord has done but very easily we forget everything. Not only do we forget but we also do such actions which Lord doesn’t like. Such is the irony!
  • It is the Lord who is behind us all the time, holding us, otherwise we would have been shattered and broken long back. But do we realize this? Have we kept any time in our day to go to the Lord and apologize to Him for been so forgetful and ungrateful?
  • In Ramayan, Shri Hanumanji says to Lord Ram that all those moments are moments of distress when a person doesn’t remember the Lord; there is no other moment of distress. Bhakti is nothing but going back to God, seeking His forgiveness, seeking His happiness. Bhakti is a vow that – ‘Lord I will please you.’ Bhakti is a silent commitment that – ‘I may be far away but I will come back to you soon.’ Bhakti is a mental conviction that – ‘Other than Lord, I don’t want anybody.’ Bhakti is a constant remembrance, and a constant marching and inching towards God.

Let us see what Naradaji has said in Narada Bhakti Sutra as the characteristics of Bhakti:

Sutra 54: Love of God

There are six beautiful things in this sutra, mentioning about love of God:

  1. Gun Rahitam – Love is that where once we have given our heart, then we don’t see the qualities or the faults of the beloved. About Bhakti it is said that first you love God, and after sometime you continue to love not because He is good, rather you see goodness inspite of whatever is there.
  2. Kamana Rahitam – Love is devoid of desires. Desire and love are poles apart. Any relation gets spoiled by desire alone because after desire comes anger. The path of love is where we go to cremate our ego, desires and selfishness. For himself, a devotee wants only one thing – More and more opportunity to serve the Lord.
  3. Pratikshanam Vardhamanam – Every moment this love increases because Bhagwan responds. He talks, He guides, He inspires, and He makes you feel that you are not alone! When Bhagwan Krishna left Gopis and went to Dwarka, then also the love of Gopis for Him kept increasing every day.
  4. Avichhinnam – The Love of God is continuous. It is unbroken & has constant remembrance that ‘What my beloved Lord must be doing, How can I get close to Him, How can I give Him something? If nothing I can do then I will just sing His name today’.
  5. Sookshmataram – The Love of God is very subtle. The subtly of that love can be seen in the prayers of Gopis where they used to ask nothing for themselves, but only for Lord Krishna. It is difficult for an ordinary person to understand this love.
  6. Anubhavrupam – The Love of God is not something that we won’t experience. We very well experience it and are convinced about it because unless we experience love from our beloved, our love can’t grow.

Sutra 55: Lord Alone

It is written in this sutra that when a person gets that love, he sees Lord alone everywhere, he hears about Lord only, and he thinks about Lord only. To be lost in God, is finding ourselves.

Sutra 56 & 57: Types of Bhakti

  • This Bhakti is of three kinds – Tamoguni, Rajoguni and Sattvaguni
    1. Tamoguni Bhakti is done when one prays to Lord to give trouble to someone whom he doesn’t like. This is also considered a kind of Bhakti because at least the person is going to the Lord for some purpose.
    2. Rajasik Bhakti is where one wants money, power, position, prosperity of children etc.
    3. Sattvik Bhakti is there where one wants Lord for Lord alone and he does Puja etc. so that Lord can be happy upon him.
  • One more classification of devotees is – Artharthi, Jigyasu and Arth
    1. Artharthi bhakt – This kind of devotee wants money and power from the Lord like Dhruvji
    2. Jigyasu bhakt – A Jigyasu bhakt wants Knowledge from the Lord like Arjun and Uddhavji
    3. Aarth bhakt – This kind of devotee has a lot of capacity to call God seeking protection and solutions in his life
  • It is said in the 57th sutra that more than Tamoguni bhakti, Rajoguni bhakti is better, and more than Rajoguni bhakti, Sattvaguni bhakti is better. Also, better than Artharthi bhakt is the Jigyasu bhakt and more than Jigyasu bhakt is the Arth bhakt. But they all are devotees because whatever they are wanting, they are wanting from Lord alone. If you go to Lord for any reason, He will pull you in some way.
  • The beauty of life is that somehow there is a way to get connected to Lord. Artharthi bhakt gets money, and Jigyasu bhakt gets knowledge and if one asks that ‘I am in distress,’ Lord will come and take away his distress. When you call with surety, He comes! He runs and comes!

Sutra 58: Path of Devotion

  • Compared to all paths that lead to God, easiest is Bhakti. On the path of Gyan, a lot of difficulty is there and many things need to be understood correctly. If you go on the path of rituals, Hawan etc., then also you need to know a lot of mantras and procedures. But on the path of devotion, it is easy to invoke the grace of God at any time even and at any place even by a sinner.
  • One day in the morning when you get-up, take bath and then mentally close your eyes, and put your head at the feet of the Lord, embrace His feet. He will be happy by your thought! One day you gently hold His hands mentally. When you walk, you feel He is holding your hand. While you are eating food, you think that the first morsel has gone to God’s mouth. It is very easy to form relation with the Lord.
  • Even if you cry, you think ‘Bhagwan, let these tears please You.’ Bhagwan responds very easily. Any person who is easily pleased, you love Him. You offer little flower, He is happy; you just chant His name, He is happy; you offer water, He is happy. This is the easiness of doing Bhakti.

Sutra 59: Our experience of God’s love

How do we know that God loves us? Because we experience it! Nobody needs to tell us if God is happy with us or not, we would know ourselves. There is no proof required that how much God loves us, cares for us, nourishes and nurtures us. Every devotee experiences it himself in his heart!

Day 6

On the last day of this month’s gyan yagna, Swami Abhedananda compassionately explained the many attachments we have in the world and how it robs us of our joys & peace of mind. The beautiful text of Narada Bhakti Sutra tells us on how we can cut asunder the strings of attachments dragging us in multiple directions; and where not possible surrender these to the Lord and make Him the object of our desires. Below are a few points from the day’s discourse:

  • We want someone in our life who is available for us at all times, to take care of our sorrows, support us, guide us, correct us when we go wrong. That someone cannot be anyone else but God! We want that God who even after seeing our faults will not drop us. Is that God far away from us? It is we, because of our ego and vasanas, have forgotten Him.
  • Many things we have done in our life, said in our life, which God did not want but still we did because of our vasanas and our nature, and many things what He wanted that we should do, we didn’t do. Thus we have made the Lord unhappy. Unless we go and make that Lord happy again, and make him available for us, there is no one to support us and accept us as we are.
  • Let us all go to the Lord. We don’t have to knock His door because His door was never closed. A child can’t run, can’t turn, can’t walk, but child has a very big strength of calling the mother, he has a very big weapon of crying. Let us call Him! Let us go again to Him, let us plead to Him.

day-6_lowres_decSutra 60: Bhakti is of the nature of Peace

  • It is written here that Bhakti is of the nature of Shanti (peace). It is of the nature of peace because the one whom we think about (Lord) is very peaceful. It works the same way as if you think about a disturbed person you get disturbed, if you think about an angry person, you get angry, but if you think about that Lord who is absolutely quiet, your mind becomes quiet.
  • There are three sources of disturbance in everybody’s life namely ego, attachment, and hatred. These are absent in our life when we do more and more bhakti.
    1. Ego: An egoistic person is over conscious about his image and desires. This world is not drafted to fulfill our desires or satisfy our vasanas, it only makes one agitated. And therefore it is said here that Bhakti is of the nature of Shanti because the first thing that is required on this path of love is to drop our ego.
    2. Attachment: Shanti comes in a devotee’s life because attachment is not there. Whomsoever you are attached to, you are more worried about him than yourself; and that disturbs you. A devotee’s attachment is with the Lord. He talks about the Lord, thinks about Him. He has no time time to get attached anywhere else.
    3. Hatred: Hatred is not there in a devotee because he doesn’t burn from inside. If he burns he will burn his time and burn the memory of the Lord and therefore he doesn’t hate anyone and thus there is peace in his life.
  • It is also said here that Bhakti is of the nature of Parmananda because there is a lot of ‘ras’ (joy) in it. Listening to Lord’s leelas gives immense joy to the devotees. Listening about the Gopis feeding Lord Krishna and playing with Lord Krishna brings ras in the heart of the devotees and they themselves start calling the Lord.

Sutra 61: Why Worry?

  • It is written here that one should not worry upon any worldly loss. When you are flying in a plane, are you ever worried if the pilot is going in the right direction or not? No! Similarly, when Lord is there, why to worry about anything in life? Many things are out of our control. We should control that which is controllable; and what is not, we should just leave it to God and stop worrying about it.
  • When devotion is less, faith is less, worry is more. This world which we are living in is the house of Lord and He would provide us with whatever we need. If He has to give us some problem, let Him give it; accept it, it is only for our good that He will give any problem.
  • Leave to Lord, He will take care. Imagine the amount of faith the sadhus have that they leave their house for Him!

Sutra 62: See the Lord through the World

As long as bhakti is not pure, one should continue his regular duties. World has been given to us so that we can remember the God while seeing the world. If praised by someone or helped by someone, see the Lord who is praising and helping through the person and not get attached to the individual. Don’t get lost in the world. Get attached to the God!

Sutra 63: Selective Listening

  • It is told here that one should not listen to gossip, about woman, about money, about the atheist etc. Problem in life is that we have a lot of vasanas and little listening triggers a bunch of vasanas. One should not have the thought of passion, or lust for the man or the woman. Why to make our mind dirty?
  • If someone throws their trash in our house, won’t we get angry? But we are not angry when someone throws trash thoughts in our mind. One should be very selective in listening. There is no end to foolish and unnecessary talks. One should keep his heart clean and neat.

Sutra 64: False Pride & Hypocrisy

  • It is said here that one should leave Abhiman (false pride) and hypocrisy. Abhiman is that which takes you away from God. An Abhimani person doesn’t have the capacity to become insignificant in front of the Lord. Love of God cannot tolerate Abhiman. Love requires that you give up your joys, your wishes, your style.
  • We should tell the Lord – ‘If you want to give me disease, give it to me, I respect your wish. If you want to give me poverty, dishonor, give it to me, I respect that. Whatever you will do, I will say – yes, yes, yes to it.’ Saying ‘yes, yes, yes’ in front of the Lord is called Egolessness.
  • The self-assertion makes others negate us, and self-negation makes others assert us. This is the secret. To have ras of Bhakti, one should not have ras of self. Egoistic person takes lot of ras in himself, and therefore he doesn’t have ras of God.

Sutra 65: Offering All Unto Him

  • It is said here that one should devote everything to God. One has to realize that Bhagwan also gets happy, and He also gets unhappy. So all the actions when we do, keep a watch whether Lord is pleased with it or not.
  • When God is happy, your life becomes smooth, everything happens as per your wish and biggest result of happiness of God is that we become quieter by nature. When the Lord is not happy, some obstacles come in your work because He is the one who has taken charge of everything.
  • If you have done your work righteously, you have served the Lord and the Guru, you have served your parents, you have given everything to the people around, how can Lord not be happy?
  • It is also written in this sutra that if any desire is there, let the desire be for the Lord. Desire is not bad by itself, what matter is whether the object of desire is good or bad.
    1. If anger is there, you should be angry for why you could not pray to God. If greed is there, have the greed that if you have done 5 malas japa this year, then next year you will do 6 malas. If any abhiman is there, have only one abhiman, ‘I belong to the Lord’. Same emotion which is directed towards the world can be directed towards God.
    2. Gopis had desire for Bhagwan Krishna, Kamsa had fear from Bhagwan Krishna, Jarasandh had animosity towards Bhagwan Krishna, Shishupal had jealousy for Bhagwan Krishna. They all ultimately reached God only!