Narada Bhakti Sutras Unknown translator note
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
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
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
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
40. “Nevertheless, by the grace of God alone great souls are
41. Because between God and His devotees, there is no sense of
42. That alone is to be accomplished: that alone be
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
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
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
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
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
75. (Vain disputations are to be given up) because there can
be endless, diverse views and all mere arguments become ultimately inconclusive
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
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.