admin September 4th, 2012
Narada Bhakti Sutra
yal labdhvā pumān siddho bhavaty amṛto bhavati tṛpto bhavati
Having attained divine love, a person becomes perfect, immortal and satisfied.
The first three verses introduced the subject of bhakti. In the next three verses, beginning here with text four, Sri Narada describes the effect of such divine love on the soul.
First he says that by it one becomes perfect. To understand why this is so, one must understand what dharma is. Dharma means duty. It also means essential nature, for unless we understand what we are made for (our essential, intrinsic nature), how can we understand what we are meant to do (our dharma or duty)? According to the bhakti tradition, the soul is part of the supreme consciousness. As all parts are meant to serve the whole, the dharma of the soul is bhakti — to selflessly serve God.
But what does this have to do with perfection?
The basis of perfection is realizing and fully serving one’s inherent purpose. For example, the hand is perfect in service to the body, being fundamentally part of it. Similarly, being part of God, we become perfect by our essence or dharma, selfless service to God. Sri Narada thus states that upon attaining our eternal dharma, the topmost loving service to God, we become perfect.
Narada also states that by bhakti one becomes satisfied. Satisfaction is a symptom of harmony with one’s nature. Ayurveda, traditional Indian medicine, illustrates this principle by saying that good health results from being in harmony with one’s natural physical constitution, and disease results from being in violation of that same nature. In the same way, as our intrinsic nature is to selflessly serve, we become peaceful and satisfied when we do, and suffer when we don’t.
Sri Narada thus states that upon attaining bhakti, the topmost love for God, we become perfectly satisfied.
Finally, because the soul is eternal, when one has realized the soul’s inherent nature of divine love one naturally becomes immortal.
Sri Narada therefore maintains that by attaining bhakti one becomes perfect, satisfied and immortal.