Bhakti in Essence – A Commentary on Narada Bhakti Sutra

July 6th, 2012

Dhanurdhara Swami is writing a new book called Bhakti in Essence – A commentary on Narada Bhakti Sutra.

Every week he will be publishing a sutra and commentary. Maharaja’s commentary begins here:


Narada Bhakti Sutra
Sutra 1

athāto bhaktiḿ vyākhyāsyāmaḥ

Now, therefore, I will try to explain the process of bhakti.


A sutra is a condensed phrase codifying a larger body of thinking. Most Indian schools of thought systematize their teachings into a series of sutras to help their students memorize and understand the teachings. Since volumes of meaning have been condensed into very terse aphorisms, sutras are also accompanied by suitable commentaries to unpack the sutras meaning. In this way, a student can retain and understand a concise version of an entire philosophical system.

Such sutras traditionally begin with “atha” (now) to indicate the significance of the school that will be discussed and the urgency to undertake its study. By the word “now” the Narada Bhakti Sutra points to the importance and urgency of practicing bhakti-yoga.

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