Bhakti in Essence – Narada Bhakti Sutra – Sutra 3

August 16th, 2012

Narada Bhakti Sutra

Sutra 3

amṛta-svarūpā ca

This pure love for God is eternal.

All spiritual paths, or yogas, are simply a means or practice (sadhana) to achieve a transcendent objective (sadhya). Bhakti, unlike other yogas, is not just a steppingstone to a goal but also the goal itself, the sadhya. By the practice of selfless devotion we attain the fruit of pure devotion, the only difference being their respective maturity. In contrast, the practice and goal of all other paths are quite at variance. For example, the jnani strives for moksa (liberation), a state of untroubled awareness, but his practice is vairagya, arduous renunciation. And like every other path, except bhakti, its mode of practice is relinquished upon accomplishment. To highlight that bhakti unlike other paths is not just an intermediary step to achieve something else but also what the practitioner is seeking to attain in perfection, Sri Narada asserts that bhakti is eternal. In implying that bhakti is the goal or ultimate attainment, Narada is following the authority of standard texts like the Taittiriya Upanishad, where the ultimate reality is described as rasa vai saha, a flow of pure and intense devotion.


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