|Chapter 5: Attaining Perfection|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Nārada Bhakti Sūtra 79
sarvadā sarva-bhāvena niścintair bhagavān eva bhajanīyaḥ
sarvadā — always; sarva-bhāvena — with all one's feeling; niścintaiḥ — by those who are free from doubt; bhagavān — the Supreme Lord; eva — indeed; bhajanīyaḥ — should be worshiped.
Those who are free of doubts should constantly worship the Supreme Lord with all their hearts.
In his purport to Sūtra 12, Śrīla Prabhupāda writes, "The Nārada-bhakti-sūtra is a summary of the Bhagavad-gītā and the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam." Here again we see the truth of that statement, since this sūtra is very similar to Lord Kṛṣṇa's confidential statements in the Bhagavad-gītā. For example, at the end of Chapter Fifteen He says,
yo mām evaḿ asammūḍho jānāti puruṣottamam
sa sarva-vid bhajati māḿ sarva-bhāvena bhārata
iti guhyatamaḿ śāstram idam uktaḿ mayānagha
etad buddhvā buddhimān syāt kṛta-kṛtyaś ca bhārata
"Whoever knows Me as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, without doubting, is the knower of everything. He therefore engages himself in full devotional service to Me, O scion of Bharata. This is the most confidential part of the Vedic scriptures, O sinless one, and it is disclosed now by Me. Whoever understands this will become wise, and his endeavors will know perfection" (Bg. 15.19-20). And again in the Eighteenth Chapter:
sarva-guhyatamaḿ bhūyaḥ śṛṇu me paramaḿ vacaḥ
iṣṭo 'si me dṛḍham iti tato vakṣyāmi te hitam
man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māḿ namaskuru
mām evaiṣyasi satyaḿ te pratijāne priyo 'si me
"Because you are My very dear friend, I am speaking to you My supreme instruction, the most confidential knowledge of all. Hear this from Me, for it is for your benefit. Always think of Me, become My devotee, worship Me, and offer your homage unto Me. Thus you will come to Me without fail. I promise you this because you are My very dear friend" (Bg. 18.64-65).
There is no difference between Lord Kṛṣṇa's instruction to "think of Me always" and Nārada's instruction to "always think of Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa." And indeed, any follower of Nārada's in disciplic succession can repeat his words: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead alone should always be worshiped wholeheartedly." But our words must be uttered with the conviction born from a life dedicated to the practices Nārada has given in the Bhakti-sūtras.
Our words and acts in devotional service cannot be mechanical. To qualify as bhakti, they must be done with loving feelings. As Lord Kṛṣṇa says, "If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or water, I will accept it" (Bg. 9.26). And again, "To those who are constantly devoted to serving Me with love, I give the understanding by which they can come to Me" (Bg. 10.10).
The wholehearted, exclusive devotion to Kṛṣṇa Nārada recommends is echoed in Bhīṣma's definition of love: "Love means reposing one's affection completely upon one person, withdrawing all affinities for any other person" (The Nectar of Devotion, p. 147). This stage was attained by all great devotees, such as Prahlāda, Uddhava, Nārada, and the residents of Vṛndāvana.
We must remember that constant, ecstatic absorption in Lord Kṛṣṇa is the goal of bhakti, and that bhakti includes the approach to that goal. In the Twelfth Chapter of the Bhagavad-gītā, Lord Kṛṣṇa recommends the topmost stage, spontaneous love, but He also encourages us by saying that undertaking the practices of bhakti-yoga will bring one to the ultimate stage:
mayy eva mana ādhatsva mayi buddhiḿ niveśaya
nivasiṣyasi mayy eva ata ūrdhvaḿ na saḿśayaḥ
atha cittaḿ samādhātuḿ na śaknoṣi mayi sthiram
abhyāsa-yogena tato mām icchāptuḿ dhanañjaya
"Just fix your mind upon Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and engage all your intelligence in Me. Thus you will live in Me always, without a doubt. My dear Arjuna, O winner of wealth, if you cannot fix your mind upon Me without deviation, then follow the regulative principles of bhakti-yoga. In this way develop a desire to attain Me" (Bg. 12.8-9).
Hearing from mahā-janas who are in the spontaneous stage of bhakti is itself one of the most important services of the practicing devotee. Even Lakṣmaṇā, one of Lord Kṛṣṇa's wives, confided that her attraction to the Lord had been evoked by hearing the words of Nārada: "My dear queen, many times I heard the great sage Nārada glorifying the pastimes of Lord Kṛṣṇa. I became attracted to the lotus feet of Kṛṣṇa when I heard Nārada say that the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmī, was also attracted to His lotus feet" (Kṛṣṇa, p. 708).
Let us always keep Nārada and his representatives as our worshipable preceptors. They will lead us to Lord Kṛṣṇa.
Copyright © The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, Inc.
His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari