Chapter 5: Attaining Perfection

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Nārada Bhakti Sūtra 80

sa kīrtyamānaḥ śīghram evāvirbhavaty anubhāvayati bhaktān


saḥHe; kīrtyamānaḥ — being glorified; śīghram — quickly; eva — indeed; āvirbhavati — appears; anubhāvayati — gives realization; bhaktānto the devotees.


When He is glorified, the Lord swiftly reveals Himself to His devotees and allows them to know Him as He is.


The Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam describes how Nārada attained direct perception of Lord Kṛṣṇa. After Nārada heard about Kṛṣṇa from sages who were visiting his house, he continued living with his mother, since he was only a five-year-old boy. But his mother suddenly died, and Nārada took to wandering. Once, as he sat under a banyan tree and began to meditate upon the Supersoul, the Lord appeared to him. Nārada relates, "As soon as I began to meditate upon the lotus feet of the Personality of Godhead with my mind transformed in transcendental love, tears rolled down my eyes and without delay the Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, appeared on the lotus of my heart" (Bhāg. 1.6.16).

After this initial darśana, the Supreme Lord withdrew Himself in His personal form but spoke to Nārada: "O virtuous one, you have only once seen My person, and this is just to increase your desire for Me, because the more you hanker for Me, the more you will be freed from all material desires" (Bhāg. 1.6.22). The Supreme Lord further told Nārada that he would eventually "become My associate in the transcendental world after giving up the present deplorable material worlds."

And so Nārada's life is a personal testimony to his own instruction given in this sūtra. Nārada went on to become one of the twelve authorities on Kṛṣṇa consciousness known as mahā-janas, and he is the spiritual master of such stalwarts as Prahlāda, Dhruva, and Vyāsadeva.

Nārada once came to Vyāsadeva when Vyāsa was feeling despondent, even after having compiled most of the Vedic scriptures. Nārada quickly diagnosed his disciple's depression and spoke to him:

You have not actually broadcast the sublime and spotless glories of the Personality of Godhead. That philosophy which does not satisfy the transcendental senses of the Lord is considered worthless. Please, therefore, describe the transcendental pastimes of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Kṛṣṇa, more vividly. [Bhāg. 1.5.8, 21]

Vyāsa took Nārada's instructions to heart and began composing the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, which is filled with the glories of Lord Kṛṣṇa in His many incarnations, as well as narrations of the Lord's pure devotees. Vyāsadeva later expressed his profound gratitude by glorifying Śrī Nāradadeva in various verses of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam:

aho devarṣir dhanyo 'yaḿ yat kīrtiḿ śārńga-dhanvanaḥ

gāyan mādyann idaḿ tantryā ramayaty āturaḿ jagat

"All glory and success to Śrīla Nārada Muni because he glorifies the activities of the Personality of Godhead, and in so doing he himself takes pleasure and also enlightens all the distressed souls of the universe" (Bhāg. 1.6.38).

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