|Chapter 5: Attaining Perfection|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Nārada Bhakti Sūtra 84
ya idaḿ nārada-proktaḿ śivānuśāsanaḿ viśvasiti śraddhate sa bhaktimān bhavati sa preṣṭhaḿ labhate sa preṣṭhaḿ labhata iti
yaḥ — one who; idam — this; nārada-proktam — spoken by Nārada; śiva — auspicious; anuśāsanam — instruction; viśvasiti — trusts; śraddhate — is convinced by; saḥ — he; bhakti-mān — endowed with devotion; bhavati — becomes; saḥ — he; preṣṭham — the most dear (Supreme Lord); labhate — attains; saḥ — he; preṣṭham — the most dear; labhate — attains; iti — thus.
Anyone who trusts these instructions spoken by Nārada and is convinced by them will be blessed with devotion and attain the most dear Lord. Yes, he will attain the most dear Lord.
Nārada ends the Bhakti-sūtras by stating that one has to hear them with faith. Inquiries and even doubts may be placed before the guru, just as Arjuna expressed his doubts before Lord Kṛṣṇa. But an attitude of disbelief will prevent us from understanding. As Lord Kṛṣṇa states,
aśraddadhānāḥ puruṣā dharmasyāsya parantapa
aprāpya māḿ nivartante mṛtyu-saḿsāra-vartmani
"Those who are not faithful in this devotional service cannot attain Me, O conqueror of enemies. Therefore they return to the path of birth and death in this material world" (Bg. 9.3). And as stated in the Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad (6.23),
yasya deve parā bhaktir yathā deve tathā gurau
tasyaite kathitā hy arthāḥ prakāśante mahātmanaḥ
"Unto those great souls who have implicit faith in both the Lord and the spiritual master, all the imports of the Vedas are automatically revealed."
This final sūtra declares that if a person hears the Nārada-bhakti-sūtra with faith, then Nārada blesses him with devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This means that Nārada Muni is present and acting through the teachings of the sūtras. The same potent blessing Nārada has given to many persons enabling them to become staunch bhaktas are available even now through his vāṇī, or teachings. As the Skanda Purāṇa states, "My dear Nārada, of all the saintly persons, you are so great and glorious that simply by your good wishes a lowborn hunter also has become a great, elevated devotee of Lord Kṛṣṇa" (The Nectar of Devotion, p. 137).
Let us gratefully receive this benediction and repeatedly hear the Nārada-bhakti-sūtra for our transcendental pleasure and benefit. Nārada wishes to bless us that we shall attain the parāḿ gatim, the ultimate goal of life, the most cherished desire. But we must ask ourselves, "What do I desire?" If we desire to attain kṛṣṇa-bhakti and if we lead our life in accordance with the teachings of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then Nārada promises we will attain the ultimate in this life and the next: we will render devotional service to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the supreme beloved. As Rūpa Gosvāmī states in his Bhakti-rasāmṛta-sindhu, the goal of bhakti is very rarely attained. The Supreme Lord doesn't grant devotion as easily as He grants liberation, because when He gives devotion one gets an opportunity to serve Him directly. Śukadeva Gosvāmī tells Mahārāja Parīkṣit, "Those engaged in getting the Lord's favor attain liberation from the Lord very easily, but He does not very easily give the opportunity to render direct service unto Him" (Bhāg. 5.6.18).
Nārada assures us twice, so there should be no doubt about it: although bhakti is very rare and hard to attain, with the blessings of Nārada and his representatives we will attain the supreme beloved, we will attain the supreme beloved.
— Completed on Unmīlanī Mahā-dvādaśī, November 24, 1989, in Jagannātha Purī, as desired by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda
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