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Patanjali Yoga Sutras

(A brief note on Narada Bhakti Sutra) Sutra 1

Then, therefore Bhakti shall be explained.

After having a careful observation and reading of all scriptures that prescribe various Sadhana and after finding Bhakti as the essence of all scriptures.

As the material world is found to be the mixture of qualities like joys and miseries, as the Divine is found to be the only being that transcends all dualities and as Bhakti is found to be the simpler and natural approach to the Divine, Bhakti shall be explained.

Though the material world appears to be delightful at first, it is found miserable later as no delight in the material world is permanent. That is why Patanjali says 'Dhukhameva sarvam vivekinah'-The person with the strong discrimination sees the whole material world as miserable as it produces more and more Samskaras (impressions) that lead to misery again and again.

There was a king named Citraketu who had no children, though he was a polygamist. When Narada came to his house, he requested Narada to offer a child to him as a boon.

Though Narada came there to guide him in spiritual path, he found that the king did not deserve that, as he had a strong attachment and desire towards the materialism. Narada said to the king, 'Oh' King! a child will be born to you that will offer joy first and misery then, 'Sukhaduhkhapradah putrah'.

The king gave birth to a child. The king and the queen felt extremely happy to see the beautiful child. But all other wives of the king became jealous of that particular queen who gave birth to this child and killed the child.

The king shed tears and started to lament. There came a Brahmin and asked the king, "For whom you are crying? If you are crying for the jiva that was in this body, it is non sense', because the jiva is not dead; jiva is imperishable. Do you want to see that jiva?".

That Brahmin, by his power showed that jiva with subtle body and said, "This is your son". Then he said to the jiva, "Oh! My dear! Have you seen your father; your father is crying without you". He showed the king to the jiva and pointed out him as his father. Then the jiva asked 'I had millions of births?. In what birth he was my father? The king was shocked to see this. Then he came to know that the material world is impermanent.

The king asked the Brahmin, You made me to realize this material world as impermanent. You opened my eyes. May I know who you are?" That person who came in disguise as a Brahmin revealed his original form. He was none other than Narada. Now the king requested Narada to show the spiritual way. Narada found him qualified for Bhakti and accepted him as his disciple.

Message of Bhakti has to be give only to the qualified persons. The qualification is non-attachment towards materialism and the true spiritual aspiration. Anityamasukham lokam emam prapya bhajasya mam – "by experiencing this world as impermanent and miserable, adorn me" says Krishna in the Gita.

This article appears in the Yoga Magazine, Yoga Sudha September, 2004 edition. This article has been published courtesy www.yogasudha.com

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