Chapter 5: Attaining Perfection

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Narada Bhakti Sutra 84

ya idam narada-proktam sivanusasanam visvasiti sraddhate sa bhaktiman bhavati sa preshtham labhate sa preshtham labhata iti


yah -- one who; idam -- this; narada-proktam -- spoken by Narada; siva -- auspicious; anusasanam -- instruction; visvasiti -- trusts; sraddhate -- is convinced by; sah -- he; bhakti-man -- endowed with devotion; bhavati -- becomes; sah -- he; preshtham -- the most dear (Supreme Lord); labhate -- attains; sah -- he; preshtham -- the most dear; labhate -- attains; iti -- thus.


Anyone who trusts these instructions spoken by Narada and is convinced by them will be blessed with devotion and attain the most dear Lord. Yes, he will attain the most dear Lord.


Narada ends the Bhakti-sutras 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 Krishna. But an attitude of disbelief will prevent us from understanding. As Lord Krishna states,

asraddadhanah purusha dharmasyasya parantapa

aprapya mam nivartante mrityu-samsara-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 Svetasvatara Upanishad (6.23),

yasya deve para bhaktir yatha deve tatha gurau

tasyaite kathita hy arthah prakasante mahatmanah

[SU 6.23]

"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 sutra declares that if a person hears the Narada-bhakti-sutra with faith, then Narada blesses him with devotion to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. This means that Narada Muni is present and acting through the teachings of the sutras. The same potent blessing Narada has given to many persons enabling them to become staunch bhaktas are available even now through his vani, or teachings. As the Skanda Purana states, "My dear Narada, 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 Krishna" (The Nectar of Devotion, p. 137).

Let us gratefully receive this benediction and repeatedly hear the Narada-bhakti-sutra for our transcendental pleasure and benefit. Narada wishes to bless us that we shall attain the param gatim, the ultimate goal of life, the most cherished desire. But we must ask ourselves, "What do I desire?" If we desire to attain krishna-bhakti and if we lead our life in accordance with the teachings of Krishna consciousness, then Narada promises we will attain the ultimate in this life and the next: we will render devotional service to Lord Krishna, the supreme beloved. As Rupa Gosvami states in his Bhakti-rasamrita-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. Sukadeva Gosvami tells Maharaja Parikshit, "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" (Bhag. 5.6.18).

Narada assures us twice, so there should be no doubt about it: although bhakti is very rare and hard to attain, with the blessings of Narada and his representatives we will attain the supreme beloved, we will attain the supreme beloved.

-- Completed on Unmilani Maha-dvadasi, November 24, 1989, in Jagannatha Puri, as desired by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Satsvarupa dasa Goswami
Gopiparanadhana dasa Adhikari