Bhakti is greater than Karma, Jnâna or Yoga

Bhakti is greater than Karma, Jnâna or Yoga

Narad Muni

Bhakti is intense love for God. It is the nectar of love; getting which man becomes perfect, immortal, and satisfied forever. Getting which man desires no more, does not become jealous of anything, does not take pleasure in vanities. Knowing which man becomes filled with spirituality, becomes calm, and finds pleasure only in God.

It cannot be used to fill any desire, itself being the check to all desires. Sannyâsa is giving up both the popular and the scriptural forms of worship. The Bhakti-Sannyasin is the one whose whole soul goes unto God, and whatever militates against love to God, he rejects. Giving up all other refuge, he takes refuge in God.

Scriptures are to be followed as long as one’s life has not become firm; Or else there is danger of doing evil in the name of liberty.

When love becomes established, even social forms are given up, except those which are necessary for the preservation of life. There have been many definitions of love, but Nârada gives these as the signs of love: When all thoughts, all words, and all deeds are given up unto the Lord, and the least forgetfulness of God makes one intensely miserable, then love has begun.

As the Gopis had it — Because, although worshipping God as their lover, they never forgot his God-nature; otherwise they would have committed the sin of unchastity. This is the highest form of love, because there is no desire of reciprocity, which desire is in all human love.

Bhakti is greater than Karma, greater than Jnâna, greater than Yoga (Râja-Yoga), because Bhakti itself is its result, because Bhakti is both the means and the end (fruit). As a man cannot satisfy his hunger by simple knowledge or sight of food, so a man cannot be satisfied by the knowledge or even the perception of God until love comes.

These, however, the Masters have said about Bhakti: One who wants this Bhakti must give up sense enjoyments and even the company of people. Day and night he must think about Bhakti and nothing else.

(He must) go where they sing or talk of God.

The principal cause of Bhakti is the mercy of a great (or free) soul.  Meeting with a great soul is hard to obtain, and never fails to save the soul. Through the mercy of God we get such Gurus. There is no difference between Him and His (own) ones. Seek, therefore, for this.

Evil company is always to be shunned. Because it leads to lust and anger, illusion, forgetfulness of the goal, destruction of the will (lack of perseverance), and destruction of everything. These disturbances may at first be like ripples, but evil company at last makes them like the sea.

He gets across Maya who gives up all attachment, serves the great ones, lives alone, cuts the bondages of this world, goes beyond the qualities of nature, and depends upon the Lord for even his living. He who gives up the fruits of work, he who gives up all work and the dualism of joy and misery, who gives up even the scriptures, gets that unbroken love for God. He crosses this river and helps others to cross it.

The nature of love is inexpressible. As the dumb man cannot express what he tastes, but his actions betray his feelings.

A free translation of Narada-Bhakti-Sutras dictated by Swami Vivekananda in America. Narad Jayanti falls on May 11

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