The philosophy of Love – The Narada Sutras book review2 min read

The Narada Sutras translated, with an independent commentary by Hari Prasad Shastri is a collection of spiritual aphorisms or Sutras which is ascribed to the Sage, Shri Narada, is one of the great spiritual classics of the Yogic tradition. According to the Gita there are three paths by which God may be approached: the path of knowledge, Jnana-Yoga, the path of enlightened action, Karma-Yoga, and the path of love, Bhakti-Yoga.

The Narada Sutras represent the teachings of Bhakti-Yoga, the Yoga of devotion to the Lord, in its purest and most elevated form.

The Sutra was one of the favourite forms developed by the sages of ancient India, to crystallise into words their own spiritual experience, and it is in this form that many of their teachings were preserved and handed down to posterity. The form presents considerable difficulties to the student on account of its terseness, since without a knowledge of the spiritual traditions and experience underlying their thought, it is often difficult to arrive at their real meaning.

Professor Shastri was perhaps uniquely qualified to translate these Sutras, for he himself is the rare combination of a Sanskrit scholar and one who has also studied and practised the spiritual methods of which the Sutras deal, under the guidance of a traditional Teacher. The value of the translation has thus been greatly enhanced by a commentary in which the meaning is fully elucidated.

This book is therefore an authoritative spiritual classic on Bhakta. It is not a work of mere academic interest but a practical manual of Yoga ; the Sutras themselves do not attach much importance to dry intellectual knowledge. In expounding the philosophy of love, they are neither dialectical nor metaphysical, yet their extreme simplicity of expression hides a spiritual wisdom of great profundity.

I set out to study the beauty of my beloved ;
In the course of the study I found myself beautiful

A Hindi verse, author unknown