Narada was a Devarshi. He was the son (manasa putra) of Brahma. He is a great devotee of Sri Maha Vishnu and goes everywhere saying ‘Narayana, Narayana!’ and singing the most beautiful devotional songs accompanied by his divine Veena (called Mahati).
It was Narada who suggested Sri Rama as the hero for Valmiki‘s compostition. It was Narada who taught the Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya Manthram to Dhruva Kumara. Narada, who saved Prahlada’s mother from Indra when Hiranya Kasyapa was away doing Tapas. The stories of Narada abound in our puranas. He is often called a kalahapriya ., because, trusted by all parties, he acts in a manner to accelerate inevitable conflicts so that Lokakalyanam (good of the world) can happen.
Narada is the author of :
- Narada Bhakthi Sutra
- Narada Smrti
- Naradiya Siksha
- Sangita Makaranda
- Narada Parivrajaka Upanishat
- Naradiya Purana
- Narada Pancharatra
in addition to Anusmrti in SantiParva and similar formal discourses and dissertations. He is the rshi of some Rg Vedic Sukthas (8.13, 9.104, 9.105.) Narada was specially associated with the Sama Veda. He was the Udgata in some Yajnas as per Harivamsa 2.169. The Mahabharata tells us that he was the maternal uncle of Parvata. He gave excellent advice to Yudhisthira on aspects of how to rule a kingdom.
Aim : In this post we try to determine the date of the Narada Bhakthi Sutras.
Method : We look at
- The other rishis referred to.
- The ideas contained in the Sutras.
- How the author refers to himself.
- Adhyaya 1, Sutra 16 : refers to the views of Veda Vyasa वेद व्यास as pArAs’arya, the son of Parasara. (This is Krishna Dwaipayana, the son of Satyavati)
- Adhyaya 1, Sutra 17 : refers to the views of Garga
- Adhyaya 1, Sutra 18 : refers to the views of s’Andilya.
- Adhyaya 1, Sutra 19 : refers to the views of nArada himself by the name Narada.
- Adhyaya 1, Sutras 21 to 24 : refer to the Gopikas of Vraja Bhumi.
- Adhyaya 2, Sutra 30 : refers to the views of nArada himself as brahmakumAra (the son of Brahma), ie Narada himself.
- Adhyaya 5, Sutra 83 : refers to kumAra (the son of Siva?), Vyasa, Suka, the son of Vyasa, s’Andilya, Garga, Vishnu, kaunDinya, s’ESa, uddhava, AruNi, the student of Dhaumya, Bali, Hanuman and vibhISana, the brother of Ravana रावण as the bhakti AcAryAs.
The Narada Bhakthi sutras are in complete concordance with the Bhakthi Yoga as per the Bhagavad Gita. The 44th Sutra uses a phrase ‘kAma krOdha mOha smRti bhrams’a buddhinas’a’ which is explained as a verse of the Bhagavad Gita. The 48th Sutra clearly refers to ‘Yah Karma Phalam Tyajati’ which is the famous Nishkama Karma philosophy taught in the Karma Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita.
Narada Bhakti Sutras are definitely from the Vedic – Upanishadic times which overlapped through Rama’s and Krishna’s time. See Also : Generations between Rama and Krishna and Generations previous to Sri Rama.
Were the Narada Bhakti Sutras composed before or after the Bharata War, ie before or after 3102 BCE?
It was definitely after Krishna’s time in Vraja Bhumi and possibly before the war. The author Narada was the son of Brahma.
Note : This reference to Suka, the son of Vyasa, in my view, supports the account of the Devi Bhagavatham that Suka was older to Dhritarashtra, Pandu and Vidura. For a discussion of the problem see, : Suka, earlier to Rama? earlier to the Pandavas? or later to Parikshit?)
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External Links to the Sutras and their translations: