NBS 2: Defining Bhakti
NBS 15 — Now the characteristics of devotional service will be described according to various authoritative opinions.
NBS 16 — Śrīla Vyāsadeva, the son of Parāśara Muni, says that
bhakti is fond attachment for worshiping the Lord in various ways.
NBS 17 — Garga Muni says that
bhakti is fondness for narrations about the Lord, by the Lord, and so on.
NBS 18 — Śāṇḍilya says that
bhakti results from one's removing all obstructions to taking pleasure in the Supreme Self.
NBS 19 — Nārada, however, says that
bhakti consists of offering one's every act to the Supreme Lord and feeling extreme distress in forgetting Him.
NBS 20 —
Bhakti is, in fact, correctly described in each of these ways.
NBS 21 — The cowherd women of Vraja are an example of pure
NBS 22 — Even in the case of the
gopīs, one cannot criticize them for forgetting the Lord's greatness.
NBS 23 — On the other hand, displays of devotion without knowledge of God's greatness are no better than the affairs of illicit lovers.
NBS 24 — In such false devotion one does not find pleasure exclusively in the Lord's pleasure.
NBS 25 — Pure devotional service, on the other hand, is far superior to fruitive work, philosophical speculation, and mystic meditation.
NBS 26 — After all,
bhakti is the fruit of all endeavor.
NBS 27 — Furthermore, the Lord dislikes the proud but is pleased with the humble.
NBS 28 — Some say that knowledge is the means for developing devotion.
NBS 29 — Others consider
bhakti and knowledge interdependent.
NBS 30 — But the son of Brahmā says that
bhakti is its own fruit.
NBS 31-32 — This is illustrated by the examples of a royal palace, a meal, and so on. A king is not really satisfied just by seeing a palace, nor can someone placate his hunger just by looking at a meal.
NBS 33 — Therefore seekers of liberation should take to devotional service alone.