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Reconstructing Devotion

Through Narada Bhakti Sutra by: Alka Tyagi

This book, a translation of Sage Narada’s Narada Bhakti Sutra, is didactic and religious in spirit, and is an intellectual attempt to elucidate two approaches to bhakti, one for the intellectually inclined and the other for the emotionally inclined. It has many more facets that relate to personal experience of that Supreme Love by which bhakti is defined.


Year Of Publication: 2019
Edition: 1st
Pages : xv, 134p.
Bibliographic Details : Bibliography; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 400


The Narada Bhakti Sutra is didactic and religious in spirit, but this new translation and interpretation by Dr Alka Tyagi is an attempt to elucidate bhakti in all its facets without the need for the religious paraphernalia. The focus of this text is to reveal bhakti as a methodical approach that can lead to an experience of Supreme Love by which it is defined.
There are two streams of thought that go hand in hand in the text. The first line of thought indicates bhakti (the Supreme Love) as a progressive path towards a goal. The second line of thought conveys bhakti as a path which is simultaneously the goal as well. For those who are clearly emotionally inclined, it is easy to choose the second line of thought where bhakti is the goal itself.
Those who are intellectually inclined might find it difficult in the beginning to exercise unconditional love. For them, the first line of thought will work better. They can consciously choose bhakti (the path of love) as a step by step progressive path towards fulfilment and joy in life. For them, the rules of truth, non-violence, non-duality along with the rituals of ekadasadha-bhakti (the elevenfold bhakti) as prescribed by Sage Narada could be helpful techniques.
Bhakti, whether it is adopted as a process or is taken up as a goal, is a means to direct the emotional energy in every human being in a positive direction in order to experience and attain fullness in life.


Part I
1. Devotional Love Beyond Religion
2. Contemporary Relevance of Devotion as Selfless Love
3. Nrada Bhakti Sutra : A Reading
Part II
Narada Bhakti Sutra : The Aphorisms
One Definition of Bhakti
Two Effects of Bhakti
Three Characteristics of Bhakti
Four Opinions of Spiritual Masters (Acaryas)
Five Means of Bhakti Propounded by the Spiritual Masters (Acaryas)
Six Qualities of a Supreme Bhakta
Seven Guidelines for Bhaktas
Eight Elevenfold Bhakti
Nine Phalasruti: The Fruit of Devotion

Meet the Author
Dr Alka Tyagi, a poet, translator and critic, teaches English at Dyal Singh (evening) College, University of Delhi. Her doctoral thesis is on medieval Bhakti poets Andal and Akka Mahadevi. She writes poetry in Hindi and English and her Hindi collection Sun ri Sakhi has been published recently. Dr Tyagi has co-edited, Gendered Space, an anthology of short stories translated from Indian languages into English. She has edited English translation of Kalidasa's Abhijnanasakuntalam. She has also collected and rewritten a collection of oral and folk tales of wisdom published as Healing Tales. Her areas of interest are Bhakti, Yoga and Tantra Darshan.
Books of Alka Tyagi