Narada

From Theosophy Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Narada.jpg

Narada (Sanskrit: नारद, Nārada) is a Vedic rishi (sage), referred to as the king of all rishis. He is one of the seven "mind-born sons" of Brahmâ. He was gifted with the boon of knowledge of past, present and future, and was cursed by Brahmâ to be repeatedly reborn on Earth. He is often depicted as a travelling musician and storyteller who carries news and enlightening wisdom. In the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism, he is presented as a sage with devotion to Lord Vishnu, and is said to be the author of the famous bhakti-sutras. Described both as wise and mischievous, he is said to descend to earth from time to time and create conflicts between people to set karmic matters right.

Role as a Prajapati

In Hinduism, Narada is a Prajapati, one of the deities presiding over procreation. H. P. Blavatsky calls him "the great enemy of physical procreation,"[1] thus equating him with the Kumaras, the "eternal celibates" who refused to create:

In the Aryan allegory the rebellious Sons of Brahmâ are all represented as holy ascetics and Yogis. Re-born in every Kalpa, they generally try to impede the work of human procreation. When Daksha, the chief of the Prajâpati (creators), brings forth 10,000 sons for the purpose of peopling the world, Narada—a son of Brahmâ, the great Rishi, and virtually a “Kumara,” if not so in name—interferes with, and twice frustrates Daksha’s aim, by persuading those Sons to remain holy ascetics and eschew marriage. For this, Daksha curses Narada to be re-born as a man, as Brahmâ had cursed him before for refusing to marry, and obtain progeny, saying:—“Perish in thy present (Deva or angelic) form and take up thy abode in the womb,” i.e., become a man (Vâyu Purâna; Harivamsa, 170). Notwithstanding several conflicting versions of the same story, it is easy to see that Narada belongs to that class of Brahmâ’s, “first-born,” who have all proven rebellious to the law of animal procreation, for which they had to incarnate as men. . . .
Thus he is shown as refusing positively to create (have progeny), and even as calling his father Brahmâ “a false teacher” for advising him to get married (“Narada-Pancha-Râtra”); nevertheless, he is referred to as one of the Prajâpati, “progenitors”![2]

Connection to Cycles

H. P. Blavatsky stated that the calculations of secret cycles in the hand of the Mahatmas was done by Narada:

In the old Stanzas Pesh-Hun [Narada] is credited with having calculated and recorded all the astronomical and cosmic cycles to come, and with having taught the Science to the first gazers at the starry vault. And it is Asuramâya, who is said to have based all his astronomical works upon those records, to have determined the duration of all the past geological and cosmical periods, and the length of the all the cycles to come, till the end of this life-cycle, or the end of the seventh Race.[3]

In fact, Narada is closely connected to these cycles. She wrote:

Of all the Vedic Rishis, Narada, as already shown, is the most incomprehensible, because the most closely connected with the occult doctrines—especially with the secret cycles and Kalpas.[4]
He is the mysterious guiding intelligent power, which gives the impulse to, and regulates the impetus of cycles, Kalpas and universal events.[5]

He is "reborn in every cycle (or race)."[6] As Blavatsky explained:

Narada is the Deva-Rishi of Occultism par excellence; and that the Occultist who does not ponder, analyse, and study Narada from his seven esoteric facets, will never be able to fathom certain anthropological, chronological, and even Cosmic Mysteries. He . . . plays a part in the evolution of this Kalpa from its incipient, down to its final stage. He is an actor who appears in each of the successive acts (Root-Races) of the present Manvantaric drama.[7]

Karmic agent

H. P. Blavatsky connected Narada to karma as follows:

One of the Seven great Rishis, a Son of Brahmâ. This “Progenitor” is one of the most mysterious personages in the Brahmanical sacred symbology. Esoterically Nârada is the Ruler of events during various Karmic cycles, and the personification, in a certain sense, of the great human cycle; a Dhyan Chohan.[8]
Of all the incomprehensible characters in the Mahabhârata and the Purânas, Narada, the son of Brahmâ . . . is the most mysterious. He is referred to by the honourable title of Deva Rishi (divine Rishi, more than a demi-god) by Parasâra, and yet he is cursed by Daksha and even by Brahmâ. . . . Narada is here, there, and everywhere; and yet, none of the Purânas gives the true characteristics of this great enemy of physical procreation. Whatever those characteristics may be in Hindu Esotericism, Narada—who is called in Cis-Himalayan Occultism Pesh-Hun, the “Messenger,” or the Greek Angelos—is the sole confidant and the executor of the universal decrees of Karma and Adi-Budh: a kind of active and ever incarnating logos, who leads and guides human affairs from the beginning to the end of the Kalpa.
“Pesh-Hun” is a general not a special Hindu possession. He is the mysterious guiding intelligent power, which gives the impulse to, and regulates the impetus of cycles, Kalpas and universal events. He is Karma’s visible adjuster on a general scale; the inspirer and the leader of the greatest heroes of this Manvantara.[9]

Spiritual teacher

Narada is also a teacher of esoteric knowledge:

Narada is the leader of the Gandharvas, the celestial singers and musicians; esoterically, the reason for it is explained by the fact that the latter (the Gandharvas) are “the instructors of men in the secret sciences.” It is they, who “loving the women of the Earth,” disclosed to them the mysteries of creation; or, as in the Veda—the “heavenly Gandharva” is a deity who knew and revealed the secrets of heaven and divine truths, in general. If we remember what is said of this class of Angels in Enoch and in the Bible, then the allegory is plain: their leader, Narada, while refusing to procreate, leads men to become gods.[10]

Bhakti sutras

The Nārada bhakti-sūtra is a well known and venerated devotional text in Hinduism, said to have been spoken by Narada. The text details the process of devotion in what is known as "Bhakti Yoga." It has received particular attention among the Vaishnava traditions.

According to Swami Prabhavananda the text covers the following subjects:

  • Verses 1-6: Definition of bhakti.
  • Verses 7-14: Importance of renunciation and self-surrender.
  • Verses 15-24: Exemplars of divine love.
  • Verses 25-33: Bhakti as the highest goal of human life.
  • Verses 34-42: How to practice divine love.
  • Verses 43-50: The importance of seeking holy company.
  • Verses 51-57: The difference between preparatory and supreme devotion.
  • Verses 58-73: Forms of divine love.
  • Verses 74-84: Practice of ethical virtues and worship of God.

Theosophist E. T. Sturdy and Swami Vivekananda worked together on an English translation of these. Dr. I. K. Taimni published a translation with a commentary in a book titled, Self-Realization through Love. (TPH Adyar, 1975)

According to Annie Besant

Annie Besant explained that, "from time to time, appeared the mysterious Narada, Son of will and yoga, he who had learned the secret of appearing upon earth during incalculable ages, by stepping from one body to another, arbiter of the destiny of nations, guider of the whirling wheels of change, the sparks whereof are wars and natural convulsions."[11] She elaborated as follows:

Look, for instance, at the great Sage Narada. We find him stirring up war, when two nations have reached a point where the higher good of each can only be gained by the struggles of war, and by the conquest of one by the other. Bodies are killed, and it is the best help to the men thus slain that their bodies should be struck away, and that, in new bodies, they may have greater possibility of growth. Gods bring about the battle in which thousands of men are slain. It would be wicked for us to imitate them, because to stir up war for the sake of conquest or gain, or ambition, or for some object where personality comes in, is sinful. But in the case of Narada it is not so, because Devarishis such as he is are helping the world along the path of evolution by striking away the obstacles. You will understand something of the wonders and mysteries of the universe, when you know that things that seem evil from the side of form are good from the side of life; all that happens is working for the best. “There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them as we may.” Religion is right when it says that the Gods rule over the world and guide nations, and lead and even scourge them into the right path when they go astray."[12]

According to G. de Purucker

G. de Purucker wrote:

What are the functions of Narada? Typically those of carrying out karmic destiny. There you have a key to all his activities. What the Lipikas have written down, Narada as an individual agent or as an individuality, as an Archangel, sees are carried out. He is the agent of karmic destiny. The consequence is, just because destiny to us humans is often so unpleasant due to our own faults and failings in the past, Narada has been given very uncomplimentary titles by those who have seen his work in the world and in the world of men and who do not like it. When they do like it, when it is something that humans like, he is given very complimentary titles: the Benefactor, the Kindly Helper, the Warrior for Mankind, the bringer about of all the good things in destiny. But when as an impartial, impersonal agent of karmic destiny he brings about trouble on the human race, then he is given very uncomplimentary names by men, as for instance he is called Kali-Kara, the Strife-Producer, because in the course of human destiny it is his work to bring about war and peace, to bring about war and to bring about peace.[13]

Notes

  1. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 48.
  2. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 82.
  3. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 49.
  4. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 82.
  5. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 48.
  6. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 323.
  7. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 83.
  8. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary (Krotona, CA: Theosophical Publishing House, 1973), 224.
  9. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 47-48.
  10. Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine vol. II, (Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1993), 584.
  11. Annie Besant, The Pedigree of Man, (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1943), 184.
  12. Annie Besant, Dharma, (Adyar, Madras: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1918), 67.
  13. G. de Purucker, "Narada: A Study in The Secret Doctrine," The Theosophical Forum" (April, 1946)