Eastern concepts of love: A philosophical reading of narada bhakti sutra

Asian Philosophy 15 (3):221 – 229 (2005)
Abstract
Bhakti has been an all-pervasive concept in the philosophical and religious traditions of India. The origin of bhakti can be traced in the Vedas wherein the root-word bhaj and various synonyms appear and in that point in time no distinction was made between secular (prema) and religious love (bhakti). Narada Bhakti Sutra (NBS) is a premier treatise on the nature of bhakti that emphasizes the connection between bhakti and prema and treats the age-old enigma about the nature of love in an original fashion. NBS has usually been interpreted in a theistic manner, often with theistic interpolations into the text. This paper interprets NBS with a philosophical approach to discover its unique insights on the perennial philosophical issue, namely, 'what is love?' and shows that NBS harks back to the age of the Vedas in which secular love and religious love were inter-twined.
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