In India a person is called an acharya, a master, only if he has written a commentary on three things: first, the one hundred and eight Upanishads; second, Shrimad Bhagavadgita, Krishna’s celestial songs; third, the most important of all, Badrayana’s Brahman Sutra. I have never spoken about him. I was called “acharya” for many years, and people used to ask me if I had written all the commentaries – the Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahman Sutra. I laughed and said, “I only tell jokes, I don’t write any commentaries whatsoever. My being called an acharya is a joke, don’t take it seriously.”
Brahman Sutra. Brahman is known and understood as God, but it is not so. Brahman has nothing to do with the Christian idea of God creating the world four thousand and four years before Jesus Christ. When I say it I think that if Badrayana had heard, perhaps even he might have laughed, he may have lost his seriousness. Brahman does not mean God; Brahman means godliness, the divineness that pervades the whole existence…the whole, the holiness of the whole.
Sutra simply means a track. You cannot speak much about Brahman; whatsoever you may say about it is only a track, a hint. But a hint can become a bridge, a track can become a bridge, and Badrayana has made a bridge within his sutra.
I love the book in spite of Badrayana’s seriousness. I hate seriousness so much that I have to say, “in spite of Badrayana’s seriousness.” I still love him for creating one of the most significant books in the world. The “bibles” are very far away from Badrayana’s Sutra, they don’t even come close to it.
Second: Narada’s Bhakti Sutra. Narada is just the opposite of Badrayana, and I love to put opposites together. I would like to put Narada and Badrayana into the same room and enjoy whatsoever happens between them. Narada always carried an ektara, a musical instrument with only one string – ek means one, and tara means string. Narada always carried his ektara, playing on it, singing and dancing. Badrayana would not have tolerated it at all. I can tolerate all kinds of people. Badrayana would have shouted and screamed at Narada. Narada was not the kind of person who would have listened to Badrayana; he would have continued to play, singing even more loudly to irritate Badrayana. I would have enjoyed seeing them both together in the same room. That’s why the second book I choose is Narada’s Bhakti Sutra.
His sutra begin with “Athato bhakti jigyasa – now the inquiry into love….” To inquire into love is the greatest exploration, the greatest inquiry. Everything else falls short, even atomic energy. You can be a scientist even of the caliber of Albert Einstein, but you don’t know what real inquiry is unless you love. And not only love, but love plus awareness…then it becomes inquiry into love, the most difficult task in the world.
Let me repeat, it is the most difficult task in the world – love with awareness. People fall in love; people become unconscious in love. Their love is only biological, it is gravitation. They are pulled down towards the earth. But Narada is talking about a totally different love: love as meditation, as awareness. Or in scientific terms, love as levitation, against gravity. Leave gravitation for the graves; levitate, arise! And when one starts rising to love, flying towards the stars, that is Athato bhakti jigyasa.