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SB 1.5 - Developing āsakti and rati for the Lord

Nārada heard the devotees describe the attractive activities of Lord Kṛṣṇa with great attraction (āsakti). Listening attentively, his taste for hearing about the Lord increased at every step and he developed rati for Kṛṣṇa. Thus two more stages in bhakti are explained here. By hearing the pastimes of the Lord, one contacts directly the Personality of Godhead, and all accumulated sins are cleared. The hearer then gradually becomes liberated from mundane association and becomes attracted to the Lord. Thus by hearing about the Lord’s pastimes, one can become an associate of the Lord. Nārada, by doing this, became liberated and he could now travel all over the material and spiritual worlds without restriction. The process of hearing in the association of devotees is especially recommended in this age of Kali.

As soon as Nārada got a taste for the Lord, his attention to hear of the Lord was unflinching. He experienced the strength of firm and fixed intelligence (askhalitā matir) as soon as he gained taste and attraction for the Lord. And as his taste developed, he realized that it was due to ignorance he had accepted gross and subtle coverings, for both the Lord and he are transcendental. By his intelligence, he directly experienced that his gross and subtle bodies were fixed only in the Supreme Lord. To become associated with the supreme light is to dissipate all ignorance. By ignorance only, one thinks that both he and the Lord are both products of material nature. When ignorance is removed and one realized that there is nothing existing without the Lord, then one’s nescience is destroyed. One can engage one’s gross body in worshiping the Deity in the temple, and the mind in thinking about the Lord. One can develop such attraction for the Lord simply by hearing about Him, as was done by Nārada. Nārada’s gross body became fixed in offering respects, carrying the Lord’s water pot and other actions. With the development of rati, the subtle body became fixed in tasting the sweetness of the Lord’s qualities and form.