Application - that is what 'Workings-days' are about!
The Narada Bhakti Sutra is our guide for a while… the nature of Love (with the capital 'ell') and a full exploration of it. As always, you are encouraged to seek out the full text from Chinmaya Publications (links in side-bar); but for those who prefer e-readers, this version is recommended. Whilst awareness and interest can be raised by these posts on AV-blog, they cannot substitute for a thorough reading and contemplation...and practice!
Chapter Seven; Section 2 - The Glory of The Sage; Glory of the Perfected. In this part, Narada-ji seeks to share what it is that makes advanced and skilled bhaktas so special.
(for) they live absorbed (in Him).
This is the bhakti version of 'tatvam asi' (That I Am). Tat in Sanskrit usage points to That, being Brahman or the inexpressible. Tan, if taken as a separate word, refers to posterity, a sense of continuation without break. In grammar, Tat, when suffixed to another consonant, may become Tan. The second pada here is mayaa, meaning 'me'; when 'me' connects with 'That', then absorption can be said to have occurred. Thus the composite word 'tanmayaa' is translated as 'absorbed in' or 'identified with'. The visarga (>/H) is a pluralisation, showing that absorption is the common factor to more than one bhakta.
In the previous few sutraani, Narada-ji has been building up the skills and dedication of the true bhakta and here is the pinnacle, in a way. Such a person is fully absorbed in the Lord, having renounced the ego and the singular mind with all its lusts. The very definition of 'saint'. What is more, as they continue to live in this existence, they are to be seen as God on earth and their bodies are as a temple. Such saints are never without a prayer in their bosom and the name of the Highest upon their lips; they have only the welfare of all to care for and as they move about in society, they care not for themselves or how others consider them.
They know not, neither care, that their very presence sanctifies the space they occupy; that their very actions are holy and lend authority. They positively beam with the Light of Life, but they themselves are so absorbed in the Bliss that they are unself-conscious and do not know their own effect upon the world.
Before we progress with the text now, let us take a moment to consider this very deeply. It can, in this age of rationalism, seem very fanciful and idealistic. Finding such truly ego-less spiritual types in the Western culture is definitely a challenge. In India, though, and other Eastern cultures, sadhus (holy people unattached to the worldly) are still very much part of day to day life. However, this does not mean it does not exist outside of those traditional places. Most of us who have a spiritual need, or philosophical curiosity will, almost certainly, have come across someone who impressed us with their ability to not let the world touch them and to live life on their own terms, yet still be disciplined and focused. These are people we may meet only by chance and for a short time, or they may be close to us and we are fortunate to live with their influence. Either way, an impression is left which lingers and reminds us that there is a way to live life without the angst and turmoil that is so often the case. Such people are beacons in the general darkness of society. We never forget them; we may even dream of having a little of whatever it is they have. If we are truly fortunate, we may come upon the path which will lead us there...