Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Story of Narad

This is from Shiv Puran, ancient religious text of Hindus. Narad, son of Brahma, the creator once underwent a tapasya (penance) with great austerities inside a cave. Seeing his great tapasya, Indra the head of Gods in heaven become disturbed. Sensing that Narad might take his celestial seat of power, sent forth the God of sexual desire, Kamadev to disturb him. But the cave was blessed by the Lord Shiva himself. He had once during his meditation had blazed Kamadev with fierce look of his third eye who was trying to disturb him. After the prayer of Rati, the wife of Kamadev, Shiva forgave him but said that the Kamadev will have no effect inside the cave and the surrounding region. Because of this the Kamadev had no effect on Narad. Narad didn’t know the story and mistook this for his spiritual conquest.

Happy with his spiritual development, he went to heaven and met Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the world. There he boasted about his austerities and his conquest over Kamadev. Lord Vishnu tried to test the spiritual achievement of Narad. With his power he created an illusionary city. Where there was a king and his beautiful daughter Shrimati. Narad went to the city and met the king there. The king welcomed Narad and said, ‘my daughter has now become of marriageable age. She has all the qualities of a good girl. We have made arrangements of a Swayamvar (where a girl chooses her future husband among host of eligible suitors) where I have invited eligible suitors.’ Narad , struck by the beauty of the princess, Narad fell madly in love with her, ‘I too will join the Swayamvar . It will be great if she choose me.’ Narad went to Lord Vishnu and asked him to make him as handsome as the lord himself is. Lord Vishnu laughed upon seeing Narad hopelessly in love. Lord Vishnu granted him the handsomeness of his physic but made his face look like a monkey. Narad had no time to see himself in mirror. In haste he went to the Swayamvar and took his seat among the other suitors.

The Princess arrived on the scene with a garland in her hand and surrounded by her maids and friends. She found no one attractive in the Swayamvar. She was aghast when she saw Narad. He looked very ugly with his monkey face. Narad couldn’t understand what the matter was. At that very time Lord Vishnu arrived on the scene. He was the very epitome of handsomeness. The Princess immediately put the garland in his neck. Lord Vishnu holding the hand of the Princes disappeared from the scene. Narad was crestfallen. He went to the abode of Lord Vishnu and started cursing him. He was in great mental agony.
The test of his spiritual strength was too much for him. Cursing, Narad said, ‘as you have made me suffer for women you too will suffer for a woman on earth when you take avatar as Prince Ram.’ Lord Vishnu humbly accepted this curse. It was only after many days that Narad become normal and regretted his emotional outburst.
The story teaches us many things like we should not be boastful of knowledge or wisdom acquired. We must check and recheck our facts before attending any meeting. We should not loose our cool when caught for our stupidity. Be careful while asking help, the helper might be your rival. etc. Write in your comments.

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