Narada – The Wandering Sage
Narada, also popularly known as NaradaNarada
Narada, also popularly known as Narada Muni, is a great Vedic sage and is one of the most significant and iconic characters of the Hindus. Muni, is a great Vedic sage and is one of the most significant and iconic characters of the Hindus. The name Narada is derived from the Sanskrit word “Nara” which means “man”. Various references have been made to Narada in many religious texts, especially Ramayana and BhagavataPurana. Narada is regarded as the son of BrahmaBrahma
According to Hinduism, the whole creation is the work of Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity)... and the most favorite devotee of VishnuVishnu
Vishnu is one of the Supreme Gods of Hindus and is a part of Hindu Trinity,.. and, hence, is always believed to be chanting and singing “Narayana” and “Hari” which are different names of his Lord Vishnu. Narada is considered to have traveled across and wandered around all the worlds and realms. He is one of the wisest and, at the same time, evil characters of the Hindu mythology, and there are many Vedic texts and references that account for some of the most comical and humorous stories. Due to his great devotion, he is believed to have depicted the Bhakti It refers to devotion and the love one feels for God. People indulge in Bhakti to gain spirituality or salvationYoga. Narada is believed to be a partial manifestation of God and is believed to carry out several tasks of his Lord Vishnu on his behalf. Narada is one of the most important and popular deities of the world and is worshiped and revered with great passion and devotion.
Narada is most often depicted a simple ascetic man clad in simple clothes, usually dhoti. He wears a garland of beads around his neck and a sacred thread around his shoulder and waist. He always carries a hartal and a veena, both of which are musical instruments of Narada. Narada’s veena is known as Mahathir. It is believed that Narada uses his musical instruments while singing songs and hymns for his Lord Vishnu. In some other depictions of Narada, he is shown to be receiving teachings, especially the BhumaVidya, from sage Sanath Kumar. Some other depictions of Narada portray him bowing down to his Lord Vishnu, and the deity appears in his ViraatSwarupa in front of his devotee.
According to the BhagavataPurana, Narada was the first ever journalist of the earth and the primary source of information for the gods. In his previous birth, Narada was an angelic being and was cursed to be born on earth as a lower caste person, and assigned the task of singing songs and hymns for the supreme god. He was born as a son of a maid and servant of some Brahmin The conventional Hindu caste system divided society into four sects and Brahmin was known as the learned class who gained the knowledge of sacred texts written on Hinduismpriests. It is believed that the priests were pleased with his service and allowed him to eat some Prasad It is the sacred food that is distributed after an auspicious event or day after offering it to the Godsoffered to Vishnu. He then received some teachings and blessings from the priests and indulged himself in many spiritual activities. He used to listen to the sages when they discussed various spiritual topics. After his mother had died, he went to a forest and decided to find the ultimate truth and achieve enlightenment.
Later, he reached a very peaceful location in a forest and started meditating and worshipping Vishnu. He kept on meditating and praying with full devotion and concentration. After some time, Vishnu appeared in his vision and smiled. Vishnu told him that despite being blessed by him to be seen in his vision, he would not be able to see the true divine form of the deity again until he died. Vishnu added that the beauty and affection of the deity would fuel his desire to be with the God again. Vishnu then disappeared from his vision, and he woke up from his meditation. He was both happy and disappointed at the same time. After that, he devoted his whole life to the deity and focused on worshipping and praying Vishnu. When he died, Vishnu blessed him with the spiritual formation of Narada, and he became the most favorite devotee of the deity.
A very famous legend associated with Narada states that he decided not to do anything with Maya, i.e. the material world. He preferred the realm of Vishnu where it is believed that time and space does not exist. He also told his brother, other sons of Brahma, to refrain themselves from Maya and devote themselves to Vishnu. He did not understand the importance and was not for, the construction of Brahmanda, the world. This enraged Brahma, and he cursed Narada that he would be trapped in the material world until he appreciated the true meaning and importance of Maya. Narada then approached Vishnu and asked him the meaning of Maya. Upon this Vishnu told him, to fetch some water for him from a nearby river as he was thirsty. As instructed by his lord, Narada went to the river to fetch water. There he saw a charming girl and was completely mesmerized by her looks. Her beauty so enchanted him that he followed her to her village and asked her father for her hand in marriage. Her father agreed, and Narada married the girl. Narada then soon became a father, a grandfather and even a great-grandfather. Narada was completely lost into affection and bonds of his family.
One day, it started raining heavily. The rain did not stop for a long time and continued for several days. This resulted in a huge flood and the water rushed into Narada’s house. The flood water swept away the wife, children and other family members of Narada. Narada was left in utter horror and sorrow. He shouted and screamed for help as the water started to submerge him. Suddenly, he was pulled up and was taken to Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu. Vishnu then asked Narada about the water, he was supposed to bring for him. Vishnu told him that he was still feeling thirsty. Narada did not understand anything and asked Vishnu about all the pain and suffering he had to go through. Upon this Vishnu told him that he thought that Narada had full knowledge of Maya. He knew what Maya was but never experienced it. He had now understood the true meaning of Maya. Narada then bowed down to his lord and achieved the realization of Maya.
Another famous legend associated with Narada states that once he asked Vishnu who his greatest devotee was. He expected that Vishnu would take his name in reply. However, Vishnu told him that his greatest devotee was a farmer by the name Thirumalai. Narada was completely confused by his lord’s answer. He thought of observing the farmer as to why his master chose him as his greatest devotee. He then approached the farmer and observed his activities secretly. The farmer uses to wake up in the morning and pray to Vishnu and say “Narayana.” He then used to work for the whole day and pray to Vishnu again, only before going to bed and say “Narayana.” Narada then went back to Vishnu and asked him why he chose Thirumalai as his greatest devotee when he uttered his name only twice a day. To this Vishnu told Narada that he would explain that only after he performed a task for him. Vishnu gave Narada a vessel filled with oil up to the brim. He told Narada to take a full round of Vaikuntha and not spill even a single drop of oil from the vessel. Narada followed the orders of Vishnu and went away. He took a whole round of Vaikuntha and took complete care that even a single drop of oil did not spill. When he returned, he gave the vessel to Vishnu. Vishnu then asked him how many times he took his name during the task. Nerada said that he was completely focused on the task at hand and did not utter Vishnu’s name even once. Vishnu then explained that as Narada was focused on the vessel and did not remember to utter his lord’s name even once, the farmer, on the other hand, had all the worries and duties of life and still he managed to speak his name at least twice daily. Narada then realized the true meaning of devotion and understood that even amidst all the work one has, one should be devoted to the God.
Temples, Beliefs, and Significance
There are a few temples in India which are solely dedicated to Narada. One of the most prominent temples of the deity is Sri Narada Muni Temple at Chigateri, Karnataka. The holy place of Korva is also known as Naradagadde, named after Narada. He is believed to be well versed with the Vedas Four ancient texts constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduismand possess complete knowledge of the Upanishads. He had perfect knowledge and was the master of the six Angas namely pronunciation, grammar, prosody, astronomy, description of religious rites and explanation of basic terms. All the celestial beings are believed to worship Narada for his great wisdom and knowledge. He is considered to have all the information of the world and plays a vital role in many important events of the universe by providing the same to the gods, demigods, and other celestial beings. Other than that he is also regarded to be a true master of different forms of art, especially music. Narada symbolizes great devotion, faith, reverence, wisdom, humor, and knowledge.