Guru of Prahlad Maharaj | Glories of Narada Muni | Narad muni characteristics | Bhaktamal-03

Glories of Narada Muni

Sage Narada is only interested in sending people towards Godhead

Sage Narada was the guru of Prahalad Maharaj. When Maharaja Prahalad was in his mother’s womb, considering the queen’s pregnancy, she was advised by Sage Narada on the fundamentals of Dharma and about devotion. By the grace of Sage Narada, Maharaja Prahalad remembered all of Sri Narada’s instructions even as he entered the world of mortals. On account of the grace of the great sage, the knowledge rendered by Sage Narada to Maharaja Prahalad’s mother was retained by him (Prahalad Maharaj, while in the womb of his mother) and that established him in complete faith to the Lord. In the same way, when Maharaja Dhruva was reprimanded by his step-mother and he proceeded to the forest to perform austerities to attain the Lord, Sage Narada met him on his way. He initiated Dhruva into the mantra, “Om Namo Bhagavathe Vasudevaya” and instructed him on the path of penance.

Daksha Prajapati curses Sage Narada

Prajapati Daksha had 10,000 sons by the name of Haryashva, who had retired to the forest to perform penance, the result of which, they could enable the expansion of the human race. Deva Rishi Narada observed that the 10,000 children of Daksha were pure-hearted and had the innocence of a child, because of which he considered them fully eligible to attain the Lord. Taking this opportunity, He advised the sons of Daksha and set them on the path of God-realization, making them absolute renunciants. Having heard the news, Prajapati Daksha became grief-stricken. Prajapati Daksha then gave rise to 1000 more sons. These sons were known as Shabalashva. But then, even they were influenced by the advice of Deva Rishi Narada and then took the path towards God-realization, forsaking their original plan of multiplying the human population. This time, hearing the news, Prajapati Daksha was extremely enraged. He immediately cursed his brother Sage Narada saying “You shall never be able to spend time at a place for more than a few moments.” Sage Narada accepted the curse of his brother with all respect and never held animosity against his brother. He considered all events to be a result of the blessings of His Lord, Sriman Narayana.

Sage Narada has only one aim- To show people the path of Bhakti

Deva Rishi Narada is considered as Acharya (Expert Proponent) of Vedanta, Yoga, Astrology, Medicine, Music and other fine art and above all he is the greatest Acharya of the Bhakti Yoga practice. The Vaishnava Pancharatra also called as Narada Pancharatra is the greatest Knowledge repository that guides one towards the Supreme Personality. There is no limit to the number of devotees who have been guided by the great sage on the path of Bhakti. He is the very epitome of Grace. He travels the length and breadth of the universe to find individuals inclined towards Bhakti so that he makes his divine grace available to them. He is under this single vow that, by some means direct the fortunate individual to the Lotus feet of the Lord. He has no other occupation, no other agenda. Depending on the capacity and capability of the seeker, sage Narada guides him appropriately towards one’s final goal. Prahalad and Dhruva were shown the appropriate paths to the Lord based on their capacity and qualification. The demon king Hiranyakashyipu was shown the path by Sage Narada based on his capacity of hating the Lord. Sage Narada is only interested in directing the Jiva to the Lord, in the quickest possible time. He has earned the respect of the Devas, Asuras and humans equally, because of his spotless intention of guiding these living entities towards the Lord without any distinction. All living entities of the three worlds regard Deva Rishi Narada as their intimate well-wisher.

Sage Narada reprimands his disciple, Sage Vyasa

The great sage Veda Vyasa was not satisfied, after having composed many Puranas, having even documented the great epic of Mahabharata. It is in this situation that sage Narada appeared before his disciple Veda Vyasa and reprimanded him thus “Those words cannot be real words which do not glorify Sri Hari and his endless divine pastimes.  Such works which do not glorify the Supreme Being are places of pilgrimage for the crows, where the swans of perfect sense control do not flock to enjoy the honey of the Lotus feet of the Lord. In such abhorrent places only crows who are addicted to gossip collect to strike their beaks on the material scum of lustful mundanity. Any work which does not glorify the Supreme Being (the pure devotees have no interest other than to sing the names and glories of the Lord) in every line, is like pushing the entire universe into an endless inferno of sinful hell. The work that does not contain the sweet names of the Supreme Lord is like dry and arid poison.  Even those works that describes Brahman which is attributeless and formless, which do not describe the beautiful form of the Lord, is effort totally wasted and considered as misguiding the people of the world. Having said this about the path of Jnana and Brahman, does it take much intelligence to understand as to how abhorrent it is to talk about Karma Kanda (कर्म कांड fruitive activities) or discussing the greatness of Karma, where one has not surrendered such actions and their results to the Supreme Being?  “

The Lord, Sri Krishna Praises Sage Narada

Sri Krishna once praised Sage Narada in the presence of King Ugrasena, the ruler of the Vrishnis, while in Mathura. He said “Oh King, I always praise Sage Narada, who is blessed with Divine Vision, with a stotra (स्तोत्र a hymn of praise). I shall recite this hymn of praise for you. That divine being who was born from the lap of Sri Brahma, who does not carry with him even a trace of pride, whose knowledge and understanding of the Shastra is not hidden from anyone, I offer my respectful obeisance to that great sage Narada. The one in whom there is no impulsiveness, anger, restlessness, fear, the one who is slow and yet who never delays, to that Narada, I offer my respectful obeisance. The one who does not utter a lie, affected by desire, the one who is revered by entire creation, I offer my respectful obeisance to that great sage Narada.

The one who is fully enlightened in the science of body, mind and soul, the one who has knowledge of all material and immaterial sciences, the one who has conquered the senses, the one who is perfectly straight-forward, who always speaks the truth, to that sage Narada I offer my humble obeisance. The one whose glory, fame, intelligence, humility, birth and austerity is of the highest rungs, I pay my humble obeisance to that sage Narada.  The one who is extremely straight-forward, dressed perfectly, whose diet is extremely pure, the one who is full of light and pious, the one whose glance is filled with grace, the one’s whose words are benign, gentle and auspicious, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance.

The one who is ever enthusiastic towards the living entity’s welfare, the one in whom sin can never stay, the one who always strives to benefit others, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance.  The one, who always takes shelter of the Vedas, Works of Smritis and walks the path of Dharma as shown by the Puranas, the one who is free from attraction and aversion, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance.  The one who is not addicted to eating in excess and not indulged in bodily engagements, the one who is a true scholar, who is free of loathe and laziness, the one from whom one can hear interesting stories and anecdotes, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance. The one who is unaffected by greed, lust and anger, because of which one is never under any illusion, the one who has defeated these three pronged defects of greed, lust and anger, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance. The one who follows the blessed Lord and abides by the Dharma set by the Lord, the one whose ways are of the highest class, the one who is shy, to that sage Narada I offer my humble obeisance. The one who is completely free of attachment but who appears to be in loving attachment, in whom there can be no room for doubt or suspicion, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance.

The one who does not see defects in any type of Shastra, the one whose very life is an embodiment of sacrifice and austerity, the one who does not let any moment pass without contemplation on the Lord, the one whose mind is always under his control, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance. The one who always finds newer ways to increase discipline and austerity, the one whose intelligence is utterly pristine, the one who is not satisfied even with the highest meditative states, the one who is ever vigilant in his endeavors towards the Lord, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance. The one who is never affected by loss or gain, the one whose intelligence is steady as a rock, whose soul is ever free of all types of burden, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance. The one who is full of the opulence of great qualities, the one who is all-capable, the one who is cognizant of the doings of time and the one who is ever righteous, to that sage Narada, I offer my humble obeisance.”

Sri Krishna further informs king Ugrasena “ I always chant the praises of Sage Narada thus.Sage Narada has a special liking for Me. The one who chants this shloka shall easily attract the Grace of the great sage. Honorable king, You should chant this shloka praising sage Narada, for your own welfare, so that he extends his grace on you too.”