Tag Archives: Lord Vishnu

The Glory of Lakshmi-Narayana!

The devatas and the rakshasas came together to churn the great milk ocean. The Mandara mountain was used as the churning rod and Vasuki, the serpent was the rope. Lord Sri Hari took the form of a koorma (tortoise) to support the huge churning rod. As the churning went on, right in the beginning, Halahala, the deadly poison came out which was consumed by Lord Sadashiva for the welfare of all . After that, the milk ocean brought forth many beautiful and precious things and beings from within itself.

As the churning continued, Goddess Lakshmi appeared from the milk ocean. She was fair in complexion, youthful in appearance, graceful and verily the personification of divine beauty and virtues! All the devatas and even the rakshasas longed for her as their companion. With the Goddess of Beauty, Fortune, Wealth and Prosperity with them, there is nothing whatsoever that anyone can long for beyond this!

The King of Gods, Indra brought a beautiful throne for her. The rivers Ganga, Saraswati, Yamuna, Narmada, Sindu, Kaveri, Godavari brought sacred waters in golden vessels for her ablution. Mother Earth provided rare and unique herbs and the cows yielded fresh and sweet milk for the same. Vasanta, the deity of Spring season offered beautiful, fresh and fragrant flowers and fruits. The Rishis and Seers laid down the procedure for her abhishekam according to the sastras. Gandharvas, the celestial musicians sang auspicious songs and their wives and Apsaras danced. The heavenly instruments like the flute, veena, conch, drums were sounded by the deities-in-charge of the clouds.

The great and mighty elephants guarding the four directions performed the abhishekam with waters from the golden vessels to the accompaniment of hymns chanted by the brahmanas. Samudra (ocean) gave her apparels woven with golden threads. Lord Varuna presented her with a Vaijayanti garland. Viswakarma, the celestial craftsman presented beautiful ornaments and Saraswati offered her a pearl necklace. Brahma offered her a lotus and Nagas presented her a pair of beautiful ear-rings. 

Then with a beautiful garland of fragrant fresh flowers with bees humming and hovering over the flowers in her hands, and with a charming smile on her face, resplendent like a streak of lightning, Sridevi moved forward with a graceful gait accompanied by the soft and melodious tinkling sound of her golden anklets, searching for the person of her choice – One who in Himself and by Himself is All-Full – Paripoorna.

All the devatas waited in eager anticipation, but none of them suited her. Far…far away from all of them, she saw the Person of her choice! Sri Narayana was standing there – an embodiment of Auspiciousness and divine Virtues, All-full and Contented, the Bestower of Bhukti and Mukti. Established in His own glory, He was totally unconcerned and supremely indifferent. There wasn’t even an inkling of longing or craving whatsoever in Him for her. He was almost turned the other way!

The Goddess of Fortune, full of bashfulness, step by step slowly went up to the Lord and placed the garland over His neck and thereby chose Sri Hari as Her husband – He who is Ever-independent of everything and every being. Narayana, smilingly acknowledged her, who was none other than His own Sakti; and His bosom became her permanent abode.

The gods chanted sacred chants, the celestial musicians sang beautiful songs. The sound of the mangala-vadya reverberated in all directions. There were showers of flowers from the heavens. 
Salutations to Hari who is known as Srivallabha! Salutations to Sri who is known as Harivallabhe! Salutations again and again to the Divine Couple: LakshmiNarayana!

Hold on to Narayana; Lakshmi can never be far away. Wealth with character alone can bring joy, peace and prosperity. When one is kind and sincere, alert and consistent, he attracts to himself wealth and glory. - Swami Chinmayananda

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Narada’s test of Devotion!

Sage Narada was a great devotee of Lord Narayana. He was constantly playing on his divine veena and singing the Lord’s name. He once went to Vaikunta and asked Lord Hari who was His greatest devotee. Narada was sure that the Lord would take his name as the greatest devotee. The Lord pointed out to a farmer in one of the remotest villages and said that he was His greatest devotee. The Sage was shocked. How could he who was constantly taking the Lord’s name day in and day out not be the greatest devotee of the Lord?

Narada looked at the Lord questioningly. The Lord told Narada that he can go down and see for himself. Narada went down and quietly, unnoticed by anyone stayed very close to the farmer’s humble and simple hut. Early in the morning the farmer woke up with the Lord’s name NARAYANA on his lips. Then he went about his daily usual routine, went to his field and worked under the scorching sun along with the others. He worked till late in the evening. At dusk, he returned back, had a wash, sat and spent some time with his wife and children and had his simple meal. Tired and exhausted, he fell off to sleep with NARAYANA on his lips. In a day, the farmer remembered the Lord only twice! Narada was puzzled. Anyway, he decided to spend another two days there and watch over the farmer. The routine was the same on all the days. Narada was quite annoyed with the Lord as to how He even considered this farmer who took the Lord’s name only TWICE a day as His greatest devotee. He went straight to Vaikunta and narrated all that had happened down below. 

The Lord smiled and told Narada that He will explain, but before that He wanted Narada to accomplish a piece of job for Him. Lord gave Narada a pot filled with oil up to the brim, asked him to balance it on his head, and told him to go around Vaikunta and come back without spilling even a drop. Narada wondered what this had to do with his question, but anyway since the Lord had told him, he agreed. Narada put down his veena, nervously picked up the pot of oil filled up to the brim, placed it on his head and started walking slowly. Carefully balancing the pot of oil on his head, Narada put his steps forward cautiously, and went round Vaikunta and came back. He was beaming with happiness for he had not spilt even a drop of oil during his travel. He had been able to carry out the Lord’s instructions…..!

The Lord then asked Narada how many times he remembered NARAYANA during his journey round Vaikunta. Narada was surprised and told the Lord that he had NOT remembered the Lord even ONCE. How could he remember the Lord when all his attention was in balancing the pot of oil on his head?

 
The Lord smiled and told Narada that all that was given to him was a small piece of job of going round Vaikunta with a pot full of oil on his head, and yet he had forgotten the Lord even during that short interval of time. And here was this farmer working day in and day out, shouldering all the responsibilities and problems of his family and work, and yet he never forgot to take the Lord’s name NARAYANA, ONCE in the morning and ONCE in the evening. Hence according to the Lord, the farmer’s devotion was superior to that of Narada’s. 

Narada immediately understood that this was Lord’s unique way of destroying his ego. Completely humbled, Narada prostrated to the Lord, sought His forgiveness, prayed to the Lord to grant him total and unconditional devotion, picked up his veena and with “NARAYANA” on his lips left Vaikunta with a sense of total happiness and inexplicable bliss.

[PS : I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

The Fisherman-Guru of Sage Narada

shiva narada

A yagna was being conducted at Swarga Loka. Lord Indra had taken special care to invite all the Devatas, the Nava Grahas, the Sapta Rishis and others. It was a huge assembly. The sacred fire was lit and the Vedic rituals started.

Narada, the greatest among the devotees of the Lord, who always chanted the Lord’s name “Narayana, Narayana” arrived. Surprisingly he was given a seat which was lower than that of the others.

Being the ‘manas putra’ of Brahma, he questioned his father – Lord Brahma as to why he was being treated inferior to all the others. Brahma replied that though he had mastered all the Vedas and was a great devotee of Lord Hari, he had not been initiated into a mantra by a Guru. Narada was constantly singing and chanting the Lord’s name, but he had never approached a Guru and obtained Mantra Deeksha from him. Realizing this, he told the Assembly that he would go down to Earth (Bhoomi), and whoever he sees first at dawn, he would accept that person as his Guru and with the Guru mantra he would return soon.

The light at dawn had just begun to dissolve away the darkness of the night. Narada was waiting expectantly for the sight of the ‘one’ who would be his Guru, and whom does he see! An old fisherman with a net on his shoulder came walking along, and all the time he was busy weaving the net. Narada ran to him and fell at his feet and declared him to be his Guru. He requested the old firsherman to initiate him with the Guru mantra. The fisherman was shocked to see the great sage at his feet. He told the sage that he himself had never taken any mantra from a Guru and was incapable of giving him Guru mantra. Narada did not give up. He asked the old firsherman to speak whatever was in his mind at that moment.

The fisherman said “Hari Bol”. Accepting this as his Guru mantra Narada returned to the assembly of the Devas. Now, he was given a higher seat in front of the Assembly as he now had both a Guru and a Mantra! The assembly demanded to meet his Guru, upon which Narada returned to the old fisherman and requested the old man to come with him. But the old man said he was partially lame and hence could not undertake this long journey. On hearing this, Narada lifted the old man and carried him on his back to Deva loka.

Narada now presented his Guru to the entire assembly. Everyone was surprised and shocked to see an old lame fisherman who was being introduced as Narada’s Guru. In the presence of all, in utter surrender Narada fell flat at the feet of his Guru.  All the Devatas in the assembly were surprised seeing Narada falling at the feet of an old fisherman. At that very moment the old fisherman revealed his true nature. He was none other than Lord Shiva Himself who had appeared to Narada in the form of an the old fisherman.

The Lord had taken up the form of the old fisherman to test whether Narada would keep up his words and take as his Guru whoever he first saw at the break of dawn, and Narada had indeed lived up to his words. Narada’s firm resolve and his eager longing for the Guru brought him to none other than Lord Shiva Himself who initiated him and gave him the mantra.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

Devarishi Narada: A personality very familiar throughout the Puranas. He works everywhere as a friend, philosopher and guide, to all devotees....it is his job to propagate the Path of Love, and, therefore, he appears of his own accord to guide devotees of the Lord. - Swami Chinmayananda

 

 

Sri Hanuman and the music competition

Narada and Tumburu are the well known celestial musicians who constantly sing the glories of Lord Vishnu. Once when Sri Hari praised Tumburu’s music, Narada became very unhappy. The Lord then sent Narada to learn music from the music teacher of the celestial musicians Ganabandhu. Still not up to the mark, he then went and learnt music from Rukmini, the consort of Lord Krishna. Thus, after sufficient training, Narada wanted the Lord to judge both, Tumburu and himself and declare who was the best musician amongst the two. Narada and Tumburu sang with all devotion unto the Lord. Both of them were very good and the Lord did not want to displease anyone by taking any one particular name. He thought of calling an expert and accomplished musician for this task. He summoned HANUMAN – who is Kavya – Nataka – Sangeeta – Natya – Paripoorna!!

Hanumanji came and the contest started. Tumburu sang along accompanied by his veena – Kalavathi. His music was so enchanting that the whole universe of things and beings came to a standstill, almost froze and became silent! Hanumanji nodded in appreciation. Next was Narada’s turn. He rendered his music accompanied by his veena – Mahathi. The celestial music melted all that which was previously frozen!! Both of them were exceptionally good. Everyone was eagerly awaiting Hanumanji’s judgement.

Hanumanji asked for both their veenas and removed the frets of the veenas (the vertical strips on which the horizontal strings run), gave it back to them and asked them to go ahead and play the veena. Rather annoyed, they asked him how the veena can be played without the frets. Hanumanji silently took the fretless veena and played on it using a small piece of bamboo stick. He was an expert in playing the veena with or without frets. He sang and played on….. All the devatas were lost in the divine ecstatic devotional outpouring of Hanumanji. After some time when they looked around, they found Lord Sri Hari Himself present amongst them listening in rapt attention to Hanumanji’s Sangeeta.

Narada and Tumburu bowed down and acknowledged that indeed Hanumanji was not only the  greatest devotee of the Lord, but also the most accomplished musician !!

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]