"One day I saw a brilliant flash of divine light. I saw that the Lord was
standing before me. His magnificent form thrilled me. Everything else looked
meaningless. I was over- whelmed. I began to wander everywhere. I longed to see
that divine form again. Then I heard a divine voice: ' you will not see me once
again in this birth. I do not appear before people who have not rid themselves
of desire and anger. As you have seen me once, your devotion for me will now
become more steadfast, especially since you keep company with good men. In your
next birth you will be one of my close attendants.' I felt somewhat relieved
after I heard that voice. I felt a surging spirit of renunciation. "
|NARADA - THE WANDERING SEER
"The world appeared to be pervaded by the Lord. There was no trace of ego
in me. I remained loosely attached to that body for a while like a drop of water
on a lotus-leaf. Once, while I was in deep meditation, I felt as if I a divine
light touched me. Immediately I cast away my body. Then the deluge came. I along
with all the living creatures became absorbed in the body of the Lord. Some time
after the deluge, new creation began. Out of the navel of Lord Narayana came
Brahma. He engaged himself in the work of creation, in accordance with the Lord's
command. Then Brahma created Marichi, Atri and the other eight Prajeshwaras.
I happened to be one of them. Vyasa, I became Narada thanks to the blessings
of the Lord. I am wandering round the world singing the glory of the Lord accompanied
by this Veena Mahati. It has since then been my aim to convert people into the
Path of Devotion (Bhakti) and Piety. In the future Kaliyuga, the chanting of
the Lord's name will bring greater reward than performance of sacrifices. The
Path of Devotion is the easiest and best. The mind becomes steady, cleansed of
passions like greed and anger. Knowledge can be attained only when the mind becomes
pure. Of course you are aware of all these things. I therefore ask of you to
compile a book setting out the greatness of Devotion (Bhakti) and the glory of
God. I shall narrate to you the ideas of Vedanta, which Brahma has taught me
briefly. Let this be the basis of your great work. That book will make people
happy and will bring mental peace to you." And then Narada communicated
to Vyasa the secrets of Vedanta. Vyasa composed the Bhagavata deriving inspiration
Narada was not the kind of rishi who would sit at a place and meditate. He always
strove for human welfare. Since he was always chanting the name of God, one could
say he was engaged in austerities even while he was moving about. He was busy
enlightening the good, guiding the perplexed, giving solace to those in tribulation,
offering advice to the ignorant, promoting godliness among the pious. He devised
plans for protecting the righteous and punishing the wicked.
Vyasa has described Narada as follows in the ADIPARVA of the Mahabharata: "Narada
is a great scholar. He is well versed in Vedanta; he is serene and tender hearted.
Human beings, angels and demons alike respect him. He has a lustrous personality,
and is a veritable Brihaspati in intellectual powers. He has extraordinary proficiency
in Samaveda and is an expert musician. He can set at naught any doubts and misgivings.
He can always find devices on the spur of the moment for helping people out of
difficulties. He can charm people with his pleasant speech. He knows the art
of articulating each syllable and is also well versed in semantics. He knows
the precise use of each word."
The name of Narada finds mention in the Vedas and Upanishads
too. He is an authority
in astronomy, music, etc. There is a treatise called 'NARADASMRITI'. He is also
the author of a book called "NARADA-SHIKSHA" which lays down the principles
of grammar and phonetics. The 'NARADA-PURANA' is also attributed
to him and he is author of 'PANCHARATRA'. The best known among his works is 'NARADA BHAKTI
SUTRA'. In that work he has presented in eighty-four aphorisms the concept and
practice of Bhakti (Devotion). The unique greatness of the Path of Bhakti is
lucidly set out in that work. The authorship of several hymns of Rig Veda is
ascribed to him and he is the author of NARADIYA DHARAM SHASTRA, a great work
on law and moral conduct. Narada is indeed a pioneer among saints who strove
for the welfare of mankind.