Narada left Kailasa and pondered, "Shiva is jealous of me. Why shouldn't
I speak about my success to Vishnu? Vishnu, who love me so dearly! I am sure
he will be proud to hear of my victory over Kama."
|CITY OF KING SHEELANIDHI
He went straight to Vishnu's abode and paid his respect to the lord. Vishnu invited
the sage warmly and said, "Come Narada! I am so pleased to see you." Narada
said, "You will be more so my lord, when you learn that I, your devotee,
have conquered Kamadeva. Shiva is no longer the only conqueror of Kamadeva. I,
your devotee, am above temptation too." Vishnu laughed and said, "Is
that so? But never cease to be on your guard. You never know…"
Narada left the abode of Vishnu and wondered, "Vishnu didn't seem to pleased
about my achievements either. I am no weakling. Doesn't he know that? Why should
he warn me to be on my guard?" As he moved on suddenly he saw a beautiful
city like he had never seen before. Curiously he descended and entered the city
and asked a passerby, "Who is the ruler of this big and charming city?" "Don't
you know? It belongs to the glorious King Sheelanidhi. You'll find him in the
palace", replied the passerby.
Hearing that Narada had come to visit him, the king came out to receive him and
welcomed him. Just then a beautiful girl came and bowed before Narada. The beauty
of the girl took Narada. The king said, "This is my daughter Shrimati. She
is ready for marriage. I plan to hold a Swayamvara (a gathering of princes from
which the princess selects her husband) for her soon." Narada blessed the
princess who bowed to him and said to the king, "Your daughter is the incarnation
of goddess Lakshmi. No less than Hari (Lord Vishnu) in glory and power shall
be her husband." The king was filled with joy and said, "Your words
fill our hearts with joy. I cannot wait to announce the date of the Swayamvara."
Narada was so taken by the princess that he wished to make her his wife. He pondered
as to how could he win her hand in the Swayamvara. Narada prayed fervently to
Lord Vishnu. At last when Lord Vishnu appeared before him Narada requested, "Lord
let my face resemble Hari's." "So be it. You shall certainly have the
face of the Hari," said Vishnu and vanished.
|KAPIVAKTRA - THE MONKEY FACE
When Narada made his request he had forgotten that the word Hari also meant a
monkey and he could not see his own face. Not knowing what had happened, Narada
reached the court of that King full of confidence sure of his victory. So many
other princes had also assembled there to solicit the hand of princess. The princess
entered the hall of marriage with a flower garland in hand Narada was sure that
with the handsome face that he had got the princess would choose him as the companion
of life. But to his utter dismay and great astonishment, the princess did not
even look twice at his face of a monkey. As Shrimati passed him Narada could
not resist, he stood up and said, "You must be looking for me beautiful
one. Here I am. " Rest of the crowd burst into laughter and said, "For
you? Monkey face… a very handsome one, no doubt, but still a monkey-face?"