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Legends of Narada Home -› Lesser Gods -› Narada -› Legends of Narada
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Narada and vishnu - the fall of the pride
Narada was left wondering, "Do I really have the face of a monkey? All of them can't be wrong. Vishnu has duped me. I wish he were here. I could have asked him why." Suddenly Lord Vishnu also appeared in the court and before Narada could ask him why he had got a monkey face the princess put the garland around the neck of Lord Vishnu. Narada filled with rage, cursed Vishnu proclaiming that Vishnu would, during his sojourn on earth, have to bear the pangs of his wife's forcible separation from him and only a monkey would be able to relieve him of his sufferings and asked Vishnu, "You promised me your face and gave me a monkey's face instead! Why?" Vishnu replied, "My dear Narada you are a scholar of Sanskrit. Don't you know, Hari also means monkey? You didn't specify which Hari you meant." Narada then asked angrily, "Am I stuck with this face forever?" Vishnu calmly replied, "Narada, calm down, and look around you."

Narada was dumb struck when he looked around for everything had vanished. He said, "I don't understand! King Sheelanidhi, Shrimati, the princess... where are they? They seem to have vanished." Vishnu laughed and replied, "So has your monkey face Narada. There was no city, no king, no Swayamvara. It was all an illusory creation of mine to humble your pride; because you thought you were above temptation." Narada gratefully prostrated before Vishnu and said, "I am grateful to you, my lord! You have opened my eyes."

But the Narada's curse which was uttered in a fit of rage could not be taken back and thus Vishnu was born as Rama and had to take the help of Hanuman to free Sita from the clutches of Ravana.

Narada and Maya:
In Devi Bhagwat Purana one comes across an incident where Narada desires to know from Vishnu the secret and nature of Maya (the illusion). Vishnu led Narada to a lake and asked him to take a bath. Narada found himself transformed into a female and though such a great seer he forgot who he really was. He as a female started taking his life as such and married a King called Taladhvaj. He also gave birth to sons and took pride in his family. Suddenly Vishnu dispelled this illusion and brought back Narada to the realm of reality. Narada thereby learnt what power Maya has over man.

Narada comes across a well
Another legend relates the story of illusion as following:

Once Narada visited Dwaraka to see Lord Krishna (incarnation of Vishnu). He was welcomed heartily by Krishna. After the pleasantries Narada said, "Krishna I want to know what maya is? Can you explain?" Krishna replied, "Narada, maya can't be explained. It has to be experienced to be understood. Come with me."

Both Krishna and Narada left Dwaraka and kept on walking till they came to a desert. Narada curiously asked, "Where are we going? How can I experience maya in a desert Krishna?" "Be patient, Narada", replied Krishna.

After they had walked a good distance, Krishna suddenly stopped. He said, "I can't walk any further Narada. My throat is a parched. Please fetch me some water." Narada immediately went in search of water. After walking miles he came across to what looked a settlement. With determination of fetching water to his Lord, Narada went on till he reached the small village. On reaching the village he came across a well. Near the well drawing water was an exquisite village girl. Narada was very taken by the beauty of the girl and asked her, "Lady will you give me some water to quench my thirst?" "By all means, sir", replied the damsel and served him with water.

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