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Legends of Narada Home -› Lesser Gods -› Narada -› Legends of Narada
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narada - the wandering seer
Narada and Mahabharata:
In the Mahabharata also, Narada intervenes at many points. Narada knew for certain that the Pandavas were virtuous and Dharmaraja was truthful. For some time he was staying at Indraprastha. It occurred to Narada that the young Dharmaraja needed to be advised in matters relating to ethics and polity. He came to Indraprastha and gave him a discourse.

He said, "O Yuddhistira, you must treat your subjects kindly as did your elders. Do not swerve from the path laid down by them. You should have among your minister men who are righteous, knowledgeable and experienced. Attend to your household duties in time. Listen to good counsel before taking a decision. Let your army and war machines are kept ever in readiness. Never let the guilty go unpunished. Have compassion for women, children and the aged. Treat your servants with kindness. Wages must be disbursed to servants and soldiers at the appointed time without fail. Do not spend money extravagantly. Look after the peasants by providing them with adequate facilities like tanks and canals. Let not the rich exploit the poor. Do not entertain sycophants. Do not indulge in pleasures. Only Dharma can preserve Dharma. Protect Dharma at all times."

Narada was by the side of the Pandavas and he entertained the Pandavas during their stay in the forest. He requested Markandeya to narrate for the benefit of Pandavas a number of instructive stories. He consoled Dharmaraja when he was grief-stricken on account of Karna's death. He advised the Pandavas to get moral instructions from Bhishma who was lying on his bed of arrows. He advised the aged king Dhritarashtra to undergo penance when the latter was mourning his son's death, and thus showed him the path of peace.

Narada played a main role in popularizing the story of Mahabharata. The Mahabharata that we know of today contains a hundred thousand shlokas, whereas the Mahabharata written by sage Vyasa contained three hundred thousand shlokas. Narada recited it before the devatas (gods). Thus Narada had a role to play in all the three great epics, namely the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, and the Bhagavata. They are also India's greatest contribution to world literature.

Narada and Parvata:
Narada had a nephew called Parvata. One day these two together went to the palace of Ambarisha, the ruler of Ayodhya.

Ambarisha had a beautiful daughter by name Srimati. She was an embodiment of all good qualities. Her beauty attracted Narada and his companion. Each of them wanted to marry her. They secretly disclosed to Ambarisha their heart's desire.

Ambarisha was in a fix. How could he disobey the sages? He said to them: "O revered sages, both of you desire the hand of my daughter. How am I to decide? I shall arrange a Swayamvara. Whomsoever Srimati selects shall be her husband." Without Parvata's knowledge, Narada went to Vaikunta to consult Mahavishnu. He narrated to him all that had happened. He said to Lord Vishnu: "O Lord, have mercy on me and do me a favor. At the time of the Swayamvara, please make Parvata look like a monkey." The Lord smilingly assented.

Later, it was sage Parvata's turn to approach Lord Vishnu - without Narada's present. He said to Vishnu: "O Lord, at the time of the Swayamvara, please make Narada look like a bear." Vishnu said to himself, "Aha! Both are naive, and there is little to choose between them!" But he smilingly assured the sage that he would grant his request. The day of the Swayamvara came. Both the sages arrived at the Swayamvara each congratulating himself on their cleverness.

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