Narad Muni – The Ever Roaming Encylopedia


Narayan Narayan!! Rishi Narad is a well-known sage in Hindu philosophy. Narad Muni is considered to be the chief leader of all sages and saints known to live on planet Earth. He is also known as 1st journalist to live on planet Earth. Rishi Narad is one of the 12 Chiranjeevi who shall remain immortal till the end of time. He is a cosmic traveler who keeps moving from one planet to another. He roams around in all the three worlds and is considered as a friend of everyone be it Gods, Humans, or Demons. Rishi Narad is also known as a gossipmonger who loves to gossip and instigate fights among others. However, he does this with no selfish desire of his but to help the Supreme Lord with his desired plan of action. Narad is a staunch Vishnu devotee and is always shown chanting Vishnu’s name as Narayan. Rishi Narad is the possessor of infinite wisdom and knowledge. He is known as a living encyclopedia who knows the entire Cosmos. He is well versed in all subjects like science, art, music, philosophy, warfare, etc. The birth of Narad has been written differently in different scriptures. Let us hear a few of them. According to some scriptures, Rishi Narad is considered as the son of Lord Brahma and Goddess Saraswati. He is born from Brahma’s mind and is a sibling to the Four Kumaras and Dakshya and other mind-born sons. He possessed a vast knowledge of the cosmos and hence it was decided that he shall descend on Earth to spread God’s word. Along with him several other demigods and sons of Brahma like Daksha descended to create life on Earth. Daksha produced creatures on Earth but none of them were procreating by themselves. Hence Daksha decided to create creatures through the coition of males and females. Daksha married Akini and had 5000 sons through her. They were called Haryasvas. Before they could also procreate Rishi Narad appeared before them and told them that before creating they should know the Universe. He instructed them to go in different directions in this Universe to gain knowledge. The Haryasvas agreed to his advice and scattered all across the Universe. They never came back. Daksha procreated again and gave birth to another 1000 sons called Sablasvas. Rishi Narad did the same with Sablasvas and they also never came back. Furious with this Daksha cursed Narad that going forward he shall keep wandering from one planet to another just like sons. He also said that no one shall take his advice seriously and call him a gossipmonger. In another story Rishi Narad in one of his previous births was born to a maidservant. The maid used to serve the saints and Narad also grew up serving them. Pleased with their service the saints allowed Narad to feed on the Prasad that was served to Vishnu after worship. This made Narad spiritually inclined and he also wanted to know the reality of the Cosmos now. He went into a forest and started meditating upon Lord Vishnu to gain self-realization. During this meditative trance, Lord Vishnu appeared before Narad in his divine form. He told Narad that he shall get to know Vishnu in detail only after his death. However, Vishnu decided to visit Narad as he wanted Narad to grow more fond of him and desire to be with him after his death. Narad was elated after this. For the rest of his life, he simply meditated upon the Lord. Upon his death, he met Lord Vishnu who then changed him into his permanent spiritual form as Rishi Narad. Rishi Narad is said to know about Past Future and present. He is mentioned in different epics like Mahabharat, Ramayan, and Puranas. In Mahabharat, he is shown to be telling Yudhishtira the story of Prahlada. In Ramayan, he is mentioned warning Ravan of the consequences of his cruel deeds. Let us now discuss a few stories mentioning him. Narad and the Tridevis – Once there was a cold war among the Tridevis (Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati) over supremacy. Narad decided to visit the Goddesses separately. He purposely ignited the Goddesses against each other. The Goddesses decided to establish their supremacy by performing miracles. Saraswati turned a dumb and deaf person into a scholar overnight. Lakshmi turned a poor lady into a queen overnight and Parvati turned a coward into a chief army general overnight. However, things did not go as per their plan when people of that kingdom started to revolt against that army general who tried to remove the Queen from her position. The Queen had earlier punished that overnight scholar for not respecting her. The Goddesses realized that this was Narad’s mischief and that all three of them were equally important. Narad meets Jalandhar – Jalandhar was a powerful demon king who ruled the three worlds once upon a time. The Gods wanted to end his tyranny and hence approached Narad for help. Narad, as he was a friend of everyone, decided to visit Jalandhar. He praised Jalandhar and said that he possessed everything except a beautiful wife like Parvati. This instigated Jalandhar against Shiva as he now wanted to defeat Lord Shiva and marry Parvati. He tried to fight Lord Shiva however was killed by Shiva in the battle The Omkareshwar Jyotirling – The legends mention the rishi Narad was the primary reason for the establishment of Omkareshwar Jyotirling on Earth. It is said that Rishi Narad instigated Mount Vindyachal against Mount Meru. He told him that Meru was more powerful than him. This made Vindyachal jealous and he started meditating on Lord Shiva. After six months of hard penance, Shiva appeared before Vindya. Vindyachal asked for infinite strength. He also requested Shiva to stay near him forever. This is how Omkareshwar Jyotirling was formed. After this Vindyachal started growing himself to compete with Meru. With Shiva’s presence, his growth was huge. Very soon he became the strongest and tallest of all the mountains. However this created problem and disturbed Lord Surya’s (Sun God) daily circumambulation of the Universe. Hence one half of the Universe remained in darkness after this. To stop this Goddess Bhagvati asked sage Agastya to intervene. Sage Agastya traveled from Varanasi to Vindya. Vindyachal on meeting the sage bent down in front of him to honor his presence. Agastya asked Vindya to be in that position until he returns from South India. Agastya never returned and hence Vindyachal stood in that position for eternity. Sage Narad is also shown to have divine knowledge of music and always carries his musical instrument (Tanpura) with him. He uses this instrument to sing praises for the Lord. There are few temples in India dedicated to him which are situated in Karnataka.

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