Narada is a familiar name in the Indian legends. The Purana and Itihasa are replete with stories of Narada, who played varied roles, albeit mischievous at times. He was revered by both Deva and Asura, and was known by the title Deva Rishi.
Deva Rishi Narada
In the Purana, Narada is the manasa putra, mind born son of Lord Brahma.
There is a cosmic significance to the story of Narada.
The creation of the universe happened when the Cosmic Egg, Hiranyagarbha broke open, leading to Big Bang, which has been described in our texts as Brahmanda Visphotak.
At the time of the Brahmanda Visphotak, the Big Bang of the universe, the sound created by this Big Bang has been described by the ancient Indian seers as the sound “OM”, which has since been reverberating through the universe. It is the all-pervading sound, also known as Nada.
More on this in our Book and Film – Creation – Srishti Vignana.
This process of Creation was linked to a human like Divine Form called Brahma and OM, the primordial sound was given the form of the son of Brahma called Narada, who could travel anywhere in the Universe at will, across times, strumming a single stringed musical instrument.
Narada with his one stringed musical instrument, is the portrayal of Nada, sound. Thus is derived the name Narada, from Nada.
Narada wandering freely in space
Narada is the symbol of the Omnipresent OM.
More on this in our book, Brand Bharat, which is a part of our Autobiography of India series.
Among the 24 Avatars
Narada is listed as one of the 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu in the Bhagavata Purana. He was a devotee of Lord Vishnu, who would incessantly chant the name, “Narayana, Narayana’, and traverse the world with His musical instrument, singing the glories of God.
Guru to devotees
Narada was a Guru to many a Devotees and Saints.
Narada Bhakti Sutra
Narada Bhakti Sutra is one of the well-known spiritual texts that was spoken by Narada. It is a treatise on the subject of Bhakti, and has inspired many devotees on the path of Devotion, over many a millennia.
Narada speaking on the Bhakti Sutra
One of 18 Purana
Of the 18 Maha Purana, one of the Purana is named after and dedicated to Narada. This Purana was originally revealed by Narada Muni to Sri Sanatkumara, and is a detailed text on the worship of Lord Vishnu.
More on Purana is our book, Historical Krishna.
Narada was the one who inspired and guided young devotees of Lord Vishnu, like Dhruva and Prahalada, towards the worship of the Lord.
Narada blessing Prahlada
Prahlada was the son of Hirankashipu, an Asura king who was blinded by ego and greed for power. Prahlada however was pure in heart, and a believer in the Divine. He was a devotee of Narayana, the ultimate source of Creation.
How did Prahalada attain such a Divine nature?
Prahlada’s mother, Kayadhu, when she was pregnant used to listen to discourses of Narada, consisting of bhakti, jnana and vairagya. Prahlada who was in the womb used to listen to the stories of Narayana, as narrated by Narada. Thus he was born a Divine child, and a devotee of Narayana.
More on the story of Prahlada in our book, Telugu Talli – Her Unknown Side.
Dhruva is another child devotee of Narayana.
The story goes that Dhruva became really upset when his father didn’t allow him to sit on his lap, but instead only allowed his step-brother. On the advice of his mother, he set out to the forest to propitiate Narayana, to gain a place on the lap of his father. At this time, it was Narada who had initiated Dhruva into the mantra, “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”, and guided him to meditate on the Lord.
This innocent wish of Dhruva, took cosmic proportions, as Narayana appeared before him and blessed him with a place in the sky.
Today, we all know about the Dhruva nakshatra, the pole star which has been guiding man’s directions from time immemorial.
More on Dhruva in our film, Astronomy.
Narada advised highway robber Ratnakara to take up the chanting of “Rama”, which later transformed him into Adi Kavi Rishi Valmiki, who went on to compose the Ramayana. This was around 5100 BCE.
Narada and Ratnakara
Narada also inspired Rishi Veda Vyasa, to compose the Bhagavata Purana, around 3100 BCE.
Narada inspiring Veda Vyasa
Thus we see that Narada spans across times and eras.
One of the Law makers
Narada Muni was one of the law makers of this civilization. Narada Smriti, like Manu Smrita is an important treatise on the law. It consists of some well-defined laws that have been adhered to by generations of Indians, across millennia.
Pioneer in Communication
Communication plays an important part in our lives. The ability to share ideas, thoughts and information with each other is an integral part of human life.
Narada Muni was one of the pioneers of communication. He used to travel all across the world communicating information. This role was in sync with Narada’s nature of not staying at one place, but who would traverse the whole world, tarrying at a place only for a short time.
Narada Jayanti is also observed as Patrika Divas, “Press Day”, in this country.