Narada Jayanti (Vaishakha Krishna Dvitiya)
Narada Jayanti is observed on the day after Purnima in Vaishakha. Deva Rishi Narada, also known as Narada Muni is one of the Prajapatis and also one of the 7 great Rishis. Some of the hymns in Rig Veda are credited to Narada Maharishi. For majority Hindus, Sage Narada is the Veena holding Sanyasi who is often known to create trouble with a positive intention or for the betterment of the universe. Narada, who travels across three worlds, is also well-known personality in puranas.
Narada Jayanti is observed on Pratipada Tithi during Krishna Paksha of Jyaishta month according to North Indian Purnimant calendar. According to South Indian Amavasyant calendar Narada Jayanti falls on PratipadaTithi during Krishna Paksha of Vaishakha month. It is name of Lunar month which differs and in both type of calendars Narada Jayanti falls on the same day.
Narada Jayanti is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Devrishi Narada Muni. According to Vedic Puranas and mythologies Devrishi Narada is a universal divine messenger and primary source of information among Gods. Narada Muni has the ability to visit all Three Lokas, Akash or Heaven, Prithvi or Earth and Patal or Netherworld and is believed to be first journalist on the Earth. Narada Muni keeps travelling across the universe to communicate the information. However, most of His timely information creates trouble but that is for the betterment of the Universe.
About Narada Muni or Narad muni
Sage Narada is ardent devotee of Lord Narayana, which is one of the forms of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu in the form of Narayana is considered an embodiment of the truth.
It is believed that Sage Narada appeared from the forehead of Lord Brahma. Some Puranas like the Vishnu Purana suggest he is the son of Sage Kashyapa. In Swayumbuva Manvantara, he is described as Manasa Putra of Lord Brahma, while in Vyvasvata <anvantara he has been described as a Deva Gandharva born to sage Kashyapa.
The ever-wandering Sage, Narada plays crucial role in many important events associated with Hindu religion and a precursor of modern day journalist and mass communicator. He is believed to have invented the Veena and is also the chief of the Gandharvas, heavenly musicians. According to Vedic Puranas and mythologies Devrishi Narada is a universal divine messenger and primary source of information among Gods. Narada Muni has the ability to visit all three Lokas, Akasha or Heaven, Prithvi or Earth and Patala or Netherworld and is believed to be first journalist on the Earth. Narada Muni keeps travelling across the universe to communicate the information. Sage Narada is ardent devotee of Lord Narayana.
Narada Bhakti Sutra, Narada Purana, Narada Pancharatra and Naradiya Dharmashastra are some of the holy texts associated with Sage Narada. Intellectual meetings, seminars and prayers are held on the occasion.
Nara means a man
Da means a giver
One who gives useful knowledge to the mankind.
Most popular for his mischief, he is portrayed as a divine minstrel chanting Narayana playing his Veena, which he is accredited with, and travelling the worlds. He is also said to be the part incarnation, the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He in endowed in the Hindu scriptures for creating the most humorous tales. He is a pure, elevated soul who composed the Narada Bhakti Sutra. Because of his travels he was the bringer of news to the Gods and people and often preformed the role of a messenger. He is often and appropriately called the first Journalist. Take any purana and you will come across interesting stories where the celestial sage has played a central role. He is portrayed as very composed person, always calm and unperturbed. He is well loved by all: the Devas, the Danavas, and the Manavas. He is portrayed as having a naughty, childish streak in him that all loved. But the path of Narada was that of unperturbed devotion. He is also called a Trikala Vedi, one who knows the past, present and future at any given time with full access to all. He is also called a Kalahapriya or Kalaha bhojana, one who enjoys creating conflicts, inspite of being all that in the end he always learns his lesson and becomes more humble.
What also set him apart was his usage and play of words in sync with his spirited self. It was this talent he used to settle disputes, averted disasters and so on. He was always there when people were in distress.
What he believed and lived he preached, such was the greatness of Narada. All his beliefs and doctrines are based on his personal experiences. “The propositions, which did not prove true in the light of his experiences, he did not bother to repudiate them.”
Narad finds mention in Rigveda as a seer of Mantra, in Sama Veda, and also in Shabdakalpadruma as one who gives knowledge of God. Two more mantras of Rigveda are said to be composed by Narada, jointly with sage Parnata.
The Bhakti Sutras, a very ancient and authoritative scripture that stands out for its clarity, simplicity and the Bhakti Mimansa of Shandilya together are the most authoritative treatises among the ancient Sanskrit texts on Bhakti that was composed by Narada. The other scriptures that has been said to be written by him are Narada Smiriti Nardiyashiksha and Sangeetmakarand. Besides Naradparabrajakopnishad, Nardiyapurana, and Naradpancharatna are said to be inspired by him too. A code (smriti) is also ascribed to Narada.
BIRTH OF NARADA
The birth of sage Narada is celebrated on the day after the full moon day in the month of Vaishaka.
We all know him as the Manasaputra of Brahma. He is also considered to be born to Kashyapa Prajapati.
There is another story that relates to Naradas birth. In his previous birth Narada was a Gandharva who was cursed to be born as an earthling. He was born to a servant maid of some scholarly saints and he often partook the Prasad with them. He also consumed the ucchishtam of these sages and simply through the sheer grace, compassion he and his mom had won their favors. He often heard the discourses and was inspired and became a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Once after his mother died, he just retreated to the forest and he started to meditate, trying to follow all what he had learnt from the priests. Lord Vishnu was pleased by his devotion and appeared before him. But the Lord told him that he would see him in his divine form only after his death. It was thus because, so that it would ignite the dormant desire to be one with the Lord. He was still a boy; he came out of his meditation unsure as to whether to be happy or sad. As he grew he continued on his devotion and austerities in his earthly form until his death, when and where he received his spiritual form, the form we know of him now. He is also considered a partial manifestation of the Lord, as he was endowed to perform the miraculous task on behalf of the Lord.
He is unlike the hermits/Rishis we know of. I have never heard of Narada spending time in meditation for long.. He is always on the move. He is known to be always aware of the happening and comes up with solutions for the good of the world, guiding the perplexed, and the lost souls.
DAKSHAS CURSE TO NARADA
Daksha was one of the Prajapatis. His daughter Sati was married to Shiva, some of his other daughter married Kashyapa. He desired of begetting sons, getting them married, and having grand-children to continue his progeny. Daksha asked his gones to seek knowledge before they start their life as a householder. He sent off his elder sons to gather true knowledge.
While they were meditating, Sage Narada comes there and queries them of their purpose and enquires about their plans. The sons tell him that their father is esirous of getting them married and settle down as a householder. Narada brainwashes these sons of Daksha and they renunouces their worldly life to lead life as Sanyasis. Dakha is perplexd at the turn of events. He send his younger children to gain knowledge but tell them that they are come back and get married so that the dynasty does not die out. He also reminded them that it was their duty to take of him and stand by him in his old age. The younger ones promise to do so. But Narada repeats whatever he said to their elder brothers and they too are conviced to renounce the world to become Sanyasa.
Daksha was very upset when his children did not return. He heard as to what had happened between his sons and Sage Narada. His anger knew no control faced Narada, livid with anger and he cursed him that he would always wander like a vagabond and never ever have a home of his own. Thus Narada has been going around
Narada was staying with Krishna in Dwaraka, when they decided to take a trip. They soon came to a river,where Narada wanted to quench his thirst. Krishna asked him to bathe before he took the gulp. Narada paid no heed and drank the water to his satisfaction, but emerging out as a beautiful maiden. Krishna and his chriot had already disappeared. Narada, the maden wadered into the forest where she encountered a Rishi in deep meditation. Narada, the woman was in awe with the rishi and stood before him in reverence. The rishi open his eyes and accepted her as his disciple and and later married her. She begot him 60 children. But calamity soon hit the house and Rishi and her children died, leaving her alone to deal with it. She couldn’t even perform their funeral rites. She was hungry and craved for food. She saw a Mango tree with fruits. She could not even reach the lowest branch. At this she made a pile of the dead bodies to climb on to it to pluck the Mango.
As she was about to eat the mango, a Brahmin appeared from nowhere telling that since she was in bereavement she was not supposed to eat until she take a bath. To which she complied, holding on to the mango in one hand held above the water. When Narada emerged out he had gotten back his original form except his hand. Lord Krishna appeared and asked to take a dip again. He regained his normal form and the mango in his hand had turned into a beautiful Veena.
Krishna then explained to him that the Rishi was the Kaala Purusha and the 60 children were the 60 years Prabhava, Vibhava, and so on. After which Narada and Krishna returned to Dwaraka. This story is from the Bhagavatham.
Another version of the same story has it that Narada was rather immune from the Maya and he wanted to experience the power of Maya. So the Lord decided to give it to him. On an outing lord Krishna felt thirsty and asked Narada to get him some water. Instead of just dipping his hand he immersed himself fully into the river by which he was transformed into a maiden who married the king of the land and had many children. Then the king and the children got killed in a war, the queen was inconsolable and went to the river to kill herself. But when she immersed herself fully, she found herself transformed back into her original form.
Don’t know whether it’s a different story. Narada wanted to experience Maya, the power of delusion and asks Krishna to explain to him. Krishna said Maya is something you experience and not told. Narada couldn’t understand at which Krishna takes him to place and asks Narada to get water for him as he was very thirsty. Narada goes into a village where he meets the village headman’s beautiful daughter at the well. He is totally infatuated with her and forgets all about Krishnas demand for water. He follows her and desires to marry her. He asks for the permission from her fatherthe village Headman, he marries her and has a lot of children. He settles into the role of a good householder. Then one day he loses it all in a flood, the house, children, and wife, at which he cries to Krishna to give back what he lost. Krishna asks him where his water is. Narada realizes that what he experienced was nothing but Maya.
HOW NARADA HELPED
· He guided the child Dhruva to attain his goal of finding the Lord.
· When Hiranyakashyapa went for penance, Narada protected women of Asuras including Leelavathi, also called Kayadhu, wife of Hiranyakasyapa from the vindictive Devas, who was pregnant. He initiated Prahlada to the Ashtakshari Mantra while he was still in his mother’s womb.
· Narada was responsible for transforming the depraved hunter Ratnakara into the most esteemed Sage Valmiki and was instrumental in Valmiki taking up the writing of Ramayana.
· Sage Narada played an important role in bringing to light the Pativratya of Sati Anasuya and thus setting up the stage for the birth of the Trinity (Trimurthis) as Chandra, Datta, and Durvasa respectively.
· He prevented the Atma Linga of Lord Siva from being taken by Ravana to Lanka.
· He visited Tyagaraja and blessed him become a great singer and get the darshan of Sri Rama
· By revealing to Kamsa that Krishna was the eighth son of Devaki, Narada actually se hastened his killing.
· Veda Vyasa felt restless about the future of mankind despite having compiled the Vedas, Upanishads, seventeen Puranas and even the Mahabharata.
· It was Narada who came to him and advised him to write a grantha that glorified the Lord in a manner that would evoke the sweet feeling of bhakti in the reader by making him write Srimad Bhagavatham
WHY NARADA DID NOT MARRY?
Sage Narada is said to be not only a perpetual wanderer but also a sage who never married. There is an interesting legend in the puranas that tells us why.
Long ago in Ayodhya there was a king Ambarish who had a beautiful daughter Srimati. Sages and scholars often visited his kingdom and palace and he always honored them. He was once visited by 2 sages Narada and Parvata. There is also a story that says that it was Sage Tumburu. Ambarished hourned them and Srmati came to wash their feet. Both of them were infactuated with the princess and both asked her hand in marriage. He couldn’t displease either of them so he arranged for a swayamvara.
Narada wanted to win her hand in marriage at any cost so did Sage Parvata/Tumburu. Narada went to Vaikunta to seek help from the Lord. He asked the Lord to make Parvata look like a monkey at the time of the swayamvara. Here Parvata too went to see the Lord in Vaikunta and requested that Narada should look like a bear at the time of the swayamvara. The lord complied. Both the sages were happyfor they knew that the Lord wouldn’t disappoint them.
At the Swayamvara among the many prince and kings, they sat next to each other hoping that they would be the chosen one. Finally king Ambarish came in with Srimati following him behind, with the garland in hand. When Srimati reached them she was freaked as she saw only a bear and monkey. She covered her face in fear. But then between them she saw the Lord. Srimati was afraid to say anything. She said that she couldn’t chose and she would throw the Garland and on whomever it fell would be her wedded husband. She threw the garland which landed perfectly on the Lord’s neck. As soon as the garland touched him both he and Srimati vanished from sight.
Both were baffled and accused the king of cheating. The King himself was perplexed. The lord cleared the darkness surrounding them all and all three of them sawd with Srimati who was none other than Lakshmi incarnate and was destined to marry the lord in this birth.
Both the sages went to Vaikuntha once again, this time to confront the Lord for tricking them. The Lord told them that Srimati was Lakshmi incarnate and was destined to wed him and none other. But he accused both of them for not thinking. They could have gotten all the information through Tapasya.
And Narada was so ashamed of himself that he vowed never to marry and remained single forever.
In a version of this story, Narada was alone and asked the lord for the face of Hari, which also meant monkey and in the end Narada cursed the lord. I have dealth with it in a earlier entry.
TEMPLES OF NARADA
We know of only a few temples dedicated to Sage Narada. These temples are located in Chigateri, which is 50 kms away from Davanagere, Karnataka, India and in Korva which is 29 km north-east of Raichur in Karnataka, India.
Inputs Beena Nair blogger.com/profile/13525737045288505225