Biographies | Rishi
1. Naarad Jee Gave Shaap to Vishnu
There are many stories about Naarad Jee's pride about his Bhakti for Vishnu, two of them are given here. In these stories Vishnu has destroyed Naarad Jee's pride of his Bhakti towards Him.
Naarad Jee and a Cobbler
One day, as he was working in the shade of the Banyan tree, the great ancient "Saint Naarad" came to visit him. Naarad is famous among all Hindu as the personal messenger and friend of Bhagavaan Vishnu. Naarad Jee is able to see Bhagavaan whenever he wants, but he spends most of his time travelling throughout the universe in all the different planets, visiting God's devotees and instructing them. The cobbler was very happy to receive Devarshi Naarad. After welcoming him with due respect he ventured to ask if he had recently seen Bhagavaan Vishnu.
"Yes," replied Saint Naarad, "I have just been with Bhagavaan Vishnu and He has sent me to see you."
The cobbler was amazed to hear that Bhagavaan Vishnu had sent Naarad Jee only to see him. No one so important like Naarad Jee had ever come to see him - after all he was only a shoemaker. What possible interest could Bhagavaan Vishnu have in him? After some time he asked Naarad Jee - "Why did Bhagavaan Vishnu want you to see me?"
Naarad Jee said - "God thought, You might have some questions to ask." "Questions?" The cobbler was taken unaware. Naarad Jee himself had come to answer his questions. Of course, he did have questions from time to time, but now, with this unique opportunity, his mind went blank. In confusion he could not think of anything. Suddenly he thought of one simple question. "What was Bhagavaan Vishnu doing when you saw Him?"
"He was threading an elephant through the eye of a needle." Naarad replied mysteriously. "Threading an elephant through the eye of a needle?" the cobbler was surprised to hear this. The cobbler hadn't expected that Bhagavaan Vishnu would be doing this, still he did not show his disbelief in Naarad's words and said - "Well, one thing's for sure, only Bhagavaan Vishnu could do that."
Naarad Jee smiled and amused at the cobbler's simplicity he asked - "Surely, you don't believe me?" In fact he had given this answer merely to test the cobbler and didn't expect him to believe it, so he said - "I don't think even Vishnu could really do that - it's impossible."
The cobbler was again taken aback a little at Naarad's lack of faith in Bhagavaan, he asked him - "Why can't God-Vishnu do that?. Nothing's impossible for Bhagavaan Vishnu. This world is full of His miracles. He makes the Sun rise each day. He makes the Wind blow. He makes the rivers run and the trees and flowers grow. He provides for the food for all the creatures in this world."
He looked here and there and found a seed around, he picked it up, and showing it to Naarad Jee he said - "Look at this, inside this seed is a Banyan tree as big as the one above us. It's just waiting to come out. If Bhagavaan Vishnu can squeeze a whole Banyan tree into such a tiny seed, surely he can thread an elephant through the eye of a needle."
Hearing the wisdom of the cobbler's words, Naarad Jee had to admit that what he said was true. He was really amazed to find cobbler's strong faith in Bhagavaan. He realized that this man was not a simple man as he had thought of him but was very wise because that cobbler could see everything in the hand of God.
Naarad Jee and a Butcher
Naarad Jee went to that village and came to that butcher's shop. He found him very busy in selling meat to his customers. Naarad stood nearby and kept watching him. In the night, when all his customers had left, he closed his shop and came to his home hurriedly. His family was waiting for him for dinner. He caressed his wife and children with love, took bath, then took food with them. He told a story also to his children. He also went to sleep. He just said once "Victory to Bhagavaan who passed my day peacefully" and slept. After this Naarad also came back from there.
When Naarad Jee came to Vishnu, he irritatedly said - "Bhagavan, You were saying that he is your greatest Bhakt, but I have not found him taking your name even once the whole day. he just thanked you at the tome of sleeping and slept. He was all the time busy in his work and his family." Vishnu said - "Naarad, he is a poor man, where he would get time to remember me? It is enough for him to thank me even once at the time of sleeping."
But Naarad Jee was not satisfied with this plea so he said - "But Bhagavan, I recite your name all the time." Vishnu said - "If you consider yourself the greatest Bhakt of mine, then can you do one thing for me?" Naarad Jee got relieved and said enthusiastically - "Prabhu, You know it well, I can, whatever you say." Vishnu gave him a pitcher of oil, full up to the brim and said - "If you consider yourself my greatest Bhakt, then take this pitcher and make a round of the Earth, and just be watchful, not even a drop of oil should splash from it."
Naarad Jee thought "Not a big deal, It is easy, I can do it, and moreover this is my chance to show my Bhakti also to Vishnu." So he took that pitcher, put it on his head, took his Veenaa and set off for his journey. In the way he had to cross many deserts, rivers, hills, mountains, fields etc. He was thinking that singing Bhagavaan's glory he would complete his journy, but the then he remembered that Vishnu warned him to take care of the oil also. So he forgot everything, his Veenaa, his singing, and all the time he was thinking lest a drop of the oil is splashed from it.
At last he came back to Vishnu and put that pitcher near His feet. He was panting like anything. After sitting there for a few moments, he got a bit relieved.
Vishnu asked - "Naarad, What happened? Why are you so much panting?" Naarad Jee said - "Bhagavan, All the time I was thinking about this oil, now I have got some relief, that is why. Now tell me, did I do my duty all right?" Vishnu said - "No doubt about it, but tell me the truth Naarad, how many times you recited my name during your journey?" As if Naarad wanted to talk about the difficulty of this work before, he immediately spoke - "Bhagavan, Where was the time to think about you? I was always thinking about the oil splash. Truly Prabhu, I did not take your name even once during my journey."
Vishnu said - "Do you know why you could not take my name during your journey? Because you were doing my work with a compulsion, not with enjoyment. That cobbler has to work the whole day to take care of his family, how can he remember me all the time? But I live in his heart and he remembers me when he goes to sleep. That is enough for me. He fulfills his duty dutifully and without any complaints."
Naarad Jee understood that indeed that oilman was a greater Bhakt than him and he bowed to Vishnu and went away singing the glory of Bhagavaan on his Veenaa.
Shuk Dev Jee was also tested by the same method by Raajaaa Janak, read their story here - Another Test of King Janak
Naarad Jee and Garud Jee
Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 02/02/14