HAUGHTY NARADA LEARNS A LESSON
Humility is a virtue we should embrace. Pride and arrogance should be kept at a distance. This is a story of how the great Indian mythological sage Narada, proud and arrogant about his musical knowledge learnt a lesson.
Long, long ago, the great sage Narada was roaming around the three worlds, singing and playing Mahati, his Vina. He was so proud of his own music and knowledge that he suddenly stopped singing for a second and thought, “Who could sing better than me? There is none that knows more about music than me! I am the greatest!.” Thus glorifying himself, he continued to sing.
Sage Narada then reached Kailasa where Lord Siva was having a discussion with Goddess Parvati on music. On seeing Narada, Lord Siva welcomed him and asked him his views on music. The proud Narada held his head high in the air and said, “I am the right person to answer any of your questions. Produce if you can, any person who has the courage to sing or play before me.”
Lord Siva was aghast at Narada’s arrogance and thought, “Narada thinks too much.of himself. He must be taught a proper lesson”. Thus thinking, Lord Siva went to seek the help of Lord Vishnu in Vaikunta who was seated on the Adisesha, the snake, with his consort, Goddess Mahalakshmi and told him about Narada’s pride. Lord Vishnu assured Lord Siva with a smile, that he would teach Narada a befitting lesson.
With a view to curb Narada’s pride, Lord Vishnu took him to the abode of the Gods, where they saw many men and women weeping over their broken limbs.
On seeing this Lord Vishnu asked with concern, “Why are you all crying? Who did this great injustice to you?”
The head of the Gods replied, “We are the Ragas and Raginis of music, created by Lord Siva. Narada here, ignorant of the true knowledge of music and unskilled in
performance, sang and played them recklessly. The result was the breaking of our limbs! Unless Lord Siva or some other skillful person sings them properly, there is no hope of our being restored to our former state”.
At this stage, Lord Siva appeared and asked Narada, with a teasing smile, “What is this, Narada? Is this the greatness of your music that you were boasting about?”
The Saptaswaras with broken limbs
Narada could not answer and he bent his head down in shame. To relieve the Ragas and Raginis of their pain and restore them back to their original shape, Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of learning and music, was requested to appear. As soon as she appeared on her traditional white swan, Lord Siva said, “Oh! Goddess of learning! Kindly redeem these Ragas and Raginis from their plight with your divine music.”
The Goddess immediately sang with her Vina, Vipanchi, to the ecstasy of everyone present. The music was so pure and perfect that the Ragas and Raginis were immediately cured.
Narada, breathless with surprise at her great ability, prostrated before her and said, “Oh! Presiding Deity of music, please forgive me for my arrogance. I am nothing in front of you and your ocean of knowledge.”
Lord Siva, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Saraswati forgave Narada and blessed him.
Moral: Pride goes before a fall