Sage Narada is a unique personage in Hindu philosophy who plays the ‘holy fool’ and yet engages in facilitating the good of the world in times of challenge. He is the messenger of Lord Vishnu (Narayana).
The tales that feature their interaction displayed that Lord Narayan considered Narada with a certain amount of indulgence; there was mirth and humor in their interactions. No doubt, there was subtle and between the line hidden meanings in the conversations that took place between the two.
Narada is generally not considered with reverence that is attached with most ancient seers. Rather he is most commonly known as the witty and troublesome figure that caused many disputes and disasters.
However he is known to be ‘triloka sanchari’ meaning - the one who moves about in the three worlds. In his wanderings, he gathers news and always keeps abreast of the happenings in the three worlds; news that he mostly communicated to Lord Narayana. Sometimes he would also use this information base to jump-start certain issues. Many-a-times his meddling created quarrels among inhabitants of Heaven.
In one of his visit to the earth, Narada was unhappy to see complete devastation upon the earth. There was pain, hunger sorrow and misery. He thus looked on with compassion in his eyes, repeatedly uttering the Lord’s name “Narayana-Narayana”. He immediately retraced his footsteps and raced ‘Baikuntha’ the abode of Lord Vishnu, where he narrated his findings on earth to Lord Vishnu. He implored the Gods to help the mortals and save the mankind.
Lord Narayana (Vishnu) said to Narada,"O Venerable Rishi, let people observe the Satya Narayana Puja in the evening of Shankranti or Purnima. Let them all hear the story (Katha) of Satya Narayana. All miseries will come to an end. There is no doubt of this."
As the divine messenger, Narada immediately returned to the earth and preached the glory of Lord Satya Narayan. Happiness, prosperity and peace gradually returned to the world.
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