The Skanda Purana

by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 750,347 words

This page describes The Glory of Narada Idol which is chapter 54 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the fifty-fourth chapter of the Kaumarika-khanda of the Maheshvara-khanda of the Skanda Purana.

Chapter 54 - The Glory of Nārada Idol

Nārada said:

1. O son of Pṛthā, there is my idol too there (instated) due to the desire of the Brāhmaṇas. I never abandon it which is adorned with umbrella and staff.

2. By worshipping me on the splendid eleventh day in the bright half of the month of Kārttika, one is liberated from the blemishes of Kali.

Arjuna said:

3. Ever since my boyhood there has been a doubt in my mind. If I (openly declare it and) ask you about it, O Brāhmaṇa, it does not behove you to be angry.

4. You have always been well-acquainted with the duties pertaining to salvation. You are impartial to all living beings. You have complete control over the sense-organs. You are devoid of excessive attachment and hatred.

5. You have equally eschewed censure and praise. You observe the vow of silence. You are glorified as ever liberated. (But) O Nārada, O sage, you are as quick (i.e. fast moving) as the wind in the world.

6. You are seen moving about like lightning. You are honoured by the intelligent ones (but) you always provoke quarrels in the world. You are devoid of kindness towards all living beings.

7. Many thousands of Devas, Gandharvas, Rākṣasas, kings, leading sages and Daityas have been ruined on account of the quarrels provoked by you.

8. Why do you have this type of activity? Dispel this doubt of mine, O Brāhmaṇa. On account of this doubt, one is unable to sleep happily like the deer pierced with an arrow.

Sūta said:

9-10. On hearing these words from Phālguna, O Śaunaka, sage Nārada laughingly glanced at the face of Bābhravya. This Brāhmaṇa named Bābhravya was a scion of the family of Hārīta. He always remains near sage Nārada.

11. Highly intelligent that he was, be understood the desire of Nārada. He said laughingly to Phālguna in friendly words:

Bābhravya said:

12. What you say about Nārada is true, O son of Pāṇḍu. In this matter all men have the same doubt.

13. Therefore, I shall report everything to you as it had been heard a short time ago from Kṛṣṇa, the scion of the Yādava family.

14-18a. In the course of his pilgrimage to Mahīsāgara, Lord Kṛṣṇa came there accompanied by Ugrasena, Vasudeva, Babhru, Rāma, son of Rukmiṇī, Yuyudhāna and others. After going to Mahī-sāgara-saṅgama along with his kinsmen, he performed Piṇḍa Dāna[1] (offering rice balls) etc. and made many charitable offerings. With great care, he worshipped Guheśvara and other Liṅgas. He took his bath in Koṭitīrtha and worshipped Jayāditya. Thereafter, Kṛṣṇa of lofty mind and yogic power worshipped sage Nārada. He was accompanied by an earlier born (i.e. senior by birth) one who had matted hair.

18b. Even as many leading Brāhmaṇas including me were within hearing, Ugrasena, the great king, spoke to Kṛṣṇa in the assembly:

Ugrasena asked:

19-20. O Kṛṣṇa, I shall ask you to clarify a doubt of mine. This Nārada is highly intelligent and honoured by the whole universe. Why is he exceedingly fickle? Like the wind he wanders over the universe. Why is he fond of quarrels? Why is he exceedingly fond of you?

Śrīkṛṣṇa said:

21-26. What has been asked by you is true. O king, I shall speak everything to you. Nārada, the excellent sage, was formerly cursed by Dakṣa on seeing that his sons were led astray from the path of creation (i.e. natural path) by Nārada. Since he led astray his (Dakṣa’s) sons on two occasions, Dakṣa pronounced two curses: “You will nowhere stay while wandering over all the worlds. Incited by others, you will become a tale-bearer.”[2]

Although he (Nārada) was capable of countering the curses the sage accepted them. He deserves praise for it since he himself is capable (of countering the curses).

It is after foreseeing the time of (imminent) ruin that he instigates (and increases) a quarrel. As he tells the truth, he is not defiled by a sin. Although he wanders everywhere, he is not affected by the defects of wandering since his mind never deviates from the (supreme) being who ought to be meditated upon (i.e. God). Listen as to why he entertains such an exceedingly deep love for me.

27. Indeed I always eulogize Nārada of divine vision by means of the hymn pronounced by Mahendra. Listen to it, O king:

Hymn to Nārada

28. I bow down to that Nārada who has no arrogance due to learning or good conduct but whose learning and good conduct are well-known.

29. I bow down to that Nārada who has none of these (defects): Absence of interest, anger, fickleness and fear. He is composed and free from (habitual) procrastination.

30. I salute that Nārada who does not change his word (once uttered) either due to lust or to covetousness and who is worthy of being adored by all creatures (i.e. living beings).

31. I pay obeisance to that Nārada who is conversant with the principles and goal of spiritual endeavour, who is forbearing, powerful and straightforward, who has conquered his sense-organs and who speaks the truth.

32. I bow down to that Nārada who is full-grown and venerable in respect of splendour, fame, intellect, prudence, humility, birth and penance.

33. I salute that Nārada whose conduct and dress are pleasing and whose diet, behaviour, eyes and utterances are good and who is splendid.

34. I pay obeisance to Nārada who causes excessive happiness, who has no sin and who never takes delight in other people’s misfortune.

35. I bow down to that Nārada who always abides by the duties enjoined in the Vedas, Smṛtis and Purāṇas and who is free from (i.e. is above) either pleasure or displeasure.

36. I salute Nārada who is uninterested in foodstuffs and other things, who is learned, who is never idle, who is a Brāhmaṇa of vast learning and whose narratives are charming.

37. I bow down to that Nārada who has never erred before in respect of wealth, anger and love and by whom these defects have been eliminated.

38. I pay obeisance to Nārada who is devoid of the defect of infatuation and fascination, who has great devotion to welfare and who has prudence and modesty.

39. I bow down to that Nārada who is never contaminated by contacts (but) whose soul appears to be attached, who is eloquent and who has no prolonged doubts.

40. I bow down to that Nārada who never abandons scriptural texts, who never subsists on his penance and whose mind is productive at all times.

41. I salute that Nārada who puts in great efforts, who exerts his intelligence, who is never satiated with concentration and meditation and who never errs in his efforts.

42. I bow down to Nārada who does not become elated by the acquisition of wealth, who does not become dejected on account of non-acquisition, whose intellect is steady and whose soul is not excessively attached.

43. I seek refuge in Nārada who is richly endowed with all good qualities, who is efficient, pure and unafraid, who knows the proper occasions and is conversant with good policies.

(The Hymn ends here.)

44. Everyday I recite this hymn of Nārada, O king. Therefore, the excellent sage has great love for me.

45. If any other person too remains pure and repeats this prayer everyday, he will ere long attract great favour of the Celestial Sage.

46. O king, after listening to these good qualities of Nārada, repeat this meritorious prayer. The sage will be pleased with you.

Bābhravya said:

47. On hearing the good qualities of Nārada from Kṛṣṇa orally, in this manner, the king became extremely pleased and acted according to his suggestion.

48. After giving plenty of excellent gifts to the excellent leading Brāhmaṇas (admirers or worshippers) of Nārada, saying “Let Nārada be pleased”, he worshipped Nārada.

49. After concluding this pilgrimage duly, Kṛṣṇa the excellent Puruṣa, went to Dvārāvatī along with his brother, kinsmen and relatives.

50. Similarly you too, O descendant of Kuru, after listening to the good qualities of Nārada entertain faith and listen to the duty in this connection.

51. On the Prabodhinī Dvādaśī (twelfth day) in the bright half of the month of Kārttika, this sage always wakes up from his trance and meditates on Viṣṇu.[3]

52. On that day, with great concentration and purity, a devotee should take his holy bath here itself in the well dug up by Nārada and perform Śrāddha with great care.

53-57. The penance, charitable gift, and Japa done here in the well, become everlasting. Then the devotee shall waken up Viṣṇu by (reciting) the Mantra beginning with “Idaṃ Viṣṇo[4]

Afterwards, O son of Pāṇḍu, he should waken up sage Nārada by means of the following Mantra:

“O excellent sage, just as the yogic slumber was abandoned by Hari so you too abandon it for rendering help to the worlds.”

After wakening him by this Mantra, he should worship Nārada by means of the hymn pronounced by Kṛṣṇa and also by offering umbrella, garments1 and splendid adorations.

Uttering “Let Nārada be pleased”, he should bow down to the Brāhmaṇas devoutly. Umbrella, garments and pot of water should be given to Brāhmaṇas in accordance with his capacity.

58. If it is done like this, he is liberated from sins by the grace of the sage. He will never meet with quarrels. He will never have misery or sorrow.

Footnotes and references:

[1]:

Kṛṣṇa’s parents were alive. Still he is shown to have performed Piṇḍadāna. The author of the Purāṇa holds that one whose father is alive can perform Piṇḍadāna. This is a disputed point in Dharma Śāstra (vide Kane, HD Vol. IV pp 511-513). Those, in Maharashtra follow Nirṇayasindhu which regards a jīvatpitṛka (‘one whose father is alive’) as ineligible to perform Piṇḍadāna.

[2]:

Vide BhPVI. 5.5-43.; VP 1.15.91-102

[3]:

That Nārada’s slumber is like Viṣṇu’s is a new information in the SkP.

[4]:

Probably some Purāṇic verse as it is not traced in Bloomfield’s Vedic Concordance.

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