Saturday, September 14, 2013

Love of God

Once Sage Narada approached Sri Vishnu and said  "I have been singing your holy names all day, all my life. Oh Lord, can there be a greater devotee than I am?"

Mahavishnu replied: Yes, Naarada, there is a farmer on Earth, who according to me is a greater devotee than you are.

Utterly shocked Narada wants to find it out himself and goes to Earth. He watches the farmer for hours and days to see if he remembered or thought of Narayana. He finds that the simple farmer is simply chanting "hari hari" "nArAyaNa" "govinda" once in a while, while tying his cow, taking his food, sitting down, standing up. He thanks Lord when he goes to sleep and when he wakes up. All that he prays was "may i always have devotion to you I want nothing else. He keeps saying "all glories to the sweet Lord for everything He has provided". "Govinda".

Narada is infact impressed. He praises the farmer "you are a great devotee of the Lord. How many times do you chant his names? how often do you?"

The farmer replied "I do not know how many times I take his name, because I know nothing but His name. I take his name when I get up, when I brush, when I take bath, when I eat, when I walk, when I sleep, when I feed, when I am tired, when I am happy. But I do not know much"

Narada goes back to Sri Vishnu says "He is a great devotee, but he thinks of you only between tasks, once in the morning, once in the evening, once in a while at work. How can he be your greatest devotee, while I chant your names all the time. I worship you all the time. You did not agree that I was your greatest devotee. I am surprised".

Sri Vishnu replied: I understand. Will you do me a favor. Take this pot filled to its brim with oil. You have to walk with this pot on your head around this hill once without spilling even a drop of water. 

Even though it makes no sense to Narada why Sri Vishnu is asking him to do this, he obliges. He says to himself "Lord did not care to answer me but want me to carry this pot. Let me". While carrying the pot he reminded himself that he cannot spill a drop. He focused all his mind and body in balancing the pot on his head, making sure that the oil did not spill. He kept reminding him "I must be careful". After one complete round he was relieved that he did not spill a drop and exclaimed "Om Namo nArAyaNAya. nArAyaNa. nArAyaNa." "Lord I completed the task successfully". 

Sri Vishnu asked "Good. I am glad that you did, nArada". Now tell me how many times did you remember me? how many times did you chant my name? when you were carrying that pot"

Narada replied "How could I? I was so busy balancing the pot, executing your task, that all my attention was fixed on the pot and the oil"

Sri Vishnu replied: "now think of the farmer who has his tasks to complete. Despite his hardwork he ensures that he remembers by name whenever he can, even in the middle of the task. However, you were so engrossed in your task that you could not remember me even once". 

Sri Vishnu continued "In this world, everyone has a task to perform. Your task is to remember me all the time and spread my message across the world. Never compare one performer, one devotee, with another".

The humbled Narada replied "Please forgive me my Lord for my arrogance and ignorance. I have realized that those who can remember you in the midst of their daily chores, those who think of your glories at every stage in life, are also performing your worship only, they are your devotees too"

I leave the moral of the story to the reader. 

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