Jai Sri Hari and a warm and cuddly hug to my dear OS family. We are encountering strange weather in Hyderabad. The winters have become stronger after Sankranti. They seem to be lingering to remind people that they may be late this year, but they are still potent enough to make you reach for a blanket at night.
Today, I am sharing with you two small lessons that we can learn from an interaction Lord Shiva had with Narada.
Swamiji narrated the story in Sri Sukhtam about how Narada got delusional after meditating for a significant amount of time and avoiding the traps of Kamadeva. You can read a detailed version of this story here.
Narada magnanimously forgives Kamadeva and feels elated. He decides to meet Lord Shiva and tell him about his achievements. After all, he was the second person after Lord Shiva to conquer Kama, and unlike Shiva, he did not even get angry and blast Kama to ashes.
His chest puffing with pride, he narrated the entire episode to Lord Shiva. After Narada ended his pompous discourse, Shiva smiled and congratulated him. He then asked him never to repeat this story to Sri Hari.
Swami Tyagananda writes about how Narada never understood the subtle meaning of Lord Shiva’s message. He was trying to tell Narada that he enjoyed Narada’s visits because Narada would always sing the glories of Sri Hari, which was music to Lord Shiva’s ears. Now Narada was singing his own glories without realizing that Lord Shiva’s and Sri Hari’s blessings protected him. We may laugh at Narada but let’s examine our own situations in life. How many people do you have in your life with whom you can discuss the glories of god?
In most cases, it would be fellow devotees or a few friends. Yet when we meet them, how often do we discuss the glories of god? Mostly it’s sharing our problems, our small achievements, or discussing other people’s lives. After I read this, I do my best to avoid talking about my trivial achievements and prefer discussing the glories of god with fellow devotees. It’s proving to be very helpful.
The other lesson is how Narada felt that he was so magnanimous that he forgave Kama with Lord Shiva blasted him to ashes. At first glance, mercy seems a better option. However, the spiritual path is called Razor’s edge because a devotee does not know anything; only grace can help them balance on this edge. Swami Tyagandana beautifully describes how one cannot compare Shiva’s and Narada’s actions. You can read it here because I don’t want to copy-paste his entire explanation, and my interpretation will only ruin it.
Lord Shiva taught us that emotions like lust and greed must be eradicated mercilessly. They return with renewed vigor if we give in to desires in a moment of weakness. The same thing happens to Narada. He thought he was being compassionate by forgiving Kama, who would, in turn, completely envelop him later in the story when he sees princess Viśvamohinī.
Here is a beautiful song that captures the glories of Lord Shiva. Thank you so much for reading.