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Nara Narayana – The Story of Nara-Narayana

Nara Narayana are two ancient Rishis who are considered to be the twin incarnations of Lord Vishnu. It is said in the Bhagavad Purana that they were the sons of Dharma and Ahimsa. The name Nara Narayana is also sometimes applied to Arjuna and Krishna in the Mahabharata. The stories of Nara Narayana are found in the Bhagavad Purana and the Vamana Purana. Symbolically, Nara, human, and Narayana, the Supreme Being, are always in a divine union. Only few lucky souls realize it.

Legend has it that Nara and Narayana, the two sages, were undergoing penances and austerities (Tapas) at Badrinath in the Himalayas. Demons (Asuras) and Devas (Demigods) wanted to know what Nara and Narayana were seeking.

Asuras according to their innate character thought the two Saints were seeking power. Demons send an army to fight them but the two saints refused to fight. Due to the powerful Tapas conducted by them the grass around the two rishis protected them and those demons that tried to attack them were burned down.

Indra, the king of the Devas, according to his innate character thought that the two wanted to overthrow him and rule over the heaven. So he sent Apsaras (nymphs) to disturb the two saints with sexual passion. Seeing the Apsaras, Narayana placed a flower in his thigh and immediately sprung from it a voluptuous nymph whose charms far excelled those nymphs sent by Indra. Since this beautiful nymph came out of the thigh she was called Urvashi.

Finally, Nara and Narayana revealed that there Tapas was to seek the ultimate goal of Moksha and they were not after power and pleasure which are temporary.