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Narada Learns a Lesson on True Devotee – Story

Once upon a time conceit entered into the heart of Narada and he thought there was no greater devotee than himself. Reading his heart, the Lord said, “Narada go to such and such a place; there is a great Bhakta; cultivate his acquaintance; he is my true devotee.

Narada went and found a peasant who rose early in the morning, spoke the name of Hari (god) once, and taking his plough went out and tilled the ground the whole day. At night before going to bed he uttered the name of Hari once more.

Narada said to himself” “How can this rustic be a lover of God? I see him busy in worldly duties and no sign of a pious man about him.”

So the sage went back to the Lord and told Him what he thought of his new acquaintance.

But the Lord said, “Narada, take this cup of oil and go round the city and come back with it, but take care that you do not spill a single drop of it.”

Narada did as he was told, and on his return, he was asked by the Lord how many times he had remembered Him in his circuit of the city.

Narada replied, “Not once, O Lord; for how could I, when I had to keep the whole of my mind fixed on this cup, brimful of oil?”

Then the Lord said, “This one cup of oil so diverted your attention that you forgot Me altogether. Look now at that peasant who, carrying the mighty load of all his worldly duties, remembers Me, nevertheless, twice every day.

Story by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa