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Story Of Narada Getting Face Of Monkey For Swayamvara

Story of Sage Narada getting face of monkey for a swayamvara is part of Shri Ramcharitmanas written by Goswami Tulsidas. Once Shiva blessed Sage Narada to perform intense meditation in Tapovan and that no one would be able to disturb him.
The meditation of Sage Narada became a concern for the ever insecure Indra, the king of Devas. He thought that after successful completion of the mediation, Sage Narada might become the king of Devas.

All attempts including torrential rain, hurricane and forest fire employed by Indra to disturb the penance of Sage Narada failed miserably. Even all possible methods adopted by Kamdev too failed to breach the penance.

When the penance was completed successfully, Sage Narada was filled with pride. He forgot that he was able to gain victory over elements and senses only with the blessing of Lord Shiva.

Sage Narada met Shiva and proudly announced about his successful completion of penance. Shiva simply smiled and told Sage Narada not to say about this to Bhagavan Vishnu.

Sage Narada could not resist and he boasted about his achievement to Vishnu. Vishnu happily told him to be still on guard against all the forces of nature.

Soon, Sage Narada heard about the swayamvar of Shrimati, the daughter of King Sheelanidhi. Sage Narada fell in love with the princess the moment he saw her. On reading her horoscope, Sage Narada realized that person marrying her would become the king of the three worlds.

Sage Narada then requested Bhagavan Vishnu to make him look like Hari (one of the names of Vishnu) so that the princess would choose him in swayamvar.

On the day of the swayamvar, Sage Narada confidently arrived in the palace. He was sure that the princess could not reject him as he was now beautiful as Bhagavan Vishnu.
But to his surprise the princess busted into laughter on seeing him and walked past him without choosing him.

Everyone in the ceremony started laughing at Sage Narada. An embarrassed and puzzled Narada looked at his reflection in water and was shocked on seeing that he had a monkey face and not that of Bhagavan Vishnu.

Sage Narada was then told that the name Hari of Vishnu also meant a monkey.

Vishnu told Sage Narada that he played this leela on him to make him realize that all his achievements were due to the blessing of Shiva. When Shiva withdrew his blessing, he was overtaken by pride and desire. With blessing of Shiva he was able to defeat even Kamdev but without his blessing he was overpowered by a woman. This led to him wanting to marry the princess. He lost his senses and asked Vishnu to make him like Hari without realizing that Hari also meant monkey.