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Greatness Of Sage Narada As Told By Bhagavan Sri Krishna

Yudhishthira asked Bhishma, who was lying on the ‘bed of arrows’, to tell him about one ‘who is dear to all, who gladdens all, and who is endued with all merit and accomplishment’. Bhishma recounted Krishna’s words to Ugrasena, who wanted to know why everyone spoke so highly of Narada:

Narada is as learned in the scriptures as he is noble in conduct; yet he is not proud or boastful. Anger, impudence, fear, and procrastination have left him for good. That is why he is adored by all. He never deviates from his word, overpowered by passion or greed; so he deserves worship. High honour is paid to him because he is a man of spiritual knowledge, and is energetic, forgiving, self-possessed, simple, truthful, intelligent, and modest.

Narada is liked because he is austere, good-natured, eloquent, softspoken, decorous, pure, amiable, devoid of malice, and an expert in music. He always does good to others and so is untouched by sin. He never finds pleasure in other’s misfortunes and secures his ends with the aid of scriptural wisdom and knowledge of past events; hence he is universally held in high regard. He seeks to overcome all worldly desires by chanting the Vedas and attending to the Puranas.

Sage Narada is a great renouncer. He grants no special favors, nor does he despise anyone. He dispenses knowledge equally to all and speaks according to the temperament and needs of his listener, so his conversation is delightful. He is vastly learned, wise, free from passion, deceit, laziness, greed, and anger; hence he is venerated. He is a man of unflinching devotion. He has gone beyond delusion. He does not strive to achieve wealth or objects of passion. Though totally detached, he takes a keen interest in the affairs of the world. He observes the diversity of human thought and behavior, but never speaks ill of anybody. He always strives to reconcile people and does not indulge in self-praise. So he is honored everywhere.

Narad Rishi disregards no science, nor does he repudiate other faiths; but he lives by his
own standards of morality. He never wastes a moment and is always a master of his own self. He has
earned Self-knowledge through much labor, and he does not refrain from the practice of samadhi.
He is not without sense of shame and is always open to instruction from others, if that would add
to his perfection. Never does he divulge others’ secrets, for his mind is always detached, his intellect
firm, and his heart unmoved by gain or loss. Who would not make this paragon of virtue—efficient,
holy, provident, and tactful—a beloved friend?’ (Mahabharata, ‘Shanti Parva’, 230; Swami
Tyagisananda, Aphorisms on the Gospel of Divine Love or Narada Bhakti Sutra (Madras: Rama-
krishna Math, 1943), 27–30

It is small wonder, therefore, that the Bhagavata also eulogizes Narada:

Blessed is this divine sage Narada! For singing the divine glories of Bhagavan to the accompaniment
of his vina, he himself is ever inebriated with divine love, and he enlivens with joy the hearts of
beings distressed by the woes of the world. (Bhagavata, 1.6.39)