Narad as a Catalyst of Transformation – Swami Mitrananda
We all know Narad as Devarishi but how do we perceive him? A mischief-monger going around and creating confusion. The dynamism of the Narad is lost to Indians and we have failed to interpret his actions under the right lens. Let us look at a few examples that will help us decolonize our mindset and see Narad’s actions under fresh light.
Let us start with an example – example of Prahlad’s devotion and liberation at Vishnu’s feet. Hiranyakashyapu was a terror and claimed that he was the mightiest of all living beings. He demanded that everybody had to worship him, chant his name and even forget the Lord. Hiranyakashyapu was a megalomaniac and a completely materialistic asura. Narad decided to take on him when Hiranyakashyapu’s wife Kayalu was on the family way. Narad meets Kayalu when Prahalad was in her womb and spoke to her about the glories of Narayana. Thoughts of Narayana were planted in Prahalad when he was in the womb. By doing so, Narad took on Hiranyakashyapu’s progeny even before he had manifested on the earth. Hence, when Prahlad was born he was already empowered to oppose the demonic Hiranyakashyapu.
In today’s terms, we can look at it as a surgical strike. How did Narad attack his opponent? By implanting the righteous thoughts in the next generation’s mind and making them a supporter of the right cause even as they are born. Finally, let us take the example of Vyasa. He was the most learned of his time and in fact, the verse vyasa vishale buddhe is used to describe how an inspired mind is like Vyasa’s. However, despite having mastered the scriptures, Vyasa found himself incomplete. It was Narad’s guidance that helped Vyasa seek out the Lord in devotion and give us the Bhagwatham. Vyasa’s fulfilment came with devotion and not mere knowledge accumulation. When we understand the Narad was behind such a spiritual transformation, our view of Narad changes completely. Narad’s multi-faceted personality and his unique acts of transforming people are little known to us. Somehow through the years Indians have failed to recognise and appreciate our own culture and heritage which have universal lessons contained in them. Narad is one such example amongst many. Here on, let us acknowledge Narad as a catalyst in Hinduism and not just a trouble-maker.