Faith

An exemplary guru

Narada stands out as an exemplary guru to all those in search of salvation with his extraordinary bhakti, owing to which he enjoys a close relationship with God. Narada has played a very significant role in fostering bhakti rasa and Bhagavata dharma and has shown how God is attainable through devotion, pointed out Sri Ramanujam in a discourse. Narada is Guru to the illustrious line of devotees that includes sages such as Valmiki, Vyasa, etc, celestial beings, kings, child devotees such as Dhruva, Prahlada, and so on.

Valmiki is actually born as Ratnakara, and lives the life of a robber. But by the influence of Narada, he rejects his evil ways and becomes his faithful disciple. It is interesting that Narada instructs him to perform penance by chanting the name Ma-ra which means to kill. But the continuous chanting becomes effective meditation on Rama Nama by God’s grace, just as the subtle grace that enables even the random strewing of seeds to sprout and grow. The penance of the robber-turned-devotee becomes doubly valuable when it is done with total faith in the words of the guru and with sincerity. In course of time, huge anthills grow around him and Narada helps him to come out. Narada names him Valmiki, meaning one born of an anthill and also imparts the teachings of the scriptures to him. He relates the greatness of Rama and encourages him to write the Ramayana. Brahma showers his grace on him and he becomes the first poet. He also becomes the foremost of ascetics.

In the case of Dhruva, Narada guides the young boy in the intricacies of austere penance that even an adult would find challenging. He teaches the boy to meditate on the Lord’s form and also imparts the Dwadasa mantra. Narada guides him and acts as link between him and God literally.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 1:38:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/an-exemplary-guru/article30636720.ece

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