Narada Muni, the messenger of gods, is popular for gossiping and spicing up facts and that later became the root of several controversies. Though he is always depicted as wise and mischievous, in reality he was intelligent and possessed powerful memory. He was Lord Vishnu’s close companion and they both would travel through mountains and oceans with the help of aircraft Garuda. Among the many facts we all aware of the fact that Narada was a ‘Bal Brahmachari’. But did you know that despite being a companion he once cursed Lord Vishnu and that too to marry a princess? Read on to know more.
Once Lord Shiva blessed Narada to meditate in Tapovan, a forest for tapasya (meditation), and no one would be able to disturb him. He started his meditation and this became the matter of concern to Lord Indra as he was worried about his aim of meditation. To disturb him he decided to send Agni (god of fire), Varuna (god of rain) and Vayu (god of wind). Thus they began their task. Varuna made it rain, Vayu made the wind blow and later Agni lit the place on fire. But of no use and all of them returned to heaven. Indra then approached Kamadev, the god of Love, to disturb him. He tried every possible thing from beautiful dancing girls to buzzing bees to birds humming. It was an atmosphere of love. But Narad remained unaffected. He defeated everything not with Shiva’s blessings but due to his attainment.
After completing the meditation, Proud Narada met Lord Shiva on Kailash and boasted how he defeated Agni, Vayu, Varuna and Kamadev. All that Shiva had to say was not to say anything to Vishnu. But Narada couldn’t resist and boasted everything before Vishnu. To which the latter replied, “Be on guard.” Narada was so happy that he couldn’t read Vishnu’s mind.
On his way back he visited King Sheelanidhi’s palace and was informed about princess Shrimati’s swayamvar. He fell in love with the princess the moment he saw her and wished to marry her. On reading her fortune he came to know that whoever marries the princess would be the king of the three worlds. He approached Vishnu for help and requested him to make him look like Vishnu’s avatar ‘Hari’ the most handsome prince in the ceremony so that the princess chose him as her companion.
Finally the day of ‘Swayamvar’ arrived. Narada dressed in a royal avatar walked confidently in the ceremony. He knew he was the most handsome and the princess would chose him. But after looking at his face the princess busted out laughing and walked past him and then gave the garland to the last king, Lord Vishnu. This didn’t go well with Narada and told the princess that he deserves the garland. Everyone at the ceremony teased him and asked him to look into the mirror. After looking in the mirror he was in for a surprise as he was not a handsome looking man but a monkey. Unfortunately, Narada was unaware of the fact that Vishnu’s another name ‘Hari’ also meant a monkey.
Narada was annoyed and asked Vishnu the reason behind his act. He said, “I asked you to make me the most handsome prince but instead you turned me into a monkey. And because of you I have lost the love of my life.” Later he cursed Vishnu that he would also lose his beloved and will experience the pain of separation. And only monkeys would help you to get your love back.” To which Vishnu smiled and accepted the curse. He said he will take birth as a human being and Goddess Lakshmi will be his wife and they both would endure separation.
This is a true incident derived from Shri Ramcharitmanas written by Goswami Tulsidas.