Continuing stories of Narada Muni
“Although I have many centres that would be suitable residences,
I cannot stay anywhere, for I have also been cursed”
"I have also been cursed."
These words were spoken by Srila Prabhupada in one of his purports, wherein he has chosen to identify himself and his mission, with the activities of Narada Muni.
What do they both have in common?
They are both sadhus - realized saintly persons - who have nothing at all to do with this world..
It is quite difficult for us to understand the nature of such a person; we, who are engrossed in so many facets of day to day life. Family, household, education, career, obstacles, enjoyment, sickness, world calamities, the internet, movies, music, sports, news on TV - all these [and more]captivate the minds of everyone.
But saintly persons see all this as a complete waste of time and energy.
Here are some words from Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakura - another elevated sadhu.
“There is no doubt that the words of a sadhu possess the power to destroy the sinful propensities of one’s mind. Everyone who associates with him is benefited. The real sadhu makes us speak what is concealed within our hearts and then he applies the knife. The
sensuous desires of men are like goats. The sadhu stands in front of the block, with his upraised sacrificial knife, ready to kill those desires with his merciful stroke in the form of unpleasant language.”
Here “Unpleasant language” does not imply discourtesy or vulgarity, but honest advice on how to “save yourself” from what you now consider most valuable!
Needless to say, not everyone welcomes a sadhu into their lives!!
Narada Muni has the power to travel anywhere at will. He does not face old age or death. He is always happy. Yet he wants to help others.
When he hears that Daksa, has sent his sons, known collectively as the Harayasvas, to practice meditation and austerity [as preparation for the responsibilities of family life] he decides to go and meet the young men.
They respectfully honor him, and Narada in turn instructs them. Through an analogy, he asks them to consider deeply what they actually stand to gain by becoming entangled in worldly affairs. He wishes to divert their attention towards spiritual realization.
The Haryasvas understand what Narada is saying and decide to take his instructions very seriously. Thus they never return home.
Daksa was very upset.
He decided to have more children, and soon his next group of sons, known as the Savalasvas, were born. When old enough, he also sent them to perform austerities and meditation.
Again Narada arrived, again he spoke enigmatic words wishing to also enlighten them. Understanding the meaning, they too departed for a life of spiritual elevation.
This time it was Narada
himself who went to tell Daksa what had happened.
Wanting to severely punish him, he told him he would never again be able to stay anywhere for more than three days. Daksa wanted Narada to suffer. Because of this curse, he could never own his own house, nor happily raise a family , nor get a steady job, or amass any kind of assets. He would have to continue roaming like a beggar, without any facilities or shelter.
How would we feel in that situation? Probably quite distressed.
But Narada is a sadhu, with nothing to gain from this world, so he accepted this curse as a blessing, and happily continued to travel everywhere enlightening others.
In a similar way, Srila Prabhupada travelled as much as possible, and spoke the message he had come to give. When the youth of America took his message seriously, they changed. Although previously they were “drug addicted hippies”, they gave up intoxication, and other bad habits.
Sometimes parents initially appreciated this reformation, but when they saw them serious in renouncing the world’s values, they resented his influence upon their children
Nevertheless Prabhupada bore their criticism, and continued giving his powerful spiritual instructions. Preaching can be a difficult and thankless task, yet without the blessings of a sadhu it is impossible to renounce attachment to this world.
That is why Srila Prabhupada comments:
“Let us continue preaching the message of Lord Krishna and not be afraid of our enemies… Although parents may become angry at us, we must perform our duty without hesitation, because we are in the disciplic succession from Narada Muni.”
This is the way of life for a self realized sadhu.