The Supreme Devotee

Once, Naradmuni became too proud of His devotion unto God. He felt that he chants the name, ‘Narayan, Narayan’, continuously; hence, there is no superior devotee of God than Him in all the 3 regions. Shri Vishnu came to know this. God always takes care that his devotees do not develop any false ego. Hence, God decided to eliminate the ego of Narad.

So, when Naradmuni visited Shri Vishnu, He asked Narad, “Devarshi, do you meet My devotees on your visit to earth ? One of my ardent devotees lives there.” Naradmuni became thoughtful on listening to these words. He thought, ‘Who could be a better a devotee than me ?’

To find out the true devotee, Naradmuni collected all the information from Shri Vishnu and went to the specific place on earth. Naradmuni was surprised to observing that the true devotee as claimed by Shri Vishnu was just an ordinary farmer. Naradmuni witnessed the activities of the farmer for the entire day. The farmer used to get up early in the morning, chant God’s name, work on the field for the entire day, and while going to sleep at night would pray, ‘O God, I could do my work today only due to you. The day went off nicely because of your grace. Let such grace always be bestowed upon me.’ Naradmuni was surprised to see this. He said to himself, “He chants the name of God and prays only once in the day, whereas I chant the name of God continuously. Then, how can he be a true devotee ?”

So, Naradmuni once again met Shri Vishnu and asked, “O God, I do not understand, how you called him a true devotee.” Shri Vishnu smiled and told him, “Narad, you perform one task; you take this bowl filled with oil and deliver it to Bhagawan Shankar in Kailas mountain.” Naradmuni took the bowl. The bowl was filled with oil till the brim; hence His entire concentration was focused on the oil so that it should not spill it on the way. Therefore, He forgot to chant the name of Shri Vishnu. On handing over the bowl to Bhagawan Shankar he heaved a sigh of relief.

He came back to Shri Vishnu. Shri Vishnu asked Him, “Did you deliver the bowl ? Hope you did not spill any oil ?” Narad replied, “No, I delivered the bowl without spilling any oil”. Shri Vishnu asked, “How many times did you chant my name on the way ?” Narad was embarrassed on hearing this question; he said, “As my entire concentration was focused on the bowl, I forgot to chant.” Shri Vishnu smiled and said, “You chant my name everyday continuously, but while going to earth, did you remember me even once ? You forgot about me while carrying a little bowl. However, that farmer does not forget me even while he carries a load of worldly anxieties over his back. Now, you yourself decide who is superior.” Listening to this, Narad realized what was the purpose of all this exercise.

Children, God’s devotion is superior when chanting God’s name occurs continuously even while dwelling on the earth and fulfilling all the worldly duties in the right manner.