Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Posted in an orkut group by me--
My favorite character in the purAnAs is nArada. I shall investigate the character of nArada under the follwing headings:

1)A vital link:I think the very concept of Narada as an intermediary between the three kinds of beings-- the devas, the dAnavAs, and the humans is truly unbeatable.It is interesting to note that almost every mythilogical story involves nArada as a person being trusted by all. From outside, when we see the sequence of the purAnAs, we really feel that dAnavAs do not study their history properly-- time and again, nArada goes to dAnavAs and tricks them, and they still believe him.But if one goes into the depth, one can see that these are all stories out of a comic book. He who looks for a sequence has a very ignorant perspective of looking at Indian Mythology. In this regard, he supplies, through himself, that vital missing link in the story to make it more gripping.

2)Renunciation vs. Gruhasta Dharmam:
Many stories also involve him as one teaching a fitting lesson to some person, or (more frequently) him being taught a lesson in Bhakti. The latter one, I think is one of the most crucial central points about the SanAtana tradition. The moment nArada thinks he is the greatest bhakta of Hari since he has renounced the world, he is humbled by a common man! This is a great lesson, this is exactly why we have survived the onslaughts of religions that preach renunciation and living as an ascetic. Stories like these have taught the world that one can attain mOksha even while following the gruhasta dharmam.

If Mythological stories were serious, they would really be boring, because the common man doesnt want to be engrossed in bhakti all the time. So--- add a comic element! nArada is perfect in this role! His comic touch makes an impression on everyone right from the newborn to the aged. It is very difficult to forget an entertaining story. This is exactly why our stories are still intact even after thousands of years.


Ragz said...

Ah! so you are back in form too. Knowing narada's stories through amarchitra katha...I always had an impression of him as a realistic god. Coming to think of it, people calling each other names by using his name does feel attrocious some times.

Gandaragolaka said...

mmm... 'realistic god'... needs some thinking.

I hope its not an oxymoron!

Ragz said...

Ok. I take back the word realistic what I meant was a god whose actions were more like humans.

Gandaragolaka said...

I get your idea but I wasnt opposed to a 'realistic god'. It is a nice idea and it got me thinking abt it... all the abrahamic religions and modern ones like the 'saibaba-ism' might actually be based on that concept.