2. FROM DEVIBHAGAVATAM:
Once Narada went to visit Vishnu. Noticing that Narada was approaching them, Laksmi, the consort of Vishnu, moved away from being near to Vishnu. Narada wondered why she had to move away seeing him who was just an aged Saint. When he enquired the reason, Vishnu remarked that it would always be better to keep distance from other males as anything might happen under the power of illusion. Narada requested Vishnu for a demonstration of his power to create illusion. Vishnu then took Narada on a ride on his Vehicle Garuda and reached Kanyakubja. Vishnu asked Narada to have bath in a pond there. When Narada came out of the pond, he got transformed into a beautiful lady. Vishnu quietly left the place.
A King by name Taladhwaja saw the lady and fell in love with her. He took her along with him to his city. He made her his queen. They had a few sons. In course of time, some enemy kings pillaged his city. They killed all the sons. The queen was extremely grief-stricken at these developments. Lord Vishnu went to her in the guise of an old Brahmin and consoled her. He taught her about the impermanence of relationships in this world and instructed her on spiritual Knowledge. He took her along with him. He asked her to have a bath in a nearby pond. Immediately after the bath, the queen got back her original form of Narada. Narada prostrated to Vishnu and realized His powers of illusion.
3. FROM VARAHA PURANA:
Narada went to Ravana who gave Narada a royal reception. Narada told Ravana that it was no big deal conquering the mere human beings and asked him to invade the Heaven, the abode of gods, and capture Indra. He then reached Indra ahead of Ravana and informed Indra that Ravana was so arrogant that he would shortly be invading the Heaven. He asked Indra to cut him down to size.
The Demon King Mahishasura proved himself to be a huge trouble maker. The gods were unable to subjugate him. Narada approached Narayani residing on the Malaya mountain range. He told her that Mahishasura was so conceited that he was planning to marry her. Narada advised her that she should kill him. Immediately he went to Mahishasura and said to him that he was wasting all his youth without having the conjugal pleasure with Narayani who inhabits in the Malaya Mountains. He encouraged Mahishasura to get her hand in marriage by any means. Mahishasura tried to get her and in the ensuing battle, the Goddess Narayani killed the demon.
Narada was a Saraswat Brahmin in one of his pat lives. He left the household responsibilities on his son and went to forests to observe austerities and meditation. Lord Vishnu manifested in front of him and enquired from him what was it that he wished. Narada expressed his desire to ever stay close to Vishnu. Vishnu granted the boon to Narada saying that Vishnu’s successor would be Brahma. He added that Narada would take birth as Brahma’s son in order to be united with Him. Vishnu also blessed him saying that he would be known as “Narada” because he would constantly be providing waters of Knowledge to people. (The name Narada is derived from nAram j~nAnam dadAti iti nAradaH — “nAra” in Sanskrit means water; Knowledge).
Narada once visited the Shweta islands. He saw many handsome people there. He could not identify who was Vishnu among them. So he prayed to Vishnu. Vishnu manifested and wanted Narada to express his desire. Narada asked Vishnu to teach him about the illusion that Vishnu crafts. Vishnu accepted the request and asked Narada to have a dip in a nearby pond first. As Narada came out of the pool after the bath, he got transformed as a lady. He later took birth as Charumati, the daughter of the King of Kashi. Charumati married Shibi. They had five sons together. Their names were: Nagnajitti, Viprajitti, Vicitti, Charuvaktra and Chitta. The five sons and the father went on a spree of wars and annexed many kingdoms. Finally, they were all killed by the King of Kashi in a battle. Charumati felt inconsolable grief at the death of her husband and the sons. In desperation, she wanted to end her life by jumping into the burning pyres. At the moment she was about to jump, she obtained back her previous form of Narada. Narada was astounded by this change. He could not decipher whether it was a dream or a stupor. After a considerable analysis, he could finally concluded that it was nothing but the illusion created by Vishnu.
(To continue …. Part – 14).