As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 17
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Failure of Kamadeva upsets Indra because Kamadeva works under the impact of delusory powers of Shiva but success in meditation pleases Narada and learns that delusory potency of Shiva caused defeat of lord of Love
A few words on the background make the scenario clear. Fears and uncertainty fill Indra, the lord of gods when he notices that sage Narada is engaged in intense tapa. He doubts intents of celestial sage.
In truth, suspicious nature of Indra causes many wars and therefore, the celestial beings and gods invariably suffer for long. He thinks Narada must be harbouring a desire to govern heavens of gods.
Therefore, he sends lord of Love to disturb Narada in deep meditation but fails to understand the plan of Supreme Lord. Later, the lord of Love faces defeat and turns into mere ashes.
In peculiar circumstances, Vishnu creates a city of magic where a king with a beautiful princess Srimati rules. Narada is mesmerised. However, delusory potency teaches a lesson to Narada who is angry and issues a curse that Vishnu will pay for the mischief. The curse proves true in future and Vishnu takes birth as Rama and suffers separation from Sita.
Narada now knows about the delusory powers of Shiva (Param-brahma Paramatma) the Supreme Brahma, who bestows supreme ecstasy – true ananda. Shiva is nirguna – beyond virtues, and nirbikara – beyond the borders of belief or perfection or flaws. He is beyond gunas of sattva, rajas and tamas he learns. He is Supreme Trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, the origin of all lords and gods, the great sage learnt.
Ego and pride destroy a man. If a man adheres to the path of truth and righteousness, he, in fact, lives a purposeful life and fulfills social obligations. To love and serve man is a prayer. Men of faith believe that lord Shiva wipes out sins. Lord is the eternal truth religious men tell
A grand and enchanting cave existed in the mountains of Himalaya. Alongside the great mountains, Ganges flowed without obstruction. Extremely tuneful music inherent in the flowing water of Ganges captivated everyone. A majestic, fascinating, charming and splendid ashrama existed on the banks of river. Narada, the celestial sage went to the cave and when he entered, he was very much delighted and therefore, decided to meditate because the beauty and serenity of the ashrama charmed and appeared quite appropriate for deep rumination. Narada, a son of Supreme Brahma, was now, engaged in deep meditation with an eye on future and therefore, for the attainment of the objective, tapasya (severe penance) was inevitable for the sage.
He was of pure soul and heart and therefore, with a strong will power and fortitude, he observed silence, followed strict principles of prayanama (control of breath) and sat in deep meditating quietude. One believes that in such a contemplative status, the truth of Brahma opens up and enlightens a man. If feelings, knowledge and thought that ‘I am Brahma,’ dawn, a man feels illuminated ‘the entire self’ and the heavenly light spreads out to create an aura of harmony and tranquility.
Lord Indra knew the holy sage would take control of heavens and therefore, decided to disturb tapa of Narada but lord Shiva intervened and stopped him.
When sage Narada was engaged in tapa and meditation, Indra, the lord of gods, trembled on hearing the news. He was disturbed and mental agony increased each moment as the thought, ‘Sage Narada wants to usurp his kingdom’ created uncertainty, fear and anguish. Psychological makeup of Indra became the cause of many battles and wars where gods suffered for ages but later on, emerged victorious. It was quite clear that Indra, in no case, wanted that anyone howsoever powerful should grind down his unquestioned authority and sway.
The thought perturbed and created doubts in the mind of Indra and so, he decided to make efforts to create impediments in the tapa of Narada. Indra contemplated over the seriousness and then, remembered the lord of Love, Kamadeva. As the thought struck, lord Kamadeva appeared. He explained the sensitive issues involved and asked Kamadeva to disturb tapa of Narada. Kamadeva took help of stimulants and passion, incited and provoked spring weather, and after he secured assurance, pride and happiness filled him with thoughts of success.
When they reached near the cave where Narada was undergoing severe tapa, they began to plan furtively the strategy so that they could create disturbance. Soon, they brought various agencies to disturb Narada. Shrewd and dangerous tactics to ensnare Narada in passionate moments began. Spring, in a mad state of mind, tried to create effects on environment around the sage in deep penance. Ceaseless efforts of Kamadeva and spring failed to create any passionate, evil or harmful thoughts in the mind of Narada. Narada meditated deeply with a pure heart and therefore, Shiva was pleased with the sage and so he reduced arrogance and ego of Kamadeva and spring to smithereens. Intensity and potency of tapa and penance of Narada discouraged Kamadeva to move ahead.
Blessings and benevolence of Shiva helped, and Kamadeva could not interrupt Narada, engaged in tapa. It has also a great legend attached to the ashrama.
In the ashrama, ages back, lord Shiva, considered an enemy of passion and excitement (Kamadeva), had also undergone austere tapa and penance. At that time in the same ashrama, he had reduced to ashes the lord of Love Kamadeva, who often disturbed and destroyed tapasya of many sages and monks. When Shiva reduced the lord of love to ashes, Rati, a beloved consort of Kamadeva requested the gods of heavens to give life back to Kamadeva. Entreaties of Rati deeply influenced and so, all gods appeared before Shiva and requested him to bestow life on the lord of love, the husband of Rati. Gods of heavens truly wanted life back to Kamadeva and more so Rati’s bewailing distressed. All the gods went to Shiva and made sincere requests before the lord to forgive the lord of love. Thus, the gods of heavens implored before lord Shiva constantly and frequently in a humble way.
After sometime, Shiva said, “O dear gods, after some time, Kamadeva will take birth again but will not be able to create any disturbance in the ashrama. O immortal gods, arrows of love of Kamadeva will not affect areas visible to the open eyes, situated around the ashrama. You stand and see the area that you observe around in all directions. It would be immune to arrows of love of Kamadeva. You should not doubt.”
Shiva’s words protected the entire area and therefore, Kamadeva failed and could not disturb sage Narada. After the lord of love realised defeat of efforts, he returned to Indra and narrated everything that had happened. Later on, he returned along with spring.
Indra thought over the defeat of Kamadeva’s efforts. He was quite worried. He was amazed but as he was also the lord of gods, he knew the political implication of his acts. Indra worked under the impact of maya (delusory potency) of Shiva and therefore, could not remember what happened earlier in the ashrama. Had he remembered the fate of Kamadeva, he would not have attempted to disturb Narada. The great truth was unknown to many created beings of the three worlds and if a few knew they did not fully understand the difficult and mysterious delusory powers of Shiva.
Sages often emphasised that a devotee, who surrendered at the feet of lord Shiva enjoyed the blessings of the lord and so had the knowledge of understanding maya of the lord. Others were merely deluded. Narada continued to meditate for a long time, and when he realised that tapa was complete, he terminated meditation and thought that he had vanquished the lord of Love. He was proud of attainment. As maya of Shiva deluded, he could not know the real knowledge that the cause of defeat of Kamadeva was Shiva. Elated at the success, he proceeded to the abode of Shiva to narrate the tale of success. He was extremely happy at the victory over Kamadeva. On reaching Kailasa Mountain, he narrated the entire incident concerning tapa, and the ultimate victory over the lord of Love.
Rudra (Shiva) already knew the reasons and therefore, he said to Narada, “You are a learned man and I must thank you. You must listen to me. You should never talk about the triumph to anyone and specially, you should never narrate the incident to Vishnu. Whatever you told, even then, do not speak the truth if others ask. Truth relates to the knowledge of siddhi (perfection) and therefore, you keep it a secret. Do not express experiences before anyone. You are dear to me and so with a great emphasis I advise you against telling the reality of tapa to anyone because you are a devotee of Vishnu and despite the fact, you still love and follow me.”
Thus, Shiva tried to explain to Narada and advised him to keep secret the truth of tapa he undertook. Narada was under the influence of maya of Shiva and therefore, he never thought over the favourable words of wisdom. Apparently, not very happy, Narada went to the abode of Supreme Brahma.
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