As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 18
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Narada, after the triumph over passions and the defeat the lord of love, appears before Brahma and then goes to Vaikuntha, and learns that a man of devotion sans worldly infatuation enjoys life of bliss
Passion, delusion and evil thoughts take birth in the mind of a man, who is devoid of bhakti, knowledge of ‘the self’ and renunciation of worldly attachments (vairagya) and thus, he suffers. “You are a great celibate… and you are full of virtues of knowledge of ‘the self’ and renunciation. Evils and passions cannot enter your mind. You are a sage of pure mind and intellect from the day you subjugated earthly ensnare.” Narada heard.
He saluted Brahma and said, “O father, I secured victory over Kamadeva with the power of austere tapa.”
Brahma heard sage Narada, meditated at the holy feet of Shiva, and after knowing the truth, advised son Narada not to reveal the truth of tapa to anyone. However, Narada was under the influence of maya of Shiva and therefore, a little seed of pride slowly sprouted in him. His sanity did not help. Brahma did not take notice of achievement of Narada. Therefore, Narada thought to go to Vishnu and without staying for a moment, he went to Vaikuntha immediately. Vishnu, on observing the arrival of sage Narada, got up from holy lotus-throne, went forward to greet Narada and embraced warmly.
Vishnu, the knower of minds of created beings, thought of holy feet of Shiva and said to Narada, “O holy sage, from where have you come? What purpose brings you here? O the greatest monk, I am blessed and your arrival has purified this abode.”
After he heard reverential praise of Sri Hari, Narada filled with pride and inflated self-image, narrated the entire truth of severe tapa. Sri Hari heard sage Narada patiently, who appeared arrogant now, and at the same time, learnt about the cause of sage’s victory over Kamadeva.
Vishnu said, “O great monk, you are great and I know you are an embodiment of tapasya. You are generous O monk. Passion, delusion and evil thoughts take birth in the mind of a man, who is devoid of bhakti, knowledge of ‘the self’ and renunciation of worldly attachments (vairagya) and thus, he suffers. You are a great celibate… and you are full of virtues of knowledge of ‘the self’ and renunciation. Evils and passions cannot enter a clean intellect. You are a sage of pure mind and intellect from the day of birth.”
Sage Narada, after listening to the mild and extolling words of Vishnu, began to laugh loudly and saluting Vishnu, said, “O great swamy, you are kind and generous. How Kamadeva can influence me?” Celestial sage said and went away. However, praise filled Narada with self-worth and complacency.
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