Published:24 Jun 2013 8 PMUpdated:24 Jun 2013 8 PM  Sakthi Vikatan
Vikatan Correspondent  Premium Story
 1. The fragrance of flora rose, so the clouds moved lower, and Vindya mountain's king opposed his palms.
He asked the mountains some questions. "Are there any mountains equal to me? I see the southern mountain ranges. Are they equal to me? The mountains, rising to my forelegs and sporting the dancing clouds on their heads, trigger wonder in me. I never crown my head with clouds. I wear them on my ankles as anklets. I wear the clouds as silk clothing around my waist. The clouds have no strength to rise above. I do not permit them to rise above my waist. What are the mountains talking about such a great person that I am?

2. Nāradar laughed as a response to the questions posed to the mountains. 'Wearing the clouds on the ankles and the waist? The mountains wearing them on their heads seem to clothe the king's waist. What benefit does the king gain by praising the arrogant himself? Why is the world caught up in this haughtiness? Could he not keep his mouth shut and maintain silence? Could he not pay homage and give the pass? Why this dance?' These thoughts passed through Nāradar's mind.

3. Nāradar: "True! The southern mountains are not equal to the dust under your soles. But Meru Mountain is in the north. Think of the Himalayas. Those mountains are stacked higher and certainly above you. They are greater than you. They are several miles wide, covered completely with the snow. The clouds rise from below and envelope them on all sides. Clouds are everywhere, below the feet, around the hips, waist, chest, and the crown of the head. The clouds hide the mountain tops perpetually. I think the clouds are higher and taller than you. A mountain taller than you exists belittling your grandiosity."

4. The king: "Is that so? Meru is taller than me, all covered with clouds. If so, I will grow too.
 5. Vindhya Mountains: "I could grow. I could stand equal in all measures with the Meru Mountain. I can grow taller than Meru. "
The Vindhya mountains grew. Nāradar moved a little and thought this haughtiness deserved punishment. With no effort on his part, it happened.

6. Kasi's Agasthiya Muni and his wife went south. The Muni told his wife, "If we go past the Vindhya Mountains, it is a cakewalk. Get ready for the travel. We are going to settle down in the south. Dear Lopamudra! 'You are one among the faithful wives of the world. Tremendous is your Sakthi. I remain your upright husband because of your loving embrace of me.' A loyal wife like you is the reason why I will grow stronger. I will cross over to the other side of the Vindhya mountains. Come along with me." They began their journey. The Muni took one look at the Vindhya mountains and stood stunned, frozen and speechless.

7. Lopamudra: "What happened? I crossed over you many times. You were never like this. You were never this tall. What happened to you?"
She wondered whether she could cross over that high a mountain. Her hesitation made the Muni angry. Not against his wife Lopamudra! The object of his anger was the Vindhya Mountains. Agasthiyar's wife is the daughter of a king. Without a second thought, thinking of the Muni as a god and sacrificing palace comforts, she married him and remained a loyal wife to him. Vindhya mountains made her gloomy, glum, and sullen. Agasthiyar was angry with the mountains.

8. Agasthiyar: "O Vidhya Mountain! The south and north should join as one nation. One people, one country. You cause evil to the Bharatha subcontinent because you keep growing and separating the people. You are a disgrace and what you do is treasonous. Therefore, you must go down in height. " Saying such harsh words, Agasthiyar pushed down the summit of the mountain. Lo and behold! It sank in the netherworld, all shrunken and looking like an ordinary mountain. The Agasthiyar couple had an easy go crossing the mountain range.

9. Vindhya mountain became alive, awake, and penitent, realizing its mistake, and saying," Forgive me! I was arrogant. Please forgive me. You must restore me to my old self. I understand that I am not equal to the Meru mountain."

10. Agasthiyar: "You remain like you are now until I return from the south and cross over you to the north. Then I will uplift and raise, taking you higher. Until then, brood your punishment."

11. Nāradar's loud laughter fell on the ears of the mountain, which lowered its head with silence and shame.

Top figure: Narayana. Right: Naradar. Left: Valmiki
 12. Nāradar: Vindhya mountain! Strength, as you surmise, is not in the length, breadth, enormity, height but indicates its mental strength. Agasthiya Muni knuckled on your head and lowered you. Therefore, you must be shorter than Agasthiyar. (Agasthiyar was short-statured.) You are smaller than Agasthiyar. You are weaker. How and when did you develop the desire and arrogance to be equal (in height) to the Meru mountain?" After hearing this palpable putdown, Vindhya mountain realized its mistake, opposed its palms in homage, and asked for forgiveness.

13. It was Nāradar's work: Establishing one civilization from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas; one people; one kind of lifestyle, as uttered by Agasthiyar, making it heard worldwide; explaining it to the Vindhya mountain; and connecting the south and the north.

14. Nāradar made it happen: The subduing of the mountain's hubris and the spreading of the news. Nāradar does not stand in the forefront but remains in the background, makes sure things happen properly, and thinks his endeavor and service are services to Narayana.

15. Time is not a limiting factor for Nāradar. He is the son of the creator Brahma, one of the celestials, a maharishi, a youth endowed with eternal life, a worlds traveler, the witness of all times, a chronicler and historian of Bharatha Kandam (Indian subcontinent).

16. Nārada Muni was the reason Ravanan suffered humiliation and death. He persuaded Devas' joining with Srimad Narayana, the Vaikuntavāsan (Dweller in Vaikuntam, the Vaishnava heaven), the latter taking birth as Ramar on earth solely to kill Ravana for all the right reasons. Rama's life continued and then ended. But, thinking of plans for the world's welfare, Nāradar continues to live, wander, and wonder what his next task would be.

17. Valmiki Muni was weary, entertained no concrete thoughts, did not embark on any useful tasks, and remained languorous. Valmiki's pain glowed like a flame in Nāradar's mind. The next moment, he appeared before Valmiki.

18. Nāradar: "What happened to you? Why this fatigue? Let me know what you have on your mind. Is it worry about your wife, property, or people? You are not prone to concerns. You are on this earth to do the impossible deeds, perform severe austerities, and earn the name Valmiki. Your worries are those of the world. Tell me now. If I know the way out of your predicament, I will share it with you." Hearing such a persuasive plea, Valmiki broke his silence.

19. Valmiki: "I have a question. People who are born are bound to die. Some are good, and some are bad. Some are slightly good, some medium good, and some the best among the good. Who is among the people the noblest of all? Do you know him?

20. Nāradar, hearing Valmiki, had a firm and indisputable idea who the best person was. But to explore further Valmiki's mind, Nāradar asked," Uttama Purusha! Explain to me your perception of the best among men."

21. Valmiki: "He should be so courageous even the gallant celestials tremble before him. Simultaneously he should be compassionate. He should be a Dharmic person. He should be a thoughtful actor and respect the elder's words and opinions. He should be firm of conviction of his action. He should have all the king's attributes, give up all, and go away like a monk. He should be like an ordinary man at ease in speaking with ordinary people. He should be able to perform extraordinary acts. He should respect Guru and parents, loveable by all people, and loving all people. Have you seen a person with such qualities in this world?" Valmiki was eager to find a man of such exemplary qualities.

22. Nāradar's eyes brimmed with tears, which ran down his face. 'Who else other than Srimad Narayana could have such qualities? Who can fit the bill other than his Avataram, Sri Ramar?' So thinking, Nāradar opposed his palms and paid homage to the in-dwelling Srimad Narayana with intense Bakthi. Continuously, he chanted the Narayana Mantra. He opened his eyes slowly.

23. Nāradar: "Yes, there is such a person in this world who, at this moment, reigns. His name is Ramachandra Murthy. Though he reigns with sagacity in his old age, his life story is the most interesting one."