Published:30 Sep 2013 8 PMUpdated:30 Sep 2013 8 PM  Sakthi Vikatan
1. A multitude of people worship, asking for boons from God. People need something or another. For the attainment of their needs, they observe Nōṉbu (ceremonial fasting). God fulfills their desire. Some cannot perform the Nōṉbu or Tapas and look at the observers with amazement and praise them.

2. The non-observers beg the observers, "Could you give us a portion of your merit?" The former perform such favorites as massaging the latter's feet, fanning them, offering water, cooking for them, praising and serving them in so many other ways." They admit their inability to observe rites and rituals, and by helping the capable people, they hope to earn merits.

3. Naradar wondered whether anyone performs Tapas (austerities) for no returns. Yes, there are people like that. He looked around with his mental vision and found a light at a place.

4. He visualized Aikishavya Muni was performing Tapas in a hermitage on the mountainside by the river. His Tejas was brilliant, and the evil forces feared to approach him. The virtuous forces neared him with humility. His Tapas flourished with calmness and no pomposity. The devas worried (because his Tapas may earn him a high position in heaven).
He could demand and take any position in heaven. If he wanted to take the seat of Indra, he could do it. He could stop Brahma to stop creation. His Tapas carried such weight and importance. If Siva decided to offer all kinds of boons, all the devas would live an unremarkable life in the heavens. Aikishavya Muni would be a human Tapasvin setting an example of a man winning over Devas in heavens. Naradar discovered their worries.

5. No one knew the purpose and the object of his severe Tapas. His mental focus sharpened and concentrated on Siva. His concentration was unshakable and intense, so he lived close to Siva.


6. When Siva takes place in his mind, could he not ask him for anything? Why is he doing the Tapas and Siva Pujai without asking Siva for anything?
Naradar arrived at the Muni's place, made circumambulation around the Asramam, sang songs, fell prostrate at his feet, and asked the Muni for permission to sit. The Muni signaled Naradar to sit on the raised platform at the fore of the Asramam. Seated on the Thinnai, Naradar and the Muni looked at each other eye to eye. The brilliance of the Muni made Naradar tremble. The mercy in the Muni's eyes depicted Narayana in Muni. However much he sang in praise of Narayanar, could he ever obtain the Muni's divine stature? Entertaining such doubt, his mind grieved.

7. Naradar posed questions to the Muni. "You have been doing severe penance, holding to Siva firmly, but not asking him for any boons. You keep and nourish him inside. Why do you not let him manifest himself but ordered him to stay inside?" The Muni laughed, hearing Naradar say such things.

8. The Muni: "Are you in the grip of fear inside? Thinking of Brahma and the Devas worry about me, I laughed. Why would I want Indra's seat? Why would I need the portfolio of creation? Why would I need any other position or even the world? Herein, I am with Siva. Is there a loftier position than this? I have no objective in my Tapas. I do not ask for this or that. Doing Tapas is my nature. Being with Siva is my nature. This is my ordinary and usual pursuit. There is no other purpose, Naradare! Naradar relaxed, sang songs, making the Muni happy, went around the Asramam, fell prostrate at his feet, and proceeded on his way to the abode of Siva in the mountainside of the Himalayas.

9. Naradar paid homage to Kailasanathar (Siva) and said, "What a wonderful human being he is to say it is his nature to worship Siva without asking for anything in return? He is tranquil, keeping you in his mind as his natural instinct. Should you not do anything for such a glorious soul?"

10. Siva said to Naradar, "Ready I am, to offer what he wants. I am waiting for him to ask me for boons. He has not asked me for anything. I am firm in my conviction I should cast no discomfort on him.


11. Naradar: "But, you must bring to an end his severe penance. The Devas worry that nothing untoward happens. Therefore, offer the Muni your Darsan and take him into you." Siva blessed him, extended his hand to the Muni by signaling him to go with him and took him to Kailas. The Devas quietened.

12. Naradar: "Narayana! I have a lot more to learn. You made me sing to the Muni who told his nature was not seeking anything. I understood there is selfless Tapas. But I am yet to learn a lot." Naradar shed tears and paid homage to Narayana.
We understand the modesty and lofty qualities when the all-knowing Naradar says he had more to learn.

13. There is no end to learning. This applies even to the Devas, who are superior to people. If the Devas are in search of knowledge, the same demand falls on people too.