Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


One day Narada Rishi went to the assembly of the gods. Thirty-three crores devatas were sitting there. Now Devarishi Narada, what a devotee of God he was! Always drunk with God’s name, he blissfully roamed around the different worlds at will, with nothing more than his two-stringed tambura.

When he went to the assembly of gods, he was welcomed respectfully and given a small seat below everyone else. Narada Rishi sat down before them. All of the important demigods were there: Lord Brahma, Indra, Vayu, Varuna, Yama, Agni, the Nine Planets, thirty-three crores of them sitting in splendor offering oblations of wheat into the sacred fire.

Narada Rishi, with a touch of sadness stirring in his heart, questioned the Great Father Brahma. "Oh Great Father Brahma, I am your own child! Why do I have such a low seat today?"

Lord Brahma replied, laughing, "Narada, you are God’s great devotee! You are always singing the Lord’s name, but you have never taken a Guru. For that reason your seat is lower than the others."

Then Narada thought to himself, "It’s true. I have not received guru-mantra. In accordance with Mother’s order I practice chanting the name of God, but I have never taken a mantra from a guru."

Then Narada Rishi vowed to all the gods: "He whose face I see first at dawn, him shall I graciously accept as my guru. I will take initiation from him and return to this assembly of gods." Such was his great faith and trust in God! This was the practice of spontaneous devotion.

That night Narada slept soundly.

In the early morning he opened the door and saw an old fisherman with a net on his shoulder and the pole of the net in his hand. As he was walking along on his way to catch fish, he was weaving his net.

Before he had even see the face of the fisherman, Narada ran to him. Bowing at his feet he said, "Old fisherman! You must give me initiation! You are my guru! I have vowed that he whose face I see at daybreak, him shall I graciously accept as my guru."

The old fisherman said, "What this oh Thakur! You are a rishi, the greatest of them all, Narada Rishi! The Lord’s great devotee! I am only a low-caste fisherman. I throw the net and catch fish. How can I be your guru? Don’t make a mistake. Let go of my feet!"

But Narada would not let go of his feet. He said to the fisherman, "Look, please give me initiation."

The fisherman said, "But I don’t know even a single mantra! I have never taken initiation myself! What mantra could I give you?"

"That which is in your mind, give me that." The meaning of the word mantra is "man-tora" (Your-mind). Whatever word the guru speaks, if there is complete faith in that word, then that word is verily the best mantra.

The fisherman thought to himself and then said, "But I don’t know anything else. I just throw the nets in the pond, swinging them around my head, singing, ‘Hari Bol, Hari Bol!’ This is what we fishermen sing when we throw the nets to catch fish."

Narada Rishi said calmly, "Okay, give me that very one," and he leaned forward to receive the mantra.

Then the fisherman said, "Oh, Hari Bol! Oh, Hari Bol! Oh, Hari Bol!" He said it three times and then left. Narada bowed to his guru.

When he went back to the assembly of the gods, the gods were able to know that Narada had received a mantra from a guru. They put his seat very high. Then the Great Father Brahma said, "Narada, sit down on this high seat!"

Narada asked him, "Why is my seat so high today?"

"Ah! Today you have taken a guru and received initiation, haven’t you? For that reason your seat is so high. And we shall all pay homage to your guru. Please request your guru to come. We should all like to see him who is the guru of Devarishi Narada !"

Narada then thought to himself, "Oh dear! Now what shall I do?!" Narada knew that he had taken initiation from a mere fisherman. All the thirty-three crores of gods said with one voice, "Please, you must bring your guru. We all wish to see him, and together to bow at his feet."

What could Narada do? A difficult situation! He went running back to the old fisherman. Bowing at his feet he said, "You must go with me to the assembly of the gods! Please, climb on my back! Without beast or cart we shall travel across the three worlds!"

The guru fisherman said, "Narada! What an astonishing thing to say! Arey Baba! You are the great Rishi Narada! You are God’s devotee! You are going to carry me piggyback?"

The old fisherman was somewhat lame and didn’t want to go, but Narada would not release him. As Narada took him on his shoulders to the assembly of the gods, the ancient fisherman kept hold of his net. And the stick, with which he weaved his net, he held on to that as well. Taking these belongings he went with Narada to the kingdom of heaven.

The gods were waiting. When they saw, they were all astounded. "What is this? Narada Rishi’s guru is an old fisherman?" They all rose in amazement. They asked Narada "Is this the guru you said you had accepted?"

Narada then revealed the truth to them. "Yesterday I promised this assembly of gods that he whose face I would see when I rose this morning, him I would graciously accept as my guru. So when I opened the door and saw this fisherman walking along, I said, ‘This is no fisherman,’ and I accepted him as my guru. So you please bow down at his feet."

Then Narada Rishi lay in a full shastanga pranam before his guru. The guru pranam is shastanga pranam; holding the two feet of the guru in the hands, the head goes down on top of the feet, lying completely prostrate. In this shastanga position, Narada bowed to his guru.

All the thirty-three crores of gods moved to bow down to Narada Rishi’s guru. And when they came to pranam, what did they see? That old fisherman was no fisherman! This was all God’s test. All of a sudden instead of the form of the fisherman there appeared Lord Shiva himself! He whom we call Shankar.

Triumbakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvar Ukamiva Bandhanan Mrityro Mukshiya Mamritat
Om Namah Shivaya.

Narada Rishi’s guru was Bhagavan Sadashiva! That which was the form of the fisherman, that which was the net, this was all the casting of the net of maya’s illusion.

Samsar Jalrupen Meen Rupen Manava
Janjalo Jal Rupen Kaal Rupen Dhivara.

Lord Shiva is the god of destruction. In the large pond of this world he throws the net of illusion and catches his fish. For that reason the old fisherman had a net on his shoulder. What he was weaving was not the net, it was:

Mahamaya Prabhavena Samsar Sristi Karini
Mahamaya Prabhavena Mahagotta Nipatita.

As the spider makes its own web from its own saliva, and binds it together, in the same way, in this illusion, this maya, we say "I", "I". This is my room, this is my son, this is my grandson, this is my wife, this is my father, this is my house, this is my country. This or that is "mine"—Thakur Ramakrishna has said: "When will I be free? When ‘I’ ceases to be." This word "I" is the weaving of the net of illusion.

The significance of the word "guru" is inexpressible. What the guru is cannot be understood by words or explanations. Therefore in our guru pranam we say:

Akhanda Mandalakaram Vyaptam Yena Chraracharam
Tatpadam Darsitam Yena Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah.


Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!


Jai Jai Sri Radhey Shyam!!