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Sage Narada & his Veena

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I found this story captivating. From the divine graciousness of Lord Krishna to the devotion of the simple people of the village, I felt I was watching the tale unfold before my eyes.
I can understand that it is not unusual for a learned soul of noble birth to misjudge others who come from simpler backgrounds, and this narrative brought that out for me in charmingly sweet detail.
Reflecting on this, I felt I could see through the eyes of the great Narada. I appreciated his willingness to recognize Lord Krishna’s grace and open himself to learning. I respected the way he overcame his shortsightedness and drew closer to the Lord through his new understanding.

New York, United States

This story reminds me of a recent vision I had in meditation. As I reflected on the vision, I felt it was showing me that when I look for flaws and am critical of others, I cannot see the perfection that is already there, and miss the experience of love and stillness that is available. 

Port Douglas, Australia

This story teaches me about the power of devotion. It also reminds me that people live and experience life in different ways, and it’s important to be friendly to everyone.

Wijchen, Netherlands

I was recently challenged by a friend about why I’d accepted a job for pay that she thought was insufficient for the quality of my work. I replied that I was so glad and grateful to be working again after a long interruption. In addition, the purpose of this job was so important to me because my heart was in it. For me, if you feel God in action when you do a job, you shouldn’t be too proud to accept it, even if the financial payment is modest.
I am by no means the sage Narada, but I have known the sense of pride to such a degree that it left me without a job. Now I wish to live from the heart and follow the teachings and the Guru—in my work as well as my life.

Hørsholm, Denmark

The story held a lesson for me that resurfaces from time to time, whenever I see myself as separate from others: to keep my focus on devotion, not differences, and on the love arising constantly within. This alone can melt any rock encasing my heart.

Texas, United States

Reading the story was like following a journey, which gave me the experience of the rock in the story. As I followed the feelings in the story, I began to soften like the rock when the local musician sitting on it sang from the source of his love and devotion. By the end of the story my hands had shifted from being slightly closed to resting open on my lap. I had a smile on my face. My posture had shifted subtly, as my body felt connected to the love expanding within the space of my heart.  

South Yarra, Australia

While reading the story, I felt connected to the true devotion evoked through chanting. For a few moments my state was like that of the villagers who participated in the ceremony—serene and calm, filled with true love. Now it is time for me to recollect the teachings and follow them with true devotion.

Hyderabad, India

This wonderful story, along with the thoughtful shares about it, evoked openness and humility in me. I felt encouraged and empowered to release judgement, not only of others, but also of myself. This has made today a pivotal day for me.
I feel grateful to Gurumayi for helping me move beyond my ego.

Beccles, United Kingdom

For me, the imagery here created a vivid picture of the musical evening. I could hear the divine music simply through focusing on the words of the story. I felt I was right there next to Lord Krishna. And surprisingly, in my reverie, when I looked more closely at the Lord, I saw Gurumayi herself!

Thane West, India

Reading this story, I felt as if I were actually present at the wedding ceremony, and I was deeply moved. My mind became silent, and I experienced my heart softening and melting like the rock.

Lyon, France

I received this teaching story as a great lesson in humility. Whenever I notice that I feel proud or arrogant, this story will help me to remember to practice humility.

Nottuln, Germany

While reading this story, I felt the ecstasy of the chanting scenes as if I were there. I experienced it all as a play of Krishna's compassionate love. I understood that what is important is not one’s faults, but one's true inner greatness and sincere devotion to the Guru.

Madrid, Spain

I was moved by the compassion shown by Lord Krishna to Narada. Despite the situation Narada had created for himself, the benevolent hand of the Lord was reaching out to uplift him. I understood that no matter where I am, the Guru's hand is there to uplift me too.

New York, USA

This story reminds me of my experience of offering seva with the Siddha Yoga Prison Project. Each time I offer this seva, I am awed by the love and sincerity of the students who participate in the satsangs. I feel so much gratitude to be able to learn from each and every one of them.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for this teaching story and for the opportunity to serve in the Prison Project.

Washington, USA

What stands out for me in this story is the value of humility and devotion. In reading this, I feel the weight of worldly cares melt away and I am brought to the place of peace and sweetness in my own heart.

North Carolina , USA

This story reminds me how chanting with devotion washes away my pride and opens my heart. I am inspired to chant more, to come from my heart in all that I do, and to be more accepting of others.

California, USA

As I read this story, I felt that it’s the perfect story for our times.
Tears of recognition welled up as I realized that sometimes I look down on others I consider less knowledgeable or intelligent than I am. But I understand that love is most important. No matter what our opinions or beliefs, we are all connected by love. To remain calm and peaceful, I can see and respect the love in the hearts of those I don’t agree with.

Florida, USA

I love this story because it represents for me the immense power of devotion and the greatness of the bond of love between the Guru and disciple.
As I read the story, I felt Narada’s frustration. I recognized myself in him, particularly in the way he made judgments about people he thought were not at his high level.
The lessons about my own ego are the most painful for me to bear, but it is so sweet when love melts the rock of ego and allows love to shine forth. When this happens, I can see that the Guru is setting me free, and I can feel the great love the Guru has for all of us.
I bow to you, Gurumayi, with all my love and gratitude for your precious teachings, which light up the path before me.

Milano, Italy

My heart suddenly feels softer, and my eyes begin to warm with tears as I read of such genuine devotion. May Narada’s eventual, heartfelt offering of deep love to God become my greatest lesson, too.


Such a great story!
Narada teaches me that wherever I am, whatever happens to me, the ultimate truth is God. When the heart melts, there is no dilemma. Nothing remains but the pure love in the name of God.

Nasik, India

The story reminds me never to doubt that the presence of the Lord can be found in every place, every situation, and every person that I meet. When I find myself questioning this, it is a signal that there are more lessons to be learned. I am so grateful that I have a Guru to teach them to me.

New York, USA

After reading “Sage Narada & his Veena,” I was drawn to question my own attitudes and actions. I thought about where in my life I make assumptions about people and situations that might color my vision and prevent me from seeing the highest in others.

New Hampshire, USA

I enjoyed reading this story. Although Narada possessed many siddhis, or magical powers, he was not able at first, on his own, to use any of his powers to open the door to his own heart.

New York, USA

The most telling part of the story for me was that despite how devoted Narada was to the Lord, he still had lessons to learn.

Iowa, USA

As I read this story, I could feel that some part of Narada's ego was going to be challenged, and that the stage was being set in a loving and playful way by Krishna from the very beginning. I loved seeing how this unfolded—how Narada’s ego was transformed through Krishna’s patient and gentle love and wisdom.

Massachusetts, USA

Many times, in day-to-day activities, I unknowingly take a holier-than-thou attitude, if not verbally, then mentally. This story serves as a reminder not to indulge in such pettiness.

I’m so grateful to read this!

Texas, USA

This story has really opened my heart this morning to reflect on my own actions and my perception of others. This teaching is arriving at the perfect time as well. I feel as if I am in the story myself!

Florida, USA

Recently, a colleague stopped me in my tracks. I had been sharing with her how stressed I felt about having too much to do at work. She said, "I don’t get stressed anymore. I took some classes many years ago in how to let the energy move in my body, and what I learned stayed with me."

After reflecting on this in the context of the story, I realized some of the ways I behave like Narada. I had not seen this colleague as someone I could particularly learn from. I felt humbled and grateful for the reminder to appreciate, honor, and implement the rich, uplifting Siddha Yoga teachings and practices I have received.

I returned to my office, not only more relaxed, but also with a heart more open to seeing God in others. This encounter, especially while we are contemplating the story of Narada, feels like a precious gift to me.

Thank you, Gurumayi!

Massachusetts, USA

This morning, after reciting Shri Guru Gita, I had the insight that if I am focusing on the faults of other Siddha Yogis instead of their virtues, I need to practice the understanding that they belong to God and the Guru as much as I do. My Guru has accepted them along with me to lead us to the experience of the Truth.

Gandhinagar, India

Even though there was a joyful celebration going on, Narada felt apart from the villagers because of his judgments of them. I feel this happens to me. When I judge another person, it feels as if my heart contracts, separating me from them—a very lonely place.
I am finding that, as my sadhana progresses, I am getting better at catching judgmental thoughts and expanding them back into the light they came from, breathing with the mantra So’ham. This practice helps me to keep my heart connected to the hearts of others.

New York, USA

I am deeply drawn to this story. I find myself making similar judgments and assessments based on appearances that are contrary to my expectations and conditioning. I love seeing how Krishna’s love melts the walls of the heart, thereby giving a grander view of life.

Maryland, USA

This story reminds me that the essence of music is love. Sometimes when chanting with other people, I hear someone in the room singing off key. This used to really bother me, until I started paying attention to the love in the singer's voice. That love makes the singing beautiful and reminds me to offer love with my own voice.

Massachusetts, USA

After reading this story, I wonder: can performing any act with love and devotion allow one to see the world and everything in it as reflections of the same Lord?

Iowa, USA

I love this story! My favorite line is "his voice carried the love he felt for the Lord." I have always longed for this kind of devotion. Just reading this makes my heart melt, my eyes moisten. I am so blessed to be on the Siddha Yoga path, which is a path of devotion, a path to the heart.

Thank you so much for providing these tools, these beautiful ways to remember what we have, and why we are here.

Vienna, Austria

This story really brought home for me, once again, that devotion, all-encompassing love for the highest, is not something that I have to strive ambitiously to attain. Instead, it is what I am made up of. It's the essence of who I am, once I let go of the pride and the self-consciousness and concepts.

It's reassuring to know that even Narada, the sage who wrote so eloquently and definitively about devotion, also needed to learn (with the help of the Lord) to let go of his pride and limiting thoughts before he could swim in the ocean of limitless love.

Florida, USA

Last evening, while I was playing a table game with my grandson, a young adult, we paused and engaged in a lovely, long spiritual conversation. Halfway through the conversation, he shared with me profound insights, and I realized he is one of the most non-judgmental human beings I have ever met.

As our conversation continued, I became aware that, rather than being fully present with what he was saying, I was pondering an appropriate spiritual response. Then, I remembered the lesson Narada learned from truly listening to the voice of the villager. I felt my being pause into a deep silence and heard within, “Just listen to him. He has something to teach you.” In deep gratitude, I just sat, fully present, as I listened and learned. I no longer felt I had to teach him.

New York, USA

I was struck by how Narada’s instrument was cemented in the stone. While reading, I was worried that he would break it in his attempts to pull it out. I was relieved when he was able to drop enough of his pride before doing that. He became less forceful and looked to God for guidance. When guidance came to him, he obeyed and regained his precious instrument.

I could feel his struggle in myself, between my ego’s pride, its shame, and my desire to truly want to be one with God. Letting go and opening myself to guidance is a lesson I learned, once again, along with Narada.

Massachusetts, USA

Recently, while traveling in India, I had a very similar experience to Narada's. I visited a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu for the evening arati, and it was full of people. Once the arati started, it became so loud I could hardly focus on the deity. I was disturbed by how loud and rough the people seemed.

Then, all of a sudden, I was able to see the murti of Lord Vishnu in the form of Jagadisha, the lord of the universe. He was beautiful, and to me it seemed that he was very pleased and smiling. I stopped for a moment while the arati was being sung, and I could feel my body filling with devotion. I looked around. My vision had shifted, and all I could see was the devotion of these people. And I could feel my own love for God.

Heidelberg, Germany

I was so surprised to find myself crying when I read that Narada was filled with pride and shame. When I realized this is a perfect description of the way I feel when I'm caught in my ego, I saw that my tears were full of compassion both for Narada and myself.

The story is also reminding me of the essential role of grace in extricating me from the stone of my ego. Fortunately, Narada allowed Lord Krishna's patient, gentle grace to intervene and guide him. Without this, his efforts were futile.

I feel so fortunate to experience the Guru's compassionate grace right now, through this story on the website, gently supporting and guiding me.

Ohio, USA

I offer thanks for the boon of reading this story. I have bristled with pride many times. But I feel blessed to have been reminded—this time by the website—of the power of love and devotion and absorption in chanting God's name.

Washington, USA

What a blessing to read this moving story! I was particularly stirred by the message that the power of chanting God's name with love and devotion was not only capable of melting the rock—but also had the power to melt Narada's pride and shame.
After Narada experienced a contracted and judgmental state, the beauty of the singing and Lord Krishna's grace opened his heart to receive the lesson he needed to learn. And then look what he became—the author of the profound Bhakti Sutras
Such a sweet reminder to all of us, that we, too, through Gurumayi’s grace and by chanting God's name, can become pure vessels of love to offer to the world.

North Carolina, USA

I realized that singing the name of God with love and devotion creates miracles surrounding the singer. Not only does it melt the rock, but it also melts the inner hardness of ego and all other inner impurities.
Thank you, Gurumayi, for a great gift.

Vadodara, India

This story of the great Narada reminds me of the power of sound that is kindled in music performed with right attitude. I am a musician, too. When I look back to the greatest moments I experienced while performing, I see that I was connected to something bigger within and also felt connected with the public in such a way that we shared the music as one.
On the other hand, it is so easy to fall into the hands of pride, which draws one away from the inner connection. Seeing that even the great Narada had to learn humility in this situation shows the subtle and deep effect pride has on the mind. This story inspires me to do my daily meditation practice and see everything as an opportunity to grow in connection with love. Then I can recognize again and again the stillness behind all sounds, all thoughts. That stillness makes me free.

Zutphen, Netherlands