Bahavo durlabhā ścaiva ye tvayā kirtitāguṇāḥ
Mune! vakṣyā myaham buddhvā tairyuktaśryuyatām narah
Meaning- Says Narada, “O Valmiki, the traits that you are seeking to know are infinite. It is impossible to find all of them in any one ordinary human being. I have learnt about a great personality who has in him all these traits. I shall now explain about him to you. Please listen.”
Narada Maharishi had approached Maharishi Valmiki at the behest of Lord Brahma. When Valmiki enquired of him, exactly that which he had been ordained by Brahma to preach, Narada was delighted. Earlier, Narada had received initiation into this same subject, from the Supreme Lord Brahma himself. This is why Narada says, “I will preach to you that which I have learnt in the past.”
This was a wonderful opportunity to drink in the nectar (amruta) called ‘Rama’. Narada was overflowing in joy for having obtained this excellent fortune and also for having secured an eligible disciple in Valmiki.
Stories of God cannot be understood by a person, unless and until he has in him, the feelings of deep faith, reverence and dedication. In its absence, it is impossible. These feelings create in the person a deep desire and inclination to know more about the Supreme Lord. They make the person desirous of hearing the same stories again and again. Innumerable doubts are dispelled through listening to the divine stories. The right direction and path in which the person should proceed will become visible. Everyone will find it beneficial in some way or the other. Listening to divine stories has multifold benefits.
All of us know that the Supreme Lord has infinite transcendental traits. We should understand that within His stories every event/ sequence is inter-linked.
When Narada uses the word ‘listen’, he is implying that one should listen with complete concentration. The mind should not entertain any other thought and other distractions. This lesson is also applicable to one and all.
Narada says to Valmiki- “All the traits that you are seeking to know, exist in one great personality. I have learnt about Him in the past and now I am going to relate the same to you.”
Both Narada and Valmiki were eminent saints who had mastered the Vedas and Vedanta. Both of them were aware of all the happenings in totality. They were always engaged in thoughts about the Supreme Entity. What was the logic in one of them being accepted as a teacher and the other as a student, to speak about that matter, which both already knew in eternity? This could be puzzling to many.
The secret lies in the fact that this was an extraordinary subject, far beyond common knowledge and understanding. This was the subject that could grant liberation in totality. Hence both saints were deeply interested and inclined towards it. They took great delight in speaking/listening to it.
Through the usage of this word ‘nara’, Narada re-assures Valmiki that he has understood the motive with which Valmiki had used the word initially.
Narooje manujerjune means- the one who takes the humans (nara) to the highest destination is none other than Paramatma. This is the meaning behind the usage of this word ‘nara’. For this reason, both saints have used the word ‘nara’.
‘apo vai narasoonavah’– means that water (jala) has been created by Nara. Water is the offspring of Nara. Our Vedas emphasize that Nara who initially created all water bodies (jala) is none other than Paramatma. He, the Supreme Lord, is Nara. When seen from this point of view it is clear that Nara, who has assumed the form of a human being, is none other than Paramatma.
Instead of enquiring about the Lord and His existence, why was Valmiki Maharishi enquiring only into His traits? To understand this in a proper manner, let us take the example of a mango.
Upon seeing a mango one cannot decipher whether it is sweet or sour in taste. To know its taste, it has to be mandatorily tasted. Likewise the traits (gunas) of the Supreme Almighty should be contemplated upon. They should be analyzed. In this lies our wellbeing.
In Bhagvatam, Maharishi Narada says to Maharishi Vyasa, “You are the author of many sacred texts and treatise. You have preached many dharmas. However you have never glorified the Lord. You have never experienced Him. You should experience Him. Sing His glories. Praise His pastimes. Recollect all this traits (gunas). Your mind will get that peace which you are seeking”.
Here, Maharishi Narada was enthusiastic to glorify the traits of that Supreme Lord and at the same time, Maharishi Valmiki was eagerly waiting with dedication and devotion to listen to the same. What a beautiful combination! Each is speaking out of their experience.
Om Seetaa raamaabhyaam namaha.