The Favorite Devotee
The Favorite Devotee
Narada Muni was well known for his devotion towards Lord Vishnu. He always
used to chant "Narayana Narayana" (Narayana is one of the names of Lord Vishnu).
He used to think that he is the greatest devotee of the Lord. Once upon a
time he went to Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord Vishnu. During their conversation
Narada intentionally asked - " O Lord! You have so many devotees. I am curious
to know who is your favorite one." Narada was expecting that Lord Vishnu
will honor him as his favorite devotee. To his shock Vishnu pointed to a poor
farmer on the earth and said "That poor farmer is my favorite devotee."
With mind full of curiosity Narada went to the farmer's hut. The farmer was
very poor and humble. He used to get up early in the morning and before getting
up from his bed used to chant Lord's name once. Then the whole day he used to
work hard on his field with his other family members. He used to return late in
the night. Before going to the bed he again used to chant Lord's name once. Narada
was surprised to know that the farmer chanted Lord's name just twice in a day.
Narada thought to himself - "I chant the name of my Lord the whole day but still
He loves this poor farmer who chants His name only twice in a day."
Narada went back to Vishnu and asked - "O Lord! I visited the farmer and I am
surprised to know that he is your favorite devotee. Do you know that he chants
your name just twice in a day?". The Lord Vishnu smiled at him and handed over a
vessel completely filled with oil. Vishnu said - "Narada! Take this vessel and
see me in the evening. Remember that you should always carry this vessel with
you and not a single drop of oil should spill from it."
Narada did as the Lord has instructed. Throughout the day he was carrying the
oil filled vessel with him taking care than not a single drop is spilling from
it. He returned to Vaikuntha in the evening thinking about the whole incidence.
As he arrived the Lord welcomed him saying "I was waiting for you". He looked at
the oil vessel and said - "Good! It seems you didn't wasted a single drop of
oil." Taking a pause he continued - "Now tell me honestly how many times you
uttered my name?". Narada said - "O Lord! You had given me an oil filled vessel
and warned me not to spill a single drop of oil. My total attention was on the
oil vessel. How can I chant your name when I am busy taking care of the vessel."
Vishnu smilingly said - "You forgot me when you were busy in some mundane
task. However, the poor farmer remembers me at least twice a day. He remains so
busy earning his bread and butter but still chants my name twice without fail.
Now you decide who is better devotee." Narada thus understood his mistake.