The great heavenly sage NaradaThe great heavenly sage Narada came from a very poor family. His mother used to serve the hermits in the forest. Some of the hermits were ordinary seekers, while others were highly evolved. Still others had realised the highest heights. Just before Narada's mother left the body, after being bitten by a snake, she asked her son to continue serving the hermits just as she had been doing. So after his mother's passing, Narada also started serving the sages. The sages liked him immensely and they taught him how to pray and meditate.
For years and years Narada prayed and meditated, and then one time he saw God inside his heart. He saw God for only a moment; then immediately God disappeared. Narada cried and cried for God to appear again, but to no avail. Finally, he heard a message from Above: "I came to intensify your aspiration. When your aspiration is intensified infinitely more than what it is now, I will appear again."
Narada eventually went back to the soul's world after completing his earthly sojourn. A few years later, Brahma asked him to take human incarnation again and return to earth to manifest God.
Narada said to Brahma, "No, the world is full of suffering and temptation. I do not want to go back to earth. On earth, when I think of manifesting God, at that time I forget to think of God. I want only to think of God and pray to God, and not to manifest God."
Brahma insisted, "No, you have to think of God and also manifest God; you have to do both together."
Narada said, "One cannot do that. Those two things do not go together!"
But Brahma said, "Aspiration and manifestation can and must go together."
Eventually Brahma forced Narada to come down into the world. This time, when Narada entered into the world, real temptation caught him. He had fifty wives. At the end of that particular incarnation, when he went back to the soul's world, he said, "I am never going back to earth!"
Brahma said "All right!" This time, while Narada was in the soul's world, Brahma taught him how to play on his vina. Then Narada said, "I will come down into the world again only to play on the vina and spread God's Glory, but for nothing else!"
Brahma said, "Fine!"
When he returned to earth, Narada went from one place to another singing of the Glory of God. That was his manifestation. While singing, he would accompany himself on his vina, which was named 'Mahati'. When Narada was travelling all over the world, his special means of conveyance was a machine, which is normally used to husk rice. He would ride on it from one place to another.
This was the incarnation in which he realised God. He always used to bring inspiring messages from Heaven to earth. He was the one who brought the message to Savitri's parents about Satyavan's death, which was described in the Mahabharata. He also helped Dhruva. He asked him to pray to God and he taught him how to realise God. Dhruva realised God through Narada's instructions.
Narada continues to live in the inner world. Even now, in the inner world, he sings songs about his love of God. He is very active; he is always on the move — devotedly, soulfully and powerfully spreading the Compassion and Love of God.