According to the Pauranika literature, Shri Narada Muni is the younger brother of the Four Kumaras and son of Brahma. He also rejected his father’s orders of increasing the population, and chose devotion to the Lord. He was thus present before all of the demigods, along with his elder brothers. He was blessed with the ability to travel to any part of creation according to tradition and he took initiation from his older brothers.
In Hindu tradition, Narada is famous as a musician and known for carrying all the news and enlightening wisdom. He appears in a number of Hindu texts, notably the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, as well as in most of the religious scriptures always passing on knowledge of an event or teaching the path of Bhakti to all.
It is a well known fact that he has always been accused of making various people fight. Narada was the official gossip monger of those times and although people accuse him of causing disputes, the fact remains that his intentions were never malicious. His ultimate goal was the betterment of every soul, living or dead, with no vested interest of his own.
It is said that Narada likes to spice up the facts and hence, various historical writers claim that he was the first journalist on the planet Earth and the heavens.
He also tempted Rishi Valmiki to write the Ramayana. Only when Narada narrated the story of Lord Rama, the perfect man and the other events of Ramayana, Valmiki agreed to pen down the great epic as a poem.
Narada is always found in the proximity of Supreme Lord Maha Vishnu, and depicted in popular culture as eternally chanting “Narayan, Narayan”. His association with the devotees of Vishnu, created in him a great devotion, Narad is regarded as the greatest devotee of Narayan because he chants the Lord’s name with every breath.
Narada is not considered the Personality of God Himself, but he is directly empowered with luxury of the Supreme Personality of God in order to carry out the Lord’s will. Narada, is technically a saktyavesa avatara strong with the luxury of devotion. The basis of his teaching is expressed in Narada-bhakti-sutras and Narada-pancaratra.
Narada explains that nobody can check the thinking, feeling and willing activities of the individual. Therefore, if someone is desirous of getting out of the frustrating, death-bound life of material consciousness, he must change the subject matter of his activities, which is not to say he must renounce them.
The Bhagavad Gita beautifully explains the logic behind his rise as the Supreme Personality of God, it says that, “By simply hearing the narration of the pastimes of the Lord, one directly connects with the Supreme God, and also expuls all accumulated sins of a mundane life. Thus cleared of all sins, the listener gradually becomes liberated from all mundane associations and becomes attracted to the features of the Lord.” This means that, by simply hearing about the Lord’s pastimes he became an associate of the Lord.
Narada was the most misunderstood personality of Hindu mythology, although he seems to be a mischievous and playful character, he was a very wise and composed yogi. However, Narada is clearly explained in Narada Bhakti Sutra,
yaj jnatva matto bhavati stabdho bhavaty atmaramo bhavati
One who understands perfectly the process of devotional service in love of Godhead becomes intoxicated in its discharge. Sometimes he becomes stunned in ecstasy and thus enjoys his whole self, being engaged in the service of the Supreme Self.
There is a temple dedicated to Narada which is situated in Naradagadde Island of Raichur city, on the banks of Krishna River. It is said to be a place where Narada performed penance.