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ॐ शुक्लाम्बरधरं विष्णुं शशिवर्णं चतुर्भुजम् ।

प्रसन्नवदनं ध्यायेत् सर्वविघ्नोपशान्तये ॥

(Let us) Meditate in the heart upon Lord Ganesa — the silent, non-dual, universal witness — who is the nectar of divine bliss and is full of grace, shining as the bountiful flowering of aspirants following the path of spiritual wisdom.

This story is a profound parable from the Hindu tradition, illustrating the nature of illusion and attachment, and the way these can divert a devoted soul from its spiritual path. It begins with Sage Narada, a devout follower and great admirer of Lord Vishnu, boasting about his steadfast devotion and immunity to Maya, or illusion.

One day, while Narada and Lord Vishnu were walking together on Earth, Narada reaffirmed his unwavering devotion and claimed he was beyond the reach of Maya. To demonstrate a lesson in humility and to show the power of illusion, Lord Vishnu then feigned thirst and asked Narada to fetch some water from a nearby village.

When Narada reached the village, he knocked on the door of a house seeking water. A beautiful young woman opened the door. Struck by her beauty and charm, Narada momentarily forgot his divine mission. Conversations ensued, and Narada was invited inside. The encounter led Narada to seek the young woman's hand in marriage, with the consent of her father. Narada married her and settled into a household life, embracing worldly duties and pleasures, vastly different from his initial spiritual pursuits.

Years passed, and Narada lived the life of a householder, bearing children and experiencing the gamut of human emotions and attachments. His spiritual practices and the purpose of fetching water for Lord Vishnu were long forgotten.

However, the lesson came full circle when a great flood threatened the village. In an attempt to save his family, Narada lost them one by one to the raging waters. Overwhelmed by grief and despair, he called out for Lord Vishnu's help.

At this moment, the illusion was lifted. Narada found himself back at the original spot where Lord Vishnu was waiting. Only moments had passed in the real world. Lord Vishnu then gently reminded Narada that the entire experience was an illusion meant to demonstrate the powerful and distracting nature of Maya. Even the most devoted and steadfast can easily fall prey to worldly attachments and forget their divine purpose.

This story emphasizes the importance of remaining vigilant on one's spiritual path, recognizing the temporary and illusory nature of worldly attachments, and the importance of humility and devotion in the journey toward enlightenment.

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥