Narad Jayanti is celebrated the day after the full moon day of Shukla Paksha in Vaishaka month – i.e; Buddha Poornima. The day is marked as a birth anniversary of Narad Muni. The name Narada evolves from Sanskrit word ‘Nara’ meaning ‘Man’. A Vedic sage, known for both his wisdom and mischief, he plays a primary role as a communicator between all Gods. He has the ability to transport between different worlds – Swargalok (Heaven), Bhulok (Earth) and Patallok (Underworld). Dressed in the garb of the saint with a veena in one hand and kirpan in another, he always is seen singing the praises of Lord Vishnu and chanting his name – ‘Narayan, Narayan’. Narada is regarded as a Devarishi amongst gods.
Narada was born as a Gandharva (angelic descendent), however was cursed to take birth as a Kshudra on earth. Hence Narada was born as a son of a maid-servant who worked in an asharam for a sage. But instead of praying to Supreme Lord, Narada was singing glories of Yakshas – the Demigods. However the priests were pleased with his mother’s dedication and service. Once the sages were performing a pooja for Lord Vishnu and they offered some prasadam to Narada. Narada felt blessed in his heart having the prasadam and started regularly listening to the religious discussions and discourses the sages were offering to others in the asharam. Over time he felt closer to Lord Vishnu and seeked more knowledge. Once his mother died, Narada wandered in forests in search of enlightenment. He sat under a tree and meditated on the ‘Paramatma- avataar’ of the supreme god in his heart, just as he learnt from the sages in the asharam.
He mediated for years when finally he saw a vision with his closed eyes. He saw the Supreme Lord Vishnu, smiling at him who said that although Narad saw him in this avataar now, he would spend his entire life seeking this vision again. And that he will not be able to see him again until his death. However this vision will help him carry through his life firing his latent yearning to be with Lord Vishnu again. Thus began the spiritual journey of Narad Muni. He remained devoted to Lord Vishnu for rest of his life, singing devotional songs, hymns and prayers dedicated to him. Upon Narad’s death, Lord Vishnu bestowed the spiritual avataar to him, which is also recognised as a partial manifestation of god himself.
Narad is as a knowledgeable sage who is well-conversant with all Puranas, Vedas and Upanishads. He is aware with the history of the world across all Kaals (timeline) and has all the knowledge of the entire universe – from beginning to the end. He is also famous for creating some trouble if required, for a positive and greater good of the universe.
This day is also marked as the ‘Patrakardiwas’ which is celebrated in country with many intellectual seminars conducted on this day in Northern India. Narad Jayanti is observed in Lord Vishnu temples where special discourses and puja is offered. Few people undertake fasting and reading religious texts and prayers to Lord Vishnu symbolising their devotion to the supreme lord.