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In our scriptures there is a story which highlights the importance of a mentor in our life.
Without a mentor, attaining salvation is not only difficult but next to impossible because ego is the main hurdle. Divine Mentor through His unconditional love and chidings disciplines the spiritual aspirant and helps him to forgo his ego.
The Story is as follows:-
In Heaven, meetings were held in which all the Gods and Goddesses were present. Among them Narad Muni was also present.
One day Narad Muni forgot his Veena there. When he found that his Veena was missing, he came back and saw that some servants were washing the chair on which he used to sit. He asked the servants why they all were washing the chair. The servants didn’t tell him anything.
Next day again the meeting took place. This time knowingly he left his veena there and after some time he came back and again he saw the servants washing that chair. He asked them again.
One of them replied, “We all are asked to wash it because the one who sits here does not have a Spiritual Master”.
When Narad Muni came to know about this, he went to Lord Vishnu and asked Him about all this.
Lord Vishnu replied that he had to make one Guru.
Narad Muni told God, “You are my Mentor.”
Vishnu ji answered, “No, I am not your mentor. I am your grandfather.”
Narad Muni asked, “Why should I make a Guru?”
Lord Vishnu replied, “If you don’t make any Guru, you will have to go to hell and in the hell you will be punished.”
Then Narad Muni said, “Whom should I make my Mentor?”
Vishnu ji replied, “Tomorrow go to the earth at 4:30 AM and make the first person you see, your Mentor.”
Next day he came on Earth and saw a person holding a leather bowl in his hand. Firstly, he thought how he could make that man his mentor. But what could he do, when Lord Vishnu had told him to do so? Then Narad Muni bowed his head in his feet. Then he joined both of his hands and requested him to become his mentor. At first, he refused but when Narad Muni requested him, he agreed to become his mentor.
He asked him one question “How can I avoid going to hell?”
His Guru told him a trick and after that he went to Lord Vishnu and asked him- “God, draw the hell so that before I go there, I know how it looks.”
Lord Vishnu picked up a stick and drew the structure of hell on the ground. Just as he had finished, Narad Muni laid himself on it.
Lord Vishnu asked, “What are you doing, Narad?”
Narad ji replied, “God the hell is made by you and this hell is also made by you. I choose to suffer in this hell.”
God smiled and said “Narad, now you understand why Mentor is important in our life.”