Sage rada once attended an assembly at Swargaloka, where all Devas and Devis were present. The sacred fire was burning and rites being conducted. rada was given a place to sit below everyone else.
THE VOICE WITHIN
At this, he questioned Lord Brahma, Creator of the Universe: “As your son, how is it that I am being given such a lowly seat?”
“Because you never took a spiritual preceptor,” replied Lord Brahma.
rada considered this, and realized that though he sang the mes of God in all the Three Worlds — he never had a Guru, nor received a Guru mantra.
So he promised the assembly that he will take as his Guru whoever he would see at dawn the next day. Leaving immediately, he began to make spiritual preparations.
As the early rays of dawn lit up the sky, rada saw an old fisherman with a net on shoulder, walking to the water to begin his day’s work.
Running up to the fisherman, rada declared him his Guru and sought spiritual initiation. But the old man said he was not worthy. “I never had a Guru myself, so there is no mantra I can give you,” he added.
Not to be deterred, rada beseeched the old man to utter whatever was in his mind at that very moment.
“Hari Bol,” said the fisherman. Overjoyed, rada prostrated himself before the old man in obeisance and expressed his heartfelt gratitude.
This time when rada returned to the assembly of the gods, he was given a seat in front after having declared he now had both a Guru and a sacred mantra.
However, the assembly demanded to meet his Guru, upon which rada returned to the fisherman and requested him to attend.
The old man first demurred, then said he was lame. So rada carried him on his back to Swargaloka.
There were murmurings of disbelief in the assembly as rada presented the poor, decrepit old man as his spiritual preceptor.
As the 33 crore gods and goddesses wondered, lo and behold, an amazing transformation began. The old man revealed himself as Lord Shiva.
The divine assembly now became complete with the presence of Lord Shiva, Destroyer of the Universe, and forever in contemplation of the Ultimate Reality. And rada Muni went on to become Devarshi, the Sage of the Gods.
— the harbinger