Once the celestial sage Narada had a question. He could not control his curiosity and went to the abode of Lord Narayana to know the answer.
Narada: O Lord! We have a question and We are unable to find the answer for it. We hope that You will tell us the answer. What is the benefit of meeting (having the darshan of) a Satguru?
The Lord: Narada, We have to ask you this question too since you are a Satguru. But you are asking Us this question.
Narada: You are the Puppeteer and the one who conducts deceptive dramas. Hence You know the answer. Could You enlighten Us and not play any mischievous game?
The Lord: Don’t worry Narada. You will surely get the answer to your question. Go to the city of Madurai on the Earth and there you will find a cow in a cowshed in the suburbs of the city. When you go there you will find fresh cow dung and a worm wriggling in it. You ask the worm your question and it will give you the answer.
Narada came to a particular spot and put his question to that worm. The worm heard the voice of the sage, writhed and died immediately. Narada was shocked and left the place quickly. He went to the abode of the Lord and recounted the incident to Him with anxiety. The Lord laughed. The Lord once again sent the sage to the city of Madurai. He directed the sage to go to a cowshed on the outskirts of the city and asked him to repeat the question to a newly-born calf. The Lord assured the sage that the newly-born calf will disclose the answer.
Narada went to the specified spot and waited for the birth of the calf. He gently patted the newly-born calf and asked it the question. As soon as it heard the voice of the sage, it wriggled and died instantaneously. Narada was upset and left the place immediately. Once again he went to the abode of the Lord feeling guilty.
Narada: O Lord! Enough of Your divine Leela! We are responsible for the death of 2 creatures. We will drop the idea of finding the answer to this question. We apologize to You for Our irrelevant question. Our quest to know the answer to Our worthless question has killed 2 creatures. O Lord! We take leave of Your abode without knowing the answer.
The Lord (rushing towards Narada and grasping his two hands): Narada, your question is very significant. Do not undermine it. You will surely appreciate the question if you know the answer. This time you go to the city of Varanasi and put your question to a newly-born prince.
Narada: O Lord, in the other two earlier occasions nobody noticed Us and We escaped from the spot quickly. This time We have to get the permission of the King of Varanasi to ask Our question. If the prince dies instantly like the earlier two occasions, We will be imprisoned by the king. Hence it is better to drop the idea of knowing the answer.
The Lord: Don’t lose heart Narada. We assure you that this time you will get the answer. There is no disgrace for those who make attempts to know the truth.
Narada went to the city of Varanasi and explained the matter to the king. Providentially, the king agreed with Narada. The newly-born prince was brought in on a beautiful platter and kept at the center of the royal court in front of the king and other dignitaries. Narada put his question to the royal infant and it died instantly. Everyone was shocked and our Narada got frightened and confused. The whole court was numbed by the death of the prince.
At this time, a brilliant light appeared in front of all and started talking:
“O celestial sage Narada. Accept my humble prostrations. I was a worm in the fresh cow dung. You asked your question. As soon as I heard your ambrosial voice, my body writhed and I died instantly. Because of hearing your voice, I left the body of an worm and was reborn as a calf. You asked me the same question in this birth as a calf. This time you patted me on my head lovingly. As a calf I got the opportunity to hear your voice as well as experience your touch. I was more blessed. My body wriggled and the life force left the body immediately. In my third reincarnation, I was born as a prince of a kingdom, a precious human birth. As an infant I heard your voice and got your gentle touch. My body shook and died on the spot. Now I have become this brilliant light and I am heading towards the abode of the Lord. O Satguru! O Narada! I attained this divine state because of your darshan and touch. The glory of meeting a Sadguru and obtaining his touch cannot be expressed in words. The thousand-headed serpent, Adisesha, the bed of your Lord Narayana, cannot tell the glory of a Satguru. Even the Trinity of Gods (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) cannot express the glory of a Satguru.”
Narada thanked the Lord. Human beings understood through this story that the glory of a Satguru is indescribable.