By KK Shanmukhan
Once saint Narada appeared in Kailasa. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were very happy to see the saint and they welcomed him.
Their two children, Ganesha and Muruka (Kumara) were sitting on the lap of their parents. After offering a seat to the saint, the Lord addressed him with affection and respect and asked him: “Saint Narada, seeing you here we are very happy. Now your noble sainthood did not see any other place then this to sow your seeds of quarrel?”
Saint Narada, a bit amused in the question of the all knowing Lord, replied: “Narayana, Narayana. Oh, Lord of the universe, have you also started teasing me? This humble devotee of yours, always think as to how to serve you. Narayana, Narayana.”
And then Narada took a wonderful fruit of knowledge eating which the consumer would be an all knowing scientist. Then Narada departed spreading his divine music striking at the strings of Naradaveena.
They were four. There was only one fruit. Both children started quarrelling over the fruit. Finally the Lord stipulated a condition on the fulfillment of which any one of his boys can own the fruit. The condition was that one should circumambulate the universe and return first. Muruka, on hearing the condition set off on his vehicle, the peacock. Ganesha circumambulated his parents, saying that the universe contain in them, took the apple and ate it. When Muruka returned the fruit was already eaten up by his brother Ganapati. Angry, he ascended over the hills of Palani and made it his abode and lived there as a mendicant.