Once Sage Narada after performing austerities, tapa, for a long period to achieve control over his sense organs, felt that he had conquered all the senses and attained victory over the God of love, Kamadeva. He went to Kailas and spoke to Siva with great pride of his achievement. Siva, knowing that egotism was a serious barrier to self-realisation and that lapses were not impossible even in the case of demi-gods, advised Narada not to speak of his achievement to Vishnu. However, Narada’s haughtiness and conceit made him ignore Siva’s advice. He went to Vishnu and told him of his conquest over the senses, his victory over Kamadeva. Vishnu felt that Narada’s conceit should be removed.
While Narada was returning to his asrama, after reporting the great control over his senses to Vishnu, he noticed a beautiful city which had a great deal of activity. On enquiry he learnt that the daughter of Raja Silnidhi was about to choose a husband for herself from the assembly which was being organised for this specific purpose.
The Raja noticed the Devarshi and welcomed him, introducing him to his daughter and seeking his blessings. The Raja also asked Narada to enumerate the qualities of his daughter’s would be bride-groom.
Narada was enchanted by her beauty and wanted to marry her. He told the Raja that her bridegroom would look like Vishnu. Narada then went to Vishnu to seek his help in making his appearance look like His. Vishnu said that He would do for him, exactly what a good physician would do for his patient, as Narada was very dear to him. Hearing such endearing words, Narada believed that he would look like Vishnu. He was delighted to find that whatever he could see of his body looked like that of Vishnu’s. With great expectations of being selected as the bridegroom he rushed to the city of Raja Silnidhi and joined the assembly of young men waiting for the choice of the damsel.
She came, looked around and to Narada’s dismay she ignored him completely. Unable to find a suitable husband the princess was dejected. Then Vishnu himself appeared in human form. The damsel was overjoyed and put the garland around Vishnu’s neck . Narada’s distress knew no bounds. Just then two persons near him were laughing and asked him to look at his face. When Narada saw his reflection he was astounded and furious. The face was that of a Vanar, monkey. Narada went to Vishnu and asked him the reason for his betrayal. Vishnu then exclaimed: “Where is Raja Silnidhi? Where is the beautiful daughter of Raja Silnidhi? Where is the assembly of the young men? Where is swayamvara?” Narada realised tht it was all an illusion, and the medicine given by the divine physician, Vishnu, was to cure him of his conceit, to free him from egotism and to make him ever vigilant against sensuous impulses.