Story of Lord Vishnu & Narad Muni

Narada muni went to Vishnu’s abode at Vaikuntha and asked, “Why is Garuda’s (Vishnu’s eagle) statue outside your temple? Am I not your biggest devotee?”

Right then, they heard a loud crash outside. Vishnu said, “Narada, I’ve sent Garuda on an errand. Can you check what happened?”

Eager to prove himself, Narada rushed out. He returned and said, “A milkmaid slipped and fell and broke her pots.”

“What was her name?” Vishnu asked.

Narada went out, returned and said, “Sharada.”

“What caused her to fall?” Vishnu asked.

Narada started getting irritated. But he went out, returned and said, “A snake crossed her path.”

“Did she break all her pots?”

“Go find out yourself!” Narada snapped.

“Find out, Narada,” Vishnu said patiently.

“Why?” Narada asked.

“I might want to buy some milk,” Vishnu said.

Narada went out reluctantly. On returning, he said, “She broke two pots. But she’s willing to sell you milk from the others.”

“And the price of the milk?”

“Oh, I forgot to ask,” Narada said, rushing out.

Right then, Garuda swooped in, oblivious to what happened.

Vishnu stopped Narada and said to Garuda, “There was a crashing noise outside. Could you go and check what happened?”

Then Vishnu whispered to Narada, “Let’s see how he does.”

After a few minutes, Garuda returned and said, “A milkmaid named Sharada got startled by a snake and fell down. She broke two pots of milk and is wondering what to do. I suggested she sell some milk to you. You are the husband of the Goddess of Wealth, after all.”

“And the price of the milk?”

“Four copper coins,” Garuda responded immediately.

Vishnu laughed and his eyes met Narada’s, who realized why Garuda’s statue always stands outside a Vishnu temple.

Real value gets created when you anticipate what people need and give it to them. When you create value for others, you put yourself in a position to receive it too.