When Hanuman had to compete with Rishi Narad and Rishi Tumbur

Everyone has a special talent to their own through which they make an identity of themselves. However, when this talent gets overshadowed by pride, then it no longer remains a talent but a false pride. A story of a conflict between Rishi Narad and Tumbur teaches us the same valuable lesson through Shri Hanuman.


Rishi Narad and Tumbur (the horse headed sage and nephew of Rishi Narad) were the divine sages who were blessed with abundance of knowledge in music. But for all their abilities, instead of being together they started competing with each other as to who was a better singer among themselves. The competition grew stiff and it came to a situation that they could not stand each other. In Dwaraka, Shri Krishna comes to know about their conflict and decides to make them understand what true art is and how pride should be avoided.
Shri Krishna calls them to Dwaraka and tells them that he was facing a problem and it is only they both who could help him out. Feeling proud that the Almighty himself has asked their help, both Rishi Narad and Tumbur ask him the problem. Shri Krishna shows them a Veena frozen in ice and mentions that it was his Veena which got stuck, and it could come out only when the ice could be melted with divine song and music. Hence he had called for them to bring it out of the ice. He also mentions that whoever could do that would be adjudged the best singer in the three worlds.

Both the musicians take up the challenge with an air of confidence that they are going to win. First, Rishi Narad starts singing. But inspite of his perfect rendition and beautiful singing, the water does not melt and he fails to move the Veena. Tumbur takes his turn but he too fails in it. Yet, both do not accept defeat and with pride mention to Shri Krishna that if they both couldn’t do it, then there was none in the world who could do it.

Shri Krishna smiles and remembers Hanuman in his thoughts. Sensing that his swami has called him, the noble monkey arrives immediately and asks Shri Krishna the reason for which he was called upon. Shri Krishna explains the entire problem and asks him to sing a song and get the Veena out of the ice. Hanuman is surprised at the request and so are Rishi Narad and Tumbur who underestimate the knowledge of Hanuman.

Hanuman bows to Shri Krishna and mentions that he is no great singer and all he knows is to sing the name and glories of Shri Ram and feel the presence of Shri Ram always in his heart. But when Shri Krishna insists, he starts singing the praises of Shri Ram with pure devotion. His sing is so enchanting that the ice starts to melt and the Veena emerges out of the water. The two musicians are awestruck at the outstanding yet humble talent of Hanuman. They realise that true art is always humble and offers its knowledge at the feet of the Almighty. They accept their defeat in front of Shri Krishna and Hanuman and seek the essence of true devotion from them. Hanuman through his simplicity and devotion thus brings a change in the divine musicians and teaches that one never should be overshadowed by pride for talent, and always respect it as a blessing of the Almighty.