This is a story I have always loved to recite, with a brilliant life lesson.

One day, Narad Muni went to Lord Vishnu.
Narad Muni keeps chanting “Narayana Narayana” (which is another name for Lord Vishnu) as he believes that he is Vishnu’s truest follower.

To validate his belief, he asked Lord Vishnu “Who is your truest follower?”
Vishnu pointed below the clouds.
There was a poor farmer over there.

“He is my biggest follower,” Vishnu said.

Narad was shocked!
He used to chant “Narayana” day in and out.
Vishnu was in his thoughts all the time.
He was sure the farmer’s devotion didn’t come close to his.

“How is that possible? What makes this farmer your truest follower?” Narad asked.
“I will answer this question. But before that you will have to do something for me”, replied Lord Vishnu.

“Please tell me. I am really eager to know the answer.”

“You need to take an earthen pot, fill it to the brim, and then take three rounds of the universe. But there is one condition: you can’t spill even a single drop of water.”

And so Narad set out.
With his immense concentration, he did exactly what Vishnu told him.

When he returned, he asked Vishnu, “Now tell me please – how is that farmer your truest devotee?”

Vishnu pointed at the poor farmer and asked Narad to observe him.

Narad saw that even after a taxing day, even in the most difficult circumstances,
That poor farmer used to chant Vishnu’s name every night before sleeping.

Vishnu smiled.
“How many times did you chant my name while doing this task?”

Narad’s face dimmed.
“Not even once.”

He realised it is very easy to do the things we should do when times are good.
But doing what we should do even when times are bad is what defines us as a person.

Do you agree?