Srimad Bhagavatam tells the story of Prthu, a righteous
king, said P.T. Seshadri in a discourse. Lord Vishnu appears
before Prthu and tells him that he can ask the Lord for anything he desires. Prthu says, “You are called Varada, because You are the giver of boons. Some people will ask for worldly joys. But that kind of joy is present even in hell. Will a sensible person ask for such things? He will ask only for
The Lord then asks Prthu if he wants moksha. But Prthu
says that he doesn’t! He then explains why. “Here, I listen to
Your devotees sing Your praises. If I attain moksha, will I
have this joy? Listening to the words of Your devotees gives
me great happiness. If listening with two ears affords me so
much pleasure, will the pleasure not be magnified if I have
ten thousand ears? So give me ten thousand ears.”
Prthu then goes on to say that celestials ask for wealth,
and they pray to Lakshmi for wealth. But Lakshmi Herself is
with the Lord. The Lord is the embodiment of all wealth. A
man who has heard the Lord being praised will want to hear
more and more of such praise. If he were to be satisfied with
listening to such praise just once, then he must be less than
human, says Prthu.
Besides the joy of listening to the Lord’s devotees, Prthu
has yet another request. The second boon he asks for is the
opportunity to serve the Lord the way Mahalakshmi does.
Lakshmi never leaves Him and never serves anyone else.
Likewise, Prthu also does not want to be separated from the
Prthu says he will not ask for anything from the Lord. The
Lord being the father of everyone knows what a person
needs. Does not a parent know what the child needs?
Thus Prthu, through his two requests, shows that he is a