According to a myth, earth was chanting the greatness of Sati Anusuya and her chastity was a topic of discussion on heavens. The three prime goddesses, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, decided to put to test Sati Anusuya’s chastity and made their husbands, the Holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to do what they wanted. They insisted that they go to Anusuya and seek ‘Nirvana Bhiksha’, i.e., giving alms in a naked condition.
Much against their wishes, the gods did what their wives had demanded of them. On hearing the request from the three Sanyasis (the form taken by the Trinity), Sati Anusuya, was aghast, to say the least, but turning down such a request would be nothing short of sacrilege. So she sprinkled some water which she had used to wash her husband’s feet, on the three gods, which changed them into three kids. At that moment, she found milk accumulating in her breasts and she fed the three children her milk. While feeding the milk, in a nude form, she thought of them as her children, and thus, her chastity was intact.
It was at this stage that Narada Muni went to the three goddesses and related the whole incident and also informed them that their husbands had been changed into children, and the only way to get them was to beg for them from Anusuya’s husband, Rishi Atri. On begging, the Holy trinity were restored to their original form, and the three children were merged into one god – Dattatreya, a single bodied lord with three faces, in the likeness of the holy Trinity. The three gods then blessed the child and said that the Dattatreya would become a well-known sage and will equal the status of the three gods.
It was Narada Muni who used his influence to get the goddesses to bring out their concerns and get to test Anusuya’s chastity and also to get them to understand that they were not unique and that the earthlings could at times pose a threat to their heavenly status, which had been taken for granted. The envy of the goddesses was instigated by none other than Narada Muni himself, as he was also secretly aware of the fact that Sati Anusuya had a desire to beget children like the holy Trinity. Thus Narada, ensured that Sati Anusuya’s wish be granted while the goddesses pride be grounded. In this example, Narada is instrumental in many of the results that were achieved.