Narayana was one of the four sons of the god (deva) Dharma. Dharma-deva had been born from the breast of Brahma. Dharma-deva married the ten daughters of Daksha. His four sons were Nara, Narayana, Hari, and Krishna. Nara and Narayana became great Rishis (sages) practicing severe penances. They stayed in the Badarika asrama (hermitage) doing tapas (austerities) for a thousand years. Hari and Krishna became great yogins. Narayana shared many of the episodes of
Lord Narayana, an incarnation of Mahavishnu, with his wife Lakshmi, goddess of wealth (TRIP)
his life with his brother Nara. Narayana and Nara tapas heated up Indra’s throne, so he was determined to bring their tapas to an end. Indra arrived at their asirama on his elephant Airavata and roared that he would give the sages a boon (vara).
But they ignored him. Next Indra sent frightening animals, and finally he sent his best—an army of apsaras (celestial damsels) and their attendants. The apsaras included Rambha,
Menaka, and Ghritachi. The sages came out of their meditation and enjoyed listening to the singing and watching the dancing. Then Narayana decided to teach Indra a lesson. He slapped his thigh (uru) and created a young woman more beautiful than all of Indra’s army of beauties. He named her Urvasi (the one from a thigh). Indra’s beauties became afraid in the presence of such powerful sages. They apologized and propitiated the sages, who sent them all away with Urvasi as a gift to Indra.