Once sage Bhrigu planned to conduct a very great Yajna on the banks of river Saraswathi. He decided to dedicate the Yajna to the best among the trinities. The debate in his peer group failed to arrive at any result. Bhrigu set out to figure out the answer by himself.
He first went to Satya Loka and found the creator Brahma and his consort Saraswathi immersed in their own world. They did not notice Bhrigu. The sage ventilated his temper and walked away from their doorstep. In Kailasa, Shiva and Parvathi did not even recognise the presence of the sage as they were in the midst of an interesting conversation. The sage threw a tantrum and walked out. At Vaikunta, the scene was no different. Mahavishnu was relaxing on Adishesha and Mahalakshmi was pressing his feet. They failed to acknowledge the sage.
The affronted sage kicked Vishnu in his chest much to the chagrin of his divine spouse.
The Lord immediately apologised to the sage and held his feet. Bhrigu was born with an eye on the sole of his right foot. Vishnu gently shut the eye symbolic of the bloated ego of the sage, when he rubbed the area and the eye disappeared. The suitably chastised Bhrigu realised that he had gone overboard in conducting his test.
This episode from the Bhagavatha Purana has covered many facets of human behaviour and life skills.
Bhrigu wanted to honour the best among Gods. He meticulously charted out a test of patience and executed the decision consciously.
The process involved a great deal of risk, but the sage would not settle for anything, but the best. And cost him, it did, for he did cross his limits when he thrust his foot on Mahavishnu’s chest.
The erasure of his third eye which was keeping him from being humble helped the sage to recognise the importance of not stretching his zeal too far.
The righteous anger of Mahalakshmi about the episode highlights the need for the emotion, especially when one’s self-respect or that of a dear one is at stake.
Perhaps, that is why the Lord did not stop her, but it was also because he knew that his true love for her and his fortitude would prompt her return at the earliest.