Narada is a Vedic sage, famous in Hindu traditions as a traveling musician and storyteller, who carries news and enlightening wisdom. He appears in a number of Hindu texts, notably the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, as well as in the mythologies of the Puranas.
In Indian texts, Narada travels to distant worlds and realms (Sanskrit lokas). He is depicted carrying a khartal and Veena with the name Mahathi and is generally regarded as one of the great masters of the ancient musical instrument. This instrument is known by the name "mahathi" which he uses to accompany his singing of hymns, prayers and mantras. In the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism, he is presented as a sage with devotion to Lord Vishnu. Narada is described as both wise and mischievous, in humorous tales. Vaishnav enthusiasts depict him as a pure, elevated soul who glorifies Vishnu through his devotional songs, singing the names Hari and Narayana, and therein demonstrating bhakti yoga. The Narada Bhakti Sutra is attributed to him.
Other texts named after Narada include Narada Purana and the Naradasmṛti (pre 6th century CE text), the latter called the "juridical text par excellence" and represents the only Dharmaśāstra text which deals solely with juridical matters and ignoring those of righteous conduct and penance.
The name Narada, referring to many different persons, appears in many mythical legends of Hinduism,as an earlier birth of Sariputta in the Jataka tales of Buddhism as well as names of medieval Buddhist scholars,and in Jainism.