If there can be a single phrase that can introduce us to the character of Bhakta Narsi Mehta then that is ' Full faith in God '. He was born in Junagadh, kingdom of Kathiawad province. The famous hymn Vaisnava Jana to tene kahiye je pir parayi jane re ( A Vaishnava individual can be said as the one who knows the suffering of the others ) is his creation. Many of the miracles of God's grace ( Bhagavat-Krpa ) and devotion ( Bhagavad-Bhakti) took place in his life. Devotion to Bhagavan Krishna was the very ideal of his life. The intent and insistence of a devotee got expression in his verses in an extremely sentimental way. Saintly Mirabai had been known to him as an aquaintance. The poetic compositions of this devotional poet of the Kaliyuga 46th century ( 15th century A.D ) are the valuable jewels of the Indian mind's treasury.
Mahatmaji included in his daily prayers Narsi Mehta's song 'Vaishnava Jana to tene kahiye'. The song has become so popular that it has been rendered into almost all Indian and many non-Indian languages. Herein are idealised the virtues of a gentleman. They are so universal that every social thinker would endorse them, and accept them as his own ideal.
Narsi Mehta, the great Gujarat singer, lived for a while with his brother. He and his wife Manek Ba had no peaceful time in the house where the brother's wife subjected them to great ridicule and trouble. Narsi bore this patiently but, on one occasion, when unsalted food was served and he was told that he deserved nothing better as he earned nothing, he left the brother's house.
Narsi went on singing the Lord's name. In his great love he even said that it was because of his brother's wife he was blessed with the darshan of the Lord. This moved the brother, who asked him to return to the house. But as Narsi's mind was turned inwards now, he had no need of family or the pleasures of the world. He could only be the slave of Krishna, Nandakumar. So he bade good-bye to his brother and went his way, singing. The spiteful Nagar community laid many charges against Narsi before the ruler of Junagadh. Narsi submitted himself to the trial in the Raja's temple. A miracle took place. All those assembled including the Raja saw the temple door open by itself and a garland came out of it and fell round the neck of Narsi. Others saw this, but seeing the Lord Himself doing all that, Narsi fainted. The ruler was astounded at the devotion of Narsi and Lord's love for him.
નરસિંહ મહેતા ગુજરાતી ભાષાના પ્રથમ કવિ હતાં. આથી તેઓ આદ્ય કવિ કહેવાય છે. તેમણે લખેલી રચનાઓમાં ભજન વૈષ્ણવ જન ખૂબ જાણીતું છે, જે મહાત્મા ગાંધીનું ખૂબ પ્રિય હતું. આ ભજનમાં સારા માનવીના ગુણો (મૂલ્યો)નું સરસ રીતે વર્ણન કરેલુ છે. તેમણે રચેલા સાહિત્યમાં કૃષ્ણ ભક્તિના દર્શન થાય છે. તેમના જીવન પરથી રચાયેલુ સાહિત્ય - શામળદાસનો વિવાહ, કુંવરબાઇનુ મામેરુ, નરસિંહ મહેતાના બાપાનું શ્રાદ્ધ, વગેરે ખૂબ જ પ્રચલિત છે.