Once, in times long gone by, the great sages of Bharat Varsha were gathered together and were eager to determine who, out of the trimurti Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, is the Supreme. Even after careful consideration and discussion, they were unable to come to a conclusion in this regard. It was then unanimously decided by the brahmanas present there that the Sage Bhrigu should be entrusted with the task of going to each one of them, to test and determine the Supreme personality amongst the three. Abiding by the desire of all the present personalities, Bhrigu set out on his quest to determine the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
He first decided to go to the abode of Lord Brahma, who happened to be the father of the sage. Upon reaching Brahmalok, Bhrigu entered the assembly of Lord Brahma and purposefully ignored paying respects to Brahma, which, being against the proper etiquette for one visiting an eminent personality as the creator of the material world and his father, was a big sign of disrespect and this greatly angered Lord Brahma, his anger being clearly visible on his face, with his eyes becoming red and his nostrils flaring in anger. Understanding him not to be the highest personality of Godhead, for he was offended by a mere disrespect committed in the mind, Bhrigu proceeded to test Lord Shiva. Upon arriving in Kailash, Bhrigu started verbally offending Mahadev by calling him bad names and disapproving of him. Hearing these insulting words from his brother, as both being the sons of Brahma are therefore brothers, Lord Shiva rushed at him with his trident in hand, enraged by his words, but he was checked by his consort devi Parvati. Thereafter, Bhrigu muni came to the ocean of milk, where Lord Vishnu was resting upon Shesha Naag, while being served attentively by the goddess of fortune. Seeing that Lord Vishnu had not gotten up to welcome him, he kicked his chest hard, thus insulting him physically. Being thus hit by the sage, Lord Vishnu came out of his Yoga nidra, transcendental sleep, and understanding everything that had happened, Lord Vishnu respectfully bowed down to the sage and started massaging the sage’s feet, feeling greatly concerned and asking whether his foot was not hurt due to his hard chest. Lord Vishnu was concerned that the soft feet of the Brahmana would be hurt by having kicked his hard chest, which is as strong as a thunderbolt. Seeing the humility of Lord Vishnu and his respect towards the Brahmanas, Bhrigu muni was convinced of the exalted position of Lord Vishnu as the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Hearing about the greatness of Lord Vishnu, all the sages agreed upon the Supremacy of Lord Vishnu and offered obeisances to him, accepting him to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The Lord is truly glorious and so are his pastimes such as this one and he is the ultimate shelter of all the conditioned souls. May the most magnanimous master Madhav, whose expansion Vishnu lies on Shesha naag in the ocean of milk, bestow his mercy upon us all.