Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bhakta Prahlada

The Demon King Hiranya Kashyapa went to perform a wild penance in favor of Lord Brahma. His enemies took this as an oppotunity to attack his kingdom. In those days, the Gods and the demons had frequent wars among them. Lord Indra, the King of the Gods, decided to wage a war against Hiranya Kashyapa's Kingdom. Some demons were killed in the war and some were captured alive. Among the captured was Leelavathi, the wife of Hiranya Kasyapa who was pregnant. Narada, the son of Lord Brahma, observed Leelavathi being captivated, went to the Indra and released Leelavathi from his clutches. He took her to his ashram where she gave birth to a baby boy after nine months. This boy was named Prahlada. Narada advised Prahlada Sriman Narayana Mantra.

This boy had turned out to be a genious. His movements were weird, his eyes seemed to be meditating Lord Sri Hari always. Mean while Hiranya Kashyapa returned with rare and incredible boons from Lord Brahma. He became the Empire of the three worlds and defeated Gods with ease. He thanked Narada profusely and returned to his kingdom along with his wife and son.

Hiranya Kashaypa was overjoyed at the sight of his son. He wished his son to surpass him in all aspects and sent Prahlada to the Gurukul(school) of the demon clan. One day, Hiranya Kashyapa summoned Prahlada to know about his education. He made Prahlada to sit on his lap and asked him to tell something that he had learnt so far. Surprise !

"Sri Hari is the Supreme being. This is the knowledge imparted by education. Lord Sri Hari is the ultimate destination to all the living beings. Meditating Lord Sri Hari is the best known path to attain salvation. A soul and a life that does not serve Lord Sri Hari are a mere waste." Prahlada in a transcendeantal state was delivering this, without noticing his anguished father.

Alas ! Has his son turned out to be a devotee of Sri Hari? Hiranya Kashaypa detests even the thought of Sri Hari, then how can his son become a devotee of his enemy? Lord Sri Hari had killed Hiranyaaksha, the brother of Hirana Kashyapa. More over his(Hirana Kashyapa) enemies, the Gods are all under the control of Sri Hari. Prahlada had become a follower to an enemy of the entire demon clan. He thought this to be taught by the tutors at the Gurukul. Hiranya Kashyapa decided to punish Prahlada and change his mind.

But Prahlada did not show a single sign of change even after being punished severely. He never deviated his heart from the feet of Lord Sri Hari. Finally, two demons were instructed to kill Prahlada by some means. They took this boy to be crashed to death by huge elephants, tried to kill by poisonous snakes, threw him from the cliff of a mountain, tried to kill him brutally with swords, but all their efforts went in vain. Prahlada did not suffer a single injury on his body and he kept chanting Sriman Narayana Mantra with a smile.

Tired and annoyed, demons returned back to Hiranya Kashyapa along with Prahlada and said the entire episode. Hiranya Kashyapa was spell-bound.

Hiranya Kashyapa : "Who saved you?"
Prahlada: "All are saved by Sri Hari only!"
Hiranya Kashyapa: "Where is He, if He had saved you? "
Prahlada: "He is Omni-present !"
Hiranya Kashyapa: "Is He present in this pole?"
Prahlada: "Yes"
Hiranya Kashyapa: "Then where is He, show me !"
Prahlada: "Call Him, He will come in front of you."
Hiranya Kashyapa: "Hey Hari, Hey Hari, where are you, come forward."

When no one appeared before Hiranya Kashyapa, he took his weapon and hit the pole hard. The pole broke with a massive noise. With the face of a lion, a human form came out of the pole with terrific roar that shook the entire world. He was Sri Hari in Naarasimha incarnation. Hiranya Kashyapa had no time to even think what was happening. Sri Naarasimha jumped over him, took him on to His laps and walked striaght to the threshold of the Palace. Hiranya Kashayapa had a rare boon from Lord Brahma that, he cannot be killed by human beings, demons, Gods and Animals. But Naarasimha was none among the above mentioned. He cannot be killed during the day or during night. The time then was Sandhya which is neither day nor was the time when the Sun sets at West. Hiranya Kashyapa cannot be killed within the house or outside the house. But the place selected was the threshold or the doorstep of the house. No weapon can kill him, but the weapon used were mere nails. His stomach had been tored off with nails, his intestines were wore around the neck... And he ultimately attained salvation at the hands of Lord.

Evil was killed in the Universe, the good were saved and the bad punished. Then Sri Hari fondled Prahlada and disappered from there. Later Prahlada became the King. Dharma(Justice) was re-established and it walked on four legs. Which means no where and at no time can you find injustice in the world. Prahlada became a father to his people.

Prahlada performed many Yagnas in his country. The country witnessed good rain-falls, good crop and the animals were healthy. He performed these yagnas at the shores of Tungabhadra river in Ahobilam. King Prahlada's love to his people, his country and to the needy had never diminished. This could be justified when we observe the lives of Sri Vyasa Raya Theertha and Sri Raghavendra Swamy.

Sri Raghavendraya Namaha !!!

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