Learning from the Great Bhaktas: Prahlad

Every day he would worship Lord Narayana. Indra and all the devas envy the personal relationship that the bhaktas can have with the Lord, because they can’t have it. Not even Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh can attain the Lord like the bhaktas can.

Mural Painting at Bhakti Marga Ashram

Excerpt from Paramahamsa Vishwananda's Commentary

Srimad Bhagavatam

In this story of Prahlad Maharaj and Narasimha-avatar, you can also see how Bhagavan manifests Himself for the sake of His devotees. First, He manifested Himself for the sake of Hiranyakashipu, in order to free him. And then, He utilised the child of Hiranyakashipu. So what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’? For Bhagavan there is no ‘good’ nor ‘bad’. From ‘bad’ He makes ‘good’, and from ‘good’ He makes ‘bad’. Like this, God is not conditioned by the mind, He is not conditioned by maya. He utilises maya and takes a form. But what can attract Him? Only the love and devotion of His devotee.

He made Narada save the wife of Hiranyakashipu, the mother of Prahlad. Through Narada, He instructed Prahlad in His Name. Prahlad had been chanting the Name of Narayana ever since he was inside his mother’s womb. So here you have a great demon, whose son is a great bhakta. This is how the Lord Himself fulfilled the blessing of Brahma. Like this, He didn’t deny the blessing Lord Brahma had given to Hiranyakashipu. In order not to offend Brahma, He thought, ‘Okay, fine! Brahma has given him this blessing, so I shall manifest Myself accordingly.’ Hiranyakashipu had asked Brahma to not be killed by anything created by Him. However, even if everything was created by Brahma, Narayana was not created by Brahma. Brahma was actually created by Him. Thus, He killed Hiranyakashipu, fulfilling all his wishes. How merciful He is! Hiranyakashipu asked and the Lord provided. And it was a demon who had asked. That’s why it is said that you should know what you are asking God. When you ask something of God, make sure you know what you really want.

Hiranyakashipu thought that he was very wise. He had asked Brahma, ‘Grant me all this, so that I can’t be killed. Like this I can become immortal.’ First, he had asked for immortality but Brahma said, ‘No, I can’t give you immortality. Immortality has already been given to the demigods, to the Devas.’

How wonderful is to see how the Lord put the bhakta there, Prahlad, for Him to come and manifest Himself on Earth. So what made Prahlad special? It was his innocence, his purity of mind. Later on, Prahlad Maharaj was crowned, put on the seat of the kingdom, and so became a very righteous king. Every day he would worship Lord Narayana. Indra and all the devas envy the personal relationship that the bhaktas can have with the Lord, because they can’t have it. Not even Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh can attain the Lord like the bhaktas can.

Such was the devotion of Prahlad that the Lord Himself manifest on Earth to protect Him! Learn more from the Narasimha-lila in upcoming Vedic chanting courses dedicated to learning from the great bhaktas.

One of the verses you will learn is from Srimad Bhagavatam where Prahlad asks seeks shelter at the Feet of Narasimha.

śrī prahlāda uvāca
mā māṁ pralobhayot pattyā
saktaṁ kāmeṣu tairvaraiḥ 
tatsaṅga bhīto nirviṇṇo 
mumukṣustvām upāśritaḥ

Śrī Prahlāda said: 'Please do not allure me, for because of my Asura birth I am, by all those blessings, attached to material enjoyment. It was out of fear for such material association that I, desiring liberation, have taken to Your shelter for the sake of complete detachment.


Such was the devotion of Prahlad that the Lord Himself manifest on Earth to protect a single bhakta! Learn more from the Narasimha lila in upcoming Vedic chanting courses dedicated to learning from the great bhaktas.

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