Hiranykashipu, the asura king wanted to be invincible. He wanted to immortal. He wanted to be Lord of all the worlds. Hiranyakashipu decided to perform tapas. He thought of pleasing Brahma. He wanted a boon ‘ I WANT TO BE IMMORTAL’. Brahma declined to grant that boom. Hiranya said: “Then grant me that none of your creations will be the cause of my death. No weapons should cause by death. I must not die inside the house nor should I die out side house: not during day nor during the night: not on the earth not in the sky. Man should not kill me nor should an animal.
Living things should not cause my death nor should non- living things be instruments of my death. Devas, asuras or reptiles should all be unable to destroy me. Please grant me this boon.” The boom was granted. With this boon Hiranya set out on his conquests. Years passed. The atrocities committed by the asura king became intolerable. People prayed to the Lord to save them. The devas in desperation went to Narayana and asked Him to deliver them from the tyranny of the asura King. The Lord comforted them and said: “Do not fear. Leave it to me. Hiranya’s wickedness is becoming unbearable. Soon he will be the father of son. The son will be the cause of the death of Hiranyakashipu. I will Kill him’.
Meantime, Hiranyakashipu became the father of four sons. Prahlada, the youngest was endowed with qualities which are heritage of devas. His conduct was flawless. He was truthful and disciplined. He was kind hearted and was a good friend to all those were in pain. Prahlada was under the tutelage of two asura gurus. One day Hiranya took his son on his lap and said. ” My child, you have been learning lessons from your gurus for quite some time. Tell me what you think is the best thing in this world?” Prahlada said: The best thing in the world is to take refuge in the feet of Lord Narayana.” Hiranya summoned the gurus and told them: “See that bhaktas like Narada do not come near my child.” The gurus punished the boy for his impertinence. Some time passed. One day Prahlada told his father: ” Father, I have learnt nine important lessons which will help me to worship Narayana.” Hiranyakashipu was so furious he pushed the child rudely. He called out his servants and said; ” Take this sinner away from me. He should be put to death.” Many methods of killing were tried, but he could not be killed. Hiranya decided to kill his son with his own hands. The fact that Prahlada was a staunch bhakta of Narayana was enough for him.
Hiranya sent for his son and Prahlada came and stood before him with folded palms. Hiranya spoke harshly to his son. “Prahlada said; Lord Narayana is not your enemy. It is your mind which is your enemy. You have not been able to conquest the six dread enemies in you: Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha, Mada and Matsara.” Hiranya was furious and asked; ” Tell me where is your Lord? Prahlada said; ” Lord Narayana is every where.’ ” Everywhere? asked Hiranya. ” Is he then, inside this pillar?” Prahlada prostrated before the pillar and said, ” Yes He is, I can see Him there, inside the pillar.’
Hiranyakashipu looked around the pillar, but he could not see anything. He said:”I am going to kill you, let your Narayana come out of the pillar and save you from death at my hands.” At that time a terrible noise was heard. Then the pillar split into two and out of it emerged the Lord in the form of Narasimha. Hiranyakashipu then thought of the boon which was granted by Brahma and on the strength of the boon he hit the Lord with his mace. The Lord held him in his mighty arms. Carrying him to the door, the Lord paused at the threshold. He placed asura on his lap. The sky was deepening into darkness. It was neither day nor night. Hiranyakashipu realised that this was his end. It was neither day nor night, neither inside the house or outside it
He was caught in the arms Narasimha, which was not a beast nor a man. Since he was placed in lap, thus he was neither in the sky nor on the earth. Narasimha tore Hiranya’s entrails out with his nails and his teeth. Hiranyakashipu was dead. The Lord was immensely pleased with bhakti of Prahlada and said: “Ask me what boon you want and I will grant you.” “My Lord, be gracious to my father, he was ignorant. Forgive him”. “So be it” said Narasimha. “I want a boom from you. I want your form to be in my heart for ever.’ it was granted. Narasimha vanished from the sight.
By: Adv G Gopinathan Pillai (+91 98477 62200)