Blogs » Arts & Culture » Story of Bhakta Prahalada

Story of Bhakta Prahalada

  • The story of Prahlada[edit]

    Lord Narasiṁha kills demon hiraṇyakaśipu.(At left)The prahalāda bows before lord

    Prahlada while being in his mother's womb got to hear Narada's chants. He was taught by Narada in early childhood. As a result, he was devoted towards Vishnu. His father didn't like his spiritual inclination. He tried to warn Prahlada. Despite several warnings from his father Hiranyakashipu, Prahlāda continued to worship Vishnu instead. His father then decided to commit filicide and poison Prahlāda, but he survived. He then trampled the boy with elephants, but the boy still lived. Then he put Prahlāda in a room with venomous snakes, and they made a bed for him with their bodies.

    Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu, was blessed in that she could not be hurt by fire. Hiranyakashipu puts Prahlāda on the lap of Holika as she sits on a pyre. Prahlāda prays to Vishnu to keep him safe. Holika then burns to death as Prahlāda is left unscathed. This event is celebrated as the Hindu festival of Holi.[2]

    After tolerating abuse from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlāda is eventually saved by Narasiṁha, Lord Vishnu in the form of a man-lion chimera, who places the king on his thighs, and kills him with his sharp nails at the entrance to his home at dusk, thus nullifying all of Hiranyakashipu's boon of virtual immortality.[3]

    There is an underground pillar known as "Prahlāda khamba" in Dharahra village, in the Purnia District of BiharIndia. It is said to be the pillar from which Narasiṁha manifested to kill Hiranyakashipu. Adjacent to the pillar is a large temple devoted to Lord Narasiṁha. Allegedly, attempts to excavate or move the "Prahlāda khamba" have failed. In Maharashtra, an underground temple near the banks of the river Krishna in Sangli District hosts a beautiful stone carved sculpture of "Narasimha and Laxmi".[citation needed]

    The story of Prahlāda teaches that:

    • Faith in God is paramount.
    • Devotion can be practiced at any age.
    • God is omnipresent.
    • God will always prevail.
    • God saves his devotees.
    • Evil will be punished.

    Prahlāda eventually becomes king of the daityas and attains a place in the abode of Vishnu (Vaikuntha) after his death.[4]

    Scriptural references[edit]

    In the Bhagavad Gita (10.30) Krishna makes the following statement in regard to Prahlāda, showing his favour towards him:

    Translation: "Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda, among subduers I am time, among beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda."[5]