All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga

The Holy Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadeva

An extract from a discourse given by His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj on 2nd May 1999, Sri Nrsimha Chaturdasi day, at Sri Govinda Dham, Murwillumbah, Australia.

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When Prahlad reached the age for learning, around four, Hiranyakasipu gave him to his Guru's asram. As he was the king's son, he was to be trained as a king. The Guru was Sukracharyya. In his house he had two sons, one was called Sanda and the other Amarka. Sanda and Amarka were taking care of Prahlad, as he lived in the Guru's house.

Lord Nrsimhadeva, worshipped at Nrsimhapalli, Sri Nabadwip Dham

namas te narasimhaya
prahladalada dayine
hiranyakasipor vaksah-

I offer my obeisances to Lord Narasimha, who gives joy to Prahlada Maharaja and whose nails are like chisels on the stonelike chest of the demon Hiranyakasipu.

ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho
yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho
nrsimham adim saranam prapadye

Lord Nrsimha is here and also there. Wherever I go Lord Nrsimha is there. He is in the heart and is outside as well. I surrender to Lord Nrsimha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge.

Prayer to Lord Nrsimha

tava-kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-srngam
dahlita-hiranyakasipu-tanu-bhrngam kesava dhrta-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisa hare

O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of a half-man, half-lion! All glories to You! Just as one can easily crush a wasp between one's fingernails, so in the same way the body of the wasplike demon Hiranyakasipu has been ripped apart by the wonderful pointed nails on Your beautiful lotus hands.

Prahlad was so qualified in the Krsna conception that when he was there he was always thinking of Krsna and preaching to his friends, the other boys, on the Krsna conception. After one year, Hiranyakasipu was thinking that his son had learnt something, maybe ABCD, etc. He then called Sanda and Amarka to bring his son into the assembly, "I want to see my son." They brought Prahlad, and Hiranyakasipu took Prahlad on his lap and gave him much affection. He then asked Prahlad, "Please tell me what you have learned in your Gurudeva's school. Maybe it is ABCD or anything." But Prahlad was thinking that his Guru was Narada Goswami and he told Hiranyakasipu the lesson that he learned from Narada:

tat sadhu manye 'sura-varya dehinam
sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat
hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam
vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.5)

Prahlad said, "I learned from my Guru that it is very good for everyone to leave mundane attachment, go to the jungle and worship Lord Krsna. That is very good, I think."

Hiranyakasipu heard this and exclaimed, "What are you saying? You are telling us to worship Visnu." Prahlad said, "Yes, father, this is the best. Be detached with this material world, and go to the jungle and worship Lord Visnu." Hiranyakasipu was very angry with Prahlad's teachers and chastised them very much.

"You taught this to my son! Take him back and give him perfect lessons with perfect teachings. I shall call again after one year and if I see anything wrong, then I shall punish you!" Prahlad went back and Sanda and Amarka asked him, "Oh Prahlad, what have you told your father? We did not teach that to you. We taught you general knowledge, politics, many things, but we did not teach you this. Where did you learn it?" Prahlad replied, "If I try to learn, I cannot learn without the mercy of Lord Visnu. By His mercy and His devotees' mercy; that is the only cause for getting that consciousness."

naisam matis tavad urukramanghrim
sprsaty anarthapagamo yad-arthah
mahiyasam pada-rajo-'bhisekam
niskincananam na vrnita yavat

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.5.32)

atha daitya-sutah sarve
srutva tad-anuvarnitam
jagrhur niravarnitam
jagrhur niravadyatvan
naiva gurv-anusiksitam

All the sons of the demons appreciated the transcendental instructions of Prahlad Maharaj and took them very seriously. They rejected the materialistic instructions given by their teachers, Sanda and Amarka.

Srimad Bhagavatam, 7.8.1

"After leaving all mundane attachment, he who is always engaging his energy for the service to Lord Krsna, is the real sadhu. Until one takes the feet dust of that sadhu on their head, they will not get this conception, this consciousness about Krsna. So in some way I have got the mercy of a devotee and through that I have got this conception." Sanda and Amarka had not seen anyone and they did not know that in the womb of his mother he had heard this teaching, so how could Sanda and Amarka understand it?

Anyhow, they then tried their best to teach Prahlad but in the classes the other boys did not like to hear the teachings of Sanda and Amarka. When Sanda and Amarka left the classroom, Prahlad Maharaj would teach the boys.

kaumara acaret prajno
dharman bhagavatan iha
durlabham manusam janma
tad apy adhruvam arthadam

(Srimad-Bhagavatam 7.6.1)

"Oh boys, you do not know, but you have got this birth and it is not for spending time for mundane happiness. Actually it is necessary to worship Lord Visnu for His satisfaction. It is necessary to hear the glories of Visnu, to speak the glories of Visnu, to do archan, vandana, etc."

Prahlad Maharaj told the boys,

sravanam kirtanam visnoh
smaranam pada-sevanam
arcanam vandanam dasyam
sakhyam atma-nivedanam

"Give yourself to the lotus feet of Visnu and worship Lord Visnu. Then you will get the super-benefit of your life." They heard it from Prahlad and they were very happy. Then they were chanting the Holy Name of Lord Visnu in the school and sometimes from afar, Sanda and Amarka heard it. They were very angry but Prahlad was the king's son so they could not beat him. They came and they told him in several ways, "Do not do this, it is very dangerous, you do not know. This whole school will be destroyed by Hiranyakasipu." Prahlad would not hear from them and the other boys would also not hear from them. Sanda and Amarka were very fearful. Then after two sittings of the assembly and their failure to teach Prahlad, they told Hiranyakasipu, "We are unable to teach him. His mind is completely crazy and he is only giving advice to everyone. He has taken the chair of teacher and is giving his teachings to the other demons' children. We cannot control him, sir. Please excuse our offences."

Hiranyakasipu was very angry to hear that. In the meantime he tried to give some teachings but it was not appropriate for Prahlad. Finally he wanted to kill Prahlad. He told his servants, "Take him and throw him from the mountain." They threw Prahlad from the mountain but Visnu saved him. "Throw him in the ocean." They threw him in the ocean and again Visnu saved him. They tried to kill him in many different ways. They threw him in a well, but he was saved. They put him in front of a mad elephant, thinking that the mad elephant would smash him. But the elephant took Prahlad to his head and the elephant began to dance.

Prahlada Maharaja advises that whatever adverse circumstances may come to disturb us we should try to not only see them as opposing and undesirable but we are required to see them as quite befitting: "It should come and is coming through the will of my good, well-wishing Lord. Very kindly He is sending these apparently unfavorable things to me but here is His grace." We shall try to read positive sympathy in the pain and not only negative opposition. One thing to note is that nothing can come without His sanction, so it is coming to me with His sanction. There can be no spirit of retaliation in Him, therefore the pain has come for some purpose: to purify me. This positive end is there. He is trying to finish the bad consequences of my previous actions. "I would otherwise have had to undergo the bad consequences of my actions for a long time to come but perhaps He is making that intense in order to be finished within a very short time. Therefore it is His grace." If with this attitude we can face this danger that surrounds us then very easily we are released from all such opposing forces.

~His Divine Grace Srila Bhakti Rakshak Sridhar Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj, Sermons of the Guardian of Devotion, Volume Four


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