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
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
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
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
tat sadhu manye 'sura-varya dehinam
sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat
hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam
vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta
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
niskincananam na vrnita yavat
| atha daitya-sutah sarve
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
"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,
Prahlad Maharaj told the boys,
sravanam kirtanam visnoh
arcanam vandanam dasyam
"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,