Prahlada

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For the 1941 film, see Prahlada (film).

Prahlada a saintly boy from the Puranas known for his piety and bhakti to Vishnu, despite the attempts of his father, Hiranyakashipu, to change him.[1] He is considered to be a mahājana, or great devotee, by followers of Vaishnava traditions and is of special importance to devotees of the avatār Narasimha (the Man-Lion). A treatise is accredited to him in the Bhagavata Purana in which Prahlada describes the process of loving worship to his lord, Vishnu. The majority of stories in the Puranas are based on the activities of Prahlada as a young boy, and he is usually shown as such in paintings and illustrations.

The story of Prahlada[edit]

Prahlada was a great devotee of lord vishnu. According to hindu mythology, Narada taught prahlada NarayanaMantras, when prahada was in his mother's womb. From then he is a great devotee to Lord Vishnu.

Main article: Narasimha
Narasimha kills Hiranyakashipu, as Prahlada and his mother Kayadu, bow before Lord Narasimha

history

Prahlada was born to Kayadu and Hiranyakashipu, an evil king who had been granted a boon that he could not be killed by man or animal, day or night, inside or outside. Despite several warnings from his father Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continues to worship Vishnu instead. His father then decided to commit filicide and poison him, but he survived. Then he trampled the boy with elephants, but he lived. Then he put him 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 Prahlada on the lap of Holika as she sits on a pyre. Prahlada prays to Vishnu to keep him safe. Holika burns to death as Prahlada is unscathed. This event is celebrated as the Hindu festival of Holi.[2]

holi famous hindu festival also started after this story in Prahladpuri Temple. in Multan, Pakistan

After tolerating abuse from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada is eventually saved by Narasimha, the half-man, half-lion avatar, who kills the king at the entrance to his home at dusk.[3]

There is an underground pillar known as "Prahlada khamba" in Dharahra village, in the Purnea District of Bihar, India. It is said to be the pillar from which Narasimha manifested to kill Hiranyakashipu. Adjacent to the pillar is a large temple devoted to Lord Narasimha. Allegedly, attempts to excavate or move the "Prahlada 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".

The story of Prahlada teaches that:

  • Faith in God is paramount.
  • God will always prevail.
  • God saves his devotees.
  • Devotion can be practiced at any time. Age does not matter.
  • Evil will be punished.
  • Omnipresence of God.


Prahlada eventually becomes king of his father's kingdom 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 Prahlada, showing his favour towards him:

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

Prahlada in Sikhism[edit]

Prahlada is regarded as one of the devotees of God in Satyuga . Sikhism also believes Prahlada was a devotee of Paramatma, Supreme God or Waheguru.

Scriptural references[edit]

Prahlada is mentioned 27 times in Guru Granth Sahib. As in Hinduism, Guru Granth Sahib also describes Harnakash as the father of Prahlada who wanted to kill him, but was stopped by Narasimha.

Prahlaad was placed in a cell, and the door was locked. The fearless child was not afraid at all. He said, "Within my being, is the Guru, the Lord of the World. The created being tried to compete with his Creator, but he assumed this name in vain. That which was predestined for him has come to pass; he started an argument with the Lord's humble servant. ||7|| The father raised the club to strike down Prahlaad, saying, Where is your God, the Lord of the Universe, now? He replied, "The Life of the World, the Great Giver, is my Help and Support in the end. Wherever I look, I see Him permeating and prevailing."||8|| Tearing down the pillars, the Lord Himself appeared. The egotistical demon was killed and destroyed. The minds of the devotees were filled with bliss, and congratulations poured in. He blessed His servant with glorious greatness. ||9|| (Guru Granth Sahib , page no: 1154) [6]

Pilgrimage sites[edit]

The following sites in Andhra Pradesh, India, are associated with Prahlada, or Narasimhadeva as places of pilgrimage:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "THE STORY OF PRAHLADA". 
  2. ^ Varadaraja V. Raman - Variety in Religion And Science: Daily Reflections, iUniverse, 2005, ISBN 0-595-35840-3, p.259
  3. ^ Dimmitt, Cornelia; Johannes Adrianus Bernardus Buitenen (1978). Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Purāṇas. translated by J. A. Van Buitenen. Temple University Press. p. 312. ISBN 0-87722-122-7. 
  4. ^ P. 452 The Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism By Benjamin Walker - Summary
  5. ^ B-Gita 10.30
  6. ^ http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.gurbani?Action=Page&Param=1154&punjabi=t&id=49563#l49563

Further reading[edit]

  • Cole, W. Owen; Judith Evans-Lowndes; Judith Lowndes (1995). The Story of Prahlad. Heinemann Educational. ISBN 0-431-07756-8. 

External links[edit]

School of Prahlada @ Ahobilam