In the previous episode we had witnessed an interesting accord wherein Indra tries to kill Hiranya-Kashibu’s baby in his wife’s womb itself. The primary agenda behind Indra’s action is that, since Hiranya-Kashibu was a Raakshasa and is about to cause widespread destruction to the world after he obtains the boons from Bhagawan Brahma, the child that is going to be born to a Raakshasa would also be another Raakshasa. Thus, to save the subsequent generations of people in this world, Indra thinks that he should finish off this child in it’s mother’s womb itself and should never let it be born at all! Hence, Indra rushes to the place where Kayaathu was staying, kidnaps her to his Indra-Lokha and tries to abortion her! It is at this time, Sage Naarada appears from nowhere and blasts Indra left, right and center! By doing so, Sage Naarada makes Indra realize that this child which is about to take birth, is no ordinary child as he thinks it to be! He is going to be one of the greatest devotees of Bhagawan Vishnu and is going to preach various important messages to the world. If Indra is going to kill this ardent devotee of Bhagawan Vishnu, he is only going to accumulate a heinous sin of doing such an act and moreover, he is going to make himself a victim of Bhagawan Vishnu’s anger!
As Sage Naarada continues with his accord, he takes away Kayaathu with him and starts narrating all the important aspects of Bhagawan Vishnu. As Sage Naarada is narrating thus, this baby is listening carefully to each and every word of what Sage Naarada was saying, from being inside the womb itself! It is to be remembered that the baby is yet to take birth. This is the reason why this baby was later appreciated as “Garbha-Shreeman”, which means, this person was an ardent devotee with extensive spiritual knowledge, even while being inside the womb!
As days progress, it is time now for Kayaathu to deliver the baby. As the baby is born, it is named “Prahlaada”. We might have known something about this Prahlaadha in the past as well. Now let us witness the life events of Prahlaadha in a great detail. In fact, this “Prahlaada-Charitra” is an important one for us, which is an epitome of “Bhakti” (Ardent devotion towards Bhagawan) at all times. Irrespective of whatever challenges that might come through our lives, the important question that arises here is that, are we able to walk the path of “Bhakti” by ignoring all challenges, or are we going to get carried away by each and every challenge and forget Bhagawan in the way? Thus, this “Prahlaada-Charitra” gives us excellent answers for this important question. Now let us go into the main story. So far we’ve witnessed the background behind the birth of Prahlaada and now let us witness what did this Prahlaada go through in his life and how did Bhagawan save him from whatever he went through.
“Dhamaghosha sutah paapa aarabhya kala bhaashanaath!
Sampratyamaharshih govinde danta vaktrascha durmathihi!!
Keetah preshah sthruthaaruddah kudyaayaam tam anusmaran!
Kaamaad dveshaadh bhayaath snehaath yathaa bhaktiyeshware manaha!!”
As Prahlaada’s story is being narrated by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit thus, he also adds one more accord mid-way, which is also important for us to understand. There are different ways through which we can attain Bhagawan – Either through desire, or through love, or through friendship, or through ardent devotion, or by being a slave for Bhagawan, or by showing anger and frustration towards Bhagawan, or by scolding Bhagawan left right and center! We might immediately ask here, how can we attain Bhagawan by scolding? Sishupala was one of the greatest examples of this variety! He had left no bad words used, to scold Bhagawan Krishna and yet he attained Moksha at the end! 😊 But how is that possible? We should remember one fact here – Whenever Sishupala wanted to scold Bhagawan Krishna, he was constantly thinking about Him, isn’t it? He did not think of anything else or anybody else. Sishupaala was extremely focused in what he wanted to achieve! Whereas if we consider our cases, if we’ve to think about Bhagawan, we can’t even think of Him continuously for five minutes together! 😊 We get disturbed with so many unwanted thoughts and our mind keeps wavering here and there without any control! This was not the case with Sishupaala.
In fact, as I had mentioned couple of episodes ago, Raakshasas have much more focus as compared to Devas and people like us! This is the reason why Raakshasas were able to obtain whatever boons they wanted to have, and here we are, aimlessly wandering without doing anything! This is the gross difference – Because of the extreme focus of what they want to achieve, the Raakshasas are steadfast in their approach and try hook or crook to achieve whatever they want! Of course, I’m not saying that we should adopt this method in our lives for all the wrong reasons, however, who is stopping us from adopting this steadfast focus for all the good things? Who is going to stop us if we’re ardently praying for Bhakti or Devotion? This is where we are missing out. We need to somehow plug this loophole so that, our spiritual progress is taken care of!
This is exactly what Sage Naarada and Sage Sukhaachaarya are trying to say here. If we talk of the ways and means of attaining Bhagawan’s feet, there are different ways and there are people who have succeeded in all these ways to attain Moksha. For instance, the Gopikas had the desire to be amidst Bhagawan Krishna’s presence every time, and with that, all of them attained Moksha. Lakshmana was Bhagawan Rama’s slave and he was in service to his brother, right from the moment he was born till his last moment. This Prahlada whom we are talking about now, is an excellent example of attaining Bhagawan through ardent devotion. Similarly, there are people who have walked the path and demonstrated to us in their own ways, as to how to attain Bhagawan’s feet.
Hence for today, let us understand and appreciate this important point and we shall wait till the next episode to move deeper into Prahlada’s “Charitra”. An interesting accord awaits us! Stay tuned! 😊