In the previous episode, we had witnessed Hiranya-Kashibu getting frustrated with his son Prahlaada, over exhibiting ardent devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu. It should be remembered by readers here that Hiranya-Kashibu is totally against any sort of devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu, for the sole reason that He had been instrumental in killing Hiranyaaksha. However, on the contrary to his father, little Prahlaada was an ardent devotee of Bhagawan Vishnu and was a “Mahatma” by birth! He knew nothing other than chanting Bhagawan Narayana’s name minute after minute! We’ve witnessed that Hiranya-Kashibu sends his kid to the “Gurukula”, and here too, Prahlaada complained that his teachers were totally useless! The primary reason behind this was that, his teachers were repeatedly teaching the same thing again and again! Prahlaada, being a “Mahatma” had extremely sharp intellect and would grasp things so quickly just like how a piece of camphor catches fire! Thus, Hiranya-Kashibu’s attempt of getting rid of Prahlaada’s Vishnu devotion through a Gurukula failed miserably. Subsequently he tries talking affectionately to Prahlaada to change his stance. This too didn’t bare any fruit! Finally, Hiranya-Kashibu decided that there would no other option but to take the stick in hand! He decided to met out some harsh punishment to Prahlaada by scaring him with some elephants and poisonous snakes. Irrespective of whatever the scare was, Prahlaada continued to remain steadfast in his devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu.
Towards the end of the last episode, we had asked an important question, for which we need to find an answer. For recollection sake, let us put forth the question once again here – How come Prahlaada is totally unharmed even by the scariest of all animals? We’ve witnessed two of the scariest punishments so far, and we’re going to witness few more as we move forward. However, this question becomes extremely relevant to this context. The simple answer to this question is that, it is Bhagawan’s bound duty to respond to the fervent cries and calls of His devotees! No matter who the devotee is or where he / she is from, Bhagawan responds with all His love and affection to take care of His devotee. We can see this at many instances. When the elephant by name Gajendra was caught at its legs by a huge crocodile, it screamed for help from Bhagawan Vishnu! The moment this scream reached Bhagawan’s ears, He didn’t wait for even a second! Bhagawan started to rush towards the poor elephant, reached the spot in a jiffy and pulled the elephant out of danger! This is how Bhagawan responds! It doesn’t matter whether the devotee is a human being or an animal. Bhagawan treats all living beings with the same amount of love and care. The way in which we should understand this point is that, if an elephant is able to attract the attention of Bhagawan with its ardent devotion, if monkeys are able to attract Bhagawan Rama’s attention with their dedicated service, if the little squirrel is able to attract Bhagawan Rama’s attention with its selfless service, if the cows in Mathura can attract the attention of Bhagawan Krishna and drive Him towards them, why can’t we human beings do the same?
Thus, the point here is that, it is not important as to who we are or what we are. All what is required is that, we should be sincere and fervent in our approach towards Bhagwan! This would melt Bhagawan’s heart and in turn, He would rush towards us when we are in acute danger. This is exactly what is happening in little Prahlaada’s case too. Child as he is, the devotion with which he is yearning for Bhagawan, melts His heart and thus, every time whenever his father puts him through several hardships, Bhagawan rushes in to ensure that the child is safe and not harmed! Thus, we should learn here that ardent and innocent devotion towards Bhagawan will draw us closer and closer to Him and we would certainly feel the difference if we start practicing this in our daily lives.
Now moving on further with the Prahlaada-Charithra, Hiranya-Kashibu again asks Prahlaada whether he had changed his stance after he had witnessed the scare from the elephants and the snakes. To his utter shock and disbelief, Prahlaada seemed to be unmoved by any of these animals! Now what does Hiranya-Kashibu do here? He concludes that none of the “Terrestrial animals” could really make an impact on his son and finally opts for some “Aquatic animals” to do the trick! 😊 Hence, he orders Prahlaada to be taken to the ocean and be thrown into the sea waters! Hiranya-Kashibu opts for this plan so that, upon realization that he is going to be dropped off into the ocean, Prahlaada could change his stance! As Prahlaada was being taken to the ocean, his chants of Bhagawan’s divine names only increased manifold! Upon realizing that he is being taken to the seas, Prahlaada thought to himself, “Oh wow! My Bhagawan resides in this same ocean isn’t it, in the reclining form? This might be a good opportunity for me to meet my Bhagawan Vishnu amidst the ocean waters! Let me be thrown there and I do not have any problem with that!” As Prahlaada was thrown into the ocean by his father’s assistants, Bhagawan immediately responds to Prahlaada’s ardent devotion by converting the ocean water as a bed for him to recline and relax! Thus, to the utter amazement of everyone around, Prahlaada did not drown even an inch into the water! He was comfortably floating on the water and none of the aquatic animals like fishes, tortoises, turtles, etc. came near him as well! This is another example as to how Bhagawan responds to an ardent devotee’s desperate calls for help!
So for today, let us understand this point and let us wait till the next episode to continue with the Prahlaada-Charithra! Stay tuned! 😊