In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Prahlaada took birth. We had seen how Indra wanted to abduct Kayatu and kill her, since he was scared whether the baby in her womb would be as destructive as its father, Hiranya Kashibu. In fact, the Devas were not able to tolerate the atrocities of this Hiranya Kashibu itself, and with the advent of his son, the fear was even more and quite understandable. However, as Indra was abducting Hiranya Kashibu’s wife, Sage Naarada intervenes in the middle and requests Indra to abort the mission. Sage Naarada explains that the baby is going to be a “Parama-Bhaagawatha” of Bhagawan Vishnu, and not a Raakshasa like its father. Paying heed to Sage Naarada’s words of advice, Indra frees Kayatu and with this, Sage Naarada begins his long accord of advice and “Satsanga” to Kayatu. As Sage Naarada was narrating this, the little baby inside Kayatu’s womb listens keenly to his words and with this, Sage Naarada sows the seeds successfully for the birth of one of Bhagawan Vishnu’s greatest and most ardent devotees, after Dhruva.
Thus, as Kayatu reaches the time of the delivery, she delivers a beautiful baby boy, with all smiles! The baby is born with devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu, courtesy, Sage Naarada! This is where we witness that although Prahlaada was a Raakshasa by birth, he was a great devotee of Bhagawan and in turn, Bhagawan responded to his devotion, which we’re going to witness in the upcoming narrative. So the point here is that, it doesn’t matter where, how and to whom we take birth. All that is important here is whether we’re exhibiting Bhakti and surrender to Bhagawan when we are alive. Prahlaada thus, was a great epitome of being a Raakshasa, but being able to attain the highest “Moksha” through the “Bhakti Maarga”.
Now moving on thus, let us look at what happened to Prahlaada as he was born and as he was growing up. Hiranya Kashibu was overwhelmed with the birth of his son and named him “Prahlaada”. This Prahlaada started eventually to grow, but his devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana also grew along with him. As time progressed, Hiranya Kashibu tried his own ways and means to “re-direct” his little son from Bhagawan Vishnu towards himself, but all his attempts went in vain! Child as he was, Hiranya Kashibu had a soft corner towards Prahlaada during the initial days. He didn’t bother too much about Prahlaada’s devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu. However, as Prahlaada was about 9-10 years old, Hiranya Kashibu wanted to send him to the “Gurukula” for formal education. He appointed two people namely “Chanda” and “Amarka” as the teachers for Prahlaada. These two people are students of Sage Shukraachaarya, who is in turn the Guru for all the Raakshasas. Thus, Hiranya Kashibu calls both Chanda and Amarka to the palace and gives them formal instructions thus, “Oh Chanda and Amarka! I’m sending my son Prahlaada to you for formal education. All what you’ve to teach him is the “sacred Mantra” “Om Hiranyaaya Namah”! 🙂 If Prahlaada is not willing to chant the Mantra, make him do so, by your own ways and means. But, somehow, make Prahlaada forget that reckless Narayana forever. I don’t want to hear him chant that idiotic name again ever!”
The instruction is very clear here – Thus, Prahlaada goes along with Chanda and Amarka, as Hiranya Kashibu wishes “Good luck” for his son’s “academic success”. As per the instruction, Chanda and Amarka did their assigned job perfectly well. They began the formal lesson to Prahlaada by asking him to chant – “Om Hiranyaaya Namah”! However, little Prahlaada did not hear these words at all in his ears! He was deeply immersed in the Bhakti towards Bhagawan Narayana and hence he repeated the Mantra, “Om Namo Narayanaya Namah!” Upon hearing this, both Chanda and Amarka were shocked! They did not believe what they’re hearing! Initially they thought within themselves that perhaps they dodn’t teach properly. They repeated the “Mantra” – “Om Hiranyaya Namah” again to Prahlaada. However, the answer from Prahlaada made no difference! He stuck to his basics firmly! There was no going back as far as Prahlaada was concerned!
Recollecting the instigation done by Hiranya Kashibu, they made Prahlaada understand thus, “Oh little child! From now on, as per your father’s instruction, you should forget Narayana completely. You should only be chanting “Om Hiranyaaya Namah” from now!” However, little Prahlaada was unmoved! He was as solid as a rock in his stance! He never paid heed to what these two were saying. Finally, both Chanda and Amarka came to a conclusion that it is not going to be possible for them to correct and resurrect this Prahlaada on to the right track! Hence, they decide to take him back to his father, before the blame comes on to their head. Thus, both the “Aachaaryas” take little Prahlaada back to Hiranya Kashibu! They complain to him saying thus, “Oh King! We tried our best to teach him, but your child is very adamant and is not willing to learn anything from us! He only remembers Narayana everytime, and refuses to chant your name even once! Hence, it is upto you to resurrect him, and we cannot take any more responsibility on him!”
Saying thus, Chanda and Amarka leave the place with anger and frustration. Now, what is Hiranya Kashibu going to do with Prahlaada? Is he going to get angry on Prahlaada and is he going to take it upon himself to teach him? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂