Conversation between Prahlada & Lord Narasimha


When Lord Narasimha killed Hiranyakashipu, at that time Brahma, Shiva, and all the other celestial gods were present. They held a small meeting to welcome Shri Krishna who had descended as Narasimha especially to kill this dreaded demon. They decided, “We should offer our thanks and salutations to the Lord.” By and large, this practice of giving thanks to the Lord is followed everywhere in the world.

A problem arose – who should lead the welcome delegation? Lord Narasimha was seated majestically, glowing with an aura like a thousand suns. At the same time, He also appeared dreadful, His hands dripping with blood and His body entangled in the intestines of Hiranyakashipu. Everyone present felt scared and none volunteered to go before Him.

Gradually everyone turned to Brahma and said, “You are the creator of this universe and you are also the son of Lord Narasimha (the descension of Lord Vishnu), you are therefore duty-bound to lead us to Him.” Brahma replied, “You may be right, but I’m scared to go in front of Him.” Everyone then turned to Shiva. “You are capable of destroying this whole universe just by opening your third eye. Why don’t you go to the front?” Shiva replied, “No, even I am scared.” Now there was a big problem. When personalities like Brahma and Shiva refused, other celestial gods like Indra, etc. stood no chance at all.

Even in our world, if our mother or father angrily scolds someone, everyone close by feels uneasy thinking they could be the next in line. Ultimately everyone decided that little Prahlada should lead the delegation because after all, the Lord had appeared exclusively to protect him. It is a well-known fact that God is ever ready to offer Himself for the sake of His devotees, the Saints.

In this way, everyone requested Prahlada to go before the Lord and thank Him for descending to Earth and for protecting him. In the world, little children are generally fearless, aren’t they? You may have noticed little kids, three or four years old, walking up to me and forcing me to shake their hand, to which I always oblige. They couldn’t care less that I am Jagadguru or whatever, whereas most of you are afraid to even approach me. Children walk straight up to me and shake my hand.

In the same manner, Bhakta Prahlada walked fearlessly in front of Lord Narasimha with palms joined to thank Him. The moment he came close, Lord Narasimha abandoned all His anger and gently picked Prahlada up, placing him in His lap. The Lord embraced him in an outpouring of love and affection. He said, “My dear son, ask Me for a boon? Everyone does when I appear before them.” But Prahlada was no ordinary child.

Narada Ji had graced him with the complete knowledge of the scriptures. In fact, while still only four years of age, Prahlada had given discourse to the children of demons based on the Vedas and Shastras,

(को ऽति प्रया सो ऽसुरबा लका हरेरुपा सने स्वे हृदि छि द्रवत् सतः ।)
(Bhagwatam 7.7.38)

“O, dear friends! Loving and worshipping God hardly requires any effort. God resides inside your heart. You don’t have to go to any temple or church to see Him. Just have full faith in this truth. The moment you have complete faith, He will appear before you.” Unfortunately till date, we lack this faith.

When Prahlada heard that God wanted him to ask for a boon, he became confused. He thought, “Is there any desire still left in me? Why should I ask Him for a boon? Am I a beggar? I am a servant of God and He is my master. A servant is no servant at all if he asks anything of his master. A servant’s
only duty is to serve the Lord.” Prahlada requested, “My Lord! May I say something?” “Yes, yes, why not?” said the Lord.

(यस्त आशि ष आशा स्ते न स भृत्यः स वै वणि क्॥)
Bhagavatam 7.10.4)

“O my Lord! A servant who asks for anything from his master is no servant; he is a mere businessman. The word servant implies doing service, the service of the Lord. A true servant engages selflessly in the service of his master. If he wishes to ask for something, he behaves like a master instead of a servant. Only the master has the authority to ask or make demands. So my Lord, when I am Your servant then why are You forcing me to ask for a boon?”

God replied, “Alright My son! All that you say is fine. Don’t start lecturing me! All devotees ask Me for something whenever I appear before them, therefore you must also ask.” Prahlada started to wonder why God was being so insistent. He said,

(अहं त्वका मस्त्वद्भक्तस्त्वं च स्वा म्यनपा श्रयः ।)
(Bhagvatam 7.10.6)

“Dear Lord, I am that kind of servant who never asks for anything. I am also aware that You desire nothing from me. After all, what do I have to offer? A dirty body, a dirty mind, and an even dirtier intellect! That’s all I have to offer. On the other hand, everything You have is divine and blissful. So
neither do You desire anything from me nor I from You, yet You are insisting that I ask something from You?”

“Yes, My son. I do understand your point, but even so, still, you must, like everyone else,” replied God. Prahlada realized that now there was no other choice and so he asked,

(का मा नां हृद्यसंरो हं भवतस्तु वृणे वृणेवरम्।म्।)
(Bhagvatam 7.10.8)

“Grant me a boon that I should never ask You for anything and that my intellect should never create any desire at all.” The all-powerful, almighty God finally had to accept defeat. God realized that today He had encountered a true Devotee who would not budge from his resolve. In the meantime, Prahlada said, “O Lord, may I say something?” “Yes, yes,” replied the Lord.

(इन्द्रि या णि मनः प्रा ण आत्मा धर्मों धृति
धृतिर्मतिः । ह्रीः श्री स्तेज स्मृतिः सत्यं यस्य नश्यन्ति
जन्मना ।)
(Bhagavatam 7.10.8)

“The growth of desires in the mind causes the destruction of all noble faculties of man – the strength of his senses, his mind, his vital energy, and of his body. He loses his sense of righteousness, determination, understanding, good fortune, modesty, prowess, memory, and adherence to truth.”

Once a desire arises, it makes a man insane. Such a man then resorts to telling lies and performing all sorts of sinful acts in order to fulfill his desire. So great are the dangers when you create a desire. This disease of desire does not spare even celestial gods like Indra.

(चक्रधरो ऽपि सुरत्वं सुरत्वला र्भ सकलसुरपति त्वम्।म्
भवि तुं सुरपति रूवंगति त्वं तथा पि न नि वर्तते तृष्णा ।।)
(Garuda Purana)

“The monarch of the entire world covets the celestial abodes. Once he reaches there, he desires to attain the position of Indra, who rules the celestial abodes. Even after becoming Indra, he desires to rule over the entire universe up to Brahmaloka. In this way, there is no end to this disease of desires.”

(गिरिर्महान् गिरेरब्धि र्महा नब्धेर्नभो महत्।त्
नभसो ऽपि परं ब्रह्म ततोऽप्याशादुर
दुत्यया ।)

God kept listening patiently and Prahlada continued, “Should I say something more?” “Yes My child, why not.”

(विमुञ्चति यदा कामान्मा नवो मनसिस्थितान् ।
तर्ह्ये व पुण्डरी काक्ष भगवत्त्वा य कल्पते)

“When someone abandons all worldly desires, he becomes divine.”
The Vedas declare the same,

(यदा सर्वे प्रमुच्यन्ते का मा येऽस्य हृदि श्रि ताः ।
अथ मर्त्यो ‘मृतो भवत्यत्र ब्रह्म समश्नुते)
(Katha Upanishad 2.3.14)

God finally gave up and said “Alright My dear child, If you are determined not to ask for anything let it be so, but for the sake of My own happiness, I grant you the kingship of the entire Earth for one manvantara.”

Worldly desires are said to be the greatest danger for an aspirant. The first and foremost condition for devotional practice is the abandonment of all kinds of material desires. An aspirant should firmly resolve not to have any desire for his own personal happiness in his heart, only then will he be qualified to follow the path of love.

We have wasted innumerable lifetimes begging different gods and goddesses for worldly enjoyments. We have visited temples and shrines of Durga Ji, Tirupati Ji, Hanuman Ji, and so on, always begging for something or the other. How ironic this is! It is like going to a sweet shop and asking for slippers. God is the embodiment of unlimited divine happiness and we ask Him for worldly objects. Why? Up till now, haven’t you had enough of this material world? You have endured countless lives, even enjoying the
pleasures of the celestial abodes, but still, your mindset is like a beggar. As long as you are under the influence of Maya, you cannot be free from the disease of desire.

Most of you complain that your mind does not get absorbed in God. Initially, it will not be; that is possible only after attaining perfection. Preliminarily you need to withdraw it from the world again and again and attach it to God forcibly. Gradually it will be absorbed naturally.

This is similar to developing a bad habit like smoking. A person forces himself to become a smoker initially, thinking that smoking is a very stylish thing to do. He may wear a suit and tie and behave like a smart gentleman, with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. He coughs and splutters but puffs away regardless, just to win the attention of others, thinking he is showing himself to be extraordinarily modern. He continues like this for a week, ten days, one month, ten months, twenty months and now that cigarette has complete hold over him. He cannot quit the habit even if he tries desperately. If he tries not to smoke, he develops headaches and experiences anxiety and tension. In a similar manner, the consumption of alcohol is also habit-forming. Ultimately these and other addictive habits grab hold of the person so tightly that he feels totally helpless against them.

Withdraw your mind from the world that is full of sorrow and suffering and attach it to God, who is the embodiment of bliss. Over time and with constant practice you will begin to experience spiritual happiness. The hairs on your body may bristle with rapture and tears of love will trickle down your cheeks. Once you start experiencing these ecstatic feelings, your mind will be absorbed in contemplation of God to such an extent that one day, you will even openly challenge God, like Saint Surdas,

(हृदय ते जब जाउगे मर्द बदौंगो तोय।)
(Saint Surdas)

“O Shyamasundara! Though you claim to be all-powerful, I will only believe You if You have the power to leave my heart.”

Saint Surdas challenged the Lord and the Lord accepted defeat. God is bound by love so He cannot leave His devotee.

So we need to fully understand that we have to renounce all our worldly desires. Simultaneously, we need to understand that those very desires when directed towards God are called bhakti. We possess only one mind. It can be engaged either in the world or in God. You are not the body. Therefore, divert all desires. Your true goal of achieving unlimited divine happiness lies only in God. Replace all your worldly desires with the desire for God. This is the only solution to rid yourself of the disease of desire,
otherwise, you may try hard for millions and millions of years, but your desires will only keep on multiplying.

(हवि षा कृष्णवर्मेव भूय एवा भि वर्धते।)
(Bhagavatam 9.19.14)

To conclude, we should practice replacing all our worldly desires with the desire for God, the embodiment of infinite bliss.

*A brief introduction of Jagadguru Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj*

(Known by His devotees as Shri Maharajji)

The original title of Jagadguruttam (‘Greatest Spiritual Teacher of the World’) was bestowed upon Shri Kripalu Ji Maharaj on January 14, 1957 by ‘Kashi Vidvat Parishad’ (a council of 500 greatest scholars saints of India). He composed divine texts like ‘Prem Ras Madira’, ‘Prem Ras Siddhant’, and ‘Radha Govind Geet’ to lead us on the right path of devotion. He also gave priceless monuments as gifts to the world which include  -  Bhakti Mandir located in Bhakti Dham, Mangarh,  Prem Mandir located in Vrindavan Dham, and Kirti Mandir located in Barsana Dham. Shri Maharajji also built hospitals for the impoverished, the Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Vrindavan, Jagadguru Kripalu Chikitsalaya in Barsana, and another one in Pratapgarh. All three help millions of underprivileged to gain free access to medical care. His Kindergarten, School, and College for impoverished girls Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Education is located in Kunda and provides completely free education.