Chapter 9: Prahlâda Propitiates Lord Nrisimhadeva with Prayers
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2018-11-17, 1:34 AM

    Chapter 9: Prahlâda Propitiates Lord Nrisimhadeva with Prayers

    (1) Nârada Muni said [to Yudhishthhira]: 'None of the Suras led by Brahmâ and S'iva, could step forward because He, boiling with anger, was most difficult to approach. (2) The Goddess of Fortune personally by the demigods being urged to do so could, after seeing Him so huge and wonderful as no one had ever seen or heard before, not move in His direction because she was very afraid. (3) Then Lord Brahmâ prompted Prahlâda who stood close by: 'My dear son, can you please approach the Lord and propitiate Him? He is very angry because of what your father did.'

    (4) 'Surely' he said and even though he was only a small boy oh King, the great devotee slowly, step by step, approached Him and prostrated himself with folded hands offering prayers. (5) The godhead was by him, such a little boy fallen at His lotus feet, greatly moved and filled with mercy He raised His lotus hand, placed it on his head and dispelled the fear for the snake of time from all minds [present there]. (6) Because of that touch he was cleansed from all evil. And immediately in this association with the Supersoul, with His lotus feet, his heart melted being captured in bliss. With Him in his heart tears welled in his eyes and symptoms of ecstasy manifested all over his body. (7) One-pointed of mind being greatly concentrated and with an out of love faltering voice, he in the full surrender of his heart and mind began to offer prayers to the Lord.

    (8) S'rî Prahlâda said: 'All the Suras headed by Brahmâ, all the saints and others perfect in the mode of goodness, being one-pointed in their determination were despite of their qualities as yet not able to please You with their streams of words. How can it be that He, this Lord, would be pleased with my words?  I was born an Asura. (9) I think that riches, a good birth, a nice body, penance, Vedic knowledge, prowess, energy, influence, strength, diligence, intelligence and mystical power will not satisfy at all. The spirit is pleased by bhakti, just like the Supreme Lord was pleased by Gajendra [the elephant].  (10) A scholar who endowed with these twelve characteristics [see also*] does not care about the lotus feet of Him from whose navel the lotus sprouted, I consider not as blessed as a man of low birth who dedicates his mind, words, wealth, life and everything he does to Him. For he purifies his family, community or even his entire race that way, unlike someone who is too much of the mind. (11) Whatever the respect an ignorant person pays to the innerly always satisfied Supreme Lord, is by Him gracefully accepted not so much for His own benefit, as for the benefit of the devoted person in question, just as the reflection in a mirror is there for the glory of one's own face. (12) I will therefore free from that notion of being unfit in full surrender to the Lord, to the best of my ability and insight, focus on His glory, however low-born I am. When one in ignorance has entered this world, the best way to find purification is to describe and sing His glory [see also B.G. 18: 55]. (13) All the ones who follow Your instructions like Brahmâ and the other demigods, are naturally always situated in goodness, but we [the Asuras] oh Lord are not like that and are always filled with fear. And so one says that the incarnations of Your lordship in this material world are there to promote the happiness of the soul and the honor and glory of Your protection and prosperity. (14) Therefore please give up Your anger about the Asura You have killed today. Even the saints are happy when a scorpion or snake is killed. The truth is that all the worlds are happy about what happened and that all their inhabitants wish to remember Your form as the one that drove away their fear. (15) I myself am not afraid, oh Invincible One, of Your fearsome mouth, tongue, flashing eyes and frowning face, Your strong ferocious teeth or garland of intestines and bloody manes, Your pointed ears, Your roar that even scares the elephants or the nails that pierced the enemy. (16) But I do fear oh Merciful Father of Care, that intolerable, ugly repetition of birth and death, to be thrown into the miserable condition of  having to live among predator-minded people and to be bound to the actions and reactions of karma oh Insurmountable One. When do You pleased with me, call me to the base of Your feet that constitute the refuge in this ocean of matter? (17) Because of taking birth one is in one's pleasurable or not that pleasurable existence of being united with the world separated [from You] and burned by the fire of lamentation, irrespective the body one resides in. Moreover one suffers just as well by the remedies against this misery of taking the body for the real self. I, oh Greatest Being, am wandering around in this existence. Please tell me how to be of service in Your yoga. (18) I will that way, from constantly hearing the narrations handed down in succession about Your pastimes as the well-wisher and Supreme Godhead oh Lord Nrisimha, easily cross over [this ocean of matter] and be free from being contaminated by the modes of nature. In association with the liberated souls I will find liberation from all the misery with Your two feet as my home. (19) All the things that You [personally] do not care about but which are cherished by those who are locked up in a physical body, only have the appearance of a remedy: the parentage that is the shelter for a little child oh Nrisimha, the medicine for a patient, the boat for a person drowning in the ocean or the measures taken for a person suffering from a certain material condition oh Almighty One, [all constitute but a temporary solution]. (20) Whatever situation it may concern, whatever seems to be the reason, whatever time it might be, by whatever agent and relating to whatever agent, caused by whatever agent or for the sake of whatever agent, whatever the way of something or of whatever  nature something might be, is certainly all but another form of the Supreme Reality. Stated differently: in nature one finds because of all kinds of changes a specific form of separateness, but whatever form it may concern, it is always a manifestation of Your Lordship's energy. (21) The illusory of matter creates a mind that constitutes the source of difficult to control fruitive actions [or karma]. These actions are conditioned by the Time that agitates the modes of nature and is respected [in a certain way] by the person. Thus being defeated by the alluring but deluding material energy one is tied to the sixteen spokes [of the senses of action and perception, the elements and the mind] of the wheel of rebirth, oh Unborn One. Whoever can get out of this by anything else but Your way [see also B.G. 9: 25]? (22) You are that one element of Time to the tender mercy of which the soul eternally is left being defeated by the modes of Your rule. I here present as a form of material energy who in all his forsaking and appearing is subjected to Your cyclic control, am powerless oh Lord and Master. I am crushed under the wheel with the sixteen spokes. Please help me, this soul of surrender, to get out of this oh Almighty One. (23) Oh Almighty One, I have seen how people in general desire the longevity, opulence and glory of the pious leaders of heaven. But our father wishing this all [for himself] was simply by the provoked laughter of Your expansion [as Nrisimha] in the blink of an eye pulled down by You and completely vanquished. (24) Therefore I do not covet to live as long as Lord Brahmâ or be rich and mighty. I know where all this foolish blessing of the senses of the embodied being leads to. I have no desire to be closed down by You who are so powerful as the Master of Time. Please take me to the side of Your servants. (25) How can one in this body that is a host to so many diseases be blessed with things that sound good but are like a mirage in the desert? Despite of knowing this very well the people try to put out the fire of desire with difficult to obtain little drops of honey [temporary happiness], but they do not get out of it. (26) What is my position now? How can I surpass the fact of being born from a family far removed from the enlightened state into the darkness of a body that is moved by passion? The lotus hand of Your causeless mercy that You offered me on my head as a token of grace, would not even be available to Lord Brahmâ, to Lord S'iva or the Goddess of Fortune! (27) From the side of Your Lordship as the friend of the entire world there can be no question of discriminating between higher and lower born living beings. Nevertheless there is of You, depending the service, like with a desire tree, the benediction reserved for the ones who serve You, whether they are of a higher level or not [see also 2.3: 10 and B.G. 4: 33, 9: 25]. (28) The common man who in his material existence runs after the objects of his desire fell into a blind well full of snakes. I, who by bad association just like such a person fell into that condition, was by the Sura sage [Nârada] oh Supreme Lord, taken into confidence and lead to the truth of the soul. How could I ever give up on the service of Your pure devotee? (29) Oh Unlimited One, by saving my life and killing my father I consider the words spoken by Your servant the rishi as true. For You have proven Yourself when my father with evil intentions took up his sword and said: 'Let that controller other than me save you now that I am going to sever your head.'

    (30) 'This universe all around us constitutes the Oneness of You alone. You exist separately of this universe that has a beginning, a middle and an end that You created by means of the three modes of nature. Those primal qualities give shape to Your external potency. Everything making up that diversity owes its regulation to You who entered it Yourself [See also B.G. 9: 4]. (31) Oh Lord You are there as the entire universe or else as the One separate from it; You are the cause ànd the effect. The distinction between the material energy of Your creation and You as being another Self is a mistaken notion. The substance of something is equal to the substance of the form in which it appears; that what constitutes You is equal to that what the manifstation of the creation that is maintained and annihilated consists of, just like it is with the tree and its seed and the earth and her seasons. (32) With You retracting this universe within Yourself, You experience, within the ocean being immersed in Yourself, the spiritual state of bliss while You seem to be doing nothing. But with You in the uniting of Your consciousness having closed Your eyes You also have imbibed the sleep. Without keeping material sleep and the modes of nature You are then engaged in the union of the highest state of consciousness [turîya, or the fourth state]. (33) Having awakened from Your slumber on the bed of Ananta in the causal ocean, the great lotus of all the worlds appeared from Your navel like a banana tree does from its seed. That cosmic body of Yours, this universe agitated by the Time factor, is Your way [in the form of the modes and their divinities] of dealing with the material affair [with prakriti]. (34) He of the knowledge [Brahmâ] who generated from that lotus could not discern anyone else, since Your Lordship, as the seed, had expanded into himself. He then dove into the water for a hundred demigod years, not understanding that a seed once having fructified oh my Lord, can no longer be perceived [see 3.8]. (35) He being born from nothing but himself, was greatly astonished to find himself upon that lotus. After a long time by severe austerities being purified he then found You oh Controller, who very subtly, like an aroma in the earth, are spread throughout all of the sentient being that is so obsessed with all kinds of desires. (36) Lord Brahmâ thus achieved transcendental bliss, for he saw in one combined view the Supreme Personality being endowed with all kinds of ornaments, weapons and signs, who with thousands of faces, feet, heads, hands, thighs, noses, ears and eyes demonstrated His full potency. (37) Accepting the head of a horse in an incarnation, You killed two very powerful demons named Madhu and Kaitabha who represented the modes of passion and ignorance. Next You delivered the s'ruti [the four Vedas] to Lord Brahmâ because of which one honors Your most appreciated form [called Hayagrîva] as an embodiment of pure goodness [see also 5.18: 18 and B.G. 4: 7]. (38) This way according to the yuga in question appearing in different incarnations as a human being, a saint, a god or an aquatic, You protect all the worlds. Sometimes in defense of the dharma You kill the troublemakers of this world oh Supreme Personality, but because You in Kali-yuga operate under cover [channa] You, being spoken of as one and the same person, are called Triyuga [for being recognizable in the three other yugas, see also 11.5: 32]. (39) The mind that is not tuned to Your transcendental topics, is because of the sins it sympathizes with in its far being removed from the Lord of Vaikunthha, polluted, dishonest and hard to control. Filled with desires and lusts it is because of the therewith associated urges of highs and lows, fears and distress. Tell me how I, with such a mind being poor and fallen, must understand Your supreme purpose? (40) The tongue pulls me in this direction oh Infallible One and the genitals not being satisfied pull me that way. Likewise the skin, the belly and the ear are going for this and the nose is running after that, while the eyes are looking for yet another thing. Thus the eager, busy senses all together bring one down like a householder is brought down by his co-wives. (41) This way because of one's karma having fallen into the Vaitaranî river [at the door of death], one alas, one after the other birth and death, eating all kinds of foodstuff, suffers from an ever increasing fear in seeing how the living being, caught in his own body and entangled in the association with other bodies, is of enmity and friendship. Oh You who from the other side of that river wants to show us Your kindness, we in this world at present are nothing but a bunch of fools. (42) Oh Master of All, we friendly people are always eager to be of service in this matter. Oh Supreme Lord, what would be the difficulty for Your great compassion to deliver us materialistic fools from the cause of time and again having to set up, keep going and come to naught [with our karmic endeavors] oh Friend of the Ones in Need? (43) Oh Supreme One, because my mind is absorbed in the singing and proclaiming of Your sweet ocean of glories, I am free from worries about the hard to cross Vaitaranî [that is this world]. I am more concerned about those fools who missing the liberation in carrying the load of their sensual interest are making plans in favor of illusory forms of happiness and dutifulness [see also 6.17: 28]. (44) Oh Godhead, saints ambitious for their own salvation generally in silence wander in remote places, not being very much interested in a life for the sake of others. But I do not, like they do, want to leave aside my fellow man in misery. I do not desire liberation for myself alone. I cannot accept it to see other people wander around oblivious of this shelter You offer. (45) Everything associated with household sexual happiness, is as trivial as rubbing ones hands to find relief from an itch. The miserable person is by this kind of itch-relief sex not freed from all his discomfort and uneasiness and thus serves all kinds of unhappiness. Only when one recognizes that kind of imaginary happiness and manages to tolerate the itching [i.e. 'goes not beyond necessity', see also B.G. 7: 11 & 14] one can develop intelligence, stability and energy [dhîra, see also Y.S. II: 38 & 40]. (46) Silence, vows, Vedic knowledge, austerity, study, dutifulness, explaining the scripture, living alone, prayer and absorption, belong to the path of liberation, but these matters [these ten activities of emancipation] are often part of a method of making a living that is practiced by people who have not conquered their senses at all oh my Lord. Thus one in this context may wonder whether one deals with hypocrisy or not[: are we not dealing with false pretenses? See also 6.1: 16]. (47) The forms of Your [spiritual] cause and [material] effect as explained in the Vedas are like the seed and its sprout. But You being without a specific form are also not any of these two forms. Those who are connected in Your yoga [the bhakti-yoga devotees] can clearly see both these aspects before their eyes like wood and the fire in wood and this cannot in any other way be achieved. (48) You are the air, the fire, the earth, the sky and the water, the sense objects, the life force, the senses, the mind, the consciousness and all assisting divinity belonging to it. You are all of that, the unique of the natural reality of the modes as also the One beyond it all. Oh my Lord, whatever that is manifested or is expressed in the mind and by words, it is no one else but You. (49) Neither all the modes of nature, nor their predominating deities, neither the complete of the cosmic intelligence, the false ego, the gross and subtle elements, the senses and their objects, nor those who are so mindful in association with all the godly ones and the mortals who all have a beginning and an end... oh Lord glorified by all the saints, none of them is truly capable of covering all that is Yours and therefore do all intelligent people at this point rest their case [and engage in Your devotional service. See also B.G. 2: 52].'

    (50) 'I therefore offer You, oh Best of the Worshipable Ones, my obeisances and engage with prayers in Your worship, work for You, remember You, cherish Your lotus feet and always listen to the talks about You. How can a person without honoring You in all these six ways ever be of bhakti for You who are the goal of the best ones of transcendence [compare 7.5: 23-24, see for further prayers to Lord Nrisimha 5.18: 7-14]?'

    (51)
    S'rî Nârada said: 'I thus far have described the transcendental qualities of the bhakta in his bhakti. The Lord transcendental to the modes who was pleased and in control of His anger, next addressed him who had surrendered himself at His feet. (52) The Supreme Lord said: 'Prahlâda My sweet boy, I wish you all good fortune. I am pleased with you oh best of the Asuras. Just ask Me for any blessing you desire, for I am for each and everyone the fulfillment of all desires. (53) Live a long life! He who does not please Me has difficulty seeing Me! But when someone has seen Me he deserves it not to lament his situation any longer. (54) For that reason oh fortunate one, do stable, intelligent and energetic devotees who know to behave themselves and wish the best [for each and all], desire to please Me, the Master of All Benedictions, in every respect.'

    (55) S'rî Nârada said: 'Even though the best of the Asuras thus was allured by worldly benedictions, he did not want any of all that one longs for, he went exclusively for the Supreme Lord [see also: S'rî S'rî S'ikshâshthaka verse four].'