Prahlada

Prahlada is a character from the Puranic texts of Hinduism, wherein he is famed for his exclusive devotion (bhakti) to Vishnu, despite attempts in the story by his father, Hiranyakashipu to turn him to the contrary. He is considered a "mahajana", or "great devotee", by followers of Vaishnava traditions and is of special importance to devotees of Narasimha avatar. A philosophical treatise is acredited to him in the Bhagavata Purana wherein Prahlada describes the process of loving worship to his lord, Vishnu. The majority of stories in the Puranas are based around the activities of Prahlada as a young boy, and thus he is more commonly depicted as such in paintings and illustrations.

The story of Prahlada

Despite several warnings from his father Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada continues to worship Vishnu. His father tries to poison him, get him trampled by the elephants, and put him in a room with venomous snakes, but Prahlada survives each and every time.

Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu, has a special shawl that would prevent fire affecting the person wearing it. One day, Hiranyakashipu orders Prahlada to sit on a pyre on the lap of Holika. Prahlad prays to Lord Vishnu to keep him safe. When the fire starts, Holika burns to death, while Prahlada remains unharmed. This incident is celebrated as the Hindu festival of Holi. [cite book
last = Raman
first = Varadaraja V.
title = Variety in Religion And Science: Daily Reflections
publisher = iUniverse
year = 2005
isbn = 0595358403
pages = 259
]

After tolerating much abuse from his father Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada is eventually saved by Vishnu in the form of Narasimha, the half-man, half-lion avatar. [cite book
last = Dimmitt
first = Cornelia
coauthors = Johannes Adrianus Bernardus Buitenen
others = translated by J. A. Van Buitenen
title = Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Purāṇas
publisher = Temple University Press
year = 1978
isbn = 0877221227
pages = 312
]

The story of Prahlada gives a number of moral instructions such as:

* God prevails everywhere.
* God will always save his devotees.
* Devotion can be practised at any point of time. Age does not matter.
* Constant faith in God leads to devotion.
* The people who are practising evil will be punished.

Within the Bhagavata Purana, Prahlada eventually becomes king of the Daityas and attains a place in the abode of Vishnu (Vaikuntha) after his death. [ P. 452 "The Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism" By Benjamin WalkerSummary ]

criptural references

In the Bhagavad Gita (10.30) Krishna makes the following statement in regard to Prahlada, showing his favour towards him:

Translation: "Among the Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlada, among subduers I am time, among beasts I am the lion, and among birds I am Garuda." [ [http://bhagavadgitaasitis.com/10/30/en1 B-Gita 10.30] ]

Pilgrimage sites

The following sites in Andhra Pradesh, India, are associated with Prahlada, or Narasimhadeva as places of pilgr

*Simhachalam
*Ahobilam
*Kadiri

ee also

* Narada
* Bhakti Yoga
* Jaya-Vijaya
* Multan

References

Further reading

* cite book
last = Cole
first = W. Owen
coauthors = Judith Evans-Lowndes, Judith Lowndes
title = The Story of Prahlad
publisher = Heinemann Educational
year = 1995
isbn = 0431077568

External links

* [http://srimadbhagavatam.com/7/en1 Bhagavata Purana Canto 7 - The Story of Prahlada] (srimadbhagavatam.com)
* [http://moralstories.wordpress.com/2006/09/19/dharma-nirnayam Dharma-Nirnayam (short story on Prahlada] (moralstories.wordpress.com)
* [http://www.krishna.com/e-books/Teachings_of_Prahlada.pdf The Transcendental Teachings of Prahlada (pdf)] (krishna.com)
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/vp/vp055.htm Prahlada in the Vishnu Purana] (sacred-texts.com)


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