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Prahlada (Sanskrit: Prahlāda, प्रह्लाद) was a king,
the son of
Hiranyakashipu and Kayadhu, and the father of Virochana. he
belonged kashyap gotra. He is often described as a saintly boy from
Puranas known for his piety and bhakti to Lord Vishnu. Despite the
abusive nature of his father, Hiranyakashipu, he continued his
devotion towards Lord Vishnu. He is considered to be a mahājana,
or great devotee, by followers of Vaishnava traditions and is of
special importance to devotees of the avatār Narasiṁha. A treatise
is accredited to him in the
Bhagavata Purana in which Prahlāda
describes the process of loving worship to his Lord Vishnu. The
majority of stories in the
Puranas are based on the activities of
Prahlāda as a young boy, and he is usually depicted as such in
paintings and illustrations.
1.1 The story of Prahlāda
1.2 Scriptural references
2 Later life
3 Pilgrimage sites
4 In culture
5 In popular culture
6 See also
8 Further reading
9 External links
Narasiṁha kills Hiranyakashipu, as Prahlāda and his mother Kayadu
bow before Lord Narasiṁha.
Prahlāda was born to Kayadu and Hiranyakashipu, an evil daitya king
who had been granted a boon that he could not be killed of anything
born from a living womb, neither be killed by a man nor an animal,
neither during the day nor at night, neither indoors nor outdoors,
neither on land, nor in the air nor in water and of no man made
weapon. However, after repeated attempts of filicide by Hiranyakashipu
unto Prahalāda, Prahalāda was finally saved by Lord Narasimha, a
prominent avatar of
Vishnu who descended to demonstrate the quality of
Divine rage and redemption by killing the demon king. The word
"Narsimha" is derived from the Sanskrit word" nar" meaning Man and
"simaha" meaning lion. Thus Narsimha to a being who is half man and
half lion. Lord Narasiṁha, being the transcendental Supreme
Personality of Godhead, fulfilled all the proper requirements by which
the otherwise nearly-invincible
Hiranyakashipu could be
After the death of his father, Prahlāda took his father's kingdom and
ruled peacefully and virtuously. He was known for his generosity and
kindness. He sowed similar seeds in his son
Virochana and grandson
The story of Prahlāda
Lord Narasiṁha kills demon hiraṇyakaśipu.(At left)Prahalāda bows
Prahlāda—while being in his mother's womb—got to hear Narada's
chants. He was taught by
Narada in early childhood. As a result, he
was devoted towards Vishnu. His father didn't like his Spiritual
inclination and tried to warn Prahlāda. Despite several warnings from
his father Hiranyakashipu, Prahlāda continued to worship Vishnu
instead. His father then decided to commit filicide and poison
Prahlāda, but he survived. He then trampled the boy with elephants,
but the boy still lived. Then he put Prahlāda in a room with venomous
snakes, and they made a bed for him with their bodies.[citation
Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu, was blessed in that she could
not be hurt by fire.
Hiranyakashipu put Prahlāda on the lap of Holika
as she sits on a pyre. Prahlāda prayed to
Vishnu to keep him safe.
Holika then burned to death as Prahlāda is left unscathed. This event
is celebrated as the
Hindu festival of Holi.
After tolerating abuse from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlāda is eventually
saved by Narasiṁha, Lord
Vishnu in the form of a man-lion chimera,
who places the king on his thighs, and kills him with his sharp nails
at the entrance to his home at dusk, thus nullifying all of
Hiranyakashipu's boon of virtual immortality.
Prahlāda eventually becomes king of the daityas and attains a place
in the abode of
Vishnu (Vaikuntha) after his death.
Bhagavad Gita (10.30)
Krishna makes the following statement in
regard to Prahlāda, showing his favour towards him:
Translation: "Among the
Daitya demons I am the devoted Prahlāda,
among subduers I am time, among beasts I am the lion, and among birds
I am Garuda."
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Because of his steadfast devotion towards Lord
Vishnu as well as under
the teachings of Shukracharya,
Prahlada became the mighty king of the
Prahlada was even more powerful than his father,
Hiranyakashipu ever was. He enjoyed the love and respect of his
Without lifting a single weapon, and by virtue of his good behaviour,
Prahlada conquered the three worlds easily and
Indra ran away from the
Indra then deceived
Prahlada into giving him the power of his
Prahlada lost control of the three worlds.
The Asuras grew angry at the Devas for taking advantage of their
King's virtuous behaviour and invaded the heavens. The Devas, afraid
of the Asuras, enlisted the help of human Kings such as Yayati, Raji
and Kakutstha and defeated them.
Prahlada always served thousands of Brahmins daily. One day, out of
Prahlada forgot to serve one Brahmin. The latter cursed the
Asura that he would forget
Vishnu and become unrighteous. The curse
would be broken if
Vishnu defeated Prahlada.
Prahlada then personally attacked the gods and defeated
battle, forcing the King of the Gods to run for his life.
help of Lord Vishnu. Infused with his power,
Indra defeated Prahlada.
The latter understood that
Vishnu was helping
Indra in battle and he
withdrew his forces.
Prahlada first gave his kingdom to Andhaka, but
the latter was defeated by Shiva. So
Prahlada gave it to his son
Virochana and undertook a Tirtha Yatra.
Devi Bhagavatam narrates an incident, where
Prahlada fought the
Sages, Nara and Narayana.
Prahlada attacked them because despite being
ascetics and living in holy places, they practiced warrior duties,
which was sinful, according to the
Nara, but continuously fought against Narayana for 360,000 years. The
fight ended in a draw. Lord
Prahlada to desist from the
fight as Nara-Narayana were the incarnations of himself.
Prahlada found out that his blind and deformed cousin,
Andhakasura, had overcome his disabilities and became mighty and
invincible due to the boon of Lord Brahma, he voluntarily ceded his
lordship over the Asuras to Andhaka and became a vassal. Prahlada,
Virochana, Bali and Bana had fought against Lord
Shiva and the other
gods when Andhaka attacked Mt. Kailash.
Prahlada had strongly advised
to Andhaka against the invasion, but Andhaka refused. Andhaka was
eventually defeated by Lord
Prahlada once more became King
of the Asuras.
Prahlada was present during the churning of the ocean and also fought
in the Tarakamaya war against the Devas.
Prahlada's son was Virochana, who was the father of Bali. The gods had
Virochana killed by taking advantage of his generosity. Prahlada
raised his grandson, Bali. Infuriated by Bali's arrogance, Prahlada
rashly cursed him that he would lose his kingdom. Later on, Prahlada
and Bali lived on Sutala Loka on instructions of Lord Vishnu.
Prahlada who asked Shukracharya to acquire the Mritasanjivani
mantra from Lord Shiva, to save the Asuras from the Devas.
After a long life,
Prahlada attained moksha. Prahlada's great grandson
was the thousand armed Bana, who was humbled in battle by Krishna.
Prahlada is considered a non demonic being within
Vishnu bestowed a boon upon him that in his next life he shall be
Raghavendra and help devotees.
The following sites in Maharashtra,
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
India, are associated with Prahlāda or Narasiṁha as places of
Shri Laxmi Narsimha Temple
The Prahlāda-Nāṭaka (also spelled as Prahallada-Naṭaka), a folk
dance-theatre from Ganjam, Odisha enacts the story of
Hiranyakashipu. This art form dates back to the 18th century when the
Rāmakruṣhṇa Chhoṭarāya, the erstwhile king of the Jalantara
state wrote the text & songs of the drama and started it.
In popular culture
The story of
Prahlada has been the theme of various films, including
Prahlada (1931 film), which was first Telugu talkie movie made
in 1931, followed by
Bhaktha Prahlada (1942 film) (1942). In Kannada,
the story has been portrayed in Bhakta
Prahlada (1942 film), Bhakta
Prahlada (1958 film) and Bhakta
Prahlada (1983 film). Tamil films,
Prahlada (1942) and Bhakta
Prahlada (1967) both directed by
Chitrapu Narayana Rao, besides Malayalam film,
Hindi film, Bhakta Prahlad (1946) directed by Dhirubhai Desai and
Bengali film Prahlad (1952).
Prahlada overcoming the elephant
^ "The story of Prahlada". Ramakrishnavivekananda.info.
Varadaraja V. Raman
Varadaraja V. Raman - Variety in Religion And Science: Daily
Reflections, iUniverse, 2005, ISBN 0-595-35840-3, p.259
^ Dimmitt, Cornelia; Johannes Adrianus Bernardus Buitenen (1978).
Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Purāṇas.
translated by J. A. Van Buitenen. Temple University Press.
p. 312. ISBN 0-87722-122-7.
^ P. 452 The
Hindu World: An Encyclopedic Survey of
Benjamin Walker - Summary
^  Archived 8 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine.
^ G Dhananjayan (3 November 2014). Pride of Tamil Cinema: 1931 TO
2013: T. Blue Ocean Publishers. pp. 115–.
Cole, W. Owen; Judith Evans-Lowndes; Judith Lowndes (1995). The Story
of Prahlad. Heinemann Educational. ISBN 0-431-07756-8.
Prahlada in the
Hindu deities and texts
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali