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Prahlada
Prahlada
(Sanskrit: Prahlāda, प्रह्लाद) was a king, the son of Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
and Kayadhu, and the father of Virochana. he belonged kashyap gotra. He is often described as a saintly boy from the Puranas
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.[1] 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
Bhagavata Purana
in which Prahlāda describes the process of loving worship to his Lord Vishnu. The majority of stories in the Puranas
Puranas
are based on the activities of Prahlāda as a young boy, and he is usually depicted as such in paintings and illustrations.

Contents

1 Story

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 7 References 8 Further reading 9 External links

Story[edit]

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
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.[2] 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
Hiranyakashipu
could be killed.[citation needed] 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 Mahabali.[citation needed] The story of Prahlāda[edit]

Lord Narasiṁha kills demon hiraṇyakaśipu.(At left)Prahalāda bows before lord

Prahlāda—while being in his mother's womb—got to hear Narada's chants. He was taught by Narada
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 needed] Holika, the sister of Hiranyakashipu, was blessed in that she could not be hurt by fire. Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
put Prahlāda on the lap of Holika as she sits on a pyre. Prahlāda prayed to Vishnu
Vishnu
to keep him safe. Holika
Holika
then burned to death as Prahlāda is left unscathed. This event is celebrated as the Hindu
Hindu
festival of Holi.[3] After tolerating abuse from Hiranyakashipu, Prahlāda is eventually saved by Narasiṁha, Lord Vishnu
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.[4] Prahlāda eventually becomes king of the daityas and attains a place in the abode of Vishnu
Vishnu
(Vaikuntha) after his death.[5] Scriptural references[edit] In the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
(10.30) Krishna
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."[6]

Later life[edit]

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Because of his steadfast devotion towards Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
as well as under the teachings of Shukracharya, Prahlada
Prahlada
became the mighty king of the Asuras. Prahlada
Prahlada
was even more powerful than his father, Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
ever was. He enjoyed the love and respect of his subjects. Without lifting a single weapon, and by virtue of his good behaviour, Prahlada
Prahlada
conquered the three worlds easily and Indra
Indra
ran away from the Heavens. Indra
Indra
then deceived Prahlada
Prahlada
into giving him the power of his behaviour and Prahlada
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
Prahlada
always served thousands of Brahmins daily. One day, out of ignorance, Prahlada
Prahlada
forgot to serve one Brahmin. The latter cursed the Asura that he would forget Vishnu
Vishnu
and become unrighteous. The curse would be broken if Vishnu
Vishnu
defeated Prahlada. Prahlada
Prahlada
then personally attacked the gods and defeated Indra
Indra
in battle, forcing the King of the Gods to run for his life. Indra
Indra
sought help of Lord Vishnu. Infused with his power, Indra
Indra
defeated Prahlada. The latter understood that Vishnu
Vishnu
was helping Indra
Indra
in battle and he withdrew his forces. Prahlada
Prahlada
first gave his kingdom to Andhaka, but the latter was defeated by Shiva. So Prahlada
Prahlada
gave it to his son Virochana and undertook a Tirtha Yatra.[citation needed] The Devi
Devi
Bhagavatam narrates an incident, where Prahlada
Prahlada
fought the Sages, Nara and Narayana. Prahlada
Prahlada
attacked them because despite being ascetics and living in holy places, they practiced warrior duties, which was sinful, according to the Daitya King. Prahlada
Prahlada
defeated Nara, but continuously fought against Narayana for 360,000 years. The fight ended in a draw. Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
told Prahlada
Prahlada
to desist from the fight as Nara-Narayana were the incarnations of himself. When Prahlada
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
Shiva
and the other gods when Andhaka attacked Mt. Kailash. Prahlada
Prahlada
had strongly advised to Andhaka against the invasion, but Andhaka refused. Andhaka was eventually defeated by Lord Shiva
Shiva
and Prahlada
Prahlada
once more became King of the Asuras. Prahlada
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. It was Prahlada
Prahlada
who asked Shukracharya to acquire the Mritasanjivani mantra from Lord Shiva, to save the Asuras from the Devas. After a long life, Prahlada
Prahlada
attained moksha. Prahlada's great grandson was the thousand armed Bana, who was humbled in battle by Krishna. Ultimately, as Prahlada
Prahlada
is considered a non demonic being within Hinduism. Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
bestowed a boon upon him that in his next life he shall be Raghavendra and help devotees. Pilgrimage sites[edit] The following sites in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
and Telangana India, are associated with Prahlāda or Narasiṁha as places of pilgrimage:

Shri Laxmi Narsimha Temple Malakonda Simhachalam Ahobilam Kadiri Yadagirigutta Temple

In culture[edit] The Prahlāda-Nāṭaka (also spelled as Prahallada-Naṭaka), a folk dance-theatre from Ganjam, Odisha enacts the story of Narasimha
Narasimha
and 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[edit] The story of Prahlada
Prahlada
has been the theme of various films, including Bhakta Prahlada
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
Prahlada
(1942 film), Bhakta Prahlada
Prahlada
(1958 film) and Bhakta Prahlada
Prahlada
(1983 film). Tamil films, Bhaktha Prahlada
Prahlada
(1942) and Bhakta Prahlada
Prahlada
(1967) both directed by Chitrapu Narayana Rao,[7] besides Malayalam film, Prahlada
Prahlada
(1941), Hindi film, Bhakta Prahlad (1946) directed by Dhirubhai Desai and Bengali film Prahlad (1952). See also[edit]

Kapila Narada Bhakti
Bhakti
Yoga Jaya-Vijaya Multan

Prahlada
Prahlada
overcoming the elephant

Raghavendra Swami

References[edit]

^ "The story of Prahlada". Ramakrishnavivekananda.info.  ^ http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Narasimha ^ 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). Classical Hindu
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
Hindu
World: An Encyclopedic Survey of Hinduism
Hinduism
By Benjamin Walker - Summary ^ [1] 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–. GGKEY:L1DLZDAEJ47. 

Further reading[edit]

Cole, W. Owen; Judith Evans-Lowndes; Judith Lowndes (1995). The Story of Prahlad. Heinemann Educational. ISBN 0-431-07756-8. 

External links[edit]

Prahlada
Prahlada
in the Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana

Preceded by Hiranyakashipu Daityas unknown Succeeded by Virochana

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