Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 7 Chapter 4
Hiraṇyakaśipu Terrorizes the Universe
evaṁ vṛtaḥ śata-dhṛtir
prādāt tat-tapasā prīto
varāṁs tasya sudurlabhān
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada Muni said; evam — thus; vṛtaḥ — solicited; śata-dhṛtiḥ — Lord Brahmā; hiraṇyakaśipoḥ — of Hiraṇyakaśipu; atha — then; prādāt — delivered; tat — his; tapasā — by the difficult austerities; prītaḥ — being pleased; varān — benedictions; tasya — unto Hiraṇyakaśipu; su-durlabhān — very rarely obtained.
Nārada Muni continued: Lord Brahmā was very much satisfied by Hiraṇyakaśipu’s austerities, which were difficult to perform. Therefore, when solicited for benedictions, he indeed granted them, although they were rarely to be achieved.
tāteme durlabhāḥ puṁsāṁ
yān vṛṇīṣe varān mama
tathāpi vitarāmy aṅga
varān yadyapi durlabhān
śrī-brahmā uvāca — Lord Brahmā said; tāta — O dear son; ime — all these; durlabhāḥ — very rarely obtained; puṁsām — by men; yān — those which; vṛṇīṣe — you ask; varān — benedictions; mama — from me; tathāpi — still; vitarāmi — I shall deliver; aṅga — O Hiraṇyakaśipu; varān — the benedictions; yadyapi — although; durlabhān — not generally available.
Lord Brahmā said: O Hiraṇyakaśipu, these benedictions for which you have asked are difficult to obtain for most men. Nonetheless, O my son, I shall grant you them although they are generally not available.
tato jagāma bhagavān
tataḥ — thereafter; jagāma — departed; bhagavān — the most powerful, Lord Brahmā; amogha — without failure; anugrahaḥ — whose benediction; vibhuḥ — the Supreme within this universe; pūjitaḥ — being worshiped; asura-varyeṇa — by the most exalted demon (Hiraṇyakaśipu); stūyamānaḥ — being praised; prajā-īśvaraiḥ — by many demigods, the masters of different regions.
Then Lord Brahmā, who awards infallible benedictions, departed, being worshiped by the best of the demons, Hiraṇyakaśipu, and being praised by great sages and saintly persons.
evaṁ labdha-varo daityo
bibhrad dhemamayaṁ vapuḥ
bhagavaty akarod dveṣaṁ
bhrātur vadham anusmaran
evam — thus; labdha-varaḥ — having obtained his desired boon; daityaḥ — Hiraṇyakaśipu; bibhrat — acquiring; hema-mayam — possessing the luster of gold; vapuḥ — a body; bhagavati — unto Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; akarot — maintained; dveṣam — envy; bhrātuḥ vadham — the killing of his brother; anusmaran — always thinking of.
The demon Hiraṇyakaśipu, having thus been blessed by Lord Brahmā and having acquired a lustrous golden body, continued to remember the death of his brother and therefore be envious of Lord Viṣṇu.
sa vijitya diśaḥ sarvā
lokāṁś ca trīn mahāsuraḥ
ṛṣīn pitṛ-patīn manūn
vaśam ānīya viśva-jit
sthānāni saha tejasā
saḥ — he (Hiraṇyakaśipu); vijitya — conquering; diśaḥ — the directions; sarvāḥ — all; lokān — planetary systems; ca — and; trīn — three (upper, lower and middle); mahā-asuraḥ — the great demon; deva — the demigods; asura — the demons; manuṣya — of the human beings; indra — the kings; gandharva — the Gandharvas; garuḍa — the Garuḍas; uragān — the great serpents; siddha — the Siddhas; cāraṇa — the Cāraṇas; vidyādhrān — the Vidyādharas; ṛṣīn — the great sages and saintly persons; pitṛ-patīn — Yamarāja and the other leaders of the Pitās; manūn — all the different Manus; yakṣa — the Yakṣas; rakṣaḥ — the Rākṣasas; piśāca-īśān — the leaders of Piśācaloka; preta — of the Pretas; bhūta — and of the Bhūtas; patīn — the masters; api — also; sarva-sattva-patīn — the masters of all the different planets; jitvā — conquering; vaśam ānīya — bringing under control; viśva-jit — the conqueror of the whole universe; jahāra — usurped; loka-pālānām — of the demigods who manage the universal affairs; sthānāni — the places; saha — with; tejasā — all their power.
Hiraṇyakaśipu became the conqueror of the entire universe. Indeed, that great demon conquered all the planets in the three worlds — upper, middle and lower — including the planets of the human beings, the Gandharvas, the Garuḍas, the great serpents, the Siddhas, Cāraṇas and Vidyādharas, the great saints, Yamarāja, the Manus, the Yakṣas, the Rākṣasas, the Piśācas and their masters, and the masters of the ghosts and Bhūtas. He defeated the rulers of all the other planets where there are living entities and brought them under his control. Conquering the abodes of all, he seized their power and influence.
adhyāste sma tri-piṣṭapam
deva-udyāna — of the famous garden of the demigods; śriyā — by the opulences; juṣṭam — enriched; adhyāste sma — remained in; tri-piṣṭapam — the higher planetary system, where various demigods live; mahendra-bhavanam — the palace of Indra, the King of heaven; sākṣāt — directly; nirmitam — constructed; viśvakarmaṇā — by the famous architect of the demigods, Viśvakarmā; trailokya — of all the three worlds; lakṣmī-āyatanam — the residence of the goddess of fortune; adhyuvāsa — lived in; akhila-ṛddhi-mat — possessing the opulence of the entire universe.
Hiraṇyakaśipu, who possessed all opulence, began residing in heaven, with its famous Nandana garden, which is enjoyed by the demigods. In fact, he resided in the most opulent palace of Indra, the King of heaven. The palace had been directly constructed by the demigod architect Viśvakarmā and was as beautifully made as if the goddess of fortune of the entire universe resided there.
kūjadbhir nūpurair devyaḥ
śabda-yantya itas tataḥ
sudatīḥ sundaraṁ mukham
tasmin mahendra-bhavane mahā-balo
mahā-manā nirjita-loka eka-rāṭ
reme ’bhivandyāṅghri-yugaḥ surādibhiḥ
yatra — where (the residential quarters of King Indra); vidruma-sopānāḥ — steps made of coral; mahā-mārakatāḥ — emerald; bhuvaḥ — floors; yatra — where; sphāṭika — crystal; kuḍyāni — walls; vaidūrya — of vaidūrya stone; stambha — of pillars; paṅktayaḥ — lines; yatra — where; citra — wonderful; vitānāni — canopies; padmarāga — bedecked with rubies; āsanāni — seats; ca — also; payaḥ — of milk; phena — the foam; nibhāḥ — just like; śayyāḥ — beds; muktādāma — of pearls; paricchadāḥ — having borders; kūjadbhiḥ — jingling; nūpuraiḥ — with ankle bells; devyaḥ — celestial ladies; śabda-yantyaḥ — making sweet vibrations; itaḥ tataḥ — here and there; ratna-sthalīṣu — in places bedecked with jewels and gems; paśyanti — see; su-datīḥ — having nice teeth; sundaram — very beautiful; mukham — faces; tasmin — in that; mahendra-bhavane — the residential quarters of the heavenly King; mahā-balaḥ — the most powerful; mahā-manāḥ — highly thoughtful; nirjita-lokaḥ — having everyone under his control; eka-rāṭ — the powerful dictator; reme — enjoyed; abhivandya — worshiped; aṅghri-yugaḥ — whose two feet; sura-ādibhiḥ — by the demigods; pratāpitaiḥ — being disturbed; ūrjita — more than expected; caṇḍa — severe; śāsanaḥ — whose ruling.
The steps of King Indra’s residence were made of coral, the floor was bedecked with invaluable emeralds, the walls were of crystal, and the columns of vaidūrya stone. The wonderful canopies were beautifully decorated, the seats were bedecked with rubies, and the silk bedding, as white as foam, was decorated with pearls. The ladies of the palace, who were blessed with beautiful teeth and the most wonderfully beautiful faces, walked here and there in the palace, their ankle bells tinkling melodiously, and saw their own beautiful reflections in the gems. The demigods, however, being very much oppressed, had to bow down and offer obeisances at the feet of Hiraṇyakaśipu, who chastised the demigods very severely and for no reason. Thus Hiraṇyakaśipu lived in the palace and severely ruled everyone.
tam aṅga mattaṁ madhunoru-gandhinā
tribhis tapo-yoga-balaujasāṁ padam
tam — him (Hiraṇyakaśipu); aṅga — O dear King; mattam — intoxicated; madhunā — by wine; uru-gandhinā — strong-smelling; vivṛtta — rolling; tāmra-akṣam — having eyes like copper; aśeṣa-dhiṣṇya-pāḥ — the principal men of all the planets; upāsata — worshiped; upāyana — full with paraphernalia; pāṇibhiḥ — by their own hands; vinā — without; tribhiḥ — the three principal deities (Lord Viṣṇu, Lord Brahmā and Lord Śiva); tapaḥ — of austerity; yoga — mystic power; bala — bodily strength; ojasām — and power of the senses; padam — the abode.
O my dear King, Hiraṇyakaśipu was always drunk on strong-smelling wines and liquors, and therefore his coppery eyes were always rolling. Nonetheless, because he had powerfully executed great austerities in mystic yoga, although he was abominable, all but the three principal demigods — Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva and Lord Viṣṇu — personally worshiped him to please him by bringing him various presentations with their own hands.
jagur mahendrāsanam ojasā sthitaṁ
viśvāvasus tumburur asmad-ādayaḥ
gandharva-siddhā ṛṣayo ’stuvan muhur
vidyādharāś cāpsarasaś ca pāṇḍava
jaguḥ — sung of the glories; mahendra-āsanam — the throne of King Indra; ojasā — by personal power; sthitam — situated on; viśvāvasuḥ — the chief singer of the Gandharvas; tumburuḥ — another Gandharva singer; asmat-ādayaḥ — including ourselves (Nārada and others also glorified Hiraṇyakaśipu); gandharva — the inhabitants of Gandharva-loka; siddhāḥ — the inhabitants of Siddhaloka; ṛṣayaḥ — the great sages and saintly persons; astuvan — offered prayers; muhuḥ — again and again; vidyādharāḥ — the inhabitants of Vidyādhara-loka; ca — and; apsarasaḥ — the inhabitants of Apsaroloka; ca — and; pāṇḍava — O descendant of Pāṇḍu.
O Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, descendant of Pāṇḍu, by dint of his personal power, Hiraṇyakaśipu, being situated on the throne of King Indra, controlled the inhabitants of all the other planets. The two Gandharvas Viśvāvasu and Tumburu, I myself and the Vidyādharas, Apsarās and sages all offered prayers to him again and again just to glorify him.
sa eva varṇāśramibhiḥ
agrahīt svena tejasā
saḥ — he (Hiraṇyakaśipu); eva — indeed; varṇa-āśramibhiḥ — by persons who strictly followed the regulative principles of the four varṇas and four āśramas; kratubhiḥ — by ritualistic ceremonies; bhūri — abundant; dakṣiṇaiḥ — offered with gifts; ijyamānaḥ — being worshiped; haviḥ-bhāgān — the portions of the oblations; agrahīt — usurped; svena — by his own; tejasā — prowess.
Being worshiped by sacrifices offered with great gifts by those who strictly followed the principles of varṇa and āśrama, Hiraṇyakaśipu, instead of offering shares of the oblations to the demigods, accepted them himself.
tathā kāma-dughā gāvo
akṛṣṭa-pacyā — bearing grains without being cultivated or plowed; tasya — of Hiraṇyakaśipu; āsīt — was; sapta-dvīpa-vatī — consisting of seven islands; mahī — the earth; tathā — so much so; kāma-dughāḥ — which can deliver as much milk as one desires; gāvaḥ — cows; nānā — various; āścarya-padam — wonderful things; nabhaḥ — the sky.
As if in fear of Hiraṇyakaśipu, the planet earth, which consists of seven islands, delivered food grains without being plowed. Thus it resembled cows like the surabhi of the spiritual world or the kāma-dughā of heaven. The earth yielded sufficient food grains, the cows supplied abundant milk, and outer space was beautifully decorated with wonderful phenomena.
ratnākarāś ca ratnaughāṁs
tat-patnyaś cohur ūrmibhiḥ
ratnākarāḥ — the seas and oceans; ca — and; ratna-oghān — various kinds of gems and valuable stones; tat-patnyaḥ — the wives of the oceans and seas, namely the rivers; ca — also; ūhuḥ — carried; ūrmibhiḥ — by their waves; kṣāra — the salt ocean; sīdhu — the ocean of wine; ghṛta — the ocean of clarified butter; kṣaudra — the ocean of sugarcane juice; dadhi — the ocean of yogurt; kṣīra — the Ocean of Milk; amṛta — and the very sweet ocean; udakāḥ — water.
By the flowing of their waves, the various oceans of the universe, along with their tributaries, the rivers, which are compared to their wives, supplied various kinds of gems and jewels for Hiraṇyakaśipu’s use. These oceans were the oceans of salt water, sugarcane juice, wine, clarified butter, milk, yogurt, and sweet water.
śailā droṇībhir ākrīḍaṁ
sarvartuṣu guṇān drumāḥ
eka eva pṛthag guṇān
śailāḥ — the hills and mountains; droṇībhiḥ — with the valleys between them; ākrīḍam — pleasure grounds for Hiraṇyakaśipu; sarva — all; ṛtuṣu — in the seasons of the year; guṇān — different qualities (fruits and flowers); drumāḥ — the plants and trees; dadhāra — executed; loka-pālānām — of the other demigods in charge of different departments of natural activity; ekaḥ — alone; eva — indeed; pṛthak — different; guṇān — qualities.
The valleys between the mountains became fields of pleasure for Hiraṇyakaśipu, by whose influence all the trees and plants produced fruits and flowers profusely in all seasons. The qualities of pouring water, drying and burning, which are all qualities of the three departmental heads of the universe — namely Indra, Vāyu and Agni — were all directed by Hiraṇyakaśipu alone, without assistance from the demigods.
sa itthaṁ nirjita-kakub
eka-rāḍ viṣayān priyān
saḥ — he (Hiraṇyakaśipu); ittham — thus; nirjita — conquered; kakub — all directions within the universe; eka-rāṭ — the one emperor of the whole universe; viṣayān — material sense objects; priyān — very pleasing; yathā-upajoṣam — as much as possible; bhuñjānaḥ — enjoying; na — did not; atṛpyat — was satisfied; ajita-indriyaḥ — being unable to control the senses.
In spite of achieving the power to control in all directions and in spite of enjoying all types of dear sense gratification as much as possible, Hiraṇyakaśipu was dissatisfied because instead of controlling his senses he remained their servant.
kālo mahān vyatīyāya
evam — thus; aiśvarya-mattasya — of one who was intoxicated by opulences; dṛptasya — greatly proud; ut-śāstra-vartinaḥ — transgressing the regulative principles mentioned in the śāstras; kālaḥ — duration of time; mahān — a great; vyatīyāya — passed; brahma-śāpam — a curse by exalted brāhmaṇas; upeyuṣaḥ — having obtained.
Hiraṇyakaśipu thus passed a long time being very much proud of his opulences and transgressing the laws and regulations mentioned in the authoritative śāstras. He was therefore subjected to a curse by the four Kumāras, who were great brāhmaṇas.
sarve lokāḥ sapālakāḥ
śaraṇaṁ yayur acyutam
tasya — of him (Hiraṇyakaśipu); ugra-daṇḍa — by the very fearful chastisement; saṁvignāḥ — disturbed; sarve — all; lokāḥ — the planets; sa-pālakāḥ — with their principal rulers; anyatra — anywhere else; alabdha — not obtaining; śaraṇāḥ — shelter; śaraṇam — for shelter; yayuḥ — approached; acyutam — the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Everyone, including the rulers of the various planets, was extremely distressed because of the severe punishment inflicted upon them by Hiraṇyakaśipu. Fearful and disturbed, unable to find any other shelter, they at last surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Viṣṇu.
tasyai namo ’stu kāṣṭhāyai
yatrātmā harir īśvaraḥ
yad gatvā na nivartante
śāntāḥ sannyāsino ’malāḥ
iti te saṁyatātmānaḥ
tasyai — unto that; namaḥ — our respectful obeisances; astu — let there be; kāṣṭhāyai — direction; yatra — wherein; ātmā — the Supersoul; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; īśvaraḥ — the supreme controller; yat — which; gatvā — approaching; na — never; nivartante — return; śāntāḥ — peaceful; sannyāsinaḥ — saintly persons in the renounced order of life; amalāḥ — pure; iti — thus; te — they; saṁyata-ātmānaḥ — having controlled minds; samāhita — steadied; dhiyaḥ — intelligences; amalāḥ — purified; upatasthuḥ — worshiped; hṛṣīkeśam — the master of the senses; vinidrāḥ — without sleeping; vāyu-bhojanāḥ — eating only air.
“Let us offer our respectful obeisances unto that direction where the Supreme Personality of Godhead is situated, where those purified souls in the renounced order of life, the great saintly persons, go, and from which, having gone, they never return.” Without sleep, fully controlling their minds, and living on only their breath, the predominating deities of the various planets began worshiping Hṛṣīkeśa with this meditation.
teṣām āvirabhūd vāṇī
teṣām — in front of all of them; āvirabhūt — appeared; vāṇī — a voice; arūpā — without a form; megha-niḥsvanā — resounding like the sound of a cloud; sannādayantī — causing to vibrate; kakubhaḥ — all directions; sādhūnām — of the saintly persons; abhayaṅkarī — driving away the fearful situation.
Then there appeared before them a transcendental sound vibration, emanating from a personality not visible to material eyes. The voice was as grave as the sound of a cloud, and it was very encouraging, driving away all fear.
mā bhaiṣṭa vibudha-śreṣṭhāḥ
sarveṣāṁ bhadram astu vaḥ
mad-darśanaṁ hi bhūtānāṁ
jñātam etasya daurātmyaṁ
tasya śāntiṁ kariṣyāmi
kālaṁ tāvat pratīkṣata
mā — do not; bhaiṣṭa — fear; vibudha-śreṣṭhāḥ — O best of learned persons; sarveṣām — of all; bhadram — the good fortune; astu — let there be; vaḥ — unto you; mat-darśanam — the seeing of Me (or offering of prayers to Me or hearing about Me, all of which are absolute); hi — indeed; bhūtānām — of all living entities; sarva-śreya — of all good fortune; upapattaye — for the attainment; jñātam — known; etasya — of this; daurātmyam — the nefarious activities; daiteya-apasadasya — of the great demon, Hiraṇyakaśipu; yat — which; tasya — of this; śāntim — cessation; kariṣyāmi — I shall make; kālam — time; tāvat — until that; pratīkṣata — just wait.
The voice of the Lord vibrated as follows: O best of learned persons, do not fear! I wish all good fortune to you. Become My devotees by hearing and chanting about Me and offering Me prayers, for these are certainly meant to award benedictions to all living entities. I know all about the activities of Hiraṇyakaśipu and shall surely stop them very soon. Please wait patiently until that time.
yadā deveṣu vedeṣu
goṣu vipreṣu sādhuṣu
dharme mayi ca vidveṣaḥ
sa vā āśu vinaśyati
yadā — when; deveṣu — unto the demigods; vedeṣu — unto the Vedic scriptures; goṣu — unto the cows; vipreṣu — unto the brāhmaṇas; sādhuṣu — unto the saintly persons; dharme — unto religious principles; mayi — unto Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead; ca — and; vidveṣaḥ — envious; saḥ — such a person; vai — indeed; āśu — very soon; vinaśyati — is vanquished.
When one is envious of the demigods, who represent the Supreme Personality of Godhead, of the Vedas, which give all knowledge, of the cows, brāhmaṇas, Vaiṣṇavas and religious principles, and ultimately of Me, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he and his civilization will be vanquished without delay.
prahrādāya yadā druhyed
dhaniṣye ’pi varorjitam
nirvairāya — who is without enemies; praśāntāya — very sober and peaceful; sva-sutāya — unto his own son; mahā-ātmane — who is a great devotee; prahrādāya — Prahlāda Mahārāja; yadā — when; druhyet — will commit violence; haniṣye — I shall kill; api — although; vara-ūrjitam — blessed by the boons of Lord Brahmā.
When Hiraṇyakaśipu teases the great devotee Prahlāda, his own son, who is peaceful and sober and who has no enemy, I shall kill Hiraṇyakaśipu immediately, despite the benedictions of Brahmā.
ity uktā loka-guruṇā
taṁ praṇamya divaukasaḥ
menire cāsuraṁ hatam
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — the great saint Nārada Muni said; iti — thus; uktāḥ — addressed; loka-guruṇā — by the supreme spiritual master of everyone; tam — unto Him; praṇamya — offering obeisances; diva-okasaḥ — all the demigods; nyavartanta — returned; gata-udvegāḥ — relieved of all anxieties; menire — they considered; ca — also; asuram — the demon (Hiraṇyakaśipu); hatam — killed.
The great saint Nārada Muni continued: When the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the spiritual master of everyone, thus reassured all the demigods living in the heavenly planets, they offered their respectful obeisances unto Him and returned, confident that the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu was now practically dead.
tasya daitya-pateḥ putrāś
prahrādo ’bhūn mahāṁs teṣāṁ
tasya — of him (Hiraṇyakaśipu); daitya-pateḥ — the King of the Daityas; putrāḥ — sons; catvāraḥ — four; parama-adbhutāḥ — very qualified and wonderful; prahrādaḥ — the one named Prahlāda; abhūt — was; mahān — the greatest; teṣām — of all of them; guṇaiḥ — with transcendental qualities; mahat-upāsakaḥ — being an unalloyed devotee of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Hiraṇyakaśipu had four wonderful, well-qualified sons, of whom the one named Prahlāda was the best. Indeed, Prahlāda was a reservoir of all transcendental qualities because he was an unalloyed devotee of the Personality of Godhead.
bhrātṛvat sadṛśe snigdho
brahmaṇyaḥ — cultured as a good brāhmaṇa; śīla-sampannaḥ — possessing all good qualities; satya-sandhaḥ — determined to understand the Absolute Truth; jita-indriyaḥ — fully controlling the senses and mind; ātma-vat — like the Supersoul; sarva-bhūtānām — of all living entities; eka-priya — the one beloved; suhṛt-tamaḥ — the best friend; dāsa-vat — like a menial servant; sannata — always obedient; ārya-aṅghriḥ — at the lotus feet of great persons; pitṛ-vat — exactly like a father; dīna-vatsalaḥ — kind to the poor; bhrātṛ-vat — exactly like a brother; sadṛśe — to his equals; snigdhaḥ — very affectionate; guruṣu — unto the spiritual masters; īśvara-bhāvanaḥ — who considered exactly like the Supreme Personality of Godhead; vidyā — education; artha — riches; rūpa — beauty; janma — aristocracy or nobility; āḍhyaḥ — endowed with; māna — pride; stambha — impudence; vivarjitaḥ — completely free from.
[The qualities of Mahārāja Prahlāda, the son of Hiraṇyakaśipu, are described herewith.] He was completely cultured as a qualified brāhmaṇa, having very good character and being determined to understand the Absolute Truth. He had full control of his senses and mind. Like the Supersoul, he was kind to every living entity and was the best friend of everyone. To respectable persons he acted exactly like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a father, to his equals he was attached like a sympathetic brother, and he considered his teachers, spiritual masters and older Godbrothers to be as good as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He was completely free from unnatural pride that might have arisen from his good education, riches, beauty, aristocracy and so on.
nodvigna-citto vyasaneṣu niḥspṛhaḥ
śruteṣu dṛṣṭeṣu guṇeṣv avastu-dṛk
praśānta-kāmo rahitāsuro ’suraḥ
na — not; udvigna — agitated; cittaḥ — whose consciousness; vyasaneṣu — in dangerous conditions; niḥspṛhaḥ — without desire; śruteṣu — in things heard of (especially elevation to heavenly planets because of pious activities); dṛṣṭeṣu — as well as in temporal things seen; guṇeṣu — the objects of sense gratification under the modes of material nature; avastu-dṛk — seeing as if insubstantial; dānta — controlling; indriya — the senses; prāṇa — the living force; śarīra — the body; dhīḥ — and intelligence; sadā — always; praśānta — quieted; kāmaḥ — whose material desires; rahita — completely devoid of; asuraḥ — demoniac nature; asuraḥ — although born in a demoniac family.
Although Prahlāda Mahārāja was born in a family of asuras, he himself was not an asura but a great devotee of Lord Viṣṇu. Unlike the other asuras, he was never envious of Vaiṣṇavas. He was not agitated when put into danger, and he was neither directly nor indirectly interested in the fruitive activities described in the Vedas. Indeed, he considered everything material to be useless, and therefore he was completely devoid of material desires. He always controlled his senses and life air, and being of steady intelligence and determination, he subdued all lusty desires.
yasmin mahad-guṇā rājan
gṛhyante kavibhir muhuḥ
na te ’dhunā pidhīyante
yasmin — in whom; mahat-guṇāḥ — exalted transcendental qualities; rājan — O King; gṛhyante — are glorified; kavibhiḥ — by persons who are thoughtful and advanced in knowledge; muhuḥ — always; na — not; te — these; adhunā — today; pidhīyante — are obscured; yathā — just as; bhagavati — in the Supreme Personality of Godhead; īśvare — the supreme controller.
O King, Prahlāda Mahārāja’s good qualities are still glorified by learned saints and Vaiṣṇavas. As all good qualities are always found existing in the Supreme Personality of Godhead, they also exist forever in His devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja.
ripavo ’pi surā nṛpa
kim utānye bhavādṛśāḥ
yam — whom; sādhu-gāthā-sadasi — in an assembly where saintly persons gather or exalted characteristics are discussed; ripavaḥ — persons who were supposed to have been Prahlāda Mahārāja’s enemies (even such a devotee as Prahlāda Mahārāja had enemies, including even his own father); api — even; surāḥ — the demigods (the demigods are enemies of the demons, and since Prahlāda Mahārāja was born in a family of demons, the demigods should have been his enemies); nṛpa — O King Yudhiṣṭhira; pratimānam — a substantial example of the best among the devotees; prakurvanti — they make; kim uta — what to speak of; anye — others; bhavādṛśāḥ — exalted personalities such as yourself.
In any assembly where there are discourses about saints and devotees, O King Yudhiṣṭhira, even the enemies of the demons, namely the demigods, what to speak of you, would cite Prahlāda Mahārāja as an example of a great devotee.
guṇair alam asaṅkhyeyair
māhātmyaṁ tasya sūcyate
yasya naisargikī ratiḥ
guṇaiḥ — with spiritual qualities; alam — what need; asaṅkhyeyaiḥ — which are innumerable; māhātmyam — the greatness; tasya — of him (Prahlāda Mahārāja); sūcyate — is indicated; vāsudeve — to Lord Kṛṣṇa, the son of Vasudeva; bhagavati — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; yasya — of whom; naisargikī — natural; ratiḥ — attachment.
Who could list the innumerable transcendental qualities of Prahlāda Mahārāja? He had unflinching faith in Vāsudeva, Lord Kṛṣṇa [the son of Vasudeva], and unalloyed devotion to Him. His attachment to Lord Kṛṣṇa was natural because of his previous devotional service. Although his good qualities cannot be enumerated, they prove that he was a great soul [mahātmā].
na veda jagad īdṛśam
nyasta — having given up; krīḍanakaḥ — all sportive activities or tendencies for childhood play; bālaḥ — a boy; jaḍa-vat — as if dull, without activities; tat-manastayā — by being fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa; kṛṣṇa-graha — by Kṛṣṇa, who is like a strong influence (like a graha, or planetary influence); gṛhīta-ātmā — whose mind was fully attracted; na — not; veda — understood; jagat — the entire material world; īdṛśam — like this.
From the very beginning of his childhood, Prahlāda Mahārāja was uninterested in childish playthings. Indeed, he gave them up altogether and remained silent and dull, being fully absorbed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Since his mind was always affected by Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he could not understand how the world goes on being fully absorbed in the activities of sense gratification.
āsīnaḥ paryaṭann aśnan
śayānaḥ prapiban bruvan
āsīnaḥ — while sitting; paryaṭan — while walking; aśnan — while eating; śayānaḥ — while lying down; prapiban — while drinking; bruvan — while talking; na — not; anusandhatte — knew; etāni — all these activities; govinda — by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who enlivens the senses; parirambhitaḥ — being embraced.
Prahlāda Mahārāja was always absorbed in thought of Kṛṣṇa. Thus, being always embraced by the Lord, he did not know how his bodily necessities, such as sitting, walking, eating, lying down, drinking and talking, were being automatically performed.
kvacid rudati vaikuṇṭha-
kvacid dhasati tac-cintā-
hlāda udgāyati kvacit
kvacit — sometimes; rudati — cries; vaikuṇṭha-cintā — by thoughts of Kṛṣṇa; śabala-cetanaḥ — whose mind was bewildered; kvacit — sometimes; hasati — laughs; tat-cintā — by thoughts of Him; āhlādaḥ — being jubilant; udgāyati — chants very loudly; kvacit — sometimes.
Because of advancement in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, he sometimes cried, sometimes laughed, sometimes expressed jubilation and sometimes sang loudly.
nadati kvacid utkaṇṭho
vilajjo nṛtyati kvacit
tanmayo ’nucakāra ha
nadati — exclaims loudly (addressing the Lord, “O Kṛṣṇa”); kvacit — sometimes; utkaṇṭhaḥ — being anxious; vilajjaḥ — without shame; nṛtyati — he dances; kvacit — sometimes; kvacit — sometimes; tat-bhāvanā — with thoughts of Kṛṣṇa; yuktaḥ — being absorbed; tat-mayaḥ — thinking as if he had become Kṛṣṇa; anucakāra — imitated; ha — indeed.
Sometimes, upon seeing the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Prahlāda Mahārāja would loudly call in full anxiety. He sometimes lost his shyness in jubilation and began dancing in ecstasy, and sometimes, being fully absorbed in thoughts of Kṛṣṇa, he felt oneness and imitated the pastimes of the Lord.
kvacid utpulakas tūṣṇīm
kvacit — sometimes; utpulakaḥ — with the hairs of his body standing on end; tūṣṇīm — completely silent; āste — remains; saṁsparśa-nirvṛtaḥ — feeling great joy by contact with the Lord; aspanda — steady; praṇaya-ānanda — due to transcendental bliss from a relationship of love; salila — filled with tears; āmīlita — half-closed; īkṣaṇaḥ — whose eyes.
Sometimes, feeling the touch of the Lord’s lotus hands, he became spiritually jubilant and remained silent, his hairs standing on end and tears gliding down from his half-closed eyes because of his love for the Lord.
tanvan parāṁ nirvṛtim ātmano muhur
duḥsaṅga-dīnasya manaḥ śamaṁ vyadhāt
saḥ — he (Prahlāda Mahārāja); uttama-śloka-pada-aravindayoḥ — to the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is worshiped by transcendental prayers; niṣevayā — by constant service; akiñcana — of devotees who have nothing to do with the material world; saṅga — in the association; labdhayā — obtained; tanvan — expanding; parām — highest; nirvṛtim — bliss; ātmanaḥ — of the spirit soul; muhuḥ — constantly; duḥsaṅga-dīnasya — of a person poor in spiritual understanding due to bad association; manaḥ — the mind; śamam — peaceful; vyadhāt — made.
Because of his association with perfect, unalloyed devotees who had nothing to do with anything material, Prahlāda Mahārāja constantly engaged in the service of the Lord’s lotus feet. By seeing his bodily features when he was in perfect ecstasy, persons very poor in spiritual understanding became purified. In other words, Prahlāda Mahārāja bestowed upon them transcendental bliss.
akarod agham ātmaje
tasmin — unto him; mahā-bhāgavate — an exalted devotee of the Lord; mahā-bhāge — most fortunate; mahā-ātmani — whose mind was very broad; hiraṇyakaśipuḥ — the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu; rājan — O King; akarot — performed; agham — very great sin; ātma-je — to his own son.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu tormented this exalted, fortunate devotee, although Prahlāda was his own son.
devarṣa etad icchāmo
vedituṁ tava suvrata
yad ātmajāya śuddhāya
pitādāt sādhave hy agham
śrī-yudhiṣṭhiraḥ uvāca — Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira inquired; deva-ṛṣe — O best saintly person among the demigods; etat — this; icchāmaḥ — we wish; veditum — to know; tava — from you; su-vrata — having the determination for spiritual advancement; yat — because; ātma-jāya — unto his own son; śuddhāya — who was pure and exalted; pitā — the father, Hiraṇyakaśipu; adāt — gave; sādhave — a great saint; hi — indeed; agham — trouble.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira said: O best of the saints among the demigods, O best of spiritual leaders, how did Hiraṇyakaśipu give so much trouble to Prahlāda Mahārāja, the pure and exalted saint, although Prahlāda was his own son? I wish to know about this subject from you.
putrān vipratikūlān svān
naivāgham aparo yathā
putrān — sons; vipratikūlān — who act against the will of the father; svān — their own; pitaraḥ — fathers; putra-vatsalāḥ — being very affectionate to the children; upālabhante — chastise; śikṣa-artham — to teach them lessons; na — not; eva — indeed; agham — punishment; aparaḥ — an enemy; yathā — like.
A father and mother are always affectionate to their children. When the children are disobedient the parents chastise them, not due to enmity but only for the child’s instruction and welfare. How did Hiraṇyakaśipu, the father of Prahlāda Mahārāja, chastise such a noble son? This is what I am eager to know.
kim utānuvaśān sādhūṁs
etat kautūhalaṁ brahmann
asmākaṁ vidhama prabho
pituḥ putrāya yad dveṣo
kim uta — much less; anuvaśān — to obedient and perfect sons; sādhūn — great devotees; tādṛśān — of that sort; guru-devatān — honoring the father as the Supreme Personality of Godhead; etat — this; kautūhalam — doubt; brahman — O brāhmaṇa; asmākam — of us; vidhama — dissipate; prabho — O my lord; pituḥ — of the father; putrāya — unto the son; yat — which; dveṣaḥ — envy; maraṇāya — for killing; prayojitaḥ — applied.
Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira further inquired: How was it possible for a father to be so violent toward an exalted son who was obedient, well-behaved and respectful to his father? O brāhmaṇa, O master, I have never heard of such a contradiction as an affectionate father’s punishing his noble son with the intention of killing him. Kindly dissipate our doubts in this regard.