Śrīmad Bhāgavatam |Canto 7 Chapter 5
Prahlāda Mahārāja, the Saintly Son of Hiraṇyakaśipu
vṛtaḥ kāvyaḥ kilāsuraiḥ
ṣaṇḍāmarkau sutau tasya
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — the great saint Nārada said; paurohityāya — to work as priest; bhagavān — the most powerful; vṛtaḥ — chosen; kāvyaḥ — Śukrācārya; kila — indeed; asuraiḥ — by the demons; ṣaṇḍa-amarkau — Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka; sutau — sons; tasya — of him; daitya-rāja — of the King of the demons, Hiraṇyakaśipu; gṛha-antike — near the residence.
The great saint Nārada Muni said: The demons, headed by Hiraṇyakaśipu, accepted Śukrācārya as their priest for ritualistic ceremonies. Śukrācārya’s two sons, Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, lived near Hiraṇyakaśipu’s palace.
tau rājñā prāpitaṁ bālaṁ
pāṭhayām āsatuḥ pāṭhyān
tau — those two (Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka); rājñā — by the King; prāpitam — sent; bālam — the boy; prahlādam — named Prahlāda; naya-kovidam — who was aware of moral principles; pāṭhayām āsatuḥ — instructed; pāṭhyān — books of material knowledge; anyān — other; ca — also; asura-bālakān — sons of the asuras.
Prahlāda Mahārāja was already educated in devotional life, but when his father sent him to those two sons of Śukrācārya to be educated, they accepted him at their school along with the other sons of the asuras.
yat tatra guruṇā proktaṁ
śuśruve ’nupapāṭha ca
na sādhu manasā mene
yat — which; tatra — there (in the school); guruṇā — by the teachers; proktam — instructed; śuśruve — heard; anupapāṭha — recited; ca — and; na — not; sādhu — good; manasā — by the mind; mene — considered; sva — of one’s own; para — and of others; asat-graha — by the bad philosophy; āśrayam — which was supported.
Prahlāda certainly heard and recited the topics of politics and economics taught by the teachers, but he understood that political philosophy involves considering someone a friend and someone else an enemy, and thus he did not like it.
aṅkam āropya pāṇḍava
papraccha kathyatāṁ vatsa
manyate sādhu yad bhavān
ekadā — once upon a time; asura-rāṭ — the Emperor of the asuras; putram — his son; aṅkam — on the lap; āropya — placing; pāṇḍava — O Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira; papraccha — inquired; kathyatām — let it be told; vatsa — my dear son; manyate — considers; sādhu — the best; yat — that which; bhavān — your good self.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, once upon a time the King of the demons, Hiraṇyakaśipu, took his son Prahlāda on his lap and very affectionately inquired: My dear son, please let me know what you think is the best of all the subjects you have studied from your teachers.
tat sādhu manye ’sura-varya dehināṁ
sadā samudvigna-dhiyām asad-grahāt
hitvātma-pātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ
vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta
śrī-prahlādaḥ uvāca — Prahlāda Mahārāja replied; tat — that; sādhu — very good, or the best part of life; manye — I think; asura-varya — O King of the asuras; dehinām — of persons who have accepted the material body; sadā — always; samudvigna — full of anxieties; dhiyām — whose intelligence; asat-grahāt — because of accepting the temporary body or bodily relations as real (thinking “I am this body, and everything belonging to this body is mine”); hitvā — giving up; ātma-pātam — the place where spiritual culture or self-realization is stopped; gṛham — the bodily concept of life, or household life; andha-kūpam — which is nothing but a blind well (where there is no water but one nonetheless searches for water); vanam — to the forest; gataḥ — going; yat — which; harim — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; āśrayeta — may take shelter of.
Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: O best of the asuras, King of the demons, as far as I have learned from my spiritual master, any person who has accepted a temporary body and temporary household life is certainly embarrassed by anxiety because of having fallen in a dark well where there is no water but only suffering. One should give up this position and go to the forest [vana]. More clearly, one should go to Vṛndāvana, where only Kṛṣṇa consciousness is prevalent, and should thus take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
śrutvā putra-giro daityaḥ
jahāsa buddhir bālānāṁ
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Nārada Muni said; śrutvā — hearing; putra-giraḥ — the instructive words of his son; daityaḥ — Hiraṇyakaśipu; para-pakṣa — on the side of the enemy; samāhitāḥ — full of faith; jahāsa — laughed; buddhiḥ — the intelligence; bālānām — of small boys; bhidyate — is polluted; para-buddhibhiḥ — by instructions from the enemy’s camp.
Nārada Muni continued: When Prahlāda Mahārāja spoke about the path of self-realization in devotional service, thus being faithful to the camp of his father’s enemies, Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the demons, heard Prahlāda’s words and he laughingly said, “Thus is the intelligence of children spoiled by the words of the enemy.”
samyag vidhāryatāṁ bālo
na bhidyetāsya dhīr yathā
samyak — completely; vidhāryatām — let him be protected; bālaḥ — this boy of tender age; guru-gehe — in the gurukula, the place where children are sent to be instructed by the guru; dvi-jātibhiḥ — by brāhmaṇas; viṣṇu-pakṣaiḥ — who are on the side of Viṣṇu; praticchannaiḥ — disguised in different dresses; na bhidyeta — may not be influenced; asya — of him; dhīḥ — the intelligence; yathā — so that.
Hiraṇyakaśipu advised his assistants: My dear demons, give complete protection to this boy at the gurukula where he is instructed, so that his intelligence will not be further influenced by Vaiṣṇavas who may go there in disguise.
gṛham ānītam āhūya
praśasya ślakṣṇayā vācā
gṛham — to the place of the teachers (Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka); ānītam — brought; āhūya — calling; prahrādam — Prahlāda; daitya-yājakāḥ — the priests of the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu; praśasya — by pacifying; ślakṣṇayā — with a very mild; vācā — voice; samapṛcchanta — they questioned; sāmabhiḥ — by very agreeable words.
When Hiraṇyakaśipu’s servants brought the boy Prahlāda back to the gurukula [the place where the brāhmaṇas taught the boys], the priests of the demons, Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, pacified him. With very mild voices and affectionate words, they inquired from him as follows.
vatsa prahrāda bhadraṁ te
satyaṁ kathaya mā mṛṣā
bālān ati kutas tubhyam
vatsa — O dear son; prahrāda — Prahlāda; bhadram te — all blessings and good fortune unto you; satyam — the truth; kathaya — speak; mā — do not; mṛṣā — a lie; bālān ati — passing over the other demon boys; kutaḥ — from where; tubhyam — unto you; eṣaḥ — this; buddhi — of the intelligence; viparyayaḥ — pollution.
Dear son Prahlāda, all peace and good fortune unto you. Kindly do not speak lies; just reply with the truth. These boys you see are not like you, for they do not speak in a deviant way. How have you learned these instructions? How has your intelligence been spoiled in this way?
utāho te svato ’bhavat
buddhi-bhedaḥ — pollution of the intelligence; para-kṛtaḥ — done by the enemies; utāho — or; te — of you; svataḥ — by yourself; abhavat — was; bhaṇyatām — let it be told; śrotu-kāmānām — to us, who are very eager to hear about it; gurūṇām — all your teachers; kula-nandana — O best of your family.
O best of your family, has this pollution of your intelligence been brought about by you or by the enemies? We are all your teachers and are very eager to hear about this. Please tell us the truth.
paraḥ svaś cety asad-grāhaḥ
puṁsāṁ yan-māyayā kṛtaḥ
tasmai bhagavate namaḥ
śrī-prahrādaḥ uvāca — Prahlāda Mahārāja replied; paraḥ — an enemy; svaḥ — a kinsman or friend; ca — also; iti — thus; asat-grāhaḥ — material conception of life; puṁsām — of persons; yat — of whom; māyayā — by the external energy; kṛtaḥ — created; vimohita — bewildered; dhiyām — of those whose intelligence; dṛṣṭaḥ — practically experienced; tasmai — unto Him; bhagavate — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; namaḥ — my respectful obeisances.
Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose external energy has created the distinctions of “my friend” and “my enemy” by deluding the intelligence of men. Indeed, I am now actually experiencing this, although I have previously heard of it from authoritative sources.
sa yadānuvrataḥ puṁsāṁ
anya eṣa tathānyo ’ham
saḥ — that Supreme Personality of Godhead; yadā — when; anuvrataḥ — favorable or pleased; puṁsām — of the conditioned souls; paśu-buddhiḥ — the animalistic conception of life (“I am the Supreme, and everyone is God”); vibhidyate — is destroyed; anyaḥ — another; eṣaḥ — this; tathā — as well as; anyaḥ — another; aham — I; iti — thus; bheda — distinction; gata — having; asatī — which is disastrous.
When the Supreme Personality of Godhead is pleased with the living entity because of his devotional service, one becomes a paṇḍita and does not make distinctions between enemies, friends and himself. Intelligently, he then thinks, “Every one of us is an eternal servant of God, and therefore we are not different from one another.”
sa eṣa ātmā sva-parety abuddhibhir
muhyanti yad-vartmani veda-vādino
brahmādayo hy eṣa bhinatti me matim
saḥ — He; eṣaḥ — this; ātmā — Supersoul situated in everyone’s heart; sva-para — this is my own business, and that is someone else’s; iti — thus; abuddhibhiḥ — by those who have such bad intelligence; duratyaya — very difficult to follow; anukramaṇaḥ — whose devotional service; nirūpyate — is ascertained (by scriptures or the instructions of the spiritual master); muhyanti — are bewildered; yat — of whom; vartmani — on the path; veda-vādinaḥ — the followers of Vedic instructions; brahma-ādayaḥ — the demigods, beginning from Lord Brahmā; hi — indeed; eṣaḥ — this one; bhinatti — changes; me — my; matim — intelligence.
Persons who always think in terms of “enemy” and “friend” are unable to ascertain the Supersoul within themselves. Not to speak of them, even such exalted persons as Lord Brahmā, who are fully conversant with the Vedic literature, are sometimes bewildered in following the principles of devotional service. The same Supreme Personality of Godhead who has created this situation has certainly given me the intelligence to take the side of your so-called enemy.
yathā bhrāmyaty ayo brahman
tathā me bhidyate cetaś
yathā — just as; bhrāmyati — moves; ayaḥ — iron; brahman — O brāhmaṇas; svayam — itself; ākarṣa — of a magnet; sannidhau — in the proximity; tathā — similarly; me — my; bhidyate — is changed; cetaḥ — consciousness; cakra-pāṇeḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu, who has a disc in His hand; yadṛcchayā — simply by the will.
O brāhmaṇas [teachers], as iron attracted by a magnetic stone moves automatically toward the magnet, my consciousness, having been changed by His will, is attracted by Lord Viṣṇu, who carries a disc in His hand. Thus I have no independence.
taṁ sannibhartsya kupitaḥ
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Nārada Muni said; etāvat — this much; brāhmaṇāya — unto the brāhmaṇas, the sons of Śukrācārya; uktvā — speaking; virarāma — became silent; mahā-matiḥ — Prahlāda Mahārāja, who possessed great intelligence; tam — him (Prahlāda Mahārāja); sannibhartsya — chastising very harshly; kupitaḥ — being angry; su-dīnaḥ — poor in thought, or very much aggrieved; rāja-sevakaḥ — the servants of King Hiraṇyakaśipu.
The great saint Nārada Muni continued: The great soul Prahlāda Mahārāja became silent after saying this to his teachers, Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, the seminal sons of Śukrācārya. These so-called brāhmaṇas then became angry at him. Because they were servants of Hiraṇyakaśipu, they were very sorry, and to chastise Prahlāda Mahārāja they spoke as follows.
ānīyatām are vetram
caturtho ’syodito damaḥ
ānīyatām — let it be brought; are — oh; vetram — the stick; asmākam — of us; ayaśaskaraḥ — who is bringing defamation; kula-aṅgārasya — of he who is like a cinder in the dynasty; durbuddheḥ — having bad intelligence; caturthaḥ — the fourth; asya — for him; uditaḥ — declared; damaḥ — punishment (the stick, argumentum ad baculum).
Oh, please bring me a stick! This Prahlāda is damaging our name and fame. Because of his bad intelligence, he has become like a cinder in the dynasty of the demons. Now he needs to be treated by the fourth of the four kinds of political diplomacy.
jāto ’yaṁ kaṇṭaka-drumaḥ
viṣṇor nālāyito ’rbhakaḥ
daiteya — of the demoniac family; candana-vane — in the sandalwood forest; jātaḥ — born; ayam — this; kaṇṭaka-drumaḥ — thorn tree; yat — of which; mūla — of the roots; unmūla — in the cutting; paraśoḥ — who is like an axe; viṣṇoḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; nālāyitaḥ — the handle; arbhakaḥ — boy.
This rascal Prahlāda has appeared like a thorn tree in a forest of sandalwood. To cut down sandalwood trees, an axe is needed, and the wood of the thorn tree is very suitable for the handle of such an axe. Lord Viṣṇu is the axe for cutting down the sandalwood forest of the family of demons, and this Prahlāda is the handle for that axe.
iti taṁ vividhopāyair
prahrādaṁ grāhayām āsa
iti — in this way; tam — him (Prahlāda Mahārāja); vividha-upāyaiḥ — by various means; bhīṣayan — threatening; tarjana-ādibhiḥ — by chastisement, threats, etc; prahrādam — unto Prahlāda Mahārāja; grāhayām āsa — taught; tri-vargasya — the three goals of life (the paths of religion, economic development and sense gratification); upapādanam — scripture that presents.
Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, the teachers of Prahlāda Mahārāja, chastised and threatened their disciple in various ways and began teaching him about the paths of religion, economic development and sense gratification. This is the way they educated him.
tata enaṁ gurur jñātvā
daityendraṁ darśayām āsa
tataḥ — thereafter; enam — him (Prahlāda Mahārāja); guruḥ — his teachers; jñātvā — knowing; jñāta — known; jñeya — which are to be known; catuṣṭayam — the four diplomatic principles (sāma, the process of pacifying; dāna, — the process of giving money in charity; bheda, — the principle of dividing; and daṇḍa, — the principle of punishment); daitya-indram — unto Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the Daityas; darśayām āsa — presented; mātṛ-mṛṣṭam — being bathed by his mother; alaṅkṛtam — decorated with ornaments.
After some time, the teachers Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka thought that Prahlāda Mahārāja was sufficiently educated in the diplomatic affairs of pacifying public leaders, appeasing them by giving them lucrative posts, dividing and ruling over them, and punishing them in cases of disobedience. Then, one day, after Prahlāda’s mother had personally washed the boy and dressed him nicely with sufficient ornaments, they presented him before his father.
pādayoḥ patitaṁ bālaṁ
pariṣvajya ciraṁ dorbhyāṁ
paramām āpa nirvṛtim
pādayoḥ — at the feet; patitam — fallen; bālam — the boy (Prahlāda Mahārāja); pratinandya — encouraging; āśiṣā — with blessings (“My dear child, may you live long and be happy” and so on); asuraḥ — the demon Hiraṇyakaśipu; pariṣvajya — embracing; ciram — for a long time due to affection; dorbhyām — with his two arms; paramām — great; āpa — obtained; nirvṛtim — jubilation.
When Hiraṇyakaśipu saw that his child had fallen at his feet and was offering obeisances, as an affectionate father he immediately began showering blessings upon the child and embraced him with both arms. A father naturally feels happy to embrace his son, and Hiraṇyakaśipu became very happy in this way.
idam āha yudhiṣṭhira
āropya — placing; aṅkam — on the lap; avaghrāya mūrdhani — smelling his head; aśru — of tears; kalā-ambubhiḥ — with water from drops; āsiñcan — moistening; vikasat-vaktram — his smiling face; idam — this; āha — said; yudhiṣṭhira — O Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.
Nārada Muni continued: My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, Hiraṇyakaśipu seated Prahlāda Mahārāja on his lap and began smelling his head. With affectionate tears gliding down from his eyes and moistening the child’s smiling face, he spoke to his son as follows.
svadhītaṁ kiñcid uttamam
yad aśikṣad guror bhavān
hiraṇyakaśipuḥ uvāca — King Hiraṇyakaśipu said; prahrāda — my dear Prahlāda; anūcyatām — let it be told; tāta — my dear son; svadhītam — well learned; kiñcit — something; uttamam — very nice; kālena etāvatā — for so much time; āyuṣman — O long-lived one; yat — which; aśikṣat — has learned; guroḥ — from your teachers; bhavān — yourself.
Hiraṇyakaśipu said: My dear Prahlāda, my dear son, O long-lived one, for so much time you have heard many things from your teachers. Now please repeat to me whatever you think is the best of that knowledge.
śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ
arcanaṁ vandanaṁ dāsyaṁ
iti puṁsārpitā viṣṇau
bhaktiś cen nava-lakṣaṇā
kriyeta bhagavaty addhā
tan manye ’dhītam uttamam
śrī-prahrādaḥ uvāca — Prahlāda Mahārāja said; śravaṇam — hearing; kīrtanam — chanting; viṣṇoḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu (not anyone else); smaraṇam — remembering; pāda-sevanam — serving the feet; arcanam — offering worship (with ṣoḍaśopacāra, the sixteen kinds of paraphernalia); vandanam — offering prayers; dāsyam — becoming the servant; sakhyam — becoming the best friend; ātma-nivedanam — surrendering everything, whatever one has; iti — thus; puṁsā arpitā — offered by the devotee; viṣṇau — unto Lord Viṣṇu (not to anyone else); bhaktiḥ — devotional service; cet — if; nava-lakṣaṇā — possessing nine different processes; kriyeta — one should perform; bhagavati — unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead; addhā — directly or completely; tat — that; manye — I consider; adhītam — learning; uttamam — topmost.
Prahlāda Mahārāja said: Hearing and chanting about the transcendental holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia and pastimes of Lord Viṣṇu, remembering them, serving the lotus feet of the Lord, offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia, offering prayers to the Lord, becoming His servant, considering the Lord one’s best friend, and surrendering everything unto Him (in other words, serving Him with the body, mind and words) — these nine processes are accepted as pure devotional service. One who has dedicated his life to the service of Kṛṣṇa through these nine methods should be understood to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge.
niśamya — hearing; etat — this; suta-vacaḥ — speech from his son; hiraṇyakaśipuḥ — Hiraṇyakaśipu; tadā — at that time; guru-putram — unto the son of Śukrācārya, his spiritual master; uvāca — spoke; idam — this; ruṣā — with anger; prasphurita — trembling; adharaḥ — whose lips.
After hearing these words of devotional service from the mouth of his son Prahlāda, Hiraṇyakaśipu was extremely angry. His lips trembling, he spoke as follows to Ṣaṇḍa, the son of his guru, Śukrācārya.
brahma-bandho kim etat te
asāraṁ grāhito bālo
mām anādṛtya durmate
brahma-bandho — O unqualified son of a brāhmaṇa; kim etat — what is this; te — by you; vipakṣam — the party of my enemies; śrayatā — taking shelter of; asatā — most mischievous; asāram — nonsense; grāhitaḥ — taught; bālaḥ — the boy; mām — me; anādṛtya — not caring for; durmate — O foolish teacher.
O unqualified, most heinous son of a brāhmaṇa, you have disobeyed my order and taken shelter of the party of my enemies. You have taught this poor boy about devotional service! What is this nonsense?
santi hy asādhavo loke
teṣām udety aghaṁ kāle
rogaḥ pātakinām iva
santi — are; hi — indeed; asādhavaḥ — dishonest persons; loke — within this world; durmaitrāḥ — cheating friends; chadma-veṣiṇaḥ — wearing false garbs; teṣām — of all of them; udeti — arises; agham — the reaction of sinful life; kāle — in due course of time; rogaḥ — disease; pātakinām — of sinful men; iva — like.
In due course of time, various types of diseases are manifest in those who are sinful. Similarly, in this world there are many deceptive friends in false garbs, but eventually, because of their false behavior, their actual enmity becomes manifest.
na mat-praṇītaṁ na para-praṇītaṁ
suto vadaty eṣa tavendra-śatro
naisargikīyaṁ matir asya rājan
niyaccha manyuṁ kad adāḥ sma mā naḥ
śrī-guru-putraḥ uvāca — the son of Śukrācārya, Hiraṇyakaśipu’s spiritual master, said; na — not; mat-praṇītam — educated by me; na — nor; para-praṇītam — educated by anyone else; sutaḥ — the son (Prahlāda); vadati — says; eṣaḥ — this; tava — your; indra-śatro — O enemy of King Indra; naisargikī — natural; iyam — this; matiḥ — inclination; asya — of him; rājan — O King; niyaccha — give up; manyum — your anger; kad — fault; adāḥ — attribute; sma — indeed; mā — do not; naḥ — unto us.
The son of Śukrācārya, Hiraṇyakaśipu’s spiritual master, said: O enemy of King Indra, O King! Whatever your son Prahlāda has said was not taught to him by me or anyone else. His spontaneous devotional service has naturally developed in him. Therefore, please give up your anger and do not unnecessarily accuse us. It is not good to insult a brāhmaṇa in this way.
bhūya āhāsuraḥ sutam
na ced guru-mukhīyaṁ te
kuto ’bhadrāsatī matiḥ
śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Nārada Muni said; guruṇā — by the teacher; evam — thus; pratiproktaḥ — being answered; bhūyaḥ — again; āha — said; asuraḥ — the great demon, Hiraṇyakaśipu; sutam — unto his son; na — not; cet — if; guru-mukhī — issued from the mouth of your teacher; iyam — this; te — your; kutaḥ — from where; abhadra — O inauspicious one; asatī — very bad; matiḥ — inclination.
Śrī Nārada Muni continued: When Hiraṇyakaśipu received this reply from the teacher, he again addressed his son Prahlāda. Hiraṇyakaśipu said: You rascal, most fallen of our family, if you have not received this education from your teachers, where have you gotten it?
matir na kṛṣṇe parataḥ svato vā
mitho ’bhipadyeta gṛha-vratānām
adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisraṁ
punaḥ punaś carvita-carvaṇānām
śrī-prahrādaḥ uvāca — Prahlāda Mahārāja said; matiḥ — inclination; na — never; kṛṣṇe — unto Lord Kṛṣṇa; parataḥ — from the instructions of others; svataḥ — from their own understanding; vā — either; mithaḥ — from combined effort; abhipadyeta — is developed; gṛha-vratānām — of persons too addicted to the materialistic, bodily conception of life; adānta — uncontrolled; gobhiḥ — by the senses; viśatām — entering; tamisram — hellish life; punaḥ — again; punaḥ — again; carvita — things already chewed; carvaṇānām — who are chewing.
Prahlāda Mahārāja replied: Because of their uncontrolled senses, persons too addicted to materialistic life make progress toward hellish conditions and repeatedly chew that which has already been chewed. Their inclinations toward Kṛṣṇa are never aroused, either by the instructions of others, by their own efforts, or by a combination of both.
na te viduḥ svārtha-gatiṁ hi viṣṇuṁ
durāśayā ye bahir-artha-māninaḥ
andhā yathāndhair upanīyamānās
te ’pīśa-tantryām uru-dāmni baddhāḥ
na — not; te — they; viduḥ — know; sva-artha-gatim — the ultimate goal of life, or their own real interest; hi — indeed; viṣṇum — Lord Viṣṇu and His abode; durāśayāḥ — being ambitious to enjoy this material world; ye — who; bahiḥ — external sense objects; artha-māninaḥ — considering as valuable; andhāḥ — persons who are blind; yathā — just as; andhaiḥ — by other blind men; upanīyamānāḥ — being led; te — they; api — although; īśa-tantryām — to the ropes (laws) of material nature; uru — having very strong; dāmni — cords; baddhāḥ — bound.
Persons who are strongly entrapped by the consciousness of enjoying material life, and who have therefore accepted as their leader or guru a similar blind man attached to external sense objects, cannot understand that the goal of life is to return home, back to Godhead, and engage in the service of Lord Viṣṇu. As blind men guided by another blind man miss the right path and fall into a ditch, materially attached men led by another materially attached man are bound by the ropes of fruitive labor, which are made of very strong cords, and they continue again and again in materialistic life, suffering the threefold miseries.
naiṣāṁ matis tāvad urukramāṅghriṁ
spṛśaty anarthāpagamo yad-arthaḥ
niṣkiñcanānāṁ na vṛṇīta yāvat
na — not; eṣām — of these; matiḥ — the consciousness; tāvat — that long; urukrama-aṅghrim — the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is famous for performing uncommon activities; spṛśati — does touch; anartha — of unwanted things; apagamaḥ — the disappearance; yat — of which; arthaḥ — the purpose; mahīyasām — of the great souls (the mahātmās, or devotees); pāda-rajaḥ — by the dust of the lotus feet; abhiṣekam — consecration; niṣkiñcanānām — of devotees who have nothing to do with this material world; na — not; vṛṇīta — may accept; yāvat — as long as.
Unless they smear upon their bodies the dust of the lotus feet of a Vaiṣṇava completely freed from material contamination, persons very much inclined toward materialistic life cannot be attached to the lotus feet of the Lord, who is glorified for His uncommon activities. Only by becoming Kṛṣṇa conscious and taking shelter at the lotus feet of the Lord in this way can one be freed from material contamination.
ity uktvoparataṁ putraṁ
iti — thus; uktvā — speaking; uparatam — stopped; putram — the son; hiraṇyakaśipuḥ — Hiraṇyakaśipu; ruṣā — with great anger; andhīkṛta-ātmā — made blind to self-realization; sva-utsaṅgāt — from his lap; nirasyata — threw; mahī-tale — upon the ground.
After Prahlāda Mahārāja had spoken in this way and become silent, Hiraṇyakaśipu, blinded by anger, threw him off his lap and onto the ground.
vadhyatām āśv ayaṁ vadhyo
āha — he said; amarṣa — indignation; ruṣā — and by severe anger; āviṣṭaḥ — overpowered; kaṣāyī-bhūta — becoming exactly like red-hot copper; locanaḥ — whose eyes; vadhyatām — let him be killed; āśu — immediately; ayam — this; vadhyaḥ — who is to be killed; niḥsārayata — take away; nairṛtāḥ — O demons.
Indignant and angry, his reddish eyes like molten copper, Hiraṇyakaśipu said to his servants: O demons, take this boy away from me! He deserves to be killed. Kill him as soon as possible!
ayaṁ me bhrātṛ-hā so ’yaṁ
hitvā svān suhṛdo ’dhamaḥ
pitṛvya-hantuḥ pādau yo
viṣṇor dāsavad arcati
ayam — this; me — my; bhrātṛ-hā — killer of the brother; saḥ — he; ayam — this; hitvā — giving up; svān — own; suhṛdaḥ — well-wishers; adhamaḥ — very low; pitṛvya-hantuḥ — of He who killed his uncle Hiraṇyākṣa; pādau — at the two feet; yaḥ — he who; viṣṇoḥ — of Lord Viṣṇu; dāsa-vat — like a servant; arcati — serves.
This boy Prahlāda is the killer of my brother, for he has given up his family to engage in the devotional service of the enemy, Lord Viṣṇu, like a menial servant.
viṣṇor vā sādhv asau kiṁ nu
sauhṛdaṁ dustyajaṁ pitror
ahād yaḥ pañca-hāyanaḥ
viṣṇoḥ — unto Viṣṇu; vā — either; sādhu — good; asau — this; kim — whether; nu — indeed; kariṣyati — will do; asamañjasaḥ — not trustworthy; sauhṛdam — affectionate relationship; dustyajam — difficult to relinquish; pitroḥ — of his father and mother; ahāt — gave up; yaḥ — he who; pañca-hāyanaḥ — only five years old.
Although Prahlāda is only five years old, even at this young age he has given up his affectionate relationship with his father and mother. Therefore, he is certainly untrustworthy. Indeed, it is not at all believable that he will behave well toward Viṣṇu.
paro ’py apatyaṁ hita-kṛd yathauṣadhaṁ
sva-dehajo ’py āmayavat suto ’hitaḥ
chindyāt tad aṅgaṁ yad utātmano ’hitaṁ
śeṣaṁ sukhaṁ jīvati yad-vivarjanāt
paraḥ — not belonging to the same group or family; api — although; apatyam — a child; hita-kṛt — who is beneficial; yathā — just as; auṣadham — remedial herb; sva-deha-jaḥ — born of one’s own body; api — although; āmaya-vat — like a disease; sutaḥ — a son; ahitaḥ — who is not a well-wisher; chindyāt — one should cut off; tat — that; aṅgam — part of the body; yat — which; uta — indeed; ātmanaḥ — for the body; ahitam — not beneficial; śeṣam — the balance; sukham — happily; jīvati — lives; yat — of which; vivarjanāt — by cutting off.
Although a medicinal herb, being born in the forest, does not belong to the same category as a man, if beneficial it is kept very carefully. Similarly, if someone outside one’s family is favorable, he should be given protection like a son. On the other hand, if a limb of one’s body is poisoned by disease, it must be amputated so that the rest of the body may live happily. Similarly, even one’s own son, if unfavorable, must be rejected, although born of one’s own body.
sarvair upāyair hantavyaḥ
muner duṣṭam ivendriyam
sarvaiḥ — by all; upāyaiḥ — means; hantavyaḥ — must be killed; sambhoja — by eating; śayana — lying down; āsanaiḥ — by sitting; suhṛt-liṅga-dharaḥ — who has assumed the role of a friend; śatruḥ — an enemy; muneḥ — of a great sage; duṣṭam — uncontrollable; iva — like; indriyam — the senses.
Just as uncontrolled senses are the enemies of all yogīs engaged in advancing in spiritual life, this Prahlāda, who appears to be a friend, is an enemy because I cannot control him. Therefore this enemy, whether eating, sitting or sleeping, must be killed by all means.
nairṛtās te samādiṣṭā
bhartrā vai śūla-pāṇayaḥ
nadanto bhairavaṁ nādaṁ
chindhi bhindhīti vādinaḥ
āsīnaṁ cāhanañ śūlaiḥ
nairṛtāḥ — the demons; te — they; samādiṣṭāḥ — being fully advised; bhartrā — by their master; vai — indeed; śūla-pāṇayaḥ — having tridents in their hands; tigma — very sharp; daṁṣṭra — teeth; karāla — and fearful; āsyāḥ — faces; tāmra-śmaśru — coppery mustaches; śiroruhāḥ — and hair on the head; nadantaḥ — vibrating; bhairavam — fearful; nādam — sound; chindhi — chop; bhindhi — divide into small parts; iti — thus; vādinaḥ — speaking; āsīnam — who was sitting silently; ca — and; ahanan — attacked; śūlaiḥ — with their tridents; prahrādam — Prahlāda Mahārāja; sarva-marmasu — on the tender parts of the body.
The demons [Rākṣasas], the servants of Hiraṇyakaśipu, thus began striking the tender parts of Prahlāda Mahārāja’s body with their tridents. The demons all had fearful faces, sharp teeth and reddish, coppery beards and hair, and they appeared extremely threatening. Making a tumultuous sound, shouting, “Chop him up! Pierce him!” they began striking Prahlāda Mahārāja, who sat silently, meditating upon the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
pare brahmaṇy anirdeśye
yuktātmany aphalā āsann
pare — in the supreme; brahmaṇi — absolute; anirdeśye — who is not perceivable by the senses; bhagavati — the Supreme Personality of Godhead; akhila-ātmani — the Supersoul of everyone; yukta-ātmani — on he whose mind was engaged (Prahlāda); aphalāḥ — without effect; āsan — were; apuṇyasya — of a person who has no assets in pious activities; iva — like; sat-kriyāḥ — good activities (like the performance of sacrifices or austerities).
Even though a person who has no assets in pious activities performs some good deed, it will have no result. Thus the weapons of the demons had no tangible effects upon Prahlāda Mahārāja because he was a devotee undisturbed by material conditions and fully engaged in meditating upon and serving the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is unchangeable, who cannot be realized by the material senses, and who is the soul of the entire universe.
prayāse ’pahate tasmin
prayāse — when the endeavor; apahate — futile; tasmin — that; daitya-indraḥ — the King of the demons, Hiraṇyakaśipu; pariśaṅkitaḥ — very much afraid (considering how the boy was protected); cakāra — executed; tat-vadha-upāyān — various means for killing him; nirbandhena — with determination; yudhiṣṭhira — O King Yudhiṣṭhira.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, when all the attempts of the demons to kill Prahlāda Mahārāja were futile, the King of the demons, Hiraṇyakaśipu, being most fearful, began contriving other means to kill him.
māyābhiḥ sannirodhaiś ca
na śaśāka yadā hantum
apāpam asuraḥ sutam
cintāṁ dīrghatamāṁ prāptas
dik-gajaiḥ — by big elephants trained to smash anything under their feet; danda-śūka-indraiḥ — by the biting of the King’s poisonous snakes; abhicāra — by destructive spells; avapātanaiḥ — by causing to fall from the top of a mountain; māyābhiḥ — by conjuring tricks; sannirodhaiḥ — by imprisonment; ca — as well as; gara-dānaiḥ — by administering poison; abhojanaiḥ — by starving; hima — by cold; vāyu — wind; agni — fire; salilaiḥ — and water; parvata-ākramaṇaiḥ — by crushing with big stones and hills; api — and also; na śaśāka — was not able; yadā — when; hantum — to kill; apāpam — who was not at all sinful; asuraḥ — the demon (Hiraṇyakaśipu); sutam — his son; cintām — anxiety; dīrgha-tamām — long-standing; prāptaḥ — obtained; tat-kartum — to do that; na — not; abhyapadyata — achieved.
Hiraṇyakaśipu could not kill his son by throwing him beneath the feet of big elephants, throwing him among huge, fearful snakes, employing destructive spells, hurling him from the top of a hill, conjuring up illusory tricks, administering poison, starving him, exposing him to severe cold, winds, fire and water, or throwing heavy stones to crush him. When Hiraṇyakaśipu found that he could not in any way harm Prahlāda, who was completely sinless, he was in great anxiety about what to do next.
eṣa me bahv-asādhūkto
vadhopāyāś ca nirmitāḥ
tais tair drohair asad-dharmair
muktaḥ svenaiva tejasā
eṣaḥ — this; me — of me; bahu — many; asādhu-uktaḥ — ill names; vadha-upāyāḥ — many varieties of means to kill him; ca — and; nirmitāḥ — devised; taiḥ — by those; taiḥ — by those; drohaiḥ — treacheries; asat-dharmaiḥ — abominable actions; muktaḥ — released; svena — his own; eva — indeed; tejasā — by prowess.
Hiraṇyakaśipu thought: I have used many ill names in chastising this boy Prahlāda and have devised many means of killing him, but despite all my endeavors, he could not be killed. Indeed, he saved himself by his own powers, without being affected in the least by these treacheries and abominable actions.
vartamāno ’vidūre vai
bālo ’py ajaḍa-dhīr ayam
na vismarati me ’nāryaṁ
śunaḥ śepa iva prabhuḥ
vartamānaḥ — being situated; avidūre — not very far away; vai — indeed; bālaḥ — a mere child; api — although; ajaḍa-dhīḥ — complete fearlessness; ayam — this; na — not; vismarati — forgets; me — my; anāryam — misbehavior; śunaḥ śepaḥ — the curved tail of a dog; iva — exactly like; prabhuḥ — being able or potent.
Although he is very near to me and is merely a child, he is situated in complete fearlessness. He resembles a dog’s curved tail, which can never be straightened, because he never forgets my misbehavior and his connection with his master, Lord Viṣṇu.
mṛtyur me bhavitā na vā
aprameya — unlimited; anubhāvaḥ — glory; ayam — this; akutaścit-bhayaḥ — having no fear from any quarter; amaraḥ — immortal; nūnam — definitely; etat-virodhena — because of going against him; mṛtyuḥ — death; me — my; bhavitā — may be; na — not; vā — or.
I can see that this boy’s strength is unlimited, for he has not feared any of my punishments. He appears immortal. Therefore, because of my enmity toward him, I shall die. Or maybe this will not take place.
iti tac-cintayā kiñcin
vivikta iti hocatuḥ
iti — thus; tat-cintayā — with full anxiety because of Prahlāda Mahārāja’s position; kiñcit — somewhat; mlāna — lost; śriyam — bodily luster; adhaḥ-mukham — his face downward; śaṇḍa-amarkau — Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka; auśanasau — sons of Śukrācārya; vivikte — in a secret place; iti — thus; ha — indeed; ūcatuḥ — spoke.
Thinking in this way, the King of the Daityas, morose and bereft of bodily luster, remained silent with his face downward. Then Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, the two sons of Śukrācārya, spoke to him in secret.
jitaṁ tvayaikena jagat-trayaṁ bhruvor
na tasya cintyaṁ tava nātha cakṣvahe
na vai śiśūnāṁ guṇa-doṣayoḥ padam
jitam — conquered; tvayā — by you; ekena — alone; jagat-trayam — the three worlds; bhruvoḥ — of the eyebrows; vijṛmbhaṇa — by the expanding; trasta — become afraid; samasta — all; dhiṣṇyapam — the chief persons in every planet; na — not; tasya — from him; cintyam — to be anxious; tava — of you; nātha — O master; cakṣvahe — we find; na — nor; vai — indeed; śiśūnām — of children; guṇa-doṣayoḥ — of a good quality or fault; padam — the subject matter.
O lord, we know that when you simply move your eyebrows, all the commanders of the various planets are most afraid. Without the help of any assistant, you have conquered all the three worlds. Therefore, we do not find any reason for you to be morose and full of anxiety. As for Prahlāda, he is nothing but a child and cannot be a cause of anxiety. After all, his bad or good qualities have no value.
imaṁ tu pāśair varuṇasya baddhvā
nidhehi bhīto na palāyate yathā
buddhiś ca puṁso vayasārya-sevayā
yāvad gurur bhārgava āgamiṣyati
imam — this; tu — but; pāśaiḥ — by the ropes; varuṇasya — of the demigod known as Varuṇa; baddhvā — binding; nidhehi — keep (him); bhītaḥ — being afraid; na — not; palāyate — runs away; yathā — so that; buddhiḥ — the intelligence; ca — also; puṁsaḥ — of a man; vayasā — by increase of age; ārya — of experienced, advanced persons; sevayā — by the service; yāvat — until; guruḥ — our spiritual master; bhārgavaḥ — Śukrācārya; āgamiṣyati — will come.
Until the return of our spiritual master, Śukrācārya, arrest this child with the ropes of Varuṇa so that he will not flee in fear. In any case, by the time he is somewhat grown up and has assimilated our instructions or served our spiritual master, he will change in his intelligence. Thus there need be no cause for anxiety.
dharmo hy asyopadeṣṭavyo
rājñāṁ yo gṛha-medhinām
tathā — in this way; iti — thus; guru-putra-uktam — advised by Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, the sons of Śukrācārya; anujñāya — accepting; idam — this; abravīt — said; dharmaḥ — the duty; hi — indeed; asya — unto Prahlāda; upadeṣṭavyaḥ — to be instructed; rājñām — of the kings; yaḥ — which; gṛha-medhinām — who are interested in householder life.
After hearing these instructions of Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, the sons of his spiritual master, Hiraṇyakaśipu agreed and requested them to instruct Prahlāda in that system of occupational duty which is followed by royal householder families.
dharmam arthaṁ ca kāmaṁ ca
dharmam — mundane occupational duty; artham — economic development; ca — and; kāmam — sense gratification; ca — and; nitarām — always; ca — and; anupūrvaśaḥ — according to order, or from the beginning to the end; prahrādāya — unto Prahlāda Mahārāja; ūcatuḥ — they spoke; rājan — O King; praśrita — who was humble; avanatāya — and submissive; ca — also.
Thereafter, Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka systematically and unceasingly taught Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was very submissive and humble, about mundane religion, economic development and sense gratification.
yathā tri-vargaṁ gurubhir
na sādhu mene tac-chikṣāṁ
yathā — as; tri-vargam — the three processes (religion, economic development and sense gratification); gurubhiḥ — by the teachers; ātmane — unto himself (Prahlāda Mahārāja); upaśikṣitam — instructed; na — not; sādhu — really good; mene — he considered; tat-śikṣām — the education in that; dvandva-ārāma — by persons taking pleasure in duality (in material enmity and friendship); upavarṇitām — which is prescribed.
The teachers Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka instructed Prahlāda Mahārāja in the three kinds of material advancement called religion, economic development and sense gratification. Prahlāda, however, being situated above such instructions, did not like them, for such instructions are based on the duality of worldly affairs, which involve one in a materialistic way of life marked by birth, death, old age and disease.
vayasyair bālakais tatra
yadā — when; ācāryaḥ — the teachers; parāvṛttaḥ — became engaged; gṛha-medhīya — of household life; karmasu — in duties; vayasyaiḥ — by his friends of the same age; bālakaiḥ — boys; tatra — there; saḥ — he (Prahlāda Mahārāja); apahūtaḥ — called; kṛta-kṣaṇaiḥ — obtaining an opportune moment.
When the teachers went home to attend to their household affairs, the students of the same age as Prahlāda Mahārāja would call him to take the opportunity of leisure hours for play.
atha tāñ ślakṣṇayā vācā
uvāca vidvāṁs tan-niṣṭhāṁ
kṛpayā prahasann iva
atha — then; tān — the class friends; ślakṣṇayā — with very pleasing; vācā — speech; pratyāhūya — addressing; mahā-budhaḥ — Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was highly learned and advanced in spiritual consciousness (mahā means “great,” and budha means “learned”); uvāca — said; vidvān — very learned; tat-niṣṭhām — the path of God realization; kṛpayā — being merciful; prahasan — smiling; iva — like.
Prahlāda Mahārāja, who was truly the supreme learned person, then addressed his class friends in very sweet language. Smiling, he began to teach them about the uselessness of the materialistic way of life. Being very kind to them, he instructed them as follows.
te tu tad-gauravāt sarve
tān āha karuṇo maitro
te — they; tu — indeed; tat-gauravāt — from great respect for the words of Prahlāda Mahārāja (due to his being a devotee); sarve — all of them; tyakta — having given up; krīḍā-paricchadāḥ — toys for playing; bālāḥ — the boys; adūṣita-dhiyaḥ — whose intelligence was not as polluted (as that of their fathers); dvandva — in duality; ārāma — of those taking pleasure (the instructors, namely Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka); īrita — by the instructions; īhitaiḥ — and actions; paryupāsata — sat down around; rāja-indra — O King Yudhiṣṭhira; tat — unto him; nyasta — having given up; hṛdaya-īkṣaṇāḥ — their hearts and eyes; tān — unto them; āha — spoke; karuṇaḥ — very merciful; maitraḥ — a real friend; mahā-bhāgavataḥ — a most exalted devotee; asuraḥ — Prahlāda Mahārāja, although born of an asura father.
My dear King Yudhiṣṭhira, all the children were very much affectionate and respectful to Prahlāda Mahārāja, and because of their tender age they were not so polluted by the instructions and actions of their teachers, who were attached to condemned duality and bodily comfort. Thus the boys surrounded Prahlāda Mahārāja, giving up their playthings, and sat down to hear him. Their hearts and eyes being fixed upon him, they looked at him with great earnestness. Prahlāda Mahārāja, although born in a demon family, was an exalted devotee, and he desired their welfare. Thus he began instructing them about the futility of materialistic life.