“O son of Kunti [Arjuna], I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.8)
रसो ऽहम् अप्सु कौन्तेय
शब्दः खे पौरुषं नृषु
raso ‘ham apsu kaunteya
śabdaḥ khe pauruṣaṁ nṛṣu
On the occasion of Holi, we focus on and celebrate the exceptional ability in one person. A five-year old boy at the time, he even impressed the envious father, who was an adversary. He proved a truth explained in Bhagavad-gita, that the human being requires gifts from above in order to act.
We marvel at the extraordinary things others are able to do. One person describes it as, “Talent on loan from God.” They are proud enough to realize they are in a special category in terms of performance. At the same time, they are humble enough to know that not everything is in their control.
You can place two people in front of a microphone. The same age, the same hometown, the same gender, and perhaps roughly the same weight. The first person is too frightened to speak. They are unsure of themselves, and they feel embarrassed that others have to hear their voice.
The second person is right at home. They can speak for hours, uninterrupted, on a variety of topics. They do not require guests or callers to appear on the show. They can follow the same routine, day after day, for decades.
There are many such miracles occurring all the time, impressing those who are witness to the excellence.
1. Create original content, day after day
Similar to displaying exceptional broadcasting ability, a single individual can create new content for others to consume on a daily basis. The genesis is the mind. Unlike the supposed comedy hosts on late-night television, there isn’t a large staff of writers. There is some use of items in the news, but even on a slow news day this person can find items worthy of discussion.
2. Handle the pressure of being number one in their field
Everyone else is gunning for them. They have surpassed the competition. At the beginning of the process, no less, they zoomed ahead. Now everyone is in the rearview mirror. The norms of the industry shattered. What was previously considered impossible is no longer so. They are so good at what they do that they maintain a stranglehold on a particular period of time in the day.
No one dares go against them, and yet this person handles the pressure without issue. They have an entire company, with many employees, relying solely on them. The CEO of the large corporation may be vital to the original formation, but eventually they can move on and everything will still keep running. That is not the case with this one performer; he is solely responsible for the revenue stream.
3. Meeting admirers with politeness and kindness
A single person is so popular that wherever they go they find supporters. At the airport. On the golf course. Within the halls of Congress. The admirers are not afraid to approach this person. There is a closeness established through the listening process. They feel as if this person is family, though they have never met them previously.
The person who is the celebrity in this case amazingly maintains a cool disposition. The approaching admirers are greeted with a smile. The celebrity wants to make sure that nothing goes wrong with the interaction. They think that another person should never walk away from the encounter feeling short-changed.
4. Recalling facts at a moment’s notice
More so than excelling at a trivia contest, a single person might be able to remember people and events spanning decades. They do so rather quickly, inserting the appropriate context. They do not rely on others for backup or an internet search to fill in the pieces. This amazing recall-ability comes in handy in their specific profession.
5. Giving generously when others are not asking
A single person has plenty of wealth, and so others naturally gravitate towards the pot. They are with their hands outstretched, but the person in possession discriminates. They do not waste their money, but at the same time they are overly generous. They give to causes they feel are important, and sometimes without anyone asking. Their level of generosity surprises everyone, and most don’t learn the true depth until the person has passed on. They did most of their giving anonymously, as they did not want to draw unnecessary attention to themselves.
These are but a few examples of the amazing things a single human being is capable of. With Prahlada Maharaja, the victories were extraordinary since he was unwittingly placed into competition with his father. Hiranyakashipu wanted to inflict lethal punishment. The child’s crime was unwavering support and allegiance towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu.
Prahlada survived being thrown off a cliff. Biting, venomous snakes did nothing to him. He made it out from the bottom of the ocean. He was focused on Supersoul the entire time. This is Vishnu’s expansion residing within the heart.
We are never alone. God is always with us. Supersoul is our link to others. Even when they have passed on, with the soul moving to another body, the Supreme Lord is always with them. If we can communicate with God the person, then we always have some sort of link to others, even if indirect.
Holi commemorates the time Hiranyakashipu tried to kill Prahlada by placing him into a fire. The witch named Holika had the unique ability to withstand fire. She took Prahlada in her lap and went to carry out the wicked deed.
It was Prahlada who survived. Holika did not. The ability in man is due to the Supreme Lord. This means that even if a person is exceptional in a certain area, that level of ability can drop to ordinary in a moment. Prahlada never wavered in support of Vishnu, and we will never forget His amazing contribution to the tradition of bhakti, which continues to this day.
All obeisances to him paid,
For amazing contribution made.
Attacks of father withstanding,
At the end alive standing.
Because ability on loan,
Vishnu everything to own.
Devotion of servants protecting,
Who everywhere His presence detecting.