Holi 2022

[Prahlada with Holika]“Daityas, as truly as Vishnu is present in your weapons and in my body, so truly shall those weapons fail to harm me.” (Prahlada Maharaja speaking to Hiranyakashipu’s attendants, Vishnu Purana)

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On the occasion of Holi, we celebrate one of the more well-known triumphs of good over evil, as found in the stories of the Vedic tradition. A “David versus Goliath type” situation, except the person of smaller stature was as innocent as could be. He was not intentionally trying to fight. He had no weapons. He held no enmity.

Prahlada Maharaja was the saintly son of Hiranyakashipu. This bears repeating, considering that Hiranyakashipu was the best of the bad guys, asura-varya. He held a special degree of hatred towards the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Vishnu.

For Prahlada to appear in that Daitya family negates the flawed theory of status by birth. Though it is auspicious to take birth in a family of saintly people, without subsequent training and instruction, a person does not automatically inherit the status.

The same applies for the reverse. Just because Hiranyakashipu was the head of the Daitya clan doesn’t mean that every person taking birth in that family would continue in the same business. Prahlada was devoted to Vishnu from even prior to birth. He received informal initiation from Narada Muni while within the womb. The relationship with the guru formed through the hearing process.

Naturally, the devotion in Prahlada did not mix well with the rest of the kingdom. Hiranyakashipu was essentially leader of the universe. He became so powerful that the demigods scattered in fear. They took on disguises rather than try to raise hostilities. They desperately awaited the moment of rescue, as Vishnu was known to eventually bail them out.

This time, the gift from above appeared in a covert way. Prahlada was within the womb of Hiranyakashipu’s wife. He would be the one to save the universe, indirectly. Hiranyakashipu was so incensed by Prahlada’s stubbornness in refusing to abandon devotion to Vishnu that the father felt compelled to apply force.

Lethal harm, at that. Hiranyakashipu wanted to kill Prahlada. There is a verse within Vishnu Purana describing how Prahlada predicted that the weapons would not harm him. Though the palace guards were properly trained to carry out their duties, Prahlada understood that the connection to Vishnu protected him in that instance.

“Hiranyakashipu planned a campaign to kill Prahlada Maharaja. He would kill his son by administering poison to him while he was eating, by making him sit in boiling oil, or by throwing him under the feet of an elephant while he was lying down. Thus Hiranyakashipu decided to kill his innocent child, who was only five years old, simply because the boy had become a devotee of the Lord. This is the attitude of nondevotees toward devotees.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.5.38 Purport)

As Vishnu is the strength of men and the source of the potency in those weapons, so those weapons would not cause harm to Vishnu’s dedicated ally. Prahlada turned out to be correct, over and over again.

Holi celebrates the triumph of Prahlada over Hiranyakashipu’s sister. She took him into a pit of fire, thinking that she would be safe. Instead, Prahlada survived and the sister perished. Hiranyakashipu was slightly impressed by his son. Maybe this Houdini-type act had a special source. Perhaps the father could follow the same course and exhibit similar abilities, though they weren’t necessary.

Prahlada insisted that there was no magic. The source of his strength was the same source enabling the father to rise to the top. Vishnu is ultimately responsible, and Vishnu is everywhere. Hiranyakashipu refused to believe, until he had no choice but to witness with his very own eyes.

[Narasimha killing]The source of everyone’s strength showed just how powerful He can be. Vishnu killed the demoniac father using just nails. These nails were on the hands of a lion-like figure, who also seemed human-like. Hence the name Narasimha, who is Prahlada’s protector. The person who has Narasimha’s protection is the wealthiest and most powerful in the world.

In Closing:

What would you rather be,
Powerful king for world to see?

Or character blemishes without?
Hiranya or Prahlada devout.

Despite steady campaign trying,
Some force the Daitya denying.

Son as the victor standing,
And Vishnu over father commanding.

Categories: holi, holiday

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1 reply

  1. Radhe Radhe ❤️ oshriRadhekrishnaBole ❤️ Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram Hare Hare Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Jay Jay Shree Siya Ram
    Happy Holi

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