“The associates of Lord Vishnu in Vaikuntha offered this prayer: O Lord, our supreme giver of shelter, today we have seen Your wonderful form as Lord Narasimhadeva, meant for the good fortune of all the world. O Lord, we can understand that Hiranyakashipu was the same Jaya who engaged in Your service but was cursed by brahmanas and who thus received the body of a demon. We understand that his having now been killed is Your special mercy upon him.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.8.56)
दृष्टं न: शरणद सर्वलोकशर्म ।
सोऽयं ते विधिकर ईश विप्रशप्त-
स्तस्येदं निधनमनुग्रहाय विद्म: ॥
adyaitad dhari-nara-rūpam adbhutaṁ te
dṛṣṭaṁ naḥ śaraṇada sarva-loka-śarma
so ’yaṁ te vidhikara īśa vipra-śaptas
tasyedaṁ nidhanam anugrahāya vidmaḥ
“I witnessed something quite despicable recently. A popular media personality passed away. It wasn’t all that surprising. They revealed their terminal diagnosis almost a year prior. It was one of those moments waiting to happen.
“The reaction from a certain segment of the population was unbelievable. Thrill and joy. Celebration. They were so happy that this person was now dead. There is the saying, ‘dancing on the grave.’ It fits perfectly in this situation.
“The media personality was quite influential. The people celebrating were essentially on a different side, politically. They viewed themselves as abused for so many years. It makes sense, if you think about it that way.
“But still, I can’t imagine behaving that way. It was so low class. I would be embarrassed to share such sentiments in public. Of course, the supporters of this media personality are grieving. They are devastated by the loss.
“What is the explanation for the behavior? How can someone be so cruel? What must God think when looking down and witnessing such behavior?”
If prisoners housed in a facility should happen to witness the demise of the gatekeepers, would they not celebrate? If suddenly the night-prowlers could go home-to-home and steal without anyone noticing, would that not be good for business?
In one sense, such behavior stands as the greatest honor to the influence of the departed. Others could only dream to make such an impact, that even in death the other side can’t relinquish the fight. They were tormented during the person’s time on this earth, and they were equally controlled after the fact.
This phenomenon is one way to explain how the atheists are actually worshiping God. In that sense, they could be considered greater devotees than those who are dedicated in practice, in observing rituals and the like.
We can take Hiranyakashipu, for instance. He was focused on Lord Vishnu day and night. The thoughts consumed him. Though Hiranyakashipu was king of the world, he had no peace. Though there were no foreign threats to think of, due to the elimination and intimidation of opposition, the king could not sit still and be happy.
He was consumed with thoughts of Vishnu. He could not shake free from the grip upon his consciousness. When the king’s son outwardly expressed allegiance to Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu could not tolerate the disobedience. This was the worst crime that could be committed within the kingdom.
The person who staunchly denies the presence of God pays honor to the external energy. They are giving a compliment to the Lord’s illusory potency known as maya. That illusion is so effective that a person loses intelligence in an area otherwise obvious to them.
That is to say, any sane person understands that the world didn’t emerge from nothing. There is intelligence embedded into every aspect of autonomous living, to the extent that we know the trees outside will soon show leaves. Several months later, those same leaves will change color and eventually fall to the ground.
The human being creates certain expectations based on the observed status of vitality. There is a certain cycle to life, and no one is known to have programmed it. It does not always follow through to the end, but the pattern repeats enough to be relied upon.
To say that there is no central controller is foolish, but this is the influence of maya, who works at Vishnu’s direction. Hiranyakashipu’s hatred for Vishnu was so strong that it eventually triggered a direct meeting. Face to face with his nemesis, so to speak, the king received the ultimate reward of salvation through perishing in direct combat.
With words of derision to say,
Highest honor to pay.
Because otherwise clearly known,
Through intelligence of nature shown.
That God the Supreme to be,
And controller of everything is He.
Hiranyakashipu eventually to meet,
Liberated through nails of defeat.