“Prahlada Maharaja said: My dear King, the source of my strength, of which you are asking, is also the source of yours. Indeed, the original source of all kinds of strength is one. He is not only your strength or mine, but the only strength for everyone. Without Him, no one can get any strength. Whether moving or not moving, superior or inferior, everyone, including Lord Brahma, is controlled by the strength of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” (Shrimad Bhagavatam, 7.8.7)
न केवलं मे भवतश् च राजन्
स वै बलं बलिनां चापरेषाम्
परे ’वरे ’मी स्थिर-जङ्गमा ये
ब्रह्मादयो येन वशं प्रणीताः
na kevalaṁ me bhavataś ca rājan
sa vai balaṁ balināṁ cāpareṣām
pare ’vare ’mī sthira-jaṅgamā ye
brahmādayo yena vaśaṁ praṇītāḥ
“You hear these stories sometimes of struggle during youth. The context is usually in painting the life portrait of a famous celebrity, like an actor or athlete. They overcame difficulties. They rose to the top. From rags to riches. They didn’t stand a chance, but they persevered.
“If we set aside the conclusion for a moment, look at what some people have to endure. Someone loses their father at a young age. They lose their mother shortly thereafter. The people who take care of them end up leaving this world prematurely.
“Then that person is left wandering the streets, begging from door to door. I believe that is the exact story of a famous Vaishnava saint. A spiritual master heard about this orphan who always repeated the name of Rama, and therefore he decided to take the child in. The rest, as they say, is history.
“Do not such people have sufficient justification for cursing at life? Why would they believe in God? Wouldn’t they choose to curse at the heavens instead of falling down in worship?”
There is plenty of sunlight. There is air for breathing. There is food to eat, in most cases. There is the opportunity to contemplate God. In the difficulties described above, the individual at least has the choice in whether to believe or not.
This ability for rational thought is a gift. The sunlight is a gift. The time spent in vitality is another thing to celebrate. The justification for cursing God is that there is a worse situation when comparing to others.
This is an assessment based on relative positioning. Higher and lower. Bigger and smaller. Longer and shorter. These are mere dualities, however. Higher might actually be worse. Bigger might cause more problems. Longer could equal an extended time of torture and distress.
Prahlada Maharaja tried to explain to his Daitya father that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is everywhere. Every person has sufficient justification for paying homage. They are not wasting their time in saying “thanks.”
This is because the person Prahlada worships is the source of strength in everyone. Every person has some ability. Whether they are famous throughout the world for their personal achievements or they toil away in anonymity, there is some strength on the inside.
Vishnu is the source of that strength. He does not particularly favor one person over another. He is as much your friend as He is mine. He was as much within Prahlada as He was within Hiranyakashipu, the father.
समो ऽहं सर्व-भूतेषु
न मे द्वेष्यो ऽस्ति न प्रियः
ये भजन्ति तु मां भक्त्या
मयि ते तेषु चाप्य् अहम्
samo ‘haṁ sarva-bhūteṣu
na me dveṣyo ‘sti na priyaḥ
ye bhajanti tu māṁ bhaktyā
mayi te teṣu cāpy aham
“I envy no one, nor am I partial to anyone. I am equal to all. But whoever renders service unto Me in devotion is a friend, is in Me, and I am also a friend to him.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 9.29)
In one sense, cursing at God because of difficulties in life makes a positive impact. At least a person is making the approach. They are not in total ignorance. They are not immersed in affairs of temporary significance. They do not have their head in the sand, so to speak.
The guru takes the impetus to clear the ignorance. If a person is angry at Vishnu for their lot in life, the qualified person, using intelligence and the authority of shastra, shows how Vishnu is everywhere. They show that Vishnu is the source of strength and that as Hari, Vishnu might take away everything from a person’s life.
“Shrila Vishvanatha Chakravarti Thakura explains in this regard that the very word harih means ‘one who takes away.’ If one connects himself with Hari, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the Lord takes away all his miseries, and in the beginning the Lord also superficially appears to take away all his material possessions, reputation, education and beauty.” (Shrila Prabhupada, Shrimad Bhagavatam, 8.19.32 Purport)
No one else can be so kind. No one else sees the entire picture at a single time. No one else is as concerned with our long-term welfare. In every regard, the best choice is to worship Vishnu, for lifetime after lifetime.
No one else this way seeing,
Accounting for our wellbeing.
No one else ever as kind,
With future fortunes in mind.
No one else with interest to take,
For eternal welfare to make.
Choice in every case clear,
That to Vishnu come near.