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Gajendra Moksha - Part 1

7Gajendra’s Prayers of Surrender to Lord Vishnu

shri-ganjendra uvacha Gajendra said:


om namo bhagavate tasmai
yata etac chid-atmakam
purushayadi-bijaya
pareshayabhidhimahi ll1ll

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Person, Vasudeva [om namo bhagavate vasudevaya].
Because of Him this material body acts due to the presence of spirit, and He is therefore the root cause
of everyone. He is worshipable for such exalted persons as Brahma and Shiva, and He has in the heart of
every living being. Let me meditate upon Him. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 8.3.2)

yasminn idam yatash chedam


yenedam ya idam svayam
yo ‘smat parasmach cha paras
tam prapadye svayambhuvam ll2ll

The Supreme Godhead is the supreme platform on which everything rests, the ingredient by which
everything has been produced, and the person who has created and is the only cause of this cosmic
manifestation. Nonetheless, He is different from the cause and the result. I surrender unto Him, the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is self-sufficient in everything. (8.3.3)

yah svat manidam nija-maya yarpitam


kvachid vibhatam kva cha tat tiro hitam
aviddha-drik sakshy ubhayam tad ik shate
sa atma-mula ‘vatu mam parat-paraha ll3ll

The Supreme Personality of Godhead, by expanding His own energy, keeps this cosmic manifestation
visible and again sometimes renders it invisible. He is both the supreme cause and the supreme result,
the observer and the witness, in all circumstances. Thus He is transcendental to everything. May that
Supreme Personality of Godhead give me protection. (8.3.4)

kalena pancatvam iteshu kritsnasho


lokeshu paleshu cha sarva-hetushu
tamas tadasid gahanam gabhiram
yas tasya pare ‘bhivirajate vibhuhu ll4ll

In due course of time, when all the causative and effective manifestations of the universe, including the
planets and their directors and maintainers, are annihilated destroyed, there is a situation of dense
darkness. Above this darkness, however, is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, I take shelter of His
lotus feet. (8.3.5)

na yasya deva risha yah padam vidur


jantuh punah ko ‘rhati gantum iri tum
yatha natasya kritibhir vichesh tato
duratyaa yanu kraamanah sa mavatu ll5ll

 An artist onstage, being covered by attractive dresses and dancing with different movements, is
not understood by his audience; similarly, the activities and features of the Supreme Artist
cannot be understood even by the demigods or great sages, and certainly not by those who are
unintelligent like animals. Neither the demigods and sages nor the unintelligent can understand
the features of the Lord, nor can they express in words His actual position. May that Supreme
Personality of Godhead give me protection. (8.3.6)

Di drik shavo yasya padam sumangalam


vimukta-sanga muna yah susad havaha
charanty aloka-vratam avranam vane
bhutatma-bhutah suhridah sa me gatihi ll6ll

Renunciants and great sages who see all living beings equally, who are friendly to everyone and who
flawlessly practice in the forest the vows of brahmacarya [celibate student], vanaprastha [retired] and
sannyasa [renunciation] desire to see the all-auspicious lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of
Godhead. May that same Supreme Personality of Godhead be my destination. (8.3.7)

na vidyate yasya cha janma karma va


na nama-rupe guna-dosha A'va va
tathapi lokap yaya-sambha vaayayaaha
sva-mayaya taaan yanu kala mricchati
tasmai namah pareshaya
brahmane ‘nanta-shaktaye
arupayoru-rupaya
nama ashcarya-karmane ll7ll

The Supreme Personality of Godhead has no material birth, activities, name, form, qualities or faults. To
fulfill the purpose for which this material world is created and destroyed, He comes in the form of a
human being like Lord Rama or Lord Krishna by His original internal potency. He has immense potency,
and in various forms, all free from material contamination, He acts wonderfully. He is therefore the
Supreme Brahman. I offer my respects to Him. (8.3.8-9)

nama atma-pradipaya
sakshine paramatmane
namo giram viduraya
manasash chetasam api ll8ll

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the self-effulgent Supersoul,
who is the witness in everyone’s heart, who enlightens the individual soul and who cannot be reached
by exercises of the mind, words or consciousness. (8.3.10)

sattveno prati labh yaya


naishkarmyena vipash cita
namah kaivalya-nathaya
nirvana-sukha-samvide ll9ll

The Supreme Personality of Godhead is realized by pure devotees who act in the transcendental
existence of bhakti-yoga. He is the bestower of uncontaminated happiness and is the master of the
transcendental world. Therefore I offer my respects unto Him. (8.3.11)

namah shantaya ghoraya


mudhaya guna-dharmine
nirvi sheshaya samyaya
namo jnana-ghanaya cha ll10ll

I offer my respectful obeisances to Lord Vasudev, who is all-pervading, to the Lord’s fierce form as Lord
Nrisimhadeva, to the Lord’s form as an animal [Lord Varahadeva], to Lord Dattatreya, who preached
impersonalism, to Lord Buddha, and to all the other incarnations. I offer my respectful obeisances unto
the Lord, who has no material qualities but who accepts the three qualities of goodness, passion and
ignorance within this material world. I also offer my respectful obeisances unto the impersonal Brahman
effulgence. (8.3.12)

ksetra-jnaya namas tubhyam


sarva dhyakshaya sakshine
purushayatma-mulaya
mula-prakritaye namaha ll11ll

I beg to offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the Supersoul, the superintendent of
everything, and the witness of all that occurs. You are the Supreme Person, the origin of material nature
and of the total material energy. You are also the owner of the material body. Therefore, You are the
supreme complete. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. (8.3.13)

sarvendriya-guna-drashtre
sarva-pratyaya-hetave
asata cchayayoktaya
sad-abhasaya te namaha ll12ll
My Lord, You are the observer of all the objectives of the senses. Without Your mercy, there is no
possibility of solving the problem of doubts. The material world is just like a shadow resembling You.
Indeed, one accepts this material world as real because it gives a glimpse of Your existence. (8.3.14)

Gajendra Moksha - Part 2 (FINAL)

namo namas te ‘khila-karanaya


nishkarana yadbhuta-karanaya
sarva gamam naya mahar- navaaya
namo ‘pavar gaya para yaaaanaya ll13ll

My Lord, You are the cause of all causes, but You Yourself have no causes. Therefore You are the
wonderful cause of everything. I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, who are the shelter of the
Vedic knowledge contained in the shastras like the Pancharatras and Vedanta-sutra, which are Your
representations, and who are the source of the parampara system. Because it is You who can give
liberation, You are the only shelter for all transcendentalists. Let me offer my respectful obeisances unto
You. (8.3.15)

Guna rani-cchanna-chid-ushma paya


tat-kshobha-visphu rjita-maanasaya
naish karmya-bhavena vivarji tagama
svayam-prakashaya namas karomi ll14ll

My Lord, as the fire in arani wood is covered, You and Your unlimited knowledge are covered by the
material modes of nature. Your mind, however, is not attentive to the activities of the modes of nature.
Those who are advanced in spiritual knowledge are not subject to the regulative principles directed in
the Vedic literature. Because such advanced souls are transcendental, You personally appear in their
pure minds. Therefore sarva I offer my respectful obeisances unto You. (8.3.16)

madrik pra panna-pashu-pashu-vimoksha naya


muktaya bhuri-karunaya namo ‘la yaya
svam shena -tanu-bhrin-manasi pratita-
pratyag-drishe bhagavate brihate Namaste ll15ll

Since an animal such as I has surrendered unto You, who are supremely liberated, certainly You will
release me from this dangerous position. Indeed, being extremely merciful, You incessantly try to deliver
me. By Your partial feature as Paramatma, You are situated in the hearts of all embodied beings. You are
celebrated as direct transcendental knowledge, and You are unlimited. I offer my respectful obeisances
unto You, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (8.3.17)

atmatma-japti-griha-vitta-janeshu saktair
dushprapanaya guna-sanga-vivarjitaya
muktat mabhih sva-hridaya pari bhavitaya
jnanat mane bhagavate nama ishvaraya ll16ll
My Lord, those who are completely freed from material contamination always meditate upon You
within the cores of their hearts. You are extremely difficult to attain for those like me who are too
attached to mental concoction, home, relatives, friends, money, servants and assistants. You are the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, uncontaminated by the modes of nature. You are the reservoir of all
enlightenment, the supreme controller. I therefore offer my respectful obeisances unto You. (8.3.18)

Gajendra Moksha

yam dharma-kamartha-vimukti-kama

bhajanta ishtam gatim ap nuvanti


kim chas hisho raty api deham avya yam
karotu me ‘dabhra-dayo vimokshanam ll17ll

After worshiping the Supreme Personality of Godhead, those who are interested in the four principles of
religion, economic development, sense gratification and liberation obtain from Him what they desire.
What then is to be said of other benedictions? Indeed, sometimes the Lord gives a spiritual body to such
ambitious worshipers. May that Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is unlimitedly merciful, bestow
upon me the benediction of liberation from this present danger and from the materialistic way of life.
(8.3.19)

ekantino yasya na kancha nartham


vanchanti ye vai bhagavat-prapannaha
aty-adbhutam tach-charitam sumangalam
gayanta ananda-samudra-mag naha

tam aksharam brahma param paresham


av yaktam adhyat mika-yoga-gamyam
atin driyam sukshmam ivati duram
anantam adyam paripurnam ide ll18ll

Unalloyed devotees, who have no desire other than to serve the Lord, worship Him in full surrender and
always hear and chant about His activities, which are most wonderful and auspicious. Thus they always
merge in an ocean of transcendental bliss. Such devotees never ask the Lord for any benediction. I,
however, am in danger. Thus I pray to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who is eternally existing,
who is invisible, who is the Lord of all great personalities, such as Brahma, and who is available only by
transcendental bhakti-yoga. Being extremely subtle, He is beyond the reach of my senses and
transcendental to all external realization. He is unlimited, He is the original cause, and He is completely
full in everything. I offer my obeisances unto Him. (8.3.20-21)
yasya bramadayo deva
veda lokash chara charaha
nama-rupa-vibhe dena
phalgvya cha kalaya kritaha

yatharchisho ‘ neh savitur gabhastayo


niryanti samyanty asakrit sva-rochishaha
tatha yato ‘yam guna-sampravaho
buddhir manah khani sharira-sargaha

sa vai na devasura-martya-tiryan
na stri na sandho na puman na jantuhu
nayam gunah karma na san na casan
nishedha-shesho jayatad ashesaha ll19ll

The Supreme Personality of Godhead creates His minor parts and parcels, the jiva-tattva, beginning with
Lord Brahma, the demigods and the expansions of Vedic knowledge [Sama, Rig, Yajur and Atharva
Vedas] and including all other living entities, moving and nonmoving, with their different names and
characteristics. As the sparks of a fire or the shining rays of the sun emanate from their source and
merge into it again and again, the mind, the intelligence, the senses, the gross and subtle material
bodies, and the continuous transformations of the different modes of nature all emanate from the Lord
and again merge into Him. He is neither demigod nor demon, neither human nor bird nor beast. He is
not woman, man or neuter, nor is He an animal. He is not a material quality, a fruitive activity, a
manifestation or nonmanifestation. He is the last word in the discrimination of “not this, or not that,”
and He is unlimited. All glories to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. (8.3.22-24)

jijivishe naham ihamuya kim


antar bahish chavri tayebha-yonya
icchami kalena na yasya viplavas
tasyatma-lokavara nasya moksham ll20ll

I do not wish to live anymore after I am released from the attack of the crocodile. What is the use of an
elephant’s body covered externally and internally by ignorance? I simply desire eternal liberation from
the covering of ignorance. That covering is not destroyed by the influence of time. (8.3.25)

so ‘ham vishva-srijam vishvam


avishvan vishva-vedasam
vishvatmanam ajam brahma
pranato ‘smi param padam ll21ll

Now, fully desiring release from material life, I offer my respectful obeisances unto that Supreme Person
who is the creator of the universe, who is Himself the form of the universe and who is nonetheless
transcendental to this cosmic manifestation. He is the supreme knower of everything in this world, the
Supersoul of the universe. He is the unborn, supremely situated Lord. I offer my respectful obeisances
unto Him. (8.3.26)

yoga-randhita-karmano
hridi yoga-vibhavite
yogino yam prapashyanti
yogesham tam nato ‘smy aham ll22ll

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme, the Supersoul, the master of all mystic yoga, who is
seen in the core of the heart by perfect mystics when they are completely purified and freed from the
reactions of fruitive activity by practicing bhakti-yoga. (8.3.27)

namo namas tubhyam asahya-vega-


shakti-trayayakhila-dhi-gunaya
prapanna-palaya duranta-shaktayaa
kad-indriyanam anavapya-vartmane ll23ll

My Lord, You are the controller of formidable strength in three kinds of energy. You appear as the
reservoir of all sense pleasure and the protector of the surrendered souls. You possess unlimited energy,
but You are unapproachable by those who are unable to control their senses. I offer my respectful
obeisances unto You again and again. (8.3.28)

nayam veda svam atmanam


yach-chakt yaham-dhiyaa hatam
tam duratyaya-mahatmyam
bhagavantam ito ‘smy aham ll24ll

I offer my respectful obeisances unto the Supreme Personality of Godhead, by whose illusory energy the
jiva [individual spirit soul], who is part and parcel of God, forgets his real identity because of the bodily
concept of life. I take shelter of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whose glories are difficult to
understand. (8.3.29)

[The Lord now replies to Gajendra]ye mam stuvanty anenanga


pratibudhya nishatyaye
tesham pranatyaye chaham
dadami vipulam gatim

“My dear devotee, unto those who rise from bed at the end of night and offer Me the prayers offered by
you, I give an eternal residence in the spiritual world at the end of their lives.” (8.4.25)

Here goes the Gajendra Moksha Stuthi:

AUM NAMO BHAGAWATE TASMAY YAT ETCCHIDATMAKAM


PURUSHAAYAA DIBIJAAY PARESHAAYAABHI DHEEMAHEE
YASMINNIDUM YETASCCHEDUM YENEDUM EEDUM SWAYAM
YOSMAAT PARASMAASCH PARAH TUMPRAPADYE SWAYAMBHOOWA

The” Sri Maha Bhagwat Puraan” says that who so ever will chant or listen to the Gajendra Moksha
regularly, to him success and fame will come naturally without him falling into the trap of Ego and
worldly attachments. And he’ll not have bad dreams or suffer from nightmares.

12 Mahajanas of Krishna

There are 12 Great Devotees of Lord Vishnu, the Ultimate Knower of the Dharma,

Reference: Srimad-Bhagavatam 6.3.20-21

svayambhur naradah sambhuh


kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam
dvadasaite vijanimo
dharmam bhagavatam bhatah
guhyam visuddham durbodham
yam jnatvamrtam asnute

Translation:

Lord Brahma, Bhagavan Narada, Lord Siva, the four Kumaras, Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti],
Svayambhuva Manu, Prahlada Maharaja, Janaka Maharaja, Grandfather Bhisma, Bali Maharaja,
Sukadeva Gosvami and I (Yama) myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this
transcendental religious principle, which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme
Lord and love for Him, is uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and
difficult for ordinary human beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is
immediately liberated, and thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

Brahma Shiva Suka Prahlada Narad Janak

4 Kumaras Kapila Manu Bhisma Bali Yama


The 12 Mahajanas

A mahajana is recognized according to the proportion of sense gratification he offers. For instance, a
businessman may consider a certain banker to be a mahajana, and karmis desiring material enjoyment
may consider philosophers like Jaimini to be mahajanas. There are many yogis who want to control the
senses, and for them Patanjali Rishi is a mahajana. For the jnanis, the atheist Kapila, Vasishtha, Durvasa,
Dattatreya and other impersonalist philosophers are mahajanas. For the demons, Hiranyaksha,
Hiranyakasipu, Ravana, Ravana's son Meghanada, Jarasandha and others are accepted as mahajanas.
For materialistic anthropologists speculating on the evolution of the body, a person like Darwin is a
mahajana. The scientists who are bewildered by Krishna's external energy have no relationship with the
Supreme Personality of Godhead, yet they are accepted by some as mahajanas. Similarly, philosophers,
historians, literary men, public speakers and social and political leaders are sometimes accepted as
mahajanas. Such mahajanas are respected by certain men who have been described in Srimad-
Bhagavatam (2.3.19).

Who are mahajanas?

svayambhur naradah sambhuh


kumarah kapilo manuh
prahlado janako bhismo
balir vaiyasakir vayam

dvadasaite vijanimo
dharmam bhagavatam bhatah
guhyam visuddham durbodham
yam jnatvamrtam asnute

1.Lord Brahma,
2.Bhagavan Narada,
3.Lord Siva,
4.the four Kumaras,
5.Lord Kapila [the son of Devahuti],
6.Svayambhuva Manu,
7.Prahlada Maharaja,
8.Janaka Maharaja,
9.Grandfather Bhisma,
10.Bali Maharaja,
11.Sukadeva Gosvami and
12.Yama

I, myself know the real religious principle. My dear servants, this transcendental religious principle,
which is known as bhagavata-dharma, or surrender unto the Supreme Lord and love for Him, is
uncontaminated by the material modes of nature. It is very confidential and difficult for ordinary human
beings to understand, but if by chance one fortunately understands it, he is immediately liberated, and
thus he returns home, back to Godhead.

In Bhagavad-gītā Lord Kṛṣṇa refers to bhāgavata-dharma as the most confidential religious principle
(sarva-guhyatamam, guhyād guhyataram). Kṛṣṇa says to Arjuna, “Because you are My very dear friend, I
am explaining to you the most confidential religion.” Sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ
vraja: “Give up all other duties and surrender unto Me.” One may ask, “If this principle is very rarely
understood, what is the use of it?” In answer, Yamarāja states herein that this religious principle is
understandable if one follows the paramparā system of Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, the four Kumāras and
the other standard authorities. There are four lines of disciplic succession: one from Lord Brahmā, one
from Lord Śiva, one from Lakṣmī, the goddess of fortune, and one from the Kumāras. The disciplic
succession from Lord Brahmā is called the Brahma sampradāya, the succession from Lord Śiva (Śambhu)
is called the Rudra sampradāya, the one from the goddess of fortune, Lakṣmījī, is called the Śrī
sampradāya, and the one from the Kumāras is called the Kumāra sampradāya. One must take shelter of
one of these four sampradāyas in order to understand the most confidential religious system. In the
Padma Purāṇa it is said, sampradāya-vihīnā ye mantrās te niṣphalā matāḥ: if one does not follow the
four recognized disciplic successions, his mantra or initiation is useless. In the present day there are
many apasampradāyas, or sampradāyas which are not bona fide, which have no link to authorities like
Lord Brahmā, Lord Śiva, the Kumāras or Lakṣmī. People are misguided by such sampradāyas. The śāstras
say that being initiated in such a sampradāya is a useless waste of time, for it will never enable one to
understand the real religious principles.
Narasimha Arati

Sri Nrisimha Pranama

namas te narasimhaya I offer my obeisances to Lord Narasimha

prahladahlada-dayine who gives joy to Prahlada Maharaja

hiranyakasipor vakshahsila- on the stonelike chest of the demon Hiranyakasipu.


tanka-nakhalaaye whose nails are like chisels

ito nrisimhah parato nrisimho


yato yato yami tato nrisimhah
bahir nrisimho hridaye nrisimho
nrisimham adim saranam prapadye

Lord Nrisimha is here and also there. Wherever I go Lord Nrisimha is there. He is in the heart and is
outside
as well. I surrender to Lord Nrisimha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge.
Prayer to Lord Nrisimha
by Jayadeva Gosvami

tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-sringam by the wonderful pointed nails on Your beautiful
lotus hands.

dalita-hiranyakasipu-tanu-bhringam u Just as one can easily crush a wasp between one’s fingernails, so
in the same way the body of the
wasplike demon Hiranyakasipu has been ripped apart
kesava dhrita-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisa hare O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have
assumed the form of half-man, half-lion! All glories
to You!

Narashima

"śrī-nṛsiṁha, jaya nṛsiṁha, jaya jaya nṛsiṁha

prahlādeśa jaya padmā-mukha-padma-bhṛṅga"

SYNONYMS

śrī-nṛsiṁha—Lord Nṛsiṁha with Lakṣmī; jaya nṛsiṁha—all glories to Lord Nṛsiṁha; jayajaya—again and
again glories; nṛsiṁha—to Nṛsiṁhadeva; prahlāda-īśa—to the Lord of Prahlāda Mahārāja; jaya—all
glories; padmā—of the goddess of fortune; mukha-padma—of the lotuslike face; bhṛṅga—the bee.
TRANSLATION

" 'All glories to Nṛsiṁhadeva! All glories to Nṛsiṁhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlāda Mahārāja and,
like a honeybee, is always engaged in beholding the lotuslike face of the goddess of fortune.

PURPORT

The goddess of fortune is always embraced by Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva. This is mentioned in the commentary
on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam written by the great commentator Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī. The following verse was
composed by Śrīdhara Svāmī in his commentary on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (10.87.1):

vāg-īśā yasya vadane


lakṣmīr yasya ca vakṣasi
yasyāste hṛdaye samvit
taṁ nṛsiṁham ahaṁ bhaje

"Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva is always assisted by Sarasvatī, the goddess of learning, and He is always embracing
to His chest the goddess of fortune. The Lord is always complete in knowledge within Himself. Let us
offer obeisances unto Nṛsiṁhadeva."

Similarly, in his commentary on the First Canto of Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (1.1.1), Śrīdhara Svāmī describes
Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva in this way:

prahlāda-hṛdayāhlādaṁ
bhaktāvidyā-vidāraṇam
śarad-indu-ruciṁ vande
pārīndra-vadanaṁ harim

"Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva, who is always


enlightening Prahlāda Mahārāja within his heart and who always kills the nescience that attacks the
devotees. His mercy is distributed like moonshine, and His face is like that of a lion. Let me offer my
obeisances unto Him again and again."

Lord Nrisimha: Protector of Devotees

Complexity:

Aja Govinda Dasa


One of the most awe-inspiring of Lord Krishna's forms is Sri Nrisimhadeva, His half-man, half-lion
incarnation. Lord Nrisimha descended to protect His devotee Sri Prahlada Maharaja from the atheistic
king Hiranyakashipu, Prahlada's father.

The Boy Saint Prahlada

Sri Prahlada Maharaja was a devotee of Lord Krishna from birth, having acquired knowledge of
devotional service in the womb. Once, during the absence of Hiranyakashipu, his enemies the demigods,
servants of the Supreme Lord responsible for universal management, kidnapped his wife to kill her
embryo. They feared that the embryo might later develop into another terrible enemy. Srila Narada
Muni rescued the mother and child after convincing the demigods that the boy to be born was an
exalted devotee of Lord Krishna.

While still in the womb during his mother's stay at Narada Muni's ashram, Prahlada overheard Narada's
transcendental discussions on the glories of the Lord and became fearless, fully surrendered to the
infallible shelter of Lord Krishna. Later, though only a child of five years, he had firm faith in the Lord's
protection and invoked this same pure devotion to the Lord in the hearts of his schoolmates at the
atheistic school of Sukracharya, the guru of the daityas, or atheistic descendents of Diti. Enraged at his
son's undeviating devotion to his worst enemy—Lord Vishnu, the four-handed form of Lord Krishna—
Hiranyakashipu sentenced Prahlada to death. Hiranyakashipu's henchmen tried everything to kill
Prahlada. He was starved, poisoned, cursed by spells, beaten by fiends, stomped by elephants, encaged
among virulent pythons, hurled from mountain peaks, and attacked with stones, fires, and blizzards.
Despite all of Hiranyakashipu's attempts, Prahlada remained untouched, and the evil king's anger grew.

Hiranyakashipu's Plans to Become God

Hiranyakashipu's enmity toward Lord Vishnu had begun when the Lord in His form as a giant boar had
slain Hiranyakashipu's twin brother, Hiranyaksha, who had upset the earth's equilibrium by greedily
mining for gold. Upon the death of his brother, Hiranyakashipu had charged Lord Vishnu with partiality
toward the demigods: "The Supreme Personality of Godhead has given up His natural tendency of
equality toward the demons and demigods. Although He is the Supreme Person, now, influenced
by maya [illusion], He has assumed the form of a boar to please His devotees, the demigods, just as a
restless child leans toward someone."

Factually the Lord is never partial to anyone: samo 'ham sarva-bhuteshu na me dveshyo 'sti na
priyah (Bhagavad-gita 9.29). He simply reciprocates with every living entity in accordance with the living
entities' desires. Lord Sri Krishna instructs in the Bhagavad-gita (5.11):

ye yatha mam prapadyante


tams tathaiva bhajamy aham
mama vartmanuvartante
manushyam partha sarvashah

"As all surrender unto Me, I reward them accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of
Pritha." Thus the Lord appears as death for the atheist and as the loving savior for His devotee. And He
Himself is beyond any material affinity.

To take revenge for his brother's death, the mighty daitya Hiranyakashipu vowed to satisfy his brother's
soul with Vishnu's blood. In his quest for immortality and the power to defeat Vishnu, he performed
humanly impossible penances through which he acquired boons from Lord Brahma, the creator of the
universe. Hiranyakashipu thought he could become God by his own austerity and penance. He foolishly
concluded that since Lord Vishnu was favoring the demigods, He must also be an ordinary conditioned
living entity (influenced by partiality and hatred) who became God by austerities. This mentality is
characteristic of Mayavadi philosophers, who maintain that every soul is God deluded by maya and that
once the illusion is dispelled, the soul once again realizes its identity with God. This theory, however, is
unacceptable when we consider the Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna's supremacy, as He
states in the Bhagavad-gita (9.10):

mayadhyakshena prakritih
suyate sa-caracaram
hetunanena kaunteya
jagad viparivartate

"This material nature, which is one of My energies, is working under My direction, O son of Kunti,
producing all moving and nonmoving beings. Under its rule this manifestation is created and annihilated
again and again." The material energy, maya, is one of the many potencies of the Supreme Lord. Since
maya is completely submissive to the Lord, there is no possibility of the Supreme Absolute Lord being
overpowered by its influence. The living entities, however, being minute parts of the Lord, can be
deluded. The Mayavada theory that after liberation the soul merges with God is refuted in
the Bhagavad-gita ( 15.7, 2.12), where Krishna declares all jiva souls to be His parts eternally, remaining
always distinct individuals.

The Mayavadis also assert that the highest conception of God is of the transcendental, impersonal, and
all-pervading nirguna-brahma (Absolute Truth devoid of quality, attribute, or form), which assumes a
material conditioned body like ours whenever it descends to this world. Thus for the Mayavadis, Lord
Vishnu or Lord Krishna are saguna-brahma, Brahman with attributes and form, which to them means
material illusory entanglement, for they just cannot imagine transcendence with qualities and form.

Frustrated with the suffering caused by the material body, the impersonalist philosophers conceive of
transcendence and liberation as free from qualities and attributes. The Lord, however, clearly defies this
notion:

avyaktam vyaktim apannah


manyante mam abuddhayah
param bhavam ajananto
mamavyayam anuttamam

"Unintelligent men, who do not know Me perfectly, think that I, the Supreme Personality of Godhead,
Krishna, was impersonal before and have now assumed this personality. Due to their small knowledge,
they do not know My higher nature, which is imperishable and supreme." (Bhagavad-gita 7.24) Thus
from the Bhagavad-gita we learn that Lord Krishna never worked to achieve Godhood. He is eternally
the Supreme Absolute Truth, and the individual souls are eternally His parts.

Nrisimhadeva Kills Hiranyakashipu

Just as the Mayavadis maintain the false theory that by enough penance a soul can become God,
Hiranyakashipu considered that he could achieve immortal dominance over all and vanquish Lord Vishnu
with his own prowess. But Prahlada challenged his power.

The arrogant Hiranyakashipu cursed him and inquired, "Where do you obtain the power to defy my
supremacy?"

"The source of my strength is Lord Vishnu," replied the fearless Prahlada. "He is the source of everyone's
strength, including yours."

To hear that his strength was the grace of Vishnu, his worst enemy, was the greatest insult for
Hiranyakashipu, who challenged Prahlada, "O most unfortunate Prahlada, you have always described an
all-pervading supreme controller beyond me. If He is everywhere, then why is He not present before me
in this pillar? If he does not appear from this pillar, then today your head will be severed with my
sword."

With these words, Hiranyakashipu struck his fist at the pillar, from which emanated a sound that
seemed to crack the covering of the universe.

To prove true the statement of His devotee Prahlada, the Supreme Lord appeared from the pillar in a
form never seen before, a form neither man nor lion, the form of Sri Nrisimhadeva.

Though Hiranyakashipu looked like a moth entering a fire when he attacked Lord Nrisimha, he
ridiculously thought he would be able to defeat the Lord just as he had conquered all his other enemies.
Long before, when his brother had been slain, this same Hiranyakashipu had angrily rushed to the Lord's
residence with a trident. The Lord had then disappeared and entered Hiranyakashipu's nostril. Unable to
find the Him, Hiranyakashipu had considered that God was dead.

Now Hiranyakashipu confronted the Lord, who played with him as a cat plays with a mouse. When the
sun began to set, Lord Nrisimha lifted Hiranyakashipu onto His lap and dug His nails into
Hiranyakashipu's torso.

The daitya cried out, "Alas, my chest, which is being ripped open by Nrisimhadeva at this moment, is the
same chest that broke the tusks of Airavata, Indra's elephant. It is the same chest that stayed free of
scars despite being struck by Lord Shiva's ax." (Nrisimha Purana 44.30)

Nrisimhadeva ripped open the stonelike chest of Hiranyakashipu with His diamondlike nails. The Lord
wore the intestines of the king as His victory garland, and to convince the demigods of Hiranyakashipu's
death, the Lord tore out the daitya's heart. As another aspect of His divine play, the Lord was suddenly
surprised to see that Hiranyakashipu's body had disappeared. When He shook His hands, however, the
torn pieces of Hiranyakashipu's body fell out of His nails onto the ground. (Nrisimha Purana 44.32–35)
From this we understand that Hiranyakashipu was an insignificant insect compared to the
transcendental lion Lord Nrisimha. As Jayadeva Goswami confirms:

tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-shringam


dalita-hiranyakashipu-tanu-bhringam
keshava dhrita-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisha hare

"O Keshava! O Lord of the universe! O Lord Hari, who have assumed the form of half man, half lion! All
glories to You! Just as one can easily crush a wasp between one's fingernails, so in the same way the
body of the wasplike demon Hiranyakashipu has been ripped apart by the wonderful pointed nails on
Your beautiful lotus hands."

Lord Nrisimha destroyed Hiranyakashipu without violating the boons granted by Lord Brahma, who had
blessed Hiranyakashipu to not be killed:

 inside or outside any residence (the Lord killed him in the doorway)

 during the day or night (the Lord killed him at twilight)

 on the ground or in the sky (the Lord killed him on His own lap)

 by any human being or animal (Lord Nrisimha is half man, half lion)

 by any demigod, demon, or great snake (the Lord is beyond any of these categories)

 by any weapon or any entity, living or nonliving (Lord Nrisimha pierced the daitya with his nails,
which are not considered weapons and are neither living nor dead)
Finally, Hiranyakashipu was not be killed by any living being created by Brahma or not created by
Brahma. Hiranyakashipu was cautious to ensure that he would also not be killed by Lord Brahma, Lord
Shiva, and Lord Vishnu, the three presiding deities of the universe (the only three living entities within
the universe not created by Brahma). Lord Nrisimha is a lila-avatara, or pastime incarnation of Lord
Krishna, and is not of the category of Brahma, Shiva, or Vishnu, who are the three guna-avataras, or
deities in charge of the three modes of material nature.

Hiranyakashipu, the universal tyrant, wished to reverse the system of piety. He wanted the impious to
be rewarded and the pious to be punished. Thus upon the death of Hiranyakashipu, all the demigods
and inhabitants of various planets offered their prayers to Lord Nrisimha, expressing their gratitude for
the Lord's slaying the daitya, who had usurped all their riches, wives, and shares of sacrificial offerings.
Only Prahlada Maharaja, however, could pacify with loving prayers the transcendental wrath of Lord
Nrisimha, who is prepared to even appear as half-man, half-lion for the sake of His pure devotees.

Lord Nrisimha was overjoyed upon beholding the firm faith of Prahlada, and He repeatedly requested
him to ask for a boon. But the utmost compassionate Prahlada, who was more concerned for the
welfare of others, only requested the Lord to liberate his demoniac father. The Supreme Lord
guaranteed the liberation of twenty-one generations of Prahlada's dynasty.