By Kamlesh Tripathi
When Hiranyakashipu himself got up to kill his son Prahlad, who was a great bhakta (devotee) of Lord Vishnu, and with intense anger he pointed to a nearby pillar and asked his son, in sarcasm if, ‘his Lord Vishnu was in it.’ The son replied ‘yes.’ King Hiranyakashipu then got up from his throne in a fury and hit the pillar with his mace. And to his surprise the pillar cracked with a thundering sound, and Lord Vishnu appeared there, in the form of ‘Narsingh’ avatar (incarnation). Where one half of his body was of a lion and the other half of a man. He had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and sharp and long teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them.
Narsingh caught hold Hiranyakashipu and with his nails he tore open his stomach. And on seeing the terrible sight where Hiranyakashipu was killed mercilessly by Narsingh, his asura followers fled from the scene.
And, then Narsingh made a garland of Hiranyakashipu’s intestines and wore it around his neck, and in extreme anger started flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth and then he mightily growled like a monstrous lion with intense rage, where his eyes were, as if filled with red hot cinders, is when he sat on the throne of daityaraj Hirayanakashipu. But still his anger did not subside.
And just then accompanying Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma all the devatas arrived. Everyone, prayed for Narsingh to calm down, but there was little effect. Lord Brahma felt a little weary about Narsingh’s continued anger which he thought could lead to cataclysm. He therefore sent Goddess Lakshmi; but she returned almost immediately, quite frightened after seeing the humungous and frightening form of Narsingh. And she commented, ‘I have never seen such a stupendous and scary incarnation of my respected before. And I can’t dare to go close to him, in his this embodiment.
Eventually, Lord Brahma told Prahlad—‘son you only go close to Narsingh to cool him down.’
Prahlad being a child had no scare. He reverentially went close to Narsingh and prostrated in front of him. Narsingh smiled at Prahlad and he himself picked him up and put him on his lap and started licking his forehead with his tongue. He said, ‘son! Pardon me for coming so late because of which you had to suffer such a lot.’
Prahlad got down from his lap and with folded hands he respectfully prayed to Narsingh. Narsingh said to him—‘Prahlad I am extremely happy with you. Ask for any vardan (blessing) that you want.’
Prahlad replied—‘God! What is this that you’re saying? A bhakta who serves his master for the sake of something in return, is actually not a bhakta. You are the supreme lord and I’m your most obedient bhakta. And, if you at all want to give me something give me a vardan that I’m never obsessed by any desire.’
But God is omnipresent and in the knowhow of everything. And so he reiterated, ‘ask for a vardan!’
Prahlad pondered for a moment, with a doubt in his mind—‘when God is repeatedly asking me for a vardan that could mean I surely have some hidden desire in me about which I’m unable to make out.’ And at last he prayed to Narsingh—‘Lord my father when he was alive, all his life was critical of you and I being your servant—he tortured me all his life. I desire he may be pardoned of all these sins.’
Narsingh started laughing—‘Prahlad a person who has a God fearing and devoted son like you is pardoned of all sins, anyway. And in dynasties that have devotees like you; in such families twenty one generations can attain moksha, just on the strength of your devotion.’
Even a person who tortured me all his life and was my father should not face a catastrophe, was the desire of son Prahlad. And, hats off to such a desire, as no desire of a real bhakta can ever remain unfulfilled.