SB 7.9.8 — July 1, 1968, Montreal

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 7.9.8


brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā-munayo ‘tha siddhāḥ
sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasāṁ pravāhaiḥ
nārādhituṁ puru-guṇair adhunāpi pipruḥ
kiṁ toṣṭum arhati sa me harir ugra-jāteḥ
[SB 7.9.8]

Today I shall recite before you the prayers offered by Prahlāda Mahārāja to Nṛsiṁha-deva. This Prahlāda Mahārāja was tortured by his father on account of his becoming a Kṛṣṇa conscious boy. The only fault was that… [aside:] What is that? The door may be open. The Prahlāda Mahārāja was a boy, five years old, youngest son of his father. Very affectionate son. But one day the father took the little boy on his lap and asked the boy, “My dear child, what you have learned the best from your teachers? Will you kindly explain?” 

Prahlāda Mahārāja answered, 

tat sādhu manye ‘sura-varya dehināṁ
sadā samudvigna-dhiyāmasad-grahāt
hitvātma-ghātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ
vanaṁ gato yad-dharim āśrayeta
[SB 7.5.5]

The father asked the best thing the boy learned from his teachers, and the boy, five-years-old boy, replied, “My dear best of the demons.” He never addressed his father, “My dear father,” because his father was atheist number one, godless, and he was a great devotee of God. So when the father inquired, he straightly replied. He knew that his father was very powerful demon, but he was not afraid, although he was five-years-old boy. He plainly replied, “My dear the best of the demons,’ sura-varya, asura varya. Asura means demons, and varya means the best, first-class demon. So “I think,” tat sādhu manye-sādhu means honest, very good, very nice—“that is very nice.” What is that? Dehināṁ: “For the entities who have accepted this material body…” He is speaking universally. Not for himself or for his father, but he was speaking generally for everybody. Everybody. Anyone. Dehināṁ. Dehi means this body. We are different from this body. We have several times discussed this point. So in Sanskrit word there are two implications in the understanding of our existence. One is deha. Deha means this body. And dehi means the proprietor of this body. I am the proprietor of my body, you are the proprietor of your body. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says, “For all the proprietors of the body”—that means for everyone who has accepted this material body, all living entities—“that is the best thing.” What is that? Sadā samudvigna-dhiyṁ. And anyone who has accepted this material body, his symptom is that he is full of anxieties. This is the disease. To get this body, material body, means to remain always full of anxieties. Either you become the first-class, I mean to say, executive head, President Johnson, or an ordinary man in the Bowery Street—everyone is full of anxiety. Not only human society but also bird society, beast society—everyone. Anyone who has got this material body, he’s full of anxiety. But we want to get free from anxieties. That is our aspiration. 

So Prahlāda Mahārāja suggests the remedy, how to become free from anxieties. He says hitvātma-ghātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ. Ātma ghāṭam. Ātma means the soul, and ghāṭam means killing. Hitvātmā-ghāṭam gṛham andha-kūpaṁ. Andha-kūpa means blind well. Blind well… I do not know whether you have got experience. In India there are several old wells on the paddy fields and they are covered with grass. Nobody can understand that there is a well underneath this, underneath this grass. And if by mistake one comes there, he falls down, say hundred feet down. And it is covered with grass. Even if he cries, “Please save me, save me,” who is going to save him? Sometimes cow and animals and men fall down in that way. If he’s fortunate enough, somebody comes and rescues. Otherwise, generally, there is no rescue. Who is going to know that there is a man or there is an animal? So hitvātmā-ghāṭam andha-kūpaṁ. This material world is just like that blind well. If somebody falls down in it, it is very difficult to get out of it. Therefore it is ātmā-ghāṭam. Ātma-ghāṭam means killing the soul. How we are killing the soul? We forget that “I am spirit soul.” Therefore almost every one of us is forgetful that “I am spirit soul. I am identifying with this body.” And Prahlāda Mahārāja says, because we have identified with this body, therefore we are always anxious, full of anxieties. And that is the fact. 

Therefore the whole process of knowledge is… I think some of my student, she is present here. She asked me, “What is knowledge?” The knowledge is that “I am not this body.” This is knowledge. Knowledge does not mean that how you can manufacture nuclear weapon. That is not knowledge. That is illusion. Real knowledge is to know the simple fact that “I am not this body.” That’s all. But that knowledge is very rare. And to acquire that knowledge, there are so many systems. That system is called self-realization. There is yoga system, there is jñāna system, jñāna-yoga, dhyāna-yoga, karma-yoga. There are so many yoga systems simply to come to the platform of this knowledge that “I am not this body.” And as soon as one comes to this platform that “I am not this body,” then what happens to him? Brahma-bhūtaḥ, self-realization. And what is that self-realization? What is the symptom? How I can understand that one is self-realized? Prasannātmā. He’s jolly. [laughter] The… So long we do not come to that platform of knowledge, we are full of anxieties. And as soon as we come to the platform of knowledge that “I am not this body,” the immediate symptom is joyfulness, prasannātmā. 

How that prasannātmā is manifested? Everything is there. Na śocati na kāṅkṣati. Śocati means lamentation, and kāṅkṣati means hankering. These two things will disappear. Śocati, if we lose something, then we lament, “Oh, I have lost so much money. I have lost my son. I have lost my service,” and so many things. And kāṅkṣati, kāṅkṣati means, “I haven’t got this; I want this; I haven’t got this.” These two kinds of diseases makes us always full of anxieties. Why you are anxious? For these two things, Śocati and kāṅkṣati. Lamentation for the loss and hankering after which we do not possess. Prahlāda Mahārāja says that if somebody wants to get free from this anxiety… And this anxiety is due to asad-grahāt. Asad-grahāt means for accepting this temporary body. Asat. Asat means temporary, that will not exist. So Prahlāda Mahārāja suggests the remedy that if anyone wants to get free from anxieties… Because the anxiety is sure and certain for everyone who has got this material body. But if he wants to get free from it, then hitvātma-ghāṭam gṛham andha-kūpaṁ, the so-called atmosphere of material happiness, he should give up, and vanaṁ gato yad dharim āśrayeta [SB 7.5.5], and go to the forest and accept the lotus feet of Hari, or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The same instruction is everywhere. In the Bhagavad-gītā also the same instruction is there: sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaraṇaṁ vraja [Bg. 18.66]. The one word is that unless and until we take shelter of the lotus feet of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, there is no, I mean to say, possibility of our getting free from the anxiety of material existence. 

So when Prahlāda Mahārāja explained this verse to his father, atheistic father, he was so angry that he threw him from his lap. “You nonsense, what you are speaking?” Yes. Actually, this is the position. Materialistic persons are so much engrossed in their own thought that if somebody goes there and speaks of Kṛṣṇa consciousness as the solution for all problems, he immediately throws it out. Just like Prahlāda Mahārāja’s father did it. So from that day, there was misunderstanding between the father and the son. Ultimately the father tortured him in so many ways, and at last, the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared in a Nṛsiṁha-deva form. Nṛsiṁha-deva means He appeared just like a lion-half lion and half man. Very big form. The demon was also very stout and strong. So he wanted to be immortal. His purpose was to become immortal and enjoy this material world perpetually, but that was not fulfilled. So when that demon Hiraṇyakaśipu was killed, the Lord was very much in angry mood, and all the demigods present there, they could not pacify the Lord. He was groaning in anger. So they selected Prahlāda Mahārāja, that “My dear boy, it is for you the Lord has appeared, so you kindly try to pacify the Lord. You can do it.” So Prahlāda Mahārāja is praying to pacify the Lord. 

The first verse is that, 

brahmādayaḥ sura-gaṇā munayo ‘tha siddhāḥ
sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasāṁ pravāhaiḥ
nārādhituṁ puru guṇair adhunāpi pipruḥ
kiṁ toṣṭum arhati sa me harir ugra-jāteḥ

He is humbly presenting himself. This is the qualification of pure devotee. Although Prahlāda Mahārāja stands there, the first-class devotee… Because all other demigods, they are also devotees, they could not pacify the Lord, and they pushed Prahlāda Mahārāja, that “My dear boy, you do it.” So in that meeting he was the first-class devotee, but he presents himself that “I am ugra-jāteḥ. I am born of demoniac father.” So when brahmādayaḥ, demigods like Brahmā, sura-ganaḥ, and other demigods, munayaḥ, great sages, and siddhaḥ… Siddhaḥ means those who have got many material perfections. There is a planet which is called Siddhaloka. In Siddhaloka the inhabitants of Siddhaloka, they can fly in the air without any machine. Just like in this planet we can fly in the space with the help of some machine, but in the Siddhaloka they can fly in this body. They have got eight kinds of siddhas, perfection, material perfection. So out of that, this perfection is called laghimā. They can become so light that they can fly in the air. They are called Siddhas. Those Siddhas were also present. So Prahlāda Mahārāja said that “Here in this meeting the demigods are there, headed by Lord Brahmā, and great sages are there, and the Siddhas are there, and they tried to pacify the Lord by prayers with very fine language.” Sattvaika: very selected words. Just like anyone offers prayer to the Lord, they are all selected words. Therefore Lord’s name is, another name is Uttama-loka. Uttama. Uttama-śloka means choicest words, “one who is worshiped by the choicest words.” So they presented the choicest words, very learned scholars. I mean to say, grammatical, metaphorical, everything very nice. Sattvaikatāna-gatayo vacasāṁ pravāhaiḥ. And they presented their prayers just like flow of the water. They were very learned. So there was no impediment. They could say fluently, pravāhaiḥ. 

Nārādhituṁ puru-guṇair adhunāpi pipruḥ. Prahlāda Mahārāja says that “These demigods and sages, they could not satisfy. Still, now…” Kiṁ toṣṭum arhati sa me harir ugra-jāteḥ. “How it is possible that the Lord will be satisfied by my prayers?” This is the humbleness. A devotee should always consider himself that he has no value. “How I can satisfy Kṛṣṇa or the Supreme Lord? I have no possession.” That is the devotee’s position. A devotee should never think that “I am well equipped. I have got very nice education. I have got great riches. I am wealthy. I am beautiful. I am wise. Therefore as soon as I pray, ‘Kṛṣṇa, please come here,’ He will come and dance.” No. that is not the attitude of devotee. Devotee always thinks very humble, meek. This is the presentation of Prahlāda Mahārāja, that “I am born of a father…” Because they belonged to the atheistic family, demonic family, ugra-jāteḥ. Ugra-jāteḥ means they are not very sober; always passionate. Ugra-jāteḥ, always passionate. Passionate means always hankering after sense gratification. So Prahlāda Mahārāja says that “I am born of a father so greatly passionate. How I can satisfy the Lord, where great personalities and sages and demigods have failed?” He is presenting himself so humbly. But he’s intelligent. Without becoming intelligent, nobody can worship God. In the Caitanya-caritāmṛta it is said, kṛṣṇa yei bhaje sei baḍa catura. Catur means very intelligent. Unless one is first-class intelligent, he cannot worship God. It is not possible. Foolish person cannot worship God. 

It is said in the Bhagavad-gītā, 

na mām duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ
prapadyante narādhamāḥ
āsuraṁ bhāvam āśritāḥ
[Bg. 7.15]

Kṛṣṇa says, the Lord says, that “Those who are miscreants, always trying to do harm to the society, to the country, to the people, to the other animals, other living creatures…” They are called duṣkṛtina, miscreants. Miscreants. Na mām duṣkṛtino mūḍhāḥ. And fools. So miscreants, fools, and narādhamāḥ. Narādhama means the lowest of the mankind. Narādhamāḥ. And māyayāpahṛta-jñānāḥ: and one whose knowledge is taken away by the illusory energy. Who are they? So-called educated. The so-called educated persons, they are very much proud of their university degree, but if you ask some of them, “What you are? Wherefrom you have come to this world, and where you are going next?” Oh, they will say, “What is this nonsense? I am… I do not know wherefrom I have come, where I am going. I have no concern with that. I am concerned with the present life. That’s all.” But actually, we are not this present life. It is only a spot in our journey. [end] 

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