Bhakta Prahlada: A Most Glorious Devotee

Mahanidhi Swami

Among Vishnu bhaktas, Bhakta Prahlada is exceptionally dear to Bhagavan Sri Krishna, jagatyam krishnasya nitaram priyam.(Brhad Bahgavatamrta 1.3.75). Bhakta Prahlada is a most rare Vaisnava whom Sri Vishnu cherishes more than His own self. (Srimad Bhagavatam 9.4.64)

His surrender is so complete that he stands above even such devotees as Shesha and Garuda. (Br.bh. 1.3.79) Sri Krishna Himself exalts Bhakta Prahlada, “You are the best example of My devotee, and others should follow in your footsteps.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 7.10.21)

After Nrsimha Bhagavan killed Hiranyakasipu, no one could cool Him down including his dearest Lakshmidevi, Shivaji, Brahmaji and Garuda. Being completely astonished at the ghastly scene, everyone was too afraid to come anywhere near Nrsimhadeva. However, at that wonderful time, loving Nrsimhadeva suddenly sat peacefully on the ground.

Then Bhagavan tenderly placed Prahlada on His lap, gently rocked him back and forth, patted him and embraced him repeatedly like a mother embracing her bundle of joy. (Hari Bhakti Sudhodaya 14.13). Then to the utter amazement of all, Sri Nrsimha… “Licked Prahlada’s limbs as an ordinary lioness licks her baby cub, lilihe tasya gatrani, sva potasyeva keshari.” (Brhan-narasimha Purana)

Nrsimhadeva said, “My dear child, just feel free to express your love for Me. For when a devotee looks at Me without hesitation and speaks to Me affectionately, My pleasure grows with every new moment, navam navam idam priyam, nihshankah pranayad bhakto, yan mam pashyati bhashate.” (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 14.29)

Then just to show the world the exclusiveness of Vishnu bhakti, Nrsimhadeva repeatedly offered boons to Bhakta Prahlada up to liberation, punah punar varan vishnur muktim. (Narayana-vyuha-stava). To this the desire less Bhakta Prahlada replied, “O Natha, I may travel through thousands of wombs, but may I always be Your acyuta bhakta.” (Vishnu Purana 1.20.38)

Once long after the famous “Nrisimha Lila”, the great Narada Muni met Bhakta Prahlada in Sutaloka. At that time, Bhakta Prahlada, glowing brilliantly with prema, was deeply absorbed in meditating upon the lotus feet of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu, bhagavat padambuja premollasad, dhyana-vishakta-cetasa. (Brhad Bahgavatamrta 1.4.2)

Bhakta Prahlada’s devotion was so blissfully pure, attractive and influential that upon hearing his amazing and brilliant katha, some people became immediately detached and started crying. Others simply bowed down to him, while others stood by just playfully laughing and watching him. (Hari-bhakti-sudhodaya 15.1–2)

Such are the glories of the great Vishnu bhakta, Sri Bhakta Prahlada Maharaja ki jai!

Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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