A formidable demon king named Hiranyakashyap governed the Asura country. He was conceited and narcissistic, thinking he was superior to the gods and invincible. He insisted that his subjects worship him alone and prevented them from honouring other deities.

His own son, Prahlad, did not heed him and continued to be a devoted devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashyap became enraged by this because he perceived his own son’s devotion as a challenge to his authority.

Hiranyakashyap used violence and threats in addition to everything else in his power, to try and convince Prahlad not to worship Vishnu. Prahlad was shielded from his father’s anger because of his unwavering devotion to Lord Vishnu. In his fury, Hiranyakashyap made many attempts to murder his son Prahlad, but Lord Vishnu always intervened and protected him. Ultimately, he turned to his sister Holika for help.

Holika had received a blessing that made her fireproof, but because the gift only functioned if she entered the fire by herself, she was killed by the flames. Prahlad, who persisted in singing the name of Lord Narayana, was spared harm as the Lord honoured him for his persistent devotion. The demon king Hiranyakashipu was killed by Narasimha, Lord Vishnu’s fourth incarnation.

We have listened to this story so many times. But the important thing is the message this story wants to dissimilate. The tale of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad serves as a potent lesson in the value of modesty and devotion. Prahlad’s unwavering devotion to Lord Vishnu finally saved him, but Hiranyakashyap’s conceit and egotism ultimately brought him to ruin.

Regardless of our religious affiliations, we can all learn something from this lesson from Bhagwat Purana. We must stand firm in our own convictions, much as Prahlad did when his father opposed him in his devotion to Lord Vishnu. We can only live a happy and meaningful life if we strike the right balance between humility and commitment.

At the same time, the tale of Hiranyakashyap and Prahlad is an enduring lesson in the value of respect, loyalty, and humility. May we all aspire to live up to these ideals, and may we gain inspiration from the failures and successes of those who came before us.

In spite of our successes, we must maintain our humility and be aware of the effects of our actions. Even if others’ opinions and decisions don’t align with our own, we must learn to respect them anyway.

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Prosperous Holi


Dr. R.K. Panchal



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