Even as a child, I always was fascinated and inspired by the story of Prahlad. I rarely attend discourses but I somehow seem to manage to listen many people speak on Prahlad! Just listening to his short life story of 4/5 years, somehow has an indelible impact on me.
Although, I grew up listening to the story of Prahlad from parents, Shri. Santhana Gopalachariar, mythological movies and Amar Chitra Katha, my understanding of Bhakti and Prahlad’s exalted status among other devotees of the Lord, has matured or rather evolved (or so I would like to think!). Recently, within a span of 10 days, I found myself listening to the story of Prahlad from two people, Smt. Vishaka Hari and Shri. Nochur Venkataraman. Listening to both of them gave me so many new insights about the ways of the CreationJ and quality of Bhakti that Prahlad had. Apparently in the Bhagawatham, Prahlad’s Bhakti is likened to how a fish gasps and pulsates when removed from water, similarly, Prahlad could not be removed from feeling the presence of the Lord, even for a moment! Such was his devotion and unshakeable faith in the Lord that he never experienced fear, even at the ferocious sight of Narsimha emerging from a pillar that brought alarm to the rest, including the mighty Hiranyakashipu. I have heard Guruji, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji say, fear is absence of bhakti or faith in the Lord. Prahlad is probably therefore the best example of Bhakti.
I realised that I really love listening to his story time and again! In lighter vein, I remember coaxing my brother and sister to name their sons Prahlad, with no successJ. I guess none wanted to be the Hiranyakashipu in the family!