Once the lived Hiranyakasipu, the king of the demons. His brother, another demon who had been creating a disturbance, had been killed by Varaha, an incarnation of Lord Visnu. Hiranyakasipu also was creating a disturbance by harassing the sages and the demigods. Hiranyakasipu wanted to get revenge upon Lord Visnu for the killing of his brother so he performed severe austerities:
"Seeing Hiranyakasipu engaged in this austerity, the demigods returned to their respective homes, but while Hiranyakasipu was thus engaged, a kind of fire began blazing from his head, disturbing the entire universe and its inhabitants, including the birds, beasts and demigods. When all the higher and lower planets became too hot to live on, the demigods, being disturbed, left their abodes in the higher planets and went to see Lord Brahma, praying to him that he curtail this unnecessary heat. The demigods disclosed to Lord Brahma Hiranyakasipu's ambition to become immortal, overcoming his short duration of life, and to be the master of all the planetary systems, even Dhruvaloka
Finally, Lord Brahma appeared before Hiranyakasipu but could not give him the boon of immortality for even Lord Brahma is not immortal. Therefore, Hiranyakasipu tried to ask for benedictions that would make him almost as good as immortal. Hiranyakasipu asked that he not meet death in any of the following conditions:(a) by any living entity created by Lord Brahma (b) within any residence or outside any residence(c) during the daytime or at night(d) on the ground or in the sky(e) by any weapon, human being, or any animal (h) by anything living or nonliving etc.Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakasipu, was a great devotee and he received initiation while within the womb of his mother:
Hiranyakashipa tried to torture Prahlaada by throwing him down cliffs, getting him stamped by elephants, burning him in fire etc., but nothing happened to the great Hari bhakta. Prahlaada, who had only Shri Hari in his mind, never even thought about anything else. Hence Shri Hari saved him from the tortures of Hiranyakashipa. One day at Sandhya-samayam, fed up with Prahlaada saying Shri Hari is only Paramaatma, His bhakti is only shaashvatam, Hiranyakashipa said “where is your Hari? I even went to Vaikuntham and searched for him to kill him, but he was not there Prahlaada replied “Dont have the doubt that He is here, He is there. He is everyone. Wherever you search for Him with Bhakti, He will be there”. Then with anger Hiranyakashipa said “is it? If so, show Him to Me in this pillar”. Then Mahaavishnu appeared from the pillar in the form of Nara-simham, Hiranyakasipu struck the pillar with his fists not believing Prahlada'sstatement; however Lord Nrsimhadeva, half-man and half-lion incarnation of the Supreme Lord, appeared with A ROAR!
A great fight ensued and Lord Nrsimhadeva killed Hiranyakasipu with his nails.
Lord Nrsimhadeva killed Hiranyakasipu without violating any of the boons Hiranyakasipu had received from Lord Brahma:
(a) Hiranyakasipu was killed by Lord Nrsimhadeva who is not a living entity created by Lord Brahma nor anyone else for He is eternal and unborn.
(b) Hiranyakasipu was killed in the doorway which is neither within any residence nor outside any residence.
(c) Hiranyakasipu was killed in the evening which is neither daytime nor night.
(d) Hiranyakasipu was killed on the lap of Lord Nrsimhadeva which is neither on the ground nor in the sky.
(e) Hiranyakasipu was killed by a half-man and half-lion which is neither a human nor an animal.
(h) Hiranyakasipu was killed by the nails which are neither living nor dead nor count as weapons. etc.
The Bhakti of Prahlaada is ananyam. Though he was kid and his father tortured him so much, he never thought about anything other than Shri Hari. Hence Mahaavishnu saved him. Prahlaada comes first in the list of Bhaktas and is a maarga-darshi for us.
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 01
हिरण्याक्षे पोत्रिप्रवरवपुषा देव भवता
हते शोकक्रोधग्लपितधृतिरेतस्य सहज: ।
प्रतिज्ञमातेने तव किल वधार्थं मधुरिपो ॥१॥
hiraNyaakshe pOtripravaravapuShaa deva bhavataa
hate shOka krOdha glapita dhR^itiretasya sahajaH |
hiraNya praarambhaH kashipuramaraaraati sadasi
pratij~naamaatene tava kila vadhaarthaM madhuripO || 1
O Lord! Slayer of Madhu! When Hiranyaaksha was killed by Thee, incarnate as the Divine Boar, his brother named Hiranyakashipu was smitten with sorrow and anger. In the assembly of the Asuras he swore to kill Thee.Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 02
विधातारं घोरं स खलु तपसित्वा नचिरत:
पुर: साक्षात्कुर्वन् सुरनरमृगाद्यैरनिधनम् ।
वरं लब्ध्वा दृप्तो जगदिह भवन्नायकमिदं
परिक्षुन्दन्निन्द्रादहरत दिवं त्वामगणयन् ॥२॥
vidhaataaraM ghOraM sa khalu tapasitvaa nachirataH
puraH saakshaatkurvan suranara mR^igaadyairanidhanam |
varaM labdhvaa dR^iptO jagadihabhavannaayakamidaMparikshundannindraadaharata divaM tvaamagaNayan ||
He undertook a severe penance to Brahmadeva, and soon Brahma appeared in frontof him and granted him the boon of not being killed by gods, men, animals etc. Havingobtained such a boon, he became very arrogant and with total disregard for Thee,tormented this world of which Thou art the Lord, and took the heaven by force from Indra.Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 03
निहन्तुं त्वां भूयस्तव पदमवाप्तस्य च रिपो-
र्बहिर्दृष्टेरन्तर्दधिथ हृदये सूक्ष्मवपुषा ।
नदन्नुच्चैस्तत्राप्यखिलभुवनान्ते च मृगयन्
भिया यातं मत्वा स खलु जितकाशी निववृते ॥३॥
nihantuntvaaM bhuuyastava padamavaaptasya cha ripOH
bahirdR^iShTerantardadhita hR^idaye suukshmavapuShaa |
nadannuchchai statraapyakhila bhuvanaante cha mR^igayan
bhiyaa yaataM matvaa sa khalu jitakaashii nivavR^ite || 3
To kill Thee, he even went to Thy abode Vaikuntha. Thou disappeared from his gross vision and entered into his heart in a subtle form. Roaring aloud he searched for Thee in all the three worlds, and not finding Thee, he thought that Thou had fled in fear. Considering himself the winner he returned home.
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 04
ततोऽस्य प्रह्लाद: समजनि सुतो गर्भवसतौ
स वै जात्या दैत्य: शिशुरपि समेत्य त्वयि रतिं
गतस्त्वद्भक्तानां वरद परमोदाहरणताम् ॥४॥
tatO(a)sya prahlaadaH samajani sutO garbhavasatau
munerviiNaapaaNeH adhigata bhavad bhaktimahimaa |
sa vai jaatyaa daityaH shishurapi sametya tvayi ratiM
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 05
gatastvadbhaktaanaaM varada paramOdaaharaNataam ||
Oh Varada, Grantor of boons !To Hiranyakasipu was born a son named Prahlada, whowhile still in his mother's womb, had come to know about the power of Thy devotion,from sage Narada. In spite of being born in the demon race, Though by birth he was an Asura, and just a child .He had intense love for Thee, and became the most outstanding example for all Thy devotees
सुरारीणां हास्यं तव चरणदास्यं निजसुते
स दृष्ट्वा दुष्टात्मा गुरुभिरशिशिक्षच्चिरममुम् ।
गुरुप्रोक्तं चासाविदमिदमभद्राय दृढमि-
त्यपाकुर्वन् सर्वं तव चरणभक्त्यैव ववृधे ॥ ५ ॥
suraariiNaaM haasyaM tava charaNadaasyaM nijasute
sa dR^iShTvaa duShTaatmaa gurubhirashishikshachchiramamum |
guruprOktaM chaasaavidamidamabhadraaya dR^iDhamiti
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 06
apaakurvan sarvaM tava charaNa bhaktyaiaiva vavR^idhe || 5
The evil hearted Hiranyakasipu, enraged at his son's slavish devotion to Thy feet, whichis scorned by the demons, engaged teachers for a long time, to brainwash him of hisbeliefs, but Prahlada brushed aside all the teachings of these tutors, as evil, and grewup with staunch devotion to Thy feet.
अधीतेषु श्रेष्ठं किमिति परिपृष्टेऽथ तनये
भवद्भक्तिं वर्यामभिगदति पर्याकुलधृति: ।
गुरुभ्यो रोषित्वा सहजमतिरस्येत्यभिविदन्
वधोपायानस्मिन् व्यतनुत भवत्पादशरणे ॥६॥
adhiiteShu shreShThaM kimiti paripR^iShThe(a)tha tanaye
bhavadbhaktiM varyaamabhigadati paryaakuladhR^itiH |
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 07
vadhOpaayaanasmin vyatanuta bhavatpaada sharaNe || 6
On being asked about what was the best that he had learned, he answered that devotion to Thee was the greatest. Agitated at this, Hiranyakashipu was very angry with the teachers, but they told him that this was his son's natural inclination. At this he started planning ways to kill Prahlaad who was Thy great devotee, having taken refuge at Thy feet.
स शूलैराविद्ध: सुबहु मथितो दिग्गजगणै-
गिरीन्द्रवक्षिप्तोऽप्यहह! परमात्मन्नयि विभो
त्वयि न्यस्तात्मत्वात् किमपि न निपीडामभजत ॥७॥
sa shuulairaaviddhaH suvahu mathitO diggajagaNaiH
mahaasarpairdaShTOpyanashana garaahaara vidhutaH |
giriindraavakshiptO(a)pyahaha paramaatmannayi vibhO
तत: शङ्काविष्ट: स पुनरतिदुष्टोऽस्य जनको
tvayi nyastaatmatvaat kimapi na nipiiDaamabhajata || 7
Oh Lord Supreme ! Prahlada was pierced by sharp weapons; he was trampled upon byhosts of elephants of the quarters, many a time; he was bitten by huge poisonoussnakes; he was starved at times and given poison to eat; he was even pushed down from the highest mountaintops. But as he had placed his full faith in Thee he did not feel any suffering as his mind was completely fixed on Thee.Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 08
गुरूक्त्या तद्गेहे किल वरुणपाशैस्तमरुणत् ।
गुरोश्चासान्निध्ये स पुनरनुगान् दैत्यतनयान्
भवद्भक्तेस्तत्त्वं परममपि विज्ञानमशिषत् ॥८॥
tataH shankaaviShTaH sa punarati duShTO(a)sya janakaH
guruuktyaa tadgehe kila varuNapaashaistamaruNat |
gurOshchaasaannidhye sa punaranugaan daityatanayaan
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 09
bhavadbhaktestattvaM paramamapi vij~naanamashiShat || 8
The very cruel father was frightened at this. At the advice of the teacher, Prahlaad was tied up with ropes at the teacher's house. But whenever the teacher was away, Prahlaad began to teach the Asura boys, who were with him, the doctrine of love for, and knowledge of Thee.
पिता शृण्वन् बालप्रकरमखिलं त्वत्स्तुतिपरं
रुषान्ध: प्राहैनं कुलहतक कस्ते बलमिति ।
बलं मे वैकुण्ठस्तव च जगतां चापि स बलं
स एव त्रैलोक्यं सकलमिति धीरोऽयमगदीत् ॥९॥
pitaa shR^iNvan baala prakaramakhilaM tvatstutiparaM
ruShaa(a)ndhaH praahainaM kulahataka kaste balamiti |
balaM me vaikuNThastava cha jagataaM chaapi sa balaM
Dasakam: 024 -- Shlokam: 10
sa eva trailOkyaM sakalamiti dhiirO(a)yamagadiit || 9
Coming to know that all the demon children had been induced by Prahlada intopraising Thee, Hiranyakasipu blinded by rage, called him the bane of the demon raceand asked him who his supporter was. To this the courageous boy replied that Vishnu,the lord of Vaikunta, was his support and that he was the support of even his fatherand the whole world; in fact Vishnu, himself was the three worlds.
अरे क्वासौ क्वासौ सकलजगदात्मा हरिरिति
प्रभिन्ते स्म स्तंभं चलितकरवालो दितिसुत: ।
अत: पश्चाद्विष्णो न हि वदितुमीशोऽस्मि सहसा
कृपात्मन् विश्वात्मन् पवनपुरवासिन् मृडय माम् ॥१०॥
are kvaasau kvaasau sakalajagadaatmaa haririti
prabhintesma stambhaM chalita karavaalO diti sutaH |
ataH pashchaadviShNO na hi vaditumiishO(a)smi sahasaa
kR^ipaatman vishvaatman pavanapuravaasin mR^iDaya maam ||
Then, Diti's son, Hiranyakasipu, overcome by rage, shouting repeatedly O where is he? Where is he? The soul of all the worlds who is known as Hari? The son of Diti asking struck the pillar brandishing the sword. O Vishnu! O Lord! What happened then I am unable to describe immediately. O All Merciful! O All pervading One! O resident of Guruvaayur! ! I am unableto continue with this narration. Please bear with me and give me solace