[Advaita-l] Baktha Prahalada

Kaushik Chevendra chevendrakaushik at gmail.com
Wed Aug 10 11:50:52 EDT 2022

Its well known that shri prahalda is considered the best devotees of
isvara. But what make him so? Is the notion of devotion itself enough?
It is not so,
ब्रह्मण्य: शीलसम्पन्न: सत्यसन्धो जितेन्द्रिय: ।
आत्मवत्सर्वभूतानामेकप्रियसुहृत्तम: ।
दासवत्सन्नतार्याङ्‌घ्रि: पितृवद्दीनवत्सल: ॥ ३१ ॥
भ्रातृवत्सद‍ृशे स्निग्धो गुरुष्वीश्वरभावन: ।
विद्यार्थरूपजन्माढ्यो मानस्तम्भविवर्जित: ॥ ३२ ॥

He was completely cultured as a qualified brāhmaṇa, having very good
character and being determined to understand the Absolute Truth. He had
full control of his senses and mind. Like the Supersoul, he was kind to
every living entity and was the best friend of everyone. To respectable
persons he acted exactly like a menial servant, to the poor he was like a
father, to his equals he was attached like a sympathetic brother, and he
considered his teachers as spiritual masters and older brothers to be as
good as the lord. He was completely free from unnatural pride that might
have arisen from his good education, riches, etc.

Filled with compassion, he asked forgiveness for his father even though he
tried to kill him.
Following the advice Bhagvan himself gives in udhava Gita-
शश्वत्परार्थसर्वेह: परार्थैकान्तसम्भव: ।
साधु: शिक्षेत भूभृत्तो नगशिष्य: परात्मताम्
A saintly person should learn from the mountain to devote all his efforts
to the service of others and to make the welfare of others the sole reason
for his existence. Similarly, as the disciple of the tree, he should learn
to dedicate himself to others.

As bath eventually leads to knowledge, shri Prahalada had the perfect
knowledge of supreme as he says in the bagavatha-
आत्मा नित्योऽव्यय: शुद्ध एक: क्षेत्रज्ञ आश्रय: ।
अविक्रिय: स्वद‍ृग् हेतुर्व्यापकोऽसङ्‌‌ग्यनावृत: ॥ १९ ॥
एतैर्द्वादशभिर्विद्वानात्मनो लक्षणै: परै: ।
अहं ममेत्यसद्भ‍ावं देहादौ मोहजं त्यजेत्

The atta is eternal, without decay ,one without a second, the seer, the
support(of the universe), the immutable, self effulgent, the primary cause,
the all pervading and perfect.
With the help of the twelve supreme charecteristics mentioned above, the
learned person has to renounce the wrong notions of "I and mine" as they
are out of delusion

He continues and says eventually -
एतद्‌द्वारो हि संसारो गुणकर्मनिबन्धन: ।
अज्ञानमूलोऽपार्थोऽपि पुंस: स्वप्न इवार्प्यते ॥ २७ ॥

Through Agnana  one is subjected to the modes of nature, and thus one is
conditioned by material existence. Like a dreaming state in which one
falsely suffers, material existence, which is due to ignorance, is unreal.

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