Faith -The Basis of Spiritual Practices

Attention: open in a new window. E-mail

Inspirational Stories - Inspirational Hindu Stories

( 0 Votes )

-Translated from a discourse given by Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu

Prahallad was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. His father made all possible efforts to stop him from praying to Lord Vishnu but his true love & devotion did not shake his faith. Right from his early childhood he used to listen to discourses given by saints. When he was in the womb of his mother: Kayadhu, she used to stay in the ashram (a place where saints live and do their spiritual practices) of the great saint & devotee of Vishnu, Narada. The mother used to fall asleep sometimes while listening to Narada but the words of the saint left a spiritual impression on the mind of the child in womb.

When Prahallad was eleven years old, then his father Hiranyakashyapu kept him as a guard with other soldiers. One night Prahallad saw flames & smoke coming from a distant place. When he went closer he saw that a potter had put mud pots in the fire for baking. The potter was praying with folded hands:

"Oh Lord! Now it is not in my hands and if you desire then nothing is impossible for you. Oh God! Please be kind. I'm careless but you are generous. Thy the ocean of kindness! Only you can take care of my mistake. No matter how bad I am but I am yours. Everything is possible with your grace. You can save those innocent kittens."

The potter is bowing again & agaun. Tears are pouring down his cheeks. He is repeating the same words of his prayer again & again. The flames around the pots is increasing. Prahallad went near him and asked:

Prahallad: "What is the matter? What are you saying?"

Potter: "I made the pots and kept them in the fire to bake. A cat had given birth to some kittens in the pot. I'd thought that I would remove them before setting the fire but I forgot. The kitten were left in there & the fire has picked up too much. Now I remembered that the little innocent kittens will die of the fire. Nothing is in my hands. God can take care of my mistake if He desires. He can save the little ones.

Prahallad: "This is madness! How can the kittens remain alive in such a fire?"

Potter: "Yes prince! God can do anything. He is the one who can transform a small seed into a huge tree. He can make a king out of a drop of water in the womb of the mother. That very drop of water becomes a human and creates boundaries of good-bad & mine-yours. Keeps yelling about mine & yours the whole of its life and then leaves the body without life in the end. Is this not a glimpse of God's divine action? A cow eats dry grass and produces sweet white milk. The oily butter comes out of that. The snake drinks the milk & produces venom. The mother eats bread which makes milk. When her child grows up then the milk stops getting produced. There is no end to the divine action (Leela) of God."

Prahallad: "I want to see how the cats are saved. Call me when the pots are baked and you open them up."

Potter: "As you wish, Sir! You come in the morning. I'll open the pots only after you come here."

Next morning Prahallad reached that place. The potter meditated for a few minutes and then as he removed the hot pots one by one, they found four pots which were not baked at all. These pots were still wet. As soon as he touched these pots, the kittens jumped out saying mew-mew.

The spiritual thoughts that lay dormant in the mind of Prahallad were awakened. He realized that God is the only essence of life. He started his journey on the road to God. Lots of people protested against his devotion to Lord Vishnu. How can the son of demon worship Lord Vishnu? Inspite of that Prahallad kept worshipping sincerely. His father scolded him, made him fall of mountain, frightened him by sending butchers, tried to make him drown in the ocean, but nothing could affect his faith.

It is difficult to develop true faith in God. Even if true faith is developed, keeping that faith alive forever is difficult. Even if true faith stays, realizing the true knowledge of the real self is difficult.

Hiranyakashyapu made several efforts to kill Prahallad. Prahallad thought: "The God that saved the little kittens will it not save me? He will definitely protect me." Prahallad surrendered himself to God. The father made him fall down the mountain, made him drown in the ocean but inspite of all his efforts Prahallad did not die. Atlast he prepared a red hot iron piller and said to Prahallad:

"You say that God is omnipresent. If He is present everywhere then he must be there in this piller also therefore now you embrace this piller. If he is omiscient then he can appear here also."

Prahallad remembered God with full concentration & embraced the piller. And then appeared the Nrursinh (the upper half like a ferocious lion & the lower half like a man) incarnation of Lord Vishnu.

When materialism gets spread everywhere and the tyrants start harrasing common people, then the God is capable of appearing in any form.

Nrursinh incarnation killed Hiranyakashyapu and sent him to his own Vaikuntha Dhaam (the place where Lord Vishnu himself stays). He made Prahallad the king and He Himself disappeared after that.

Prahallad saw this form of God but he had not yet realized the True-Self of God. It is difficut to know the True-Self of God.

After some time Shukracharya, the teacher of the demons, created a doubt in Prahallad's mind and said:

"Prahallad! Lord Vishnu killed your father. You had asked for His protection. Did you ask Him to kill your father?"

"No, I did not ask Him to kill my father."

"When you did not ask then why did He kill him? Lord Vishnu could have changed the evil mind of your father! Why did He kill him?"

Prahallad had strong faith in Lord Vishnu but when one meets people who are capable of shaking the faith then the faith vanishes. A spiritual aspirant comes accross many such people in his life. One will meet somebody who would have doubtful questions about spiritual practices, Guru Mantra, God, Satguru or spiritual discourses. If we do not meet somebody then contradictions may arise in our mind itself. That is why faith is not able to stay forever.

The faith of Prahallad was shaken by Shukracharya. Shukracharya said to Prahallad: "Vishnu killed your father and still you pray to him. This is blind faith!"

When a devotee hears the words "blind faith", then he tries to protest that, but actually a seed of doubt gets placed in his mind. Words have an impact sooner or later therefore it is said in Guru Geeta:
"If you are not able to cut the tongue of the person who is criticizing your Guru then you should make him run away from you. If he stays then you should leave that place."

Now Prahallad said to Shukracharya: "If you say then I'll take revenge from Vishnu."

Prahallad started calling the omniscient Lord Vishnu after preaparing his army to fight against the Lord.

God cannot see the downfall of His devotee. The kind Shri Hari (Vishnu) took the form of an old brahmana (the sect in India which had the right to know the shastras & vedas in ancient times) and went to meet Prahallad. When He reaached the courtyard the guard said:

"Oh Brahmana! Prahallad is all set for battle. It is not auspicious to see a saint-brahmana before war."

Lord Vishnu disguised as brahmana said: "I've heard that Prahallad gives due respect to saints but you are not letting me inside the courtyard!"

The guard said: "Prahallad is not the same person. He is more careful now. Shukracharya has explained him everything. He is all set to take revenge from Lord Vishnu. Therefore you leave this place."

"Brother! Whatever happens I'll not go without meeting Prahallad. If you do not let me in then I'll die here. You'll then become a sinner by making a brahmana die."

Thus the God reached inside the courtyard of Prahallad after convincing the guard. God disguised in the form of brahmana said to Prahallad:

"Prahallad! Let there be your welfare! I've heard that you are taking revenge from the killer of your father. I, the old brahmana, am also ruined." The Lord talked ill about Lord Vishnu and made Prahallad sit near him.

The brahmana asked: "Do you know where Vishnu stays?"

Prahallad: "He is present everywhere. He is sitting in the hearts of all."

Brahmana: "Oh foolish brahmana! How will you destroy that which is present everywhere in the hearts of all. It seems that you are stupid in the same way as I am. You've taken an evil pledge after being influenced by Shukracharya. I'll dig this stick into the ground and then if you are able to take that out, that will mean that you have the strength to fight with Vishnu."

Prahallad got up & tried to take that stick out with one hand, and then two hands, applied all his strength but the stick did not come out. As Prahallad bowed to pull the stick his self-pride became less and then he realized that this brahmana is no ordinary person. Prahallad was actually a devotee, he had been misled. His mind came to senses and he said to the brahmana respectfully:

"Oh Brahmana! Who are you?"

"Lord said: "One who does not know himself cannot know Me completely. One who does know itself and Me will keep wavering in this world like a small twig in the water. You have lost your peace of mind from the day you surrendered to bad thoughts. The person who makes an ill-decision is always sad."

Now Prahallad understood that the brahmana was his Lord. He fell on his feet & asked for forgiveness. Then the Lord whose heart is filled with love for His devotees said:

"You forgive me. You had made such preparations to fight with me!"

At one time Hiranyakashyapu tried his best but could not move the strong faith of Prahallad, but at another time Shukracharya was able to pollute the mind of Prahallad with his apparently sweet language.

Till the time one does not realize the omnipresence of God, one does not get over the feelings of attachment & separation, one does not see others same as himself, ones faith & level of spiritualism will keep fluctuating.

When the faith of devotees like Prahallad can shake then
Oh Spiritual Aspirant! You save yourself from the circumstances, the people and the negative turmoils of mind which make you slip on the road to spiritualism & God.


Name *
Submit Comment