24 May Lord Nrisimhadeva Story For Children
The story of Lord Nrisimhadeva has a special place in the hearts of Krishna’s devotees. Although every incarnation of God comes to protect his devotees and religious principles, Lord Nrisimhadev is a form of God to whom we first turn for help when we are in trouble. He shows the most ruthless reckoning with demons and demonic principles and provides complete refuge to his devotees. He is the most powerful protector, but we must be ready to show (or endeavor to gain) purity and faith to approach Him.
The story of Nrisimhadev evokes a whole range of emotions from horror to delight and children like it. Bhakta Prahlad is one of the most exemplary characters for children to look up to him. Over the years, my children have enjoyed listening to this pastime and acting it out. Here is the child-version of this most wonderful story as my gift to all of you for this Nrisimha Chaturdashi festival! May Lord Nrisimhadeva guide and protect us all!
The Appearance of Lord Nrisimhadeva
Once upon a time, there lived a powerful and evil demon king named Hiranyakashipu. His wish was to rule the whole world and to be immortal. To achieve this goal, he began to do austerities: he began to stand on the toes of one foot and raised his hands above his head. He stood in that awkward position until his body began to emanate heat. That heat intensified more and more and became unbearable even for the inhabitants of the heavenly planets. The demigods approached Lord Brahma and asked him for help. Lord Brahma immediately took off on his swan carrier and came to where Hiranyakashipu was doing Tapasya. Brahma remarked with astonishment that all that remained of Hiranyakashipu’s body was a skeleton around which an anthill had formed. Brahma sprayed Hiranyakashipu’s skeleton with drops of water from his Kamandalu, and at the same time, Hiranyakashipu regained his former form.
Lord Brahma asked Hiranyakashipu what he wanted to achieve with these austerities. Hiranyakashipu replied that he wanted to be immortal. Lord Brahma smiled: “I am not able to fulfill that wish for you because I am not immortal either. I can only fulfill for you what is in my power.” Then Hiranyakashipu asked that no man or demigod nor any weapon could kill him, that he would not die in the day or night, outside or inside, in the air or on the ground. He also asked for many mystical powers. Lord Brahma granted them all.
Meanwhile, while Hiranyakashipu was absent, the demigods captured his wife Kayadhu, who was pregnant, intending to kill the child as soon as he was born and save the world from a new great demon. However, the demigods did not know that a child Kayadhu carried in her womb was not a demon but a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. Fortunately, the sage Narada knew this and took Kayadhu to his ashram to save the unborn child. Narada Muni spoke to Kayadhu about the glories of Lord Narayana every day, and the child in her womb listened to it.
Hiranyakashipu returned with newly acquired blessings and regained his kingdom. He began to rule even more cruelly than before, using every opportunity to torture devotees and pious people. He also brought home his wife from the ashram of Narada Muni. Very soon, she gave birth to a baby boy.
The boy was given the name Prahlad. From an early age, Prahlad began to develop a devotion to God, remembering all the instructions he heard from the sage Narada while he was in his mother’s womb. When he turned five, Prahlad went to school. One day, Hiranyakashipu put his son on his lap and started talking to him:
“Dear Prahlad, how do you like the teachers at school? What did you learn?”
The boy replied: ” Dear father, I have learned that the most important knowledge is how to serve and please Lord Narayana.”
Hearing this, Hiranyakashipu jumped as if bitten by a snake. He threw Prahlada on the ground and began to shout:
“How dare you mention the name of our greatest enemy?! Don’t you remember that Vishnu is the killer of your uncle, my brother Hiranyaksha ?!” Boiling with rage, Hiranyakashipu called the guards to take Prahlada away at once and ordered them to kill him. Hiranyakashipu stated in disappointment, justifying his cruel act:
“This is not my son but a friend of my worst enemy.”
And so began the arduous journey for little Prahlad, who endured it all with dignity and faith in the Lord. Hiranyakashipu’s demons first tried to kill him with their tridents. Prahlad uttered the holy name of Lord Narayana, and their daggers could not even scratch his skin. Then they made him drink poison. Prahlad drank it while uttering the holy name of Lord Narayana, and the poison did not work on him. Then they tied Prahlad to the ground and let a huge elephant run over him. Prahlada sang the holy name of Lord Narayana and remained unharmed. Then they put Prahlada in a cauldron with hot oil to cook him, but Prahlada did not get any burns while chanting the holy name of Lord Narayana. They then threw him into a deep pit full of venomous snakes. But no snake wanted to bite him while he sang the holy name of Lord Narayana. Desperate for failure, the demons still tried to kill Prahlad by throwing him into an abyss from a high cliff. However, when he touched the ground, Prahlada got up and continued to chant the holy name of Lord Narayana.
Finally, the demons had to admit that they could not kill Prahlad in any way and took him back to Hiranyakashipu. The demon king was even more enraged by this news, so he decided to kill his son himself. He took Prahlada to a lonely palace on top of a mountain. Before drawing his sword on the boy, Hiranyakashipu asked him:
“Where is that God of yours now? You say that he is in everything and everywhere. Is it in this pillar in front of which I will kill you?”
Prahlad calmly replied: “Yes, father, He is everywhere and in everything, He is in my heart and your heart, and He is in this pillar as well.”
Hearing this, Hiranyakashipu angrily struck the pillar with his sword, preparing to kill Prahlada, when suddenly a strange noise was heard. Suddenly, the pillar started firing with a terrible roar. The pillar finally fell apart, and an unusual creature jumps out of it. It was Lord Nrisimhadeva, the powerful incarnation of God in the form of half-man and half-lion, who came to kill the demon king and save His devotee.
Lord Nrisimhadev has been fighting the demon Hiranyakashipu for a long time. He finally killed him while respecting all the blessings that the demon received from Lord Brahma. He killed him with his claws holding him on his lap, sitting at the entrance to the palace, during dusk.
Lord Nrisimhadev was so angry with Hiranyakashipu that even after he killed him, he continued to roar angrily. None of the demigods dared to approach him. It was only when little Prahlad approached him with folded hands that Lord Nrisimhadev changed his mood. The Lord patted Prahlad on his head and said to him: “Dear Prahlad, I am very pleased with you, please ask me whatever you want.” Little Prahlad answered: “My dear Lord, I only wish to serve you birth after birth. As for my father, I beg that he may be delivered from his ignorance.”
Lord Nrisimhadev blessed Prahlad by telling him: “My dear Prahlad, all the members of the family that gives birth to a pure devotee like you shall be liberated from the circle of birth and death!” The Lord also blessed Prahlada with long and prosperous life and gave him to rule the universe for thousands of years. And Prahlad indeed ruled the whole world wisely and fairly, enabling his subjects a blissful spiritual life.”