Prahlad ji said to the almighty that he knew the world is a well with full of sorrow and darkness. The persons desirous of pleasures are entangled in this. Despite knowing all this, manas (मन) does not enjoy charming plays of the almighty. Manas is in misrable condition. It is polluted by sinful desires and anxious for sexual desires. Manas is plunged into pleasure-pain, fear, wealth, wife, children etc. It is difficult to control. Due to several desires, manas is in misery. Five sense organs (touch pleasure, tasty food, listening beautiful voice, mind blowing smell and beauties) and five organs of action trouble every moment. Enjoyment does not satisfy but increase desires further. Enjoyment decays the organs. Bhakti nourishes the organs and strengthens. Despite knowing very well, manas attaches in the worldly pleasures. Prahlad ji prayed Shri Narsingh Swamy that bestow him strength to control the manas and protect him.
Shri Narsingh Swamy ji advised Prahlad that the polluted manas would not improve without japa. Since his manas is pure, he could had his vision. The world is made beautiful with full of so many substances, so that the human beings enjoy these. But if the persons enjoy these substances without any restrictions and with undue attachments, they plunge into misery.
Shri Narsingh Swamy ji informed by taking two nectars (name japa and discourses of almighty), manas is not attracted towards desires and sense organs do not trouble. But discourses are never complete without kirtan.
Six means are being prescribed to attain undistracted bhakti.
Shri Narsingh Swamy asked Prahlad to take a boon. Prahlad told him that he is bhakta and not a businessman. Shri Narsingh Swamy insisted to give a boon to Prahlad. Prahlad then requested for a boon that no thought should arise in his manas to enjoy sensual pleasure. Further, be kind enough so that his father did not distress. Shri Narsingh Swamy informed that salvation of his father was not possible. But, Prahlad due to your good deeds, he would get salvation. Son like him, provide salvation to twenty one generations (seven generations of mother side, seven of father side and seven of father-in-law side). Then Shri Narsingh Bhagwan disappeared.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj
The Story of prahlad and Hiranyakashipu
There was a king named as Hiranayashipu having his capital at present day Multan in Punjab. Hiranyashipu were two brothers. His brother, Hiranyaksha was killed in Varaha Avatar of Vishnu Bhagwan. On hearing the death of his brother, Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakashipu decided to fight with Vishnu ji. His mother Diti satisfied him by telling a number of stories. He thought that he would first obtain a boon to be immortal and then fight. When he was leaving home, his wife Kayadhu asked, when he would return. He told her that time is not yet decided as he would do tapasya (penance) for ten thousand years to obtain many perfections.
He went to Mandranchal Mountain. When devas heard about his tapasya, they went to Guru Brahaspati and requested to produce hindrance in his tapasya. Guru Brahaspati took the form of a parrot and started chanting Narayana on the same tree where Hiranyakshipu was doing tapasya. As Hiranyakashipu had started mantra japa, parrot also started Narayana japa. When Hiranyakshipu saw this, he thought that he is doing japa for killing Vishnu ji and the parrot is doing japa of Narayana only. From where this parrot has come, he is not leaving. It appears, today is not auspicious day for japa and hence he left for house.
Kayadhu was surprised to see him back. She was keen know the reason. Since Hiranyakshipu was an angry person, she did not ask him directly. She made good food to feed him so that she could know the reason. She started praising his husband to know the details of the incident happened in the forest. She said, he is very intelligent, ascetic and winner as Indra, Chandra etc. devas as afraid of him. Nobody is as braver than him. She is so fortunate to have him as husband. Hiranyakshipu was very happy to hear his praise and said about the incident. Kayadhu was happy to hear the name of Narayana from her husband. She again asked her husband, what the parrot was repeating. Hiranyashipu said, Narayana, Narayana. Kayadhu expressed surprise, how the parrot can speak. Hiranyashipu said in affirmation, he spoke Narayana, Narayana. Like this, Kayadhu made her husband to speak 108 times Narayana. When parents were repeating Narayana, Prahlad was established in fetus. Hence, Prahlad, the great bhakta of Vishnu ji was born to them. Later, Hiranyashipu left for tapasya in forest. He was doing tapas for thirty six thousand years. He even was doing it without food and water.
Brahma ji was happy with the tapasya of Hiranyashipu. Hiranyashipu was covered by mud from all side. Brahma ji sprinkled water and asked his wish. He said Brahma ji that he should be given a boon of becoming immortal. Brahma ji said everybody has to die and asked him for another boon. Hiranyashipu said, he wanted only one boon. Hence, give me a boon that I should die neither in day nor night, by non-living nor living, by instrument nor missile weapon. Brahma ji gave the boon. Now with the boon, Hiranyashipu became very powerful. Devas prayed almighty. Almighty assured the incarnation and killing him as and when the Hiranyashipu showed enmity and intended to kill his son.
Son of Hiranyashipu was born and grew in passage of time. He was named as Prahlad as he gave happiness and delight to everybody. Shand and Amark were two sons of Daityo’s Guru Shukracharya. Hiranyashipu called them to teach Political science to his son Prahlad at the age of five. Shand & Amark taught Prahlad political science but Prahlad was inclined towards Bhakti since he was as fetus. They brought him in royal assembly in expectation of reward. Hiranayashipu asked Prahlad, what he had been taught. Prahlad said, father, he understood with his experience that living being has been born several times in form of man, woman, animal, bird etc. Thousands of years have passed for being separated from almighty and immersed in sensual pleasures, still this living being is unsatisfied. Contentment is derived not by enjoying but by renunciation. This world is full of sorrows. Everybody is distressed. When sins and good deeds are equal, one takes birth as human being. He has to endure sins and enjoy good deeds. This world is transforming every moment. Father, I am born several times. He further added, he could say with experience that this world does not have anything except selfishness and falseness. World is full of falseness and dishonesty. Hiranayashipu got infuriated hearing the statements of Prahlad. He asked Shadamark, what kind of teaching, they have done. Shandamark told that they never taught all this. Hiranyashipu said to Prahlad that devas are afraid of him. He cautioned him. Shandamark asked Prahlad, when they have not taught such lessons and why he is speaking like this before his father. Prahlad told them that Guru ji, person neither tread towards almighty by saying of anybody nor worship almighty. Without Satsang and grace of saints, nobody can be bhakta. However, by grace of almighty also, devotion comes.
After a few days, Hiranayashipu again enquired Prahlad about progress of his education. Prahlad said, father, there are nine kinds of bhakti of Vishnu ji viz. shravana, kirtan, remembering names of Vishnu ji, service of feet, worshipping, salutation, service, fellowship and offering of self. This is navdha bhakti. By Navdha bhakti, almighty pleases and by his pleasure life become successful. Hearing all this from his son, Hiranayashipu got angry and threw Prahlad from his lap. He ordered his subordinates to kill him as he praises his enemy. The subordinates tried to kill Prahlad. They started beating him. Prahlad was fearless.
Hiranayashipu tried several techniques to kill Prahlad but he did not die. Hiranayashipu thought that Prahlad would be magician. He had ordered to imprison Prahlad in a dark room and stopped giving him food, so he would die in absence of food and water. Prahlad thought that this would be good for doing bhajan peacefully. Darkness did not afraid Prahlad. He started Shri Krishna bhajan and gradually he lost his body perception. Vishnu ji enquired Lakshmi ji whether anybody is hungry in the world. Lakshmi ji informed that his bhakta Prahlad is hungry in captivity. Vishnu ji advised to send prasada for him. Hiranayashipu’s attendants were surprised to see food with Prahlad as they were constantly watchful. They told the incident to Hiranayashipu. Hiranayashipu personally came to see it. He asked Prahlad who had given him the food. Prahlad told him that he had given the prasada who nourished him during pregnancy.
Once, Prahlad was immersed in bhajan of almighty. His friends also absorbed in the bhajan and started dancing. At that moment, Shandamark came there. They rebuked them and asked to stop bhajan. But nobody listened them. Shandamark held the hands of Prahlad. As soon as they held the hands of Prahlad, they also started dancing. Hiranayashipu sent one attendant to examine the education being given by Shandamark. No sooner the attendant came to see it; he tried to stop Shandamark by holding their hands. But as soon as he touched the hands of Shandamark, he had also started dancing. He forgot purpose his coming there. Then Hiranayashipu sent another attendant. But whosoever came there, they involved in dancing and kirtan of Bhagwan Vishnu. Hiranayashipu was puzzled and came himself. He was very much angered and said to Prahlad that he was still doing Bhajan of Vishnu ji. He further said, nobody is god except him. The king caught hold Prahlad and thrown on the ground. Hiranayashipu was not affected by touching the hands of Prahlad as he was highly tamsic. Prahlad saluted his father. Hiranayashipu asked him where his protector, Vishnu is. Prahlad told him that Vishnu ji is everywhere. Prahlad told him that he claimed himself winner of world but winner is one who wins over his manas (मन) and Kama, Krodha etc. Hiranayashipu shouted at Prahlad on his giving sermons to him and asked where his protector is. Prahlad again told him that he is everywhere. Then Hiranayashipu said, whether Vishnu is in this pillar also. Prahlad told, yes, Vishnu ji is in this pillar also. Hiranayashipu told, and then he would break the pillar and kill him. As soon as the king came running with the sward and attacked on the pillar. Immediately, Shri Narsingh Swamy appeared from the pillar and caught Hiranayashipu take him in his lap. Shri Narsingh Swamy told him that it is neither day nor night, he is neither on earth nor in sky, he would killed neither by arms nor missiles and neither inside house nor outside. Shri Narsingh Swamy killed Hiranayashipu by his nails at groundsel.
Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran
The Story of Dhruv
A King named as Uttanapada had two wives named Suniti and Suruchi and two children. The King Uttanapada loved Suruchi. Once, the king was sitting on the throne and Uttam, the son of Suruchi was playing in his lap. When Dhruv, the son of Suniti saw this, he asked the king to take him in his lap. Suruchi saw this; she came there and asked the king not to take Dhruv in his lap. The king thought, if he takes Dhruv, Suruchi would get angry. The king was like a slave to the queen. The king ignored Dhruv. Dhruv insisted to sit in the lap of his father. Suruchi said to Dhruv, you are not worthy to sit in the king’s lap. You are son of disliked queen, Suniti. If you are desirous of sitting in the lap of the king, you should have born to me. There is no one to remove your sorrow other than Lord Narayana. You go to forest and do penance so that you take birth from my womb. Worship him, who gives complete cosmic and supernatural pleasures.
Dhruva, a five-year-old boy, was very angry at the behavior of his step mother. He went weeping to his mother Suniti. She asked him that what happened. Dhruv thought, if he explained her entire episode, it would be sin of blaming parents. At that moment, one female slave came there and told entire episode. Hearing the episode, Suniti thought that she had done nothing wrong with Suruchi. But if she said Dhruv anything wrong against Suruchi, it would develop wrong impression on her son. She told him that his step mother has given good guidance. If you want something, it is better to ask from almighty. Suniti said, I have given you to Narayana. Then Dhruv left for forest. Before leaving for forest, he went to meet Suruchi to take her blessings. She melted momentarily, but due to her ill temperament, she said, it is all right. If he goes to forest, my blessings are with him.
Shukdev ji, says, five years old child left for forest after taking blessings. Dhruv was scared of the violent animals. He was thinking, violent animals may devour him. Next moment, he thought that he is not alone. Narayana is with him. On his way, many sages met him. He took blessings from them.
On the way, he met Devarishi Narada ji. Dhruv saluted him and took his blessings. Narada ji was happy with the politeness of Dhruv. Narada ji took him in his lap and stroked his hand on the head of Dhruv. Dhruv felt, his mother is blessing him. Narada ji later enquired from Dhruv about his destination. Dhruv told Narad ji that he is going to forest for vision of Narayana. Narada ji decided to test him. Narada ji said him that he is little child. This age is for playing and not for japa. You should enjoy your life and in old age go to forest for japa. But Dhruv kumar did not agree and asked him for guidance. Seeing his determination, Narada ji asked him to go to “Madhuvan” situated on bank of Yamuna River. He further, explained the method of proving him by giving him initiation of 'Om Namo Bhagwate Vasudevaya' mantra. Narad ji blessed him that he would have vision of Narayana in six months.
Thereafter, Narada ji, came to King Uttanapada. King Uttanapada was regretful after Dhruva had left. Narada ji said to the king that he should not worry about the child. Narada ji told Uttanapada that for six months penance, he should survive over milk only.
Dhruv started Dhyana (meditation) in forest. Initially, he took fruits etc.; from third month, he took only leaves; from fourth month, he fasted on water; from fifth month, he depended on air and from sixth month, he decided continuance japa without moving from his seat. Impressed by the tapasya (Penance) of Dhruv, Narayana appeared. But Dhruv did not open his eyes. Then Narayana made to do away his glorious form in Dhruv’s manas. Dhruv opened the eyes out of affliction. He saw, four armed form of Narayana. Almighty said to Dhruv that he is happy with his bhakti and he could ask a boon. Dhruv ji said that what he should ask. Whatever, you love most, give me that. Narayana said that he should rule for a few years in your kingdom and later he would take him in his abode. Dhruv conveyed his doubt that in previous life, he had deviated to see king and queen and was to born again. Now, if he became king, he might be attached to queens and turn careless. Hence, he did not want to become king. Almighty said him that he should not worry. This would not happen.
On return, Uttanapada welcomed Dhruv with full grandeur. He thought that Dhruv had vision of Narayana at the age of five and despite passing half of the life he is still charmed of his wife. Suruchi repented for her misdeeds. Dhruv was made king and married to Bhrami.
Once there was a fierce war between Dhruv and Yaksha. That time Manu Maharaj came there and explained him that vaishnav (who worship Vishnu ji) should not do enmity. Hearing this, Dhruv stopped fight and came on bank of Ganges River. He started japa. But sound of flowing of Ganges River disturbed his japa. He said to Ganges that her sound of flowing disturbed his japa. Ganges said that if he did japa in peace, she would be silent. Ganges River turned silent. In Rishikesh near Dhruv ashram, Ganges River is silent.
Once, almighty’s attendants came to take him. But Dhruv was not interested to leave bank of Ganges River where he was enjoying satsang, Bhajan, Dhyana etc. But he took last bath in Ganges and saluted her with heavy heart. Ganges River appeared before Dhruv and told him that this is her gross form but she resides in subtle form in Vaikunth. Then Dhruv left for Vaikunth.
Reference: Shrimad Bhagwat Mahapuran by Shri Ramchandra Keshav Dongra ji Maharaj