By V. Krishnaswami Aiyar
?The whole universe is a manifestation of the Lord. So, look on everything as God Himself. Give up your demoniac nature; strive like me to obtain His grace. Surely you will attain abiding peace.
?Turn your hearts from the enticements of the world. Look upon all things with an equal eye. Worship of Achyuta alone makes for such samatva. When He is pleased, what is there which you cannot acquire? But these worldly goods, dharma, artha and kama are trifling before the final and supreme good of liberation from sansara. Devotion to Hari is the only way to achieve it.?
The teachers were faced with a dreadful dilemma. Obviously they could not wean Prahlada from his devotion to his God and if they did not, they would have to face the wrath of the demoniac Hiranyakasipu. But they had no choice now and so they led the boy to the palace and told the King that all their efforts had failed.
Hiranyakasipu flew into a rage as they had feared. He called his servants and said: ?Here is my son who preaches against me. Kill him this instant. Do not tarry. Mix the most deadly poison with his food and make him eat it. Do not show him any mercy.?
They did as they were bidden and gave the poisoned food to Prahlada. He received it from their hands with great composure. He pronounced the name of Ananta and sanctified the food and ate it. His countenance showed no change. Nothing untoward happened to him.
The servants were filled with dismay and alarm. They reported to the King: ?The most deadly poison was given to your son mixed with food; but he ate it all without any harm.?
?Quick, quick,? cried Hiranyakasipu, ?bid the masters of the black art come here at once and let them practise it against him.?
The magicians came. But before they set about their mission, they tried to plead with the boy: ?Prahlada, why are you so stubborn? Your father is the lord of the three worlds. You are well-born. Why do you worship other gods? Your father is greater than them all. And, in your time, you too will be like him. So give up this allegiance to his enemies. A father must be worshipped over all others. He is the highest guru.?
Prahlada said: ?Good Sirs, true, ours is a noble family. I know the might and power of my father. And I agree the father is the best of all gurus and deserves every respect. A son must certainly take special pains to please his father. I am sure I have not failed in this duty. But when you ask me, ?what have you to do with Ananta?? there I say ?you speak as you must not?.? With that Prahlada remained silent. The magicians smiled and asked: ?What can your Ananta do??