6

Prahlada says in his hymn to Sri Nrisimhadeva:

My dear Lord, O infallible one, my position is like that of a person who has many wives, all trying to attract him in their own way. For example, the tongue is attracted to palatable dishes, the genitals to sex with an attractive woman, and the sense of touch to contact with soft things. The belly, although filled, still wants to eat more, and the ear, not attempting to hear about You, is generally attracted to songs. The sense of smell is attracted to yet another side, the restless eyes are attracted to scenes of sense gratification, and the active senses are attracted elsewhere. In this way I am certainly embarrassed.

So far as my limited knowledge goes, Prahlada was a small boy when his father was killed. How could he then be attracted to the sensual pleasures as mentioned above? All the paintings I have seen also depicted him like a lad.

Does anybody know the exact age of Prahlada at the time when his father was slayed by Sri Nrisimha?

11

Prahlada was five years old. Here is what Hiranyakashipu says to his servants in this chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam:

O demons, take this boy away from me! He deserves to be killed. Kill him as soon as possible! This boy Prahlāda is the killer of my brother, for he has given up his family to engage in the devotional service of the enemy, Lord Viṣṇu, like a menial servant. Although Prahlāda is only five years old, even at this young age he has given up his affectionate relationship with his father and mother. Therefore, he is certainly untrustworthy. Indeed, it is not at all believable that he will behave well toward Viṣṇu. Although a medicinal herb, being born in the forest, does not belong to the same category as a man, if beneficial it is kept very carefully. Similarly, if someone outside one’s family is favorable, he should be given protection like a son. On the other hand, if a limb of one’s body is poisoned by disease, it must be amputated so that the rest of the body may live happily. Similarly, even one’s own son, if unfavorable, must be rejected, although born of one’s own body. Just as uncontrolled senses are the enemies of all yogīs engaged in advancing in spiritual life, this Prahlāda, who appears to be a friend, is an enemy because I cannot control him. Therefore this enemy, whether eating, sitting or sleeping, must be killed by all means.

But note that Prahlada was an Asura, not a human. Also, Prahlada might have just been talking about his general plight he’s had as a Jiva in Samsara, not just what is relevant to his present birth.

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