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Godrumdwip (Kirtanam: chanting)


Sri Nrisingha Palli



The last place of our parikrama today is the temple in Sri Nrisingha Palli (Nrisimha Palli). By the mercy of Sri Gurudev, by the mercy of Sri Nrisimhadev and by the mercy of Srila Prahlad Maharaj, we have got here a small place, which gives us now an opportunity to do Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama every year from here.

The story of Sri Sri Nrisimhadev and Prahlad Maharaj is very important. You must listen to it very attentively and always remember it.


The two brothers Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa were actually two gatekeepers in Vaikuntha; their original names are Jaya and Vijaya. One day, when Narayan and Laksmi Devi were resting in Their room and Jaya and Vijaya were guarding outside Their room, four sons of Brahma suddenly came to the palace of the Lord stark naked. Jaya and Vijaya slightened them, saying, 'Narayan is resting now, you cannot go there.' They did not know that those four boys were Brahma's sons, so they chased them away. One of the boys then said to Jaya and Vijaya, 'We will curse you two! You will go to Earth – you will not be able to stay here in Vaikuntha!' Jaya and Vijaya were so surprised that they almost fainted, 'What?! What have they just done? They have cursed us?!'

At this time, hearing some noise outside, Narayan came out and asked what had happened. Jaya and Vijaya explained, 'O Lord, we are Your gatekeepers, and these small boys told us to disturb Your rest – because we refused to do that, they have just cursed us!'

Narayan said, 'Tathastu. So be it.'

'What?! Will we really have to go down to Earth?'

'If they have uttered a curse, then you have to go.' (Everything happens by the will of the Lord.) Then, Narayan let them choose, 'If you come to Earth as My friends – if you choose to worship and serve Me – then it will take you seven births before you can come back; and if you decide to become My enemies, then it will take you three births to come back. Which do you choose?' Jaya and Vijaya replied, 'Lord, we want to come back to You as soon as possible, so we will become Your enemies!'

This is how they became Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa in Satya-yuga, Ravan and Kumbhakarna in Treta-yuga, and Sisupal and Dantavakra in Dvapar-yuga – each time, they came as antagonists and haters of Lord Krishna.

So, there were two brothers, Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksa. These two brothers harassed and tortured everyone. How many atrocities they committed! Even demigods had to run away from heaven, not being able to tolerate the two demons' atrocities. Hearing that demigods had fled, Hiranyaksa started harassing everyone even more. Then, one day, the Lord could no longer tolerate it – He became so angry that He assumed the form of a boar (Varaha) and killed Hiranyaksa.

When Hiranyakasipu got the news that his brother was dead, he was livid. He went to a forest and started practising austerities to get a boon from Brahma. He had fasted for many thousands of years – his practice was so severe that he had lost all his flesh and there were only bones left of his body. Finally, Brahma became very satisfied with his austerity, so he came to the demon and asked him, 'What boon do you want?'

'I want to be immortal,' Hiranyakasipu said. 'Give me such a boon so that nobody can kill me.'

'This is not in my hands; it is beyond my power,' Brahma answered. 'My lifetime is very long, but even I have to leave this body one day. So, I cannot grant you the boon you are asking me for. Is there anything else you want to get?'

Then, Hiranyakasipu decided to show his demoniac cunningness. 'Then I want you to do so that I will not die during the day, and I will not die during the night.'

'All right,' Brahma agreed.

'I will not be killed by anyone created by you.'

'All right.'

'I will not be killed by any weapon.'

'All right.'

'I will not die in the sky, I will not die on earth, nor will I die in the netherworld.'

'All right.'

'I will die neither indoors nor outdoors.'

'All right. I have given you the boon you have asked.'

Hiranyakasipu had a wife called Kayadhu. When he left for the jungle to meditate on Lord Brahma, she stayed at home. But when the Lord defeated Hiranyaksa, demigods again returned to heaven and one day came to the house of Hiranyakasipu and destroyed it completely. Seeing Kayadhu alone at home, they decided to kill her, so they took her with them and went away. On the way, they met Narad Goswami.

Surprised, Narad asked them, 'Where are you taking her?! This woman's husband is now in the forest, meditating on Brahma – where are you taking her?'

'We are going to kill her. She has Hiranyakasipu's son in her womb. If this child is born, he will become a demon, too. We will not put up with it!'

Then, Narad Goswami explained to them, 'You do not know that the son who will be born from her womb will become a great devotee. He will protect you. Here is what you should do – instead of killing her, give her to me.'

So, Kayadhu went together with Narad to his ashram. There, she started serving the Lord (she washed the dishes, offered worship, etc.). Also, Narad read Srimad Bhagavatam every day, and she would come and hear Hari-katha from him. Prahlad Maharaj also listened to the teachings of Srimad Bhagavatam from his mother's womb (and later taught what he had heard to his father and classmates).

One day, Narad said to Kayadhu, 'I am very pleased with your service. What boon would you like to receive?'

Kayadhu replied, 'My husband has gone to the forest and is meditating to get a boon from Brahma. Although he is a demon, he is still my husband… Please give me such a boon that I may not deliver the child until he returns.'

Narad agreed and granted her that boon.

In the meantime, as soon as Hiranyakasipu had got the boon from Brahma, he returned to his house and found it in a complete mess. Furious, he yelled, 'WHERE IS MY WIFE?!' Somebody told him, 'Narad Muni came here and took her with him. She is at his ashram.' So, Hiranyakasipu went to Narad Goswami's ashram and brought his wife back home. Then, Kayadhu delivered the child, and they called the boy Prahlad.

By and by, Prahlad grew up, and it was time for him to get education. Demons had a guru called Sukracharya. This Sukracharya had two sons, Sanda and Amarka, and Hiranyakasipu sent Prahlad to them, ordering them, 'Teach him sama (pacifying), dana (giving money in charity), bheda (dividing), danda (punishment) and everything else!' Prahlad sat at the lessons, but nothing they taught him entered his ears.

One day, Hiranyakasipu asked Sanda and Amarka, 'What has my son learnt? Bring him here.' When Prahlad came home, his mother dressed him in new clothes, smeared some oil on his head, etc. and took him to his father. Hiranyakasipu took him on his lap and asked, 'Son, what is the best lesson you have learnt at school so far? Of all the lessons you have got, which lesson is the best?' Prahlad replied, 'Father, let me tell it to you,' and then he said:

isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

'Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes.'

When Hiranyakasipu heard it, he threw him off his lap, 'What is this?! An enemy was born in my house! My own son has become my enemy!' He sent for Sanda and Amarka and roared at them, 'HEY, WHAT HAVE YOU TWO TAUGHT MY SON?!'

'Sir, please believe us, we have never taught him this. We do not know where he has heard this,' Sanda and Amarka explained.

Hiranyakasipu believed them and gave them a very strict order, 'Keep a good eye on him! Perhaps, somebody else came to your school and taught him this.'

'All right. We will take care of it,' the demons promised.

Prahlad went back to school, but what did he do? All the demons who were at school came to Prahlad Maharaj's group, and Prahlad Maharaj would teach them exactly the opposite of what their school master was teaching them.

A few days later, Hiranyakasipu again called for his son and again asked him, 'What have you learnt at school? What did the school master teach you?'

Prahlad replied, 'Sravanam, kirtanam, smaranam, vandanam, pada-sevanam, dasyam, sakhyam, atma-nivedanam: hearing about the Lord, chanting the Lord's Name and glories, remembering the Lord, offering obeisance to the Lord, serving the Lord as a servitor and as a friend, and self-submission to the Lord…'

'WHAT IS THIS??! What are you saying?!' Hiranyakasipu was fuming! He yelled, 'YOU ARE DISGRACE OF THE FAMILY!' Then, he thought to himself, 'The way things are, I will have to kill him.' So, Hiranyakasipu ordered his men to kill his son. He tried to kill him in so many ways, so many times – he tried to drown him, tried to crush him by tying him up to a mad elephant's leg, tried to feed him snake venom, tried to throw him into fire, throw from a mountain – no matter what methods he ordered his people to employ, he could not kill him; all attempts were in vain. Then, Hiranyakasipu told his men, 'I cannot do anything through you. Bring him to me! I will teach him his ultimate lesson!'

Prahlad Maharaj came and sat quietly beside his father.

Hiranyakasipu roared, 'Tell me right away – who have you learnt all these things from?'

Prahlad Maharaj replied in a calm voice, 'Father, I was taught by Him whose teachings this is.'

'The school master says he never taught you these things!' Saying this, Hiranyakasipu thought, 'If they could not kill him, I will take care of it myself!' Then, he asked Prahlad Maharaj again, 'Listen here, you disgrace! Tell me, where have you got your power? You do not die even when burning in fire; you do not die even when submerged into water; I had you thrown from a mountain and you still did not die! Speak up! Who gave you this power?'

'My worshippable Father, I am empowered with the same power that empowers you. I have got a boon from the same place where you have got yours. You got your boon from Brahma, and Brahma got all his power from the Supreme Lord. Having got your boon from Brahma, you have become completely mad with ego, so you forget where you have got your boon. Everything comes from the Supreme Lord.'

'Tsk! Again you are saying, "Lord", "Lord"! Where is your Lord?'

'Krishna, Hari, is everywhere.'

'Oh really? Where does your Hari live?'

'Where does Hari not live?'

'So He is everywhere? Is He, perhaps, in this pillar, too?'

'Yes, He is there, too.'


Then, Hiranyakasipu gave a mighty punch to the pillar, and as the pillar broke, there sounded a terrible cry: the Supreme Lord Himself appeared in front of the demon! Nrisimhadev, half-man, half-lion, appeared from the pillar. Seeing Him, Hiranyakasipu became stark mad with fury; seeing the demon, Nrisimhadev was also beyond Himself with rage. The Lord had told Jaya and Vijaya that they would have to fight against Him, so remembering those words, the Lord prepared Himself to fight.

Then, there was a fierce fight between Hiranyakasipu and Lord Nrisimhadev. Seeing their terrible battle, all demigods said, 'Oh no! What will happen now? Just now the Lord is about to lose! What if the Lord loses this battle?…' The Lord let Hiranyakasipu go, then again grabbed him, and then again suddenly let him go. Demigods were watching with fear, 'Oh no, what if the Lord will not make it? Is He losing the battle?!' When Hiranyakasipu managed to punch the holy body of Nrisimhadev, this time Nrisimhadev finally grabbed him and put him on His lap (Hiranyakasipu had got the boon from Brahma that he would not die in the sky or on the ground, he would not be killed by any weapon, etc. but we can see that Nrisimhadev kept him on His lap, etc.). Then, not delaying any longer, the Lord opened up Hiranyakasipu's stomach with His claws, took out his intestines and put them on His neck as a garland.

Having slain the demon, Nrisimhadev continued to show His anger. Hearing his terrifying cries, even demigods began to shiver. They ran to Laksmi Devi and asked her, 'Laksmi, come and pacify the Lord. The whole world will be obliterated just now by His cries!' Laksmi Devi replied, 'I cannot! I serve Narayan when He is cool-headed. He is livid now – I will not go there.' Then demigods asked Prahlad Maharaj to pacify the Lord. As soon as Prahlad Maharaj came forward to the Lord, Nrisimhadev become peaceful and felt very happy.

Taking Prahlad on His lap, the Lord asked him, 'My child, do you want to get some boon?'

'Prabhu, what boon will I ask?' Prahlad answered. 'You have come to bestow Your mercy on me. That is sufficient for me. I do not want anything more than that.'

'No, no, you must take something from Me,' the Lord insisted.

'All right then. My father has hit Your holy body – please mercifully rescue him,' Prahlad asked.

'This is not a boon. Those who sing My glories, chant My name, receive My darshan, etc. automatically get My mercy and go to Vaikuntha, and your father has touched My body. Whether he pushed Me out of anger or not, whether he did that with a desire to kill Me or not, but he has touched My body, so he has already gone to My abode. This is not a boon. Tell Me what else would you like to get? What boon can I give you?'

Then, Prahlad said, 'What can I want? Prabhu, if You want to give me something, then give me such a boon that all desires will leave me. Give me this boon, Prabhu.'

This is the main lesson of this pastime. All desires to get something from the Lord must go away. We always come to the Lord and ask for so many things for our own sense gratification: we always want this, that, that. We must stop being like that. The meaning of this pastimes of Prahlad Maharaj, Hiranyakasipu and Nrisimhadev is that people always come to Nrisimhadev and ask, 'I want my son to find a job', 'I want my daughter to get married', 'I want to be healthy', 'I want to be rich', and so on. But pure devotees pray, 'O Lord, my only prayer to You is that I may always have sincere devotion to Your lotus feet, that I may have attachment to Your lotus feet, that I may, by Your mercy, serve You eternally. Please destroy the obstacles on the path of devotion so that my devotion does not become destroyed. Please bestow such mercy on me that I may not fall under the influence of the illusory environment and ruin my devotion. This is the boon I want. I do not want anything for the pleasure of my senses.'

To protect Prahlad Maharaj and destroy the obstacles to pure devotion, Nrisimhadev descended to this world. When this work was done, He then took rest at an auspicious place in Godrumdwip: after slaying Hiranyakasipu, the Lord washed His hands in a pond near the temple here and rested for some time. Assuming the form of Lord Nrisimhadev's Deity, He then manifested Himself here to accept service from devotees. In this way, the worship of Lord Nrisimhadev has been going on here in Nabadwip since Satya-yuga.

You must always remember that the Lord cannot tolerate insult, humiliation or any trouble of His devotee. To protect His devotee, the Lord assumed the form of Nara-simha. You must always remember this.


There is one more very important thing that I heard directly from the lotus mouth of my Gurudev, and these are very important and confidential words. You must listen to it with your heart and always remember it. You cannot understand the lesson of Lord Nrisimhadev's pastime with your common, material intelligence or intelligence full of material attachments – full of bhukti (desire for enjoyment), mukti (desire for liberation), siddhi (desire for perfections), full of dharma (desire for religious piety), artha (desire for prosperity), kama (desire for material enjoyment), moksa (desire for liberation). It is necessary to have exclusive pure devotion – it is necessary to be completely surrendered.

Once, a devotee bought a kavach (amulet) with Nrisimhadev's sloka written on it. He wore it on his neck and came to Gurudev. Noticing the kavach, Gurudev asked him, 'What is this?'

'This is Nrisimhadev's kavach,' the devotee answered.

'I see that,' Gurudev said. 'But are you using Nrisimhadev for your own purpose or are you serving Nrisimhadev? Are you using Nrisimhadev for your own interest or do you want to serve Nrisimhadev? Which is right? Think about it and tell me.'

It was a senior devotee. When I heard Guru Maharaj's question, I was stunned and sat there quietly. Srila Guru Maharaj said then, 'You are engaging Nrisimhadev to serve your own purpose, but Nrisimhadev is the destroyer of obstacles to pure devotion – Nrisimhadev is not the destroyer of your obstacles! Do not use Nrisimhadev. You must serve Nrisimhadev.'

What does it mean? Everybody says, 'O Nrisimhadev, please remove obstacles from my life', 'Please give me this', 'Please give me that', but they are using Nrisimhadev. We go to Nrisimhadev to serve Him, to offer Nrisimhadev our obeisances, not to use Nrisimhadev for our own purpose. You can remember Nrisimhadev, but do not use Nrisimhadev for your health, body or mind. This is what our Guru Maharaj said, and what he taught was very important. I still remember what he told me, and I am telling it to you now for your eternal spiritual benefit. You can serve Nrisimhadev, but you cannot use Nrisimhadev to remove obstacles in your life. How beautiful Srila Gurudev's words are!

When I pass Nrisimhadev's temple here, I offer obeisance from the street. I stop the car in front of the temple and come to the temple to offer obeisances. Sometimes there are crowds of people here, then I pay my obeisance from far. Actually, we do not have the eyes to have the darshan of Lord Nrisimhadev. We come here and what we can see or what we cannot see, that is not our business: Nrisimhadev knows everything perfectly well. If Nrisimhadev sees I have come to Him, that is well and good. I do not have the eyes to think or say that I come to see Nrisimhadev.

andhibhuta chaksu yara visaya dhulite
ki-rupe se para-tattva paibe dekhite

'When your eyes are blind by the dust of the material world, how can you see that which is transcendental?'

We must serve Nrisimhadev; we must not use Nrisimhadev. Nrisimhadev kavachas are sold in many places, and people use Nrisimhadev to do business: they sell Nrisimhadev, they do not serve Nrisimhadev. We do not come to Nrisimhadev with such intentions. We come and give some sweet rice, some milk, sugar, some other bhog – this is what service to Nrisimhadev is. You must always have this mentality, this attitude.

There is one more thing: the teachings that Prahlad Maharaj heard from his mother's womb are written in Srimad Bhagavatam (he heard it from Narad Muni). Narad Muni's main instruction is that whatever happens, whatever exists, everything comes from the Lord.

isvarah paramah krsnah sach-chid-ananda-vigrahah
anadir adir govindah sarva-karana-karanam

'Krishna, who is known as Govinda, is the supreme controller. He has an eternal, blissful, spiritual body. He is the origin of all. He has no other origin, for He is the prime cause of all causes.'

(Sri Brahma-samhita, 5.1)

Money, religion, enjoyment, liberation – all this is temporary, but if you get the Lord through devotion, that is permanent. Therefore, we must practise devotion, avoiding all hypocritical religions (religious piety, material prosperity, material enjoyment, liberation).

There are different moods of devotion: there is santa-rasa (neutral service to the Lord), dasya-rasa (serving the Lord as a servant), sakhya-rasa (serving the Lord as a friend), vatsalya-rasa (parental service to the Lord) and madhura-rasa (service to the Lord in conjugal love). Based on Prahlad Maharaj's qualification, he is a santa-rasa devotee. Although he was very young (five years old), Prahlad Maharaj worshipped and attained the Lord, and not only that: just as Bali Maharaj gave up his guru and just as Bharat Maharaj gave up his mother, Prahlad Maharaj also gave up his father to come to the Lord. When Bali Maharaj's guru gave him bad advice, he did not like that advice because if he had followed it, it would have obstructed his service to the Lord; therefore, Bali Maharaj disobeyed and rejected his guru. However, when Prahlad Maharaj rejected his father, he asked the Lord forgiveness on his behalf – this is the mood of a person who has no envy. There is no envy, no selfishness in Prahlad Maharaj's devotion. His devotion is not driven by any selfish motive.

When we come to Nrisingha Palli to fulfil our own purpose – we come and tie a bead to the tree – that is not pure devotion. There are different qualities of devotion: devotion can be selfish and can also be selfless. Selfish devotion (sakama-bhakti) means we want something in our mind in exchange for devotion: 'I will serve the Lord and want to get something for that.' Prahlad Maharaj's devotion was selfless (niskama-bhakti). He said, 'O Lord, I want to serve You, and I do not want anything in return for that. Rather, give me such a boon that all my desires will go away.' This is the main lesson.

So, what I want to say is that whether it is religious piety, material prosperity, material enjoyment or liberation – all this is temporary. What is eternal? If you practise devotion, if you practise Krishna consciousness, you will get the Lord. That is what is permanent.

Therefore, continuing our Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama, we come here to Sri Nrisingha Palli. We must always remember and keep all these things in our heart. Beware!

Jay Sri Sri Laksmi-Nrisimhadev ki jay.
Jay Bhaktaraj Prahlad Maharaj ki jay.
Jay Sri Sri Gaura-Nityananda Prabhu ki jay.
Sri Nabadwip Dham parikrama ki jay. Sri Godrumdwip ki jay.
Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay.



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