Hinduism and Krsna Consciousness
Having spent some time reading some of your literature, I have a question: What, if any, connections do you have with mainstream Hindu beliefs as commonly understood in India? – Adela Pennyfather
Our reply: The basis for the various branches of the Hindu faith practiced around the world, originating in India, is the Vedic literature. The Hare Krsna movement is also based upon the Vedic literature, but its practices and goals are different from those of many Hindus today. The Vedas present humanity with a wide array of spiritual knowledgefor material advancement to heavenly planets, liberation into the impersonal Brahman, attainment of mystic perfections, and so on. The Hare Krsna movement focuses upon developing pure, unalloyed love for the Supreme Lord, fully independent of any ulterior motive. This essence is presented by Lord Krsna in Bhagavad-gita and substantiated in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, the mature commentary on the Vedanta-sutra, the essence of all Vedic theistic thought.
Replies to this letter was written by Krishna.com’s Live Help volunteers.
Story of Lord Nrsimha
I wish to know the story of Lord Nrsimha.- Latha Bachani
Our reply: In the Vedic literature, the story of Lord Nrsimha is mentioned in the Nrsimha Purana and Srimad-Bhagavatam (Canto 7), and possibly in other books too.
In short, the story mentioned in Srimad-Bhagavatam goes like this. Hiranyakasipu enraged at the execution of his evil brother Hiranyaksa by Lord Varaha seeks to first empower himself with immortality before embarking on the most formidable task of seeking revenge against Lord Visnu by killing Him. He performs untold austerities and gains the favor of Lord Brahma. For a boon, Hiranyakasipu begs for exemption from death at the hands of any living being created by Lord Brahma. To strengthen his conviction in his invincibility, he further requests that he should not die within any residence nor outside, during the day or night, not on ground or in the sky, by any weapon, man or animal etc. Asking more such boons in pursuance of his original goal of becoming immortal, Hiranyakasipu gets Lord Brahma to grant him these boons. Once in grip of what he wanted, he turned vile and set out on a rampage destroying the law and order of the universe by killing brahmanas, stopping sacrifices to Lord Visnu, attacking and holding hostage different demigods of the universe. In this way, he tried to replace Lord Visnu by immersing himself deep into enjoyment while usurping all power delegated by the Lord to his trusted representatives.
This fervor of happiness & dominance was compromised however in a strange way when Hiranyakasipu’s son Prahlada turned out to be a natural devotee of Lord Visnu. All attempts to instruct Prahlada in the culture propagated by his monarchical father fail as do attempts to dissuade him from his allegiance to Lord Visnu. Hiranyakasipu’s frustration reaches its zenith when one day Prahlada quite innocently instructs even his own father into worshipping Lord Visnu. All love for his own son fades away and gives way to incalculable wrath. Several assorted assassination attempts however fail to kill not only Prahlada but even his faith in Lord Visnu. Hiranyakasipu decides to take the matter into his own hands. He decides to kill Prahlada himself. As he prepares to strike his fatal blow he challenges Prahlada to prove that Lord Visnu will protect him. Instantly there is a deafening thunder that seems to crack the shell of the universe and a never-before spectacle beholds both father and son. From within a pillar appears a half-man, half-lion creature extremely angry in disposition with exceptionally fearful features and whose identity could not be ascertained by anyone. Because of not recognizing this wonderful form of the Supreme Lord, Hiranyakasipu in his vanity attacks Him and fights for some time although ineffectually. When the Supreme Lord finally decides to end the battle, he picks up Hiranyakasipu on his lap, moves to the doorway and placing him on his thighs rips open his body quite effortlessly by his sharp fingernails. This body had been rejuvenated previously by Lord Brahma and could not even be pierced by Indra’s thunderbolt but now it presents itself merely as a specimen of God’s power lying in a pool of blood.
The appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva (half-man half-lion incarnation) depicts the soft heart of the Lord Who is ready to present Himself in a strange form just to protect His dear devotee from being harmed. In doing this, although He is fully independent, He subjects Himself to all the conditions that Lord Brahma had agreed to originally. Although the proud atheist Hiranyakasipu was successful in every way to snatch power and gain control over universal affairs, he met his fate when he tried to disrupt the activities of the Supreme Lord’s devotee Prahlada, a mere five-year old boy. Thus, one can also witness the special inclination of the Lord towards His devotee and His readiness to go to any length to exhibit His love for His devotees.
Reply to this letter was written by Nanda Dulal Dasa.
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