Mumbai, May 5,1974
Lord Nrsimhadeva's Appearance Day
"One who remains a humble servant of Krsna has no danger. Even if he is in danger, he will be saved."

Srila Prabhupada

Today is the appearance day of Lord Nrsimhadeva. It is called Nrsimha caturdasi. This story of Prahlada Maharaja is very instructive. It is about the struggle between the atheist and the theist. There is always a struggle between them. If a person becomes God conscious, Krsna conscious, he will find many enemies , because the world is full of demons. What to speak of the devotee of Krsna, even when Krsna personally came, He had to kill so many demons. For example, there was His maternal uncle, Kamsa. Although very closely related, still he wanted to kill Krsna . As soon as any son was born to Devaki immediately Kamsa killed him, because he did not know who would be Krsna . The prediction was that the eighth child of his sister will kill Kamsa. So he began to kill all the children. At last, Krsna came. But he could not kill Krsna . He was killed by Krsna .
Nobody can kill God. The demons in a godless society Simply want to kill God. However God is never killed, the demon is killed by God. That is the law of nature. This is the instruction from Prahlada Maharaja's life. We can understand as stated in the Bhagavad gita, mrtyuh sarva-haras caham: "I am also death in the shape of taking away everything, whatever you possess." [Bg. 10.341. We are very much proud of possessing material things and material acquisitions, but when Krsna comes as death , everything is snatched away. Just like Prahlada Maharaja saw Nrsimhadeva, his father Hiranyakasipu also saw Nrsimhadeva. Hiranyakasipu was very clever just like the materialistic scientists. Cleverly they are inventing so many things. But what is their idea? The idea is, "We shall live forever and enjoy sense gratification more and more." This is called atheistic advancement of civilization. Hiranyakasipu was a typical materialist. Hiranya means gold, and kasipu means soft bed or cushion. Materialistic persons are very much fond of gold and enjoying sex. That is their business. So Hiranyakasipu is the typical example of the materialistic person. Prahlada means prakrsta-rupena ahlada. And ahlada means transcendental bliss. Ananda-cinmaya- rasa pratibhavitabhih [Bs. 5.37]. Living entities' real identification is prahlada, blissfulness. But on account of material association, we are in miserable condition of life.
Hiranyakasipu wanted to become immortal, and therefore he underwent severe penances, so much so, the whole universe began trembling. Then Lord Brahma had to come to pacify him, "What do you want?" He wanted to become immortal. Lord Brahma said, "Although I have got a very long duration of life even I have to die." The duration of life of Brahmaji is stated in the Bhagavad gita, sahasra-yuga-paryantam arhad yad brahmano viduh [Bg. 8.17]. One group of yugas-Satya, Treta, Dvapara, Kali becomes about forty three lakhs of years. Multiply these forty three lakhs of years by one thousand, that duration of time is Brahma's twelve hours, one day. Sahasra-yugaparyantam arhad yad brahmano viduh. So that Brahma who lives for millions of trillions of years even he has to die.
Janma-mrtyu-jara-vyadhi-duhkha-dosanu-darsanam [Bg. 13.9]. Wherever you go within this material world, either in the Brahmaloka or in the Patalaloka, you have to die. That is the problem. Krsna says in the Bhagavad gita, "Real problem is janma-mrtyu-jaravyadhi, birth, death, old age and disease," Hiranyakasipu wanted to solve these in a materialstic way, but that is not possible. So in a negative way he wanted that "I shall not die."
For one who remains a humble servant of Krsna, he has no danger. Even if he is in danger, he will be saved. Krsna says in the Bhagavad gita, kaunteya pratijanthi na me bhaktah pranasyati. "Arjuna, you can declare it all over the world that anyone who has taken shelter at My lotus feet and becomes My devotee will never be vanquished." [Bg. 9.31] Aham tvam sarva -papebhyo moksayisyami ma sucah [Bg. 18.66]. So these are the assurances.

Prahlad Maharaja in Gurukula

But the atheist class of men like Hiranyakasipu cannot understand this. That is their defect. They always challenge God. The dissension between the father and the son was that the son was believer in God, Krsna, and the father was not. So at the end the father saw what is God in the form of death. At that time he could not save himself. That is the difference between theist and atheist. The atheist always challenges, "Where is God? Can you show me?" Well, you will see. Not now. Just at the maturation of all your sinful activities, when death will come, you will see Him.
This is a very instructive lesson by Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja is one of our gurus. There are twelve gurus, or mahajanas:
svayambhur naradah sambhuh kaumarah kapilo manuh prahlado janako bhismo balir vaiyasakhir vayam [SB 6.3.20]
Actually, if we want to make progress in spiritual life, we have to follow the mahajanas, the great personalities. They are mentioned In the sastras. Brahmaji became manifest without father and mother. Therefore his name is Svayambhu. Of course, his father is Narayana, but not in the usual way. Narada Muni is also one of the mahajanas. And so is Sambhu, Lord Siva and Kapiladeva, the son of Devahuti. Similarly Prahlada Maharaja. Prahlada Maharaja is our guru in the disciplic succession. dharmasya tattvam nihitam guhayam mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186]. We cannot chalk out what is the path of religion. It is very difficult to find out because there are many different scriptures and there are many philosophers. nasau munir yasya matam na bhinnam [Maha.,vana-parva 313.117].
Each philosopher has got a different opinion. So how to get real path of religious way? That is recommended in the sastra that mahajano vena gatab sa panthah. You have to follow the footsteps of great personalities. And Prahlada Maharaja is one of them.
Prahlada Maharaja was born in a demon's family. His father was a demon. Prahlada Maharaja used to address his father as Asura-varya, "the best of the demons." He never said, "My dear father," but, "My dear the best of the demons." Once, Hiranyakasipu patted his son, "My dear son, tell me the best thing you have learned." Prahlada Maharaja replied,
tat sadhu manye 'sura-varya dehinam sada samudvigna-dhiyam asad-grahat hitvatma-patam grham andha-kupam vanam gato yad dharim asrayeta [SB 7.5.5].
"That this worldly life, materialistic life, is self killing just like a dark well. So one should give it up and go to the forest and take shelter of Krsna. That is the best way of life." Upon hearing this, his father became very angry. Similarly, the atheist and the theist will never agree. But the theist will also never submit to the atheist. This is the principle. Prahlada Maharaja was put into so many troubles by his father, but he never forgot chanting Om nama bhagavate vasudevaya namah. He never forgot.
So we should take lessons from this story that even in dangerous positions, we should not be forgetful of Krsna. Krsna will save us. It is said in the Bhagavad gita,
yam labdhva caparam labham manyate nadhikam tatah yasmin sthito na duhkhena gurunapi vicalyate [Bg. 6.20-23]
Krsna consciousness is so nice that if one gets Krsna consciousness, yam labdhva caparam labham, aparam labham, any other benefit or gain is never considered. This is so nice. We are hankering after getting this, that, this, that, this, that, so many things. Dehi, dehi, dehi, dehi. (dehi-give). But as soon as you get Krsna consciousness, you will be satisfied. As Dhruva Maharaja said, svamin krtartho 'smi varam na yace (Therefore I am so satisfied that I do not wish to ask any benediction from You.) [Cc. Madhya 22,42]. Just like Prahlada Maharaja. He was offered all benedictions by Lord Nrsimhadeva: "My dear Prahlada, whatever you like, you can ask." But Prahlada never asked for anything. But he was so kind that despite so many troubles given by his father, still, he begged from Nrsimhadeva, "My Lord, my father has committed so many offenses. Kindly give him liberation." This is an example of a Vaisnava son in family. He did not ask anything for himself. So Narahari, Nrsimhadeva, immediately said, "Why do you speak of your father? Your father's father, his father, fourteen generations all are liberated because a son like you is in this family." So this is the benefit. If a son becomes a pure Vaisnava, devotee, he can deliver fourteen generations. That is a special prerogative because he is born in a certain family. So what service can we give to the family, nation materially? If we become devotees, we can give best service to the nation, to the family, to the humanity. That is the philosophy.
Our Krsna consciousness movement is preaching this philosophy that "You take to Krsna consciousness; your life will be perfect." And the method is very simple. There is no secrecy. Just like this evening I was talking with a boy. He has got a mantra, very secret. But we say we have no secret mantra. Our mantra, Hare Krsna, is open to everyone. Why it should be secret? If by chanting Hare Krsna mantra we can approach God, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, why should it remain secret? It should be distributed like anything so that everyone can go Back to Godhead. There is no secrecy. We don't approve of a secret mantra. It must be very open. There is no secret. The sastra never says that mantra can be secret.
harer nama harer nama harernamaiva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha [Cc. Adi 1721]
Kali means the age of quarrel, age of misunderstanding, age of disagreement. In this age it is very difficult to come to the right conclusion by philosophy and other methods. Therefore in the sastra it has been openly declared,
harer nama harer nama harer nama iva kevalam kalau nasty eva nasty eva nasty eva gatir anyatha ICc. Adi 1721]
Three times. Three times means yajna-dana-tapah-kriya. There are many other things: meditation, sacrifices, worship in the temple. So in this age all these things are impossible to be performed, but even a child can chant Hare Krsna maha mantra. That is proved here. In chanting of the Hare Krsna maha mantra, even a child can take part, old man can take part. So this is the only method for God realization. There is no expenditure, but the gain is very, very great. That was the teaching of Sri Prahlada Maharaja, and we are following his footsteps. Let us stick to his principle, mahajano yena gatah sa panthah [Cc. Madhya 17.186], and thus become more and more advanced in Krsna consciousness.
Thank you very much.