Today I shall recite before you the prayers offered by Prahlāda Mahārāja to Nṛsiṁhadeva. This Prahlāda Mahārāja was tortured by his father on account of his becoming a Kṛṣṇa conscious boy. The only fault was that . . .
(aside) What is that? The door may be open.
The Prahlāda Mahārāja was a boy, five years old, youngest son of his father, very affectionate son. But one day the father took the little boy on his lap and asked the boy, "My dear child, what you have learned the best from your teachers? Will you kindly explain?" Prahlāda Mahārāja answered:
- tat sādhu manye 'sura-varya dehināṁ
- sadā samudvigna-dhiyāmasad-grahāt
- hitvātma-ghātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ
- vanaṁ gato yad-dharim āśrayeta
- (SB 7.5.5)
The father asked the best thing the boy learned from his teachers, and the boy, five-years-old boy, replied, "My dear best of the demons." (laughter) He never addressed his father, "My dear father," because his father was atheist number one, godless, and he was a great devotee of God. So when the father inquired, he straightly replied. He knew that his father was very powerful demon, but he was not afraid, although he was five-years-old boy. He plainly replied: "My dear the best of the demons," sura-varya, asura varya. Asura means demons, and varya means the best, first-class demon.
So "I think," tat sādhu manye—sādhu means honest, very good, very nice—"that is very nice." What is that? Dehināṁ: "For the entities who have accepted this material body . . ." He is speaking universally. Not for himself or for his father, but he was speaking generally, for everybody. Everybody. Anyone.
Dehināṁ. Dehi means this body. We are different from this body. We have several times discussed this point. So in Sanskrit word there are two implications in the understanding of our existence. One is deha. Deha means this body. And dehi means the proprietor of the body. I am the proprietor of my body, you are the proprietor of your body.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja says: "For all the proprietors of the body"—that means for everyone who has accepted this material body, all living entities—"that is the best thing." What is that? Sadā samudvigna-dhiyaṁ. And anyone who has accepted this material body, his symptom is that he is full of anxieties. This is the disease. To get this body, material body, means to remain always full of anxieties.
Either you become the first-class, I mean to say, executive head, President Johnson, or an ordinary man in the Bowery Street—everyone is full of anxiety. Not only human society but also bird society, beast society—everyone. Anyone who has got this material body, he's full of anxiety. But we want to get free from anxieties. That is our aspiration.
So Prahlāda Mahārāja suggests the remedy, how to become free from anxieties. He says, hitvātma-ghātaṁ gṛham andha-kūpaṁ. Ātma ghāṭam. Ātma means the soul, and ghāṭam means killing. Hitvātmā-ghāṭam gṛham andha-kūpaṁ. Andha-kūpa means blind well. Blind well . . . I do not know whether you have got experience. In India there are several old wells on the paddy fields, and they are covered with grass. Nobody can understand that there is a well underneath this, underneath this grass.
And if by mistake one comes there, he falls down, say hundred feet down. And it is covered with grass. Even if he cries, "Please save me, save me," who is going to save him? Sometimes cow and animals and men fall down in that way. If he's fortunate enough, somebody comes and rescues. Otherwise, generally, there is no rescue. Who is going to know that there is a man or there is an animal?
So hitvātmā-ghāṭam gṛham andha-kūpaṁ. This material world is just like that blind well. If somebody falls down in it, it is very difficult to get out of it. Therefore it is ātmā-ghāṭam. Ātma-ghāṭam means killing the soul. How we are killing the soul? We forget that "I am spirit soul." Therefore almost every one of us is forgetful that "I am spirit soul. I am identifying with this body." And Prahlāda Mahārāja says because we have identified with this body, therefore we are always anxious, full of anxieties. And that is the fact.