Bhaskara Satakam (rendered into English) -(10)
aadara miMtaleaka naruDaatmabaloennati mamchivaarikin
kheadamu cheayuTaM danadu pearmiki giiDagu muulame; Tlama
ryaadahiraNyapuurvakaSipan danujuMDu guNaaDhyuDaina pra
hlaaduna keggucheasi praLayaMbunu bomdaDe munnu, bhaaskaraa!
ఆదర మింతలేక నరుడాత్మబలోన్నతి మంచివారికిన్
ఖేదము చేయుటం దనదు పేర్మికి గీడగు మూలమె; ట్లమ
ర్యాదహిరణ్యపూర్వకశిపన్ దనుజుండు గుణాఢ్యుడైన ప్ర
హ్లాదున కెగ్గుచేసి ప్రళయంబును బొందడె మున్ను, భాస్కరా! (Poem -10) (In Telugu font)
without treating them well, if a person tries to harm good men for
the betterment of his own, it surely causes his own downfall; as it
once brought the downfall of the ill-mannered Hiranyakasipu when he
tried to cause harm to his fair-minded son, Prahladu, Oh Bhaskara!
As per Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu, the Supreme God, on different occasions and in different periods of time, called Yuga in Hindu mythological terminology, had to descend onto earth in ten different forms, called Avatars, to save earth or the human beings living on it from the persons causing harm to their existence and well being. It is believed that in all, there are ten avatars of Lord Vishnu till now and the avatar connected with Hiranyakasipu and Prahlada mentioned in this poem brings to relevance the story connected to the avatar of Lord Vishnu in the form of a man’s body with a face of a ferocious lion, called Urga Narasimha avatar!
To understand the entire story, we have to go back to the beginning in time. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu, Almighty – the Supreme Being, created eight heads of all races who are called Prajapathis and one of these eight Prajapathis is Kasyapa prajapathi. He had two sons by name Hiranyakasyapa and Hiranyaksha.
These two were originally the door-keepers (by name Jaya and Vijayu) of Lord Vishnu’s abode in Vaikumtham but as a result of a curse by the Sanakasanandanas had to reborn as Rakshas (demons) for atonement and go back to their original place after the atonement.
Hiranyakasyap and Hiranyaksha, after performing great ‘devotional meditations’ which is called ‘tapassu’ (‘tapassu’ is a devotional meditative act normally perfromed in a recluse place in the woods, relinquishing all worldly affairs and facilities i.e., even stopping to take food for months and years together at times, depending on the nature of the ‘tapassu’ the performer undertakes to gain praise of the intended God and get at the end some boons from him as a result of His praise) gain the boon of invincibility in the hands of anyone, either God or a humanbeing and however powerful he might be, from the Gods Brahma and Rudra (a form of Lord Siva). With this boon to their credit, they become all powerful and start causing unbearable miseries to the common people around them.
As the miseries grew unbearable day by day, the pious beings who have access to approach Lord Vishu, the Supreme being, approach Him with folded hands and explain to him the miserable conditions prevailing on earth because of these two Rakshas Kings and request him to save them from the hardships. Lord Vishu assures them to do what is required and sends them back. As per his word, Lord Vishnu, by taking the form of a Boar (Varaha avatar) saves the earth, which is thrown by Hiranyaksha into the deep seas, from the depth of the seas by placing the round earth on its long frontal teeth and in the process kills Hirnyaksha too.
This act of Lord Vishu angers Hiranyakasyap and he avouches to take revenge on Him for killing his brother Hiranyakasha. However, Lord Vishnu, again takes the form of a half-beast and half-human form (as Hiranyakasyap had earned the boon of not to be killed either in the hands of a human or a beast) and kills him. Before doing this, Lord Vishnu, sends Prahlada – a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu – to be born as the son of Hiranyakasyap. The occurrence of his own son being a staunch devotee of his enemy, Lord Vishnu, confuses Hiranyakasyap to no end. He tries his best in many ways, even by punishing him in the hardest ways possible, to convince Prahlada to relinquish his devotion towards Lord Vishnu but fails miserably. As days progress Prahlada continues to praise Lord Vishnu with unmitigated devotion in the presence of Hiranyakasyap and even requests his father to mend his ways and become a devotee of Lord Vishnu, who is the mightiest of all and omni present, for his own good. Hiranyakasyap, however, hates these good words of Prahlad and in the emotionally surcharged atmosphere challenges him to show Lord Vishnu in the pillar of the hall where they were situated then, if He is really omnipresent . As these words came out of the mouth of Hirnyakasyap, to his bemusement, Lord Vishnu truly appears in the form of ‘Urga Narasimha avatar’, comes out of the pillar and kills Hiranyakasyap.
The moral this poem teaches to the children and elders as well is – it does not do any good if one tries to harm fair minded men to prove his strength over them; it instead often leads to inviting one’s own downfall and even death.