Stories from Paradise, Gobind Sadan Prahlaad | Stories from Paradise, Gobind Sadan

Prahlaad

Characters: Harnaakhash, Prahlaad, Prahlaad’s mother, his 2 teachers, other students, guards, Holika, Narasimha

Props: Writing slates, chalk, alphabet book

Narrator: Prahlaad was the son of the demon king Harnaakhash. Harnaakhash had been given a boon that he could not be killed at night or in the day, inside or outside, by man or by animal.

Prahlaad was a very innocent child. He didn’t know anything about religious rituals or spiritual practice. He had not been taught the idea that the Creator is separate from the created world.

His mother was a devotee of Vishnu. She taught him to worship the One God [She holds up one finger and shows him how to bow].

Prahlaad became very pure. Night and day he chanted the Nam, the Name of the Lord.

He understood only the One Name. He didn’t know anything else. He constantly sang the praises of the One.

Prahlaad [sings and claps]: “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Hari Hari.”

Narrator: His father Harnaakhash sent Prahlaad to school to learn to read. [He gives Prahlaad a slate and sends him to school. Other children are there writing on their slates under the instruction of 2 teachers.]

Prahlaad: I shall not read anything except Name of God. Please write the Lord’s Name on my slate. [sings Hari Krishna, clapping his hands]

Teacher: Leave that. Write this: “Ka, Kha, Ga, Gha.” [shows him that alphabet book page]

Prahlaad: I want to learn only about the One. Please teach me to write His Name only. [sings Hari Krishna]

[Other students start giggling and stop writing.]

Teachers: This naughty child is ruining our class. We must complain to his father.

[They take Prahlaad to Harnakaash.]

Prahlaad’s teacher: Your son is ruining our school. He is disrupting our classes and spoiling the other children. He doesn’t listen to us. We are tired of trying to teach him.

Mother [to Prahlaad]: Don’t get into trouble. Just learn what they are teaching you.

Prahlaad: My Fearless Lord, the Great Giver, is always with me. If I were to leave Him, my family would be disgraced.

Harnakaash: You must obey me. I am your Master. I am Lord of everything.

Narrator: God had confused his father. God had made him blind with pride.

Prahlaad refused to abandon God and bow to Harnakaash as Master, so Harnakaash tried to get rid of him.

Harnakaash: Guards! Put this child in jail and lock the door.

[the guards do so]

Prahlaad: You cannot imprison me. Inside me is the Lord of the World. My Fearless Lord is always with me.

[He walks out of the cell and back to his father’s court]

Mother: Please obey your father. He has conquered the whole world.

Harnakaash to his guards: This child does not obey me so I shall send him to the other world. Throw him off that mountain.

[They grab him, take him to the mountain, and push him off. He lands on his feet and walks home unhurt.]

Prahlaad: How can you hurt me? The Lord of the World is inside me.

Harnakaash to his guards: Take him to the river and throw him in.

[They do so, but he swims out and returns to his father’s court]

Prahlaad: How can you hurt me? The Lord of the World is inside me.

Holika to Harnakaash: I will help you get rid of your naughty son, my brother. Give him to me. I cannot be burned in a fire. I will hold him in my lap and he will be burned up.

[The guards make a fire, and Holika sits in it, with Prahlaad on her lap. She burns up, and he plays with the colors, singing Hari Krishna and clapping.]

Prahlaad: How can you hurt me? The Lord of the World is inside me.

Harnakaash [very angry]: I am Master of all the world. I’ll kill you myself. Guards, tie him to this pillar. Now who can save you?

[guards tie Prahlaad to a pillar]

Prahlaad: The Lord, the Master of the Three Worlds, is also within this pillar. Wherever I look, I see Him.

[Harnakaash lifts a sword to kill him, but at once Narasimha, the man-lion, comes out of the pillar and tears apart Harnakaash with his claws.]

Narasimha: I have taken this form to protect My devotee. Harnakaash’s boon could not save him from Me. I am neither man nor animal. I have killed him on this doorstep, which is neither inside nor outside. And as it is twilight, it is neither night nor day.

Prahlaad: The Lord of the World is always my Help and my Support.