The Maya enveloping the world wields a powerful influence on our thought, word and deed. One is bewildered by the appearances and reality that play hide and seek with us. Philosophers have had endless debates on this subject and even the scriptures that reveal the nature of Reality aver that it is not easy to grasp the eternal truth.

Prahlada’s prayer is full of valuable insights. His innate knowledge about the glory of God was due to Sage Narada’s instruction to his mother when he was in the womb. The child has absolute faith in this knowledge of God and of the duties of a devotee, said Sri P. M. Vijayaraghava Sastrigal in a lecture. He thus elucidates the basic features of Bhagavata Dharma. The only qualifications of a devotee being sincerity and selflessness in one’s true love to God, all other credentials such as — wealth, status, education, intelligence, knowledge, influence, physical strength or mystic power — are insignificant.

Though Prahlada was born in a family of demons, where only passion, ignorance and hellish qualities prevailed, he was fortunate to be initiated in the path of devotion. The child became overwhelmed when after killing Hiranyakasipu, Lord Narasimha fondly placed His lotus hand on his head — a rare gesture that was not given to Brahma, Siva or even Lakshmi. He praises the Lord and speaks of devotional service.

When we worship God, or offer Him something, we should not feel a sense of pride in our act; we should realise that God is self-sufficient and does not need anything from anyone, leave alone our small self. We should understand that it is for our sake and our benefit that we worship Him. The Lord’s merciful nature accepts our worship and turns this act to our advantage. All our impurities which we carry through the cycle of birth can be purged by singing the Lord’s glory and by serving Him.

Gajendra offered selfless worship to the Lord. He gave up his sense of ego. After struggling for long to extricate himself from the clutches of the crocodile, he called out to the original source of all creation for help. Sure enough, the Supreme Being heard this genuine plea and displayed a grand response to this prayer.

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