PrahladMaharaj was a boy who, at 5 years of age, preached to his school-fellows of their urgent need for taking to Krishna Consciousness without delay. Prahlad was the son of a very powerful atheist king, HiranyaKashipu, and so from the moment of his birth he was in the hands of “Daityas,” or enemies of God. The nurses who picked him up, the court attendants, his mother, the court children-all were obsessed with the illusion that the body is the self, and there was no talk of Krishna, the Supreme Spirit. Like most boys born into our contemporary civilization, Prahlad’s chances for hearing any truth about the Supreme Personality of Godhead were almost nil.
And yet, every day, when the teacher would take a recess and leave the palace schoolroom, this 5-year-old boy would address his fellows in this way: “My dear atheist friends, now is the time to prosecute Krishna Consciousness, while we are still young. Listen, my fellow demons-we have to start now! I know you want sense gratification, but we have to start Krishna Consciousness immediately or we’ll never get out of the material entanglement. This material life will soon become too complicated and we won’t be able to get out-we’ll be like silkworms trapped in our own cocoons!”
Understandably, when Prahlad spoke the boys would only say, “Let us play, Prahlad! We’re only children. We’re only 5 years old! We can do Krishna Consciousness when we get older.”
“Yes,” Prahlad would respond, “I know you want to play. But just listen a moment. There’s no need to try so hard for sense happiness. That happiness will come without any endeavor, according to whatever body you have. That arrangement is already made by Nature and will come of itself, just as misery will come. But there’s a need to develop an understanding of what the dearmost thing in life is.
Prahlad Maharaj with his school friends
“Each of us is looking for his dearmost friend. That dearmost friend is the Supreme Lord, Krishna. He’s in everyone’s heart and He’ll make us satisfied forever. We can just chant His Name, ‘Hare Krishna,’ and we’ll be linked with Him and He’ll dictate to us how to come to Him.”
Gradually the boys began to listen. “Where did you get this excellent knowledge from?” they asked. “You’re like us, only 5 years old and like us you never leave the palace grounds. It’s not possible for you to go and take some instructions outside. And our teachers never have taught us this. Where did you learn it?”
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