prahlaadashchaasmi daityaanaam kaalaha kalayataamaham |
mrigaanaam cha mrigendroham vainateyascha pakshinaam || 30 ||

 
Among the demons I am Prahalaad and among the systems of counting I am time. Among animals I am the lion and among the birds I am Vainateya.
 
prahlaadaha : Prahalaad
cha : and
asmi : I am
daityaanaam : among the demons
kaalaha : time
kalayataam : among the systems of counting
aham : I am
mrigaanaam : among the animals
cha : and
mrigendraha : lion
aham : I am
vainateyaha : Vainateya
cha : and
pakshinaam : among the birds
 
The story of Prahalaad is found in the Srimad Bhaagavatam. Son of the demon-king Hiranyakashipu, he was an ardent devotee of Lord Naaraayana. So firm was his devotion that Lord Naaraayana appeared in the form of the half lion half man Narasimha to save Prahalaad from the atrocities committed by his father. Praising the strength of devotion, Shri Krishna says that Ishvara is found in Prahalaad among demons. Also, it drives home the message that we can change our destiny no matter what kind of family we are born into.
 
Next, Shri Krishna takes up the systems of counting. Even today there are various forms of such systems including the metric system, the imperial system and so on. The most accurate system, however, is that of time. Everything and everyone in the universe is under the influence of time and cannot escape its impact. So among the counting systems, Ishvara’s foremost expression is that of time.
 
For those of us who have seen a lion up close, it is no surprise that Shri Krishna finds the lion as prominent among the animals. The king of the jungle is magnificent even if found in a cage. His roar subdues animals that are much larger than he is. Among the birds, it is Vainateya, also known as Garuda the eagle, who is Ishvara’s finest expression. Garuda was the son of sage Kashyapa and Vinata. He is Lord Vishnu’s mount, emanating the Vedas from his wings as he flies.
 
So whenever we see someone succeeding despite their weaknesses, when we observe the passage of time, whenever we see animals or birds, we should remember that everything is Ishvara only.

Advertisements