PRAHLADA, PRAHRADA. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] A Daitya, son of Hiranyakasipu and father of Bali.
Hiranyakasipu, in his wars with the gods, had wrested the sovereignty of heaven from Indra and dwelt there in luxury. His son Prahlada, while yet a boy, became an ardent devotee of Vishnu, which so enraged his father that he ordered the boy to be killed; but not the weapons of the Daityas, the fangs of the serpents, the tusks of the celestial elephants, nor the flames of fire took any effect, and his father was constrained to send him back to his preceptor, where he continued so earnest in performing and promoting the worship of Vishnu that he eventually obtained final exemption from existence.
According to some accounts, it was to avenge Prahlada, as well as to indicate his own insulted majesty, that Vishnu became incarnate as the Narasinha, 'man-lion,' and slew Hiranyakasipu.
After the death of his father, Prahlada became king of the Daityas and dwelt in Patala; but, according to the Padma Purana, he was raised to the rank of Indra for life, and finally united with Vishnu.
The Padma Purana carries the story farther back to a previous birth. In this previous existence Prahlada was a Brahman name Somasarman, fifth son of Shivasarman. His four brothers died and obtained union with Vishnu, and he desired to follow them. To accomplish this he engaged in profound meditation, but he allowed himself to be disturbed by an alarm of the Daityas, and so was born again as one of them. He took the part of his race in the war between them and gods, and was killed by the discus of Vishnu, after that he was again born as son of Hiranyakasipu.
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