14) Hiranyaksha

After Hiranyakashipu died, Hiranyaksha became the king of the demons.


Hiranyaksha promptly began to oppress the world. He defeated the gods and drove them out of heaven. He also took the earth down to the underworld. The gods again went to Brahma in


search  of  a  solution  and  Brahma  took  them  to  Vishnu.  They  prayed  to  Vishnu  so  that

Hiranyaksha might be killed.


Vishnu adopted the form of a boar and killed Hiranyaksha. He also raised the earth up to its rightful place. (This was the story that was alluded to when the Kurma Purana mentioned Vishnu’s boar incarnation.)


When Hiranyaksha was killed, Prahlada became the king of demons. Initially, he ruled well. He worshipped Vishnu and performed yajnas. The kingdom thrived and prospered. But on one occasion, Prahlada forgot to worship a brahmana through inadvertence.


The brahmana was furious as he thought that Prahlada had done this knowingly. “You have dared to ignore me because you thank that you are blessed by Vishnu,” said the brahmana. “I curse you that you will forget all about Vishnu. Your delusions will make you fight with Vishnu and you will lose all your powers.”


As a result of the brahmana’s curse, Prahlada deviated from the righteous path. He ignored the brahmanas and the Vedas. He desired to have revenge on Vishnu for having killed his father and uncle. Prahlada fought a long and bitter war with Vishnu. When he was eventually defeated by Vishnu, he realised the folly of his evil ways and sought refuge with Vishnu.


After Prahlada’s death, Hiranyaksha’s son Andhaka became the king of the demons.

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