PATH OF DEVOTION
Jai: Should we worship
or meditate every day, Grandma, or just
Children should do some form of worship,
prayer, or meditation everyday. Good
habits must be formed early.
Jai: You said that
God is formless but also has forms.
Should I worship God as Rama, Krishna,
Shiva, Durga, or should I worship a
Arjuna asked Lord Krishna the same question
in the Gita. (Gita 12.01) Krishna told
Arjuna that worship of God with a form
with faith is easier and better for
most people, especially for beginners.
But a true devotee has faith in everything:
the formless God, and God with a form,
such as Rama, Krishna, Hanumana, Shiva,
and the Divine Mother Kali, Durga.
Jai: How should I
Go to the worship or meditation
room before going to school and pray.
Sit straight, close your eyes, take
a few slow and deep breaths, remember
your IshtaDeva and ask his or her blessing.
Focusing your mind on your IshtaDeva
with eyes closed is called meditation.
You may also silently repeat a mantra
such as ‘OM’ or ‘Ram,
Ram, Ram, Ram, Ram’ a few times.
Jai: When I start
to meditate, I can’t concentrate
my mind, Grandma. My mind starts to
go everywhere. What should I do?
worry, this even happens to adults.
Try to concentrate or focus again and
again. With practice, you will be able
to focus your mind well, not only on
God but also on your study materials.
This will help you get good grades.
You can also pray to God and worship
by offering fruits, flowers, etc. to
your IshtaDeva with love. Also, remember
the Lord of learning, such as Lord Ganesha,
Hanumana, or Mother Sarasvati before
starting your studies. Don’t be
selfish. Work hard. Accept the results
of your work without getting upset by
bad results. Try to learn from your
failures. Never give up and improve
Jai: Is that all
I have to do, Grandma? Did Krishna say
You should also develop good habits
such as obeying your parents, helping
others in need, not hurting anybody,
being friendly to all, saying sorry
or asking forgiveness if you hurt anyone,
keeping your mind calm, being grateful
to those who have helped you, and saying
thank you. God loves and helps those
who act in this way. Such people are
called devotees or Bhakta. (Gita 12.13-19)
If you don’t have any one of these
good habits, try hard to develop them.
Jai: Is it possible
for a child to be a Bhakta?
already told you the story of Dhruva.
Now I will tell you the story of another
child Bhakta. His name was Prahlada.
15. The Story
of Bhakta Prahlada
Hiranyakasipu was the king of
demons. He performed a very difficult
spiritual practice, and Lord Brahma
gave him a boon that he could not be
slain by man or beast. The boon made
him arrogant, and he terrorized all
the three worlds, saying that there
were no gods other than himself and
everybody must worship him.
He had a son named Prahlada, a religious
child who always worshipped Lord Vishnu.
This angered his father greatly; he
wanted to drive the thought of Vishnu
from his son’s mind, so he turned
him over a strict teacher to train him
to worship only Hiranyakasipu as God
and not Vishnu.
Prahlada not only refused to listen
to the teacher, but started teaching
the other students to worship Vishnu.
The teacher was very angry and reported
this to the King.
The King burst into his son’s
room, and shouted, “I hear you
have been worshipping Vishnu!”
Trembling, Prahlada said softly,
“Yes father, I have.”
“Promise me that you
will not do that again!” demanded
“I cannot promise,”
Prahlada immediately answered.
“Then I will have you
killed,” shouted the King.
“Not unless it is the
wish of Lord Vishnu,” replied
The King tried his best to get Prahlada
to change his mind, but nothing worked.
He then ordered his guards to throw
Prahlada into the ocean, hoping that
would frighten Prahlada into promising
not to worship Vishnu anymore. But Prahlada
remained loyal to Vishnu and kept praying
to Him in his heart with love and devotion.
Guards tied him to a huge rock and threw
him into the ocean. By God’s grace,
the rock fell away and Prahlada floated
safely to the surface of the water.
He was surprised to see Vishnu on the
Vishnu smiled at him and said, “Ask
me anything you want.”
“I don’t want kingdom, wealth,
heaven, or a long life. I just want
the strength to always love You and
never turn my mind away from You.”
Lord Vishnu granted Prahlada’s
When Prahlada returned to his father’s
palace, the King was stunned to see
“Who brought you out of the sea?”
“Lord Vishnu,” said the
“Do not say that name before
me,” shouted his father. “Where
is your Lord Vishnu? Show him to me,”
“He is everywhere,” replied
“Even in this pillar?”
asked the King.
“Yes, even in this Pillar!”
replied Prahlada confidently.
“Then let him appear before me
in whatever form he wants,” cried
Hiranyakasipu and broke the pillar with
his iron club.
Out from within the pillar jumped a
being called Narasimha, who was half
man and half lion. Hiranyakasipu, stood
helplessly before him. Frightened, he
called out for help, but none came.
Narasimha picked up Hiranyakasipu and
placed him on his lap, where he mauled
his body and tore it apart. Thus Hiranyakasipu
met his end.
God blessed Prahlada for the deep faith
he placed in Him. After the death of
Hiranyakasipu, demons were crushed,
and the Devas took over the world once
again from demons. To this day, the
name of Prahlada is counted among the
Chapter 12 summary:
The path of devotional love of God is
very easy to practice. This path consists
of daily deity worship, offering fruits
and flowers, singing hymns (Bhajans)
in praise of the glory of God, and developing
certain good habits.