Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

The Great Ruler Who Lived Miserably and Died Pitifully
By Purushottam Nitai Das   |  Feb 01, 2020

Hiranyakashipu had all the riches of the world but still it wasn’t sufficient enough to buy him happiness. He was the most powerful person of the universe, but he was always insecure.  Everyone feared him but still he lived in fear. 

He had conquered all the worlds, but he always lived under the control of his two masters – his mind and his senses.  

His cunning mind had convinced him that he can attain immortality and enjoy in this world unlimitedly for eternity. The greedy senses always forced Hiranyakasipu to acquire more and more material opulences.  

It was not only Hiranyakasipu who became a victim of his mind and senses. All the great conquerors of this world have been its victim too. And we too are always driven by the desires and demands of our mind and senses.  

But history is testimony to the fact that no one has ever lived here forever and enjoyed here forever. 

Senses like the venomous serpents are always a threat to our existence. The more we try to feed them the more deadly they become. And no matter how much we feed them their hunger never subsides. We work hard day and night to buy things to our senses hoping that they will be pleased with us.  But it never happens. 

Hiranyakasipu had performed austerities for several thousand years and acquired everything of the universe but still his senses and mind was never satisfied, they never allowed him to live peacefully, they made his life hell. 

Srila Prahupada explains “if one wants to go to hell he must endeavor very much, but if he wants to return home, back to Godhead, there is no difficult endeavor.” S.B. 7.7.38 Purport 

Our uncontrolled mind and unchaste senses force us to work very hard throughout our life. No matter how much we try our mind and senses keep on demanding more and more and never gives us any pleasure.  

But becoming a devotee of the Lord is easy. And practicing devotion is so simple. We just have to chant the names of the Lord like Hare Krishna Mahamantra and live as per the guidelines of the holy scriptures. 

If with determination we utilize our mind and senses in practicing devotion to the Lord then the Supreme Lord who is also known as Hrisikesa, the master of the senses, takes control of our mind and senses and purifies them. Our mind and senses then no longer become the cause of our misery but instead gives us great joy. 

Hiranyakasipu, the supreme ruler, with all his material positions and possessions never succeeded in satisfying his senses. He lived miserably and died pitifully.  Prahlada, his son, utilized his mind and senses in chanting and singing the glories of the Supreme Lord and he lived happily in this world and went to the abode of Supreme Lord after leaving this world.

So instead of becoming the devoted servants of our whimsical mind and senses we should become a devotee of the Supreme Lord.  If we follow the footsteps of Hiranyakasipu we will suffer for sure. If we follow the footsteps of Prahlada we will enjoy for sure. Choice is ours!

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(Purushottam Nitai Das is a member of congregation at Iskcon Kolkata. He works at IBM as an Advisory Consultant. He writes at

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