He tried his best to get his son killed by any means. He tried to throw him from a mountain — he tried to burn him — he dug a pit and buried him alive but to no avail and then he got him trampled by elephants, but the child seemed invincible and sang the praise of Narayan without fear.
Hiranyakashipu troubled the devtas so much that they had to run away from their abode. They disguised themselves as just anybody and moved from place to place without rest. The devtas then went to Brahma and warned him against being soft to the tyrant who had decided to please Brahma and was doing great tapas in honour of Brahma. Brahma went to the cave where the ‘asur’ was absorbed in meditation.
He could not see Hiranya as he was covered with weeds and anthills. On seeing Brahma, Hiranyakashipu fell at his feet. Brahma was so overcome by the devotion and concentration of the asur that he was ready to give the ‘asur’ any boon he wanted, quite forgetting the warning of the devtas! Brahma soon sprinkled water on Hiranyakashipu from his kamandal and asked him as to what he wanted.
The father of Prahlad asked Brahma to make him ‘immortal’. Brahma told him that it was not in anybody’s power to grant such a boon. Thereupon Hiranyakashipu asked him to grant that none of the power created by Him should be able to kill him nor should he die inside a house or outside one.
Nor in the day or night should anyone be able to kill him. No man or animal should be the cause of his death, no living or non-living things should be able to kill him. No replite, devtas or asurs should be able to cause his demise. He also asked to be the wealthiest man on earth. Brahma granted him these wishes and vanished.
With all the boons granted Hiranyakashipu was able to conquer all the three worlds. The chief of the devtas Indra was made to wait on him. Even the earth and sea had to open their treasures to him and he became the most powerful being in the universe. Still he was not happy. He hated Narayan and could not rest in peace until he had killed Him.
Men and devtas prayed to the Lord in secret and when it became unbearable the devtas took courage and went to ‘Vaikunt Lok’ and entreated Vishnu to do something about it and that too as soon as possible. Realising the gravity of the situation Vishnu promised all that he would help them get rid of Hiran soon. Years were passing and inhabitants of the three worlds were terror struck to such an extent that they thought it would be better if pralay came.
In the meantime Hiranyakashipu tried his best to get his son to hate Narayan. He got two gurus to teach him the goodness of the ‘asurs’ and to make his son think that his father was the greatest person in the three worlds. The gurus tried three times to brainwash the child and each time failed. This angered the father so much that he himself tried to drive the ‘Almighty’ out of his son’s brain. The son insisted that Narayan was everywhere.
This made Hiranyakashipu all the more angry and he said: “If He is everywhere then produce him from this pillar of this room”. So Prahlad prostrated himself before the pillar and declared that he saw the Lord inside there. The father in extreme anger told his son: “I am now going to kill you, let your Narayan save you this time” and he took out his sword and rushed towards Prahlad.
With a terrible noise the pillar split into two and out came a huge form glowing like gold with a face like a lion and the body of a very strong man. The awesome beast cannot be described, Hiranya was at first not afraid, but suddenly it dawned on him that the apparition was neither a man nor an animal and remembered that the boon given by Brahma, did not include such a thing! Still he rushed towards this half lion and half man.
It was the Lord himself come to save Prahlad and the three worlds, and in spite of the asur trying to kill him with his mace the Lord caught him in his two mighty arms and carried him to the threshold of the hall, then placing the asur on his lap he tore his entails out with his nails and teeth killing him instantaneously. The time was twilight neither day nor night.
Hiranyakashipu was killed neither by a man nor an animal — not in the sky nor on earth (he was on the lap of the great beast that Narayan had chosen to become). Soon the Lord sat on the throne of Hiranya and looked so ferocious that all those present were frightened to see Vishnu in this form. The anger of the Lord could not be abated as this Hiranyakashipu had troubled his devotee — a little child — so very much. He could not be pacified by even Brahma or the devtas. Even Laxmi got frightened and could not do anything.
The whole assembly asked Prahlad to help and bring Narayan back to his usual calm self. Prahlad with tears flowing from his eyes pleaded with the Lord and won back the smile from Him. The Lord took Prahlad on His lap and blessed him. On Prahlad’s entreaties He promised to forgive his father. He also reprimanded Brahma for giving ‘asurs’ such boons without thinking. It was like giving ‘amrit’ to a serpent.
Narayan then vanished. Thus it was that jaya and Vijaya were freed from one birth of the three that they had to spend on this earth. The next birth of theirs was as Ravan and Kumbkaran who were killed by Vishnu in the form of Ram during the Treta Yug and the last one was as Shishipal and Dantavatra and Krishna in Dwapar killed the last two.