If you’ve been here before, you’d know by now that I put a lot of emphasis on choosing the right kind of company.
It’s quite simple, your environment influences you.
You become what you associate yourself with.
You’re bound to try Fish and Chips (that is if you happen to eat meat) if you’re in the UK. You’ll inevitably taste a dosa and idli down south in India. Daal-bhaat is what you’ll learn to grow up with if you’re born in east Uttar Pradesh or Bihar.
There are some choices that we make in life like what to read, what to watch, who to be friends with. Such kind of choices can define one’s life.
On 6th May’20, the Vaishnavas celebrated the appearance day of Shri Nrsimha Dev— ferocious and mighty, half-man, half-lion incarnation of Shri Krisha. The primary reason for this fascinating incarnation of Krishna was to protect and give pleasure to His devotee, Prahlada. The story of Shri Nrsimha’s appearance is linked to the inspiring life of the little boy, Prahalada and his glories.
Story of Prahalda
Prahlada was born to a demon named Hiryanakashipu. A providential stroke of luck has Prahalada learn from the saint Narada about the science of God-realization while he is in the womb of his mother. The Vedic understanding of life stresses a lot of importance on the conception of the child and the environment the mother gets while she’s pregnant. That determines how the child turns out to be.
Prahalada, the kid, turns out to be a sweetheart, a gentle soul who’s a friend to every living entity. He exudes compassion, knowledge, forgiveness and equanimity towards all.
Hiranyakashipu cannot tolerate that his little boy is a devotee of God. He tries to pollute his mind through material education (relatable much). When he fails to corrupt the little boy, he devises various methods to kill his own son. Prahlada, however, survives due to being protected by the grace of Shri Hari.
One day, when Hiranyakashipu decides to kill Prahlada on his own, Nrsimha appears to save his devotee. He tears (quite literally) the demon apart with His fingernails; as easily as one would tear a blade of grass.
As I re-read the story on 6th May, I found my mind filled with inspiration, joy and delight. I did not even get a direct association with the exalted personality of Prahlada, yet, I was (am) inspired. The absolute power of great personalities and their stories!
Also, Prahalad’s character itself was shaped up because he got to listen to Narada’s exalted philosophy to His mother when he was in the womb.
The story illustrates how a positive company can immaculately transform even before one’s birth!
My friend, Aditi whose recommendation on books cannot be ignored (each and every recommendation of her has been a gem for me), recently recommended me to read “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. Another friend had suggested “Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah. My book geek friends recommended me the book because reading about the life of these contemporary personalities inspired them in some way.
In general, as well, you’d notice a lot of biographies and autobiographies selling like hot cakes in the book market.
Reason being that people love to discover what made ordinary humans into something extra-ordinary. You get to peek into what goes on behind the scenes in the making of amazing people.
The Srimad Bhagavatam Mahapurana, the source of the Prahlad’s life story I quoted above, is replete with many inspiring stories about great personalities and incarnations of the divine. Each serves as a palatable and sweet dose of upliftment.
What’s Your Excuse?
In modern times, there are no excuses for not associating yourself or seeking the company of those who have something of value to offer.
Some upon reading this may say,
“But, Kushagra. Where do we find the uplifting company? My friends and family members share Tik-Tok videos and invite me to play Ludo king…”
“But, Kushagra, the only book that I can read is Facebook..”
If you don’t like reading, listen to podcasts or watch some incredibly well made and intentioned videos on Youtube, IGTV.
My friend Sarvesh who’s not an enthusiastic reader makes up for it watching good visual content and says he gets to learn a lot without having to read.
Point being that on each kind of platform, you’d find resources and in turn company that has the power to transform.
Let me share below some of my favourite resources and links that can be of great use to you on your journey.
- Bhagwad Gita As It Is by A C Bhaktivedanta Swami
- Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda
- The Journey Home by Radhanath Swami
- You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
- Atomic Habits by James Clear
- Inner Engineering by Sadhguru
- Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza
- Start with Why by Simon Sinek
- Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins
- Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak
- On Purpose With Jay Shetty
- The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
- You Can Heal Your Life podcast by Hay House
- Mindvalley Podcast with Vishen Lakhiani
- The Garyvee audio experience
- Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell
Thank you so much for reading until the end of the post. I am grateful for your time and presence. If this post was useful to you, please do let me know.
Wish you laughter, harmony, peace and good health.