By performing the rigorous austerity of standing on the tips of his toes for one hundred and twenty five years Hiranyakasipu became so powerful that the demigods prayed to Lord Brahma to keep him from destroying the universe.
Due to his austerity Lord Brahma offered Hiranyakasipu his hearts desire. Hiranyakakasipu demanded that he should not die. Lord Brahma explained to him that even he must die but agreed to his request that he should never be killed in the day or in the night, that he should not die on land or in the air or in the water, that he should not be killed by any man or beast. Hiranyakasipu then asked for the benediction that he could not be killed by any weapon. Lord Brahma also agreed to this benediction and then left.
After receiving these benedictions Hiranyakasipu became more demonic and began conquering the material universe. With each new victory and increase in his power the Demigods became more and more worried.
In time Hiranyakasipu had a son calle Prahlada who was a great devotee of God even from birth. As a small boy of five he would preach about God to his school friends which infuriated his father, Hiranyakasipu. When his father demanded to know what this foolishness was Prahlada explained that because his father was too attached to his own sense gratification he was determined to deny God's existence. To understand God one must first give everything to God and then He would reveal himself.
Hiranyakasipu became so angry that he tried repeatedly to kill his own son, but by meditating on his Lord and chanting His name Prahlada was at no time harmed. First Hiranyakasipu had Prahlada thrown in to a circle of cannibals, then into boiling hot oil, then off a cliff, then trampled under an elephant, then thrown into a snake pit. Then, in desperation, Hiranyakasipu poisoned Prahlada's food, and eventually he became so enraged he lifted his son above his head and smashed him to the floor. When Prahlada still was not harmed Hiranyakasipu demanded to know where he got his super human powers from.
Prahlada replied that he got his strength from the same place as Hiranyakasipu did--from God. Hiranyakasipu demanded to know what and where was this God? Prahlada explained that God is everywhere that everything comes from God. Hiranyakasipu demanded if God was in a big pillar nearby in the palace. When Prahlada said, "Yes, my Lord is in that pillar," Hiranyakasipu stated that he would kill Prahlada's God by using his mace to smash the pillar. As he smashed the pillar Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half man, half lion incarnation of Krishna appeared from the broken pillar and pounced on the shocked demon.
Nrsimhadeva stretched Hiranyakasipu across his lap and with his long nails, he ripped apart the demon. Hiranyakasipu died instantly on Nrsimhadeva's blood drenched lap. He was killed neither on the land, sea nor in the air but on the lap of the Supreme Lord. He was killed neither during the day or the night but in the twilight. He was killed by neither beast nor man, but by the Lord's lotus hands and was killed with no weapons but with the nails of Lord Nrsimhadeva. Thus Hiranyakasipu's benediction from Lord Brahma remained intact and he was killed by the personification of fear, Krishna Himself in His half-man, half-lion form, Lord Nrsimhadeva.
I visited the temple in South India where the stone deity that Nrsimhadeva manifested into was worshipped by Prahlada for the rest of his life.
The strength of a nation is derived from the integrity of its homes.