trih-saptabhih pita putah
pitrbhih saha te ’nagha
yat sadho ’sya kule jato
bhavan vai kula-pavanah
sri-bhagavan uvaca—the Supreme Personality of Godhead said; trih-saptabhih—seven multiplied by three (that is to say, twenty-one); pita—father; putah—purified; pitrbhih—with your forefathers; saha—all together; te—your; anagha—O most sinless personality (Prahlada Maharaja); yat—because; sadho—O great saintly person; asya—of this person; kule—in the dynasty; jatah—took birth; bhavan—you; vai—indeed; kula-pavanah—the purifier of the whole dynasty.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: My dear Prahlada, O most pure, O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified.
The word trih-saptabhih means seven multiplied by three. In one’s family one can count back four or five generations—to one’s great-grandfather or even one’s great-grandfather’s father—but since the Lord mentions twenty-one forefathers, this indicates that the benediction expands to other families also. Before the present family in which one has taken birth, one must have been born in other families. Thus when a Vaisnava takes birth in a family, by the grace of the Lord he purifies not only that family but also the families of his previous births.
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