(Hiraṇyakaśipu underwent extreme austerities in a vain attempt to become deathless.)
"In this material world everyone is struggling to survive. But who is surviving? That way, materialistic way of life, will not help you to survive. That is... Prakṛteḥ kriyamāṇāni (BG 3.27). Nature is so strong that you must die. 'I am very strong.' You may be very strong, that's all right, but you must. There is a, I mean to say, joking story that one man thought, 'How to avoid death?' Just like Hiraṇyakaśipu. So he thought that 'Yamarāja is the superintendent of death. He comes to take, so I shall make such policy that he may not come to me.' What is that policy? 'So bring some stool. I shall smear over my body, and out of bad smell, he'll not come.' (laughter) So he began to smear stool on his body at the time of death. (laughter) So this is going on. They are making body very stout and strong so they'll survive. Nobody will survive, sir, unless he is Kṛṣṇa conscious."
(Srila Prabhupada Lecture, Honolulu, May 23, 1976)
Click here to read the illustrated story of Bhakta Prahlad, International Times, 1968.