Narasimha Avatar
(The Protector)

Narasimha - The Fourth Avatar of Lord Sri Maha Vishnu
Narasimha Swamy Photo

Demon Hiranyakasipu is tha central figure in this incarnation. Hiranyaaksha, his brother was slain by God Vishnu in His BOAR Incarnation, Hiranyakasipu developed enmity and hatred towards Hari. With the result he began persecuting all virtuous people and devotees of God Vishnu thinking that was the best way to harm the God Sri MahaVishnu. He proclaimed that no one should utter the name of Narayana. Instead he compelled people to use his name.

So, OM NAMO NARAYANAAYA changed to OM NAMO HIRANYAAYA. If anyone disobeyed this order, he did so at the penalty of his death. How did this demon become so powerful? He did severe penance (tapas) and obtained from Brahma very strange boons (vara). For example, he should not meet with death at the hands of either during the day time or night time, he should not meet with his death either in the sky or on land, he should not be killed by any weapon. He secured such strange boons just because he wanted to do away with God Hari (the murderer of his brother).

With such extraordinary powers, he, day by day becomes more and more powerful. He conquered the three worlds. And there was none to defy him too. This power made the demon egoistic, proud, self- centered and conceited. Pratically he thought he had nothing to achieve in all the three worlds.

This power and success made the demon egoistic, proud, self- centered and conceited. Pratically he thought he had nothing to achieve in all the three worlds.

Still there was something that made him restless and uneasy. That was he had no peaceof mind.

Poor Demon he did not understand that he was trying to achieve a certain thing that could not be achieved as easily as he was able to achieve all the other things he wanted.

Hiranyakasipu had four marvelous sons. Out of them Prahlada was different in all respects. He was pre-eminent among them in point of virtues. He was devoted to Brahmins. He was of sweet nature. He was true to his words. His senses were under control. He was a beloved friend and greatest well-wisher of all living beings.

As a child Prahalada looked like a dunce, just because his mind was essentially absorbed n the Lord. His soul was possessed by Lord Hari. Sitting or walking, eating or drinking, lying down or speaking he was never conscious of these acts finding himself constantly folded in the arms of Hari. Enraptured by such thoughts, he would sometimes sit mute with the hair on his body standing erect and his half-closed eyes brimful of tears of joy brought by constant love of the Lord. There was divinity in and around his face.

At the proper age Prahlada was duly sent to School where special teachers were given the responsibility of taking care of the prince. Time passed on and Hiranyakasipu wanted to know the progress of his son in all respects.

Empty brains can be filled with anything. But Prahlada's heart was full of contemplation of Naraayana. He did not imbibe any demonic teachings. Still, he pretended to listen, and that made the Gurus happy.

Time passed on and Hiranyakasipu wanted to know the progress of his son in all respects, the Gurus took Prahlada to his father.

Reports were received about Prahlada which disturbed the demon king very much. Hiranyakasipu got highly irritated. Controlling himself to his best, taking Prahlada in his lap with affection, he asked while patting his head, "Son, what did the gurus teach you?", Prahlada said, "Hearing (sravanam) and chanting (kirtanam) about the holy name, form, qualities, paraphernalia, and pastimes of the Supreme Lord; remembering (smaranam) them; serving the lotus feet of the Lord (pada-sevanam); offering the Lord respectful worship with sixteen types of paraphernalia (arcanam); offering prayers to the Lord (vandanam); becoming His servant (dasyam); considering the Lord one's best friend (sakhyam); and surrendering to Him (atma-nivedanam, in other words, serving Him with body, mind and words); these nine processes are known as pure devotional service, and I consider anyone who has dedicated his life to service of Lord Vishnu through these nine methods to be the most learned person, for he has acquired complete knowledge".

Blinded by anger, Hiranyakasipu threw Prahlada from his lap onto the ground. "Servants! Take him away and kill him at once!" he screamed. However, Prahlada just sat silently and meditated on the Personality of Godhead, and the demons' weapons had no effect on him. Seeing this Hiranyakasipu became fearful and contrived various ways to kill his son. His servants threw Prahlada beneath an elephant's feet; they cast him into the midst of huge, fearful snakes; they cursed him with destructive spells; they hurled him from a hilltop; they gave him poison; they starved him; they exposed him to severe cold, winds, fire and water; they threw heavy stones to crush him. Hiranyakasipu even sent his sister Holika to burn him, but instead she herself was burned. But throughout these trials Prahlada was simply absorbed in thoughts of Lord Visnu, and thus he remained unharmed. Hiranyakasipu became very anxious about what to do next.

"You say there is a being superior to me", said Hiranyakasipu, "but where is He? If He is present everywhere, then why is He not present in this pillar you see before you? Do you think He is in this pillar?" "Yes," Prahlada answered, "He is there".

Hiranyakasipu's rage flared more and more. "Because you are speaking so much nonsense, I shall now sever your head from your body. Now let me see your most worshipable God come to protect you. I want to see it". Cursing him again and again, Hiranyakasipu took up his sword, got up from his royal throne, and with great anger struck his fist against the column.

Angry Lord Narasimha Swamy Killing Hiranyakasipu

Then from within the very pillar that he had singled out came a wonderful half-man, half-lion form never before seen. The Lord's form was extremely fearsome because of His angry eyes, which resembled molten gold; His shining mane, which expanded the dimensions of His fearful face; His deadly teeth; and His razor-sharp tongue. Lord Sri Narsimha then proceeded to battle with the wasp-like Hiranyakasipu.

Angry Lord Narasimha Killing Hiranyakasipu

Finally at twilight, Lord Sri Narasimha captured Hiranyakasipu and placed him in His lap on the doorway of the assembly hall. As He began ripping the demon to pieces with His many, many hands, Lord Narsimha's mouth and mane became sprinkled with drops of blood, and His fierce eyes, full of anger, were impossible to look at. Licking the edge of His mouth with His tongue, the Supreme Lord decorated Himself with a garland of intestines taken from Hiranyakasipu's abdomen. Lord Narsimha uprooted Hiranyakasipu's heart and finally threw him aside and destroyed an army of Hiranyakasipu's faithful followers.

By His transcendental cleverness, Lord Nrsimhadeva was able to kill Hiranyakasipu without contradicting any of Lord Brahma's benedictions. The execution took place neither inside nor outside, but in the doorway; neither on land nor in sky, but on the Lord's lap; neither during the day nor during the night, but at twilight; neither by man, beast, or demigod nor by any created being, but by the Personality of Godhead; and not by any weapon, but by the Lord's own lotus hand, relieving the whole universe of Hiranyakasipu's demonic activities.

Angry Lord Narasimha Killing Hiranyakasipu
Ugram Veeram Maha Vishnum, Jvalantham Sarvato Mukham, Nrusimham Bheeshanam Bhadram, Mrityur Mrityum Namamyaham.

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