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NARASIMHA AVATAR (The fierce Man-Lion). The Fourth Avatar of Lord Vishnu By Nikhil Gogineni.

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narasimha avatar the fierce man lion

NARASIMHA AVATAR(The fierce Man-Lion)

The Fourth Avatar of Lord Vishnu


Nikhil Gogineni


Narasimha Avatar, one of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu, is unique in many ways. In the other avatars Vishnu was born at a particular time, grew up in this world and helped his devotees at some other time. But as Narasimha, both his appearance on earth and his coming to the aid of his devotee were simultaneous and instantaneous.Maitreya, Parasara’s disciple and author of Vishnu purana asks why Lord always seems to be partial, why he always helps the Devas and kills demons. In reply, Parasara narrates to him the story of Narasimha, who comes to the rescue of the little boy Prahlad, the son of demon king Hiranyakashipu.

Narasimha, the fourth incarnation of god Vishnu, is half-lion half human and provides a very fascinating study of Lord’s incarnation in order to alleviate the sufferings of devotees.
There was once a great demon Hiranyakashipu who was overwhelmed with rage: his brother Hiranyaksha had just been killed by the incarnation of Vishnu known as Lord Varaha. He called the generals of his army and said, “Give the devotees of Vishnu as much trouble as you can”. They burnt the cities, razed the temples to the ground and destroyed the crops.
In order to increase his power, he went to mountain Mandara and began meditation on Lord Brahma. The demigods were filled with fear and asked Lord Brahma to stop him. They went to Satyaloka and prayed Brahma to save them.
Brahma appeared to Hiranyakashipu and said, ‘Hiranyakashipu arise’. I’m pleased with your devotion. Ask for whatever you desire.
  • Hiranyakashipu replied, “Great Lord, if you’ll grant my prayer, this is what I seek. Please grant that I not be killed by any created living being, “that I not die inside or outside any residence, during the daytime or night nor on the ground or in the sky, that I not be killed by any being created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal.
After Brahma had granted him all these requests, Hiranyakashipu very swiftly conquered all the planets in the universe, took up residence in the lavish palace of king Indra. Hiranyakashipu ruled the universe very severely.
During this time his queen, Kayadhu gave birth to Prahlad in the ashram of Narada. Prahlad grew up and became an ardent devotee of lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu, however, wanted his son to be a strong and ruthless king like himself. Realizing that Prahlad always prayed to Lord Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu tried to school his son against the influence of Lord Vishnu. All their efforts to influence Prahlad against Lord Vishnu failed and Prahlad was still as devoted as ever to Lord Vishnu.
Hiranyakashipu ordered his servants to kill Prahlad if he refused to accept the supremacy of his father. They tried to kill him by throwing him down a mountain, drowning, poisoning, and burning him. They failed in all their attempts because Lord Vishnu was protecting his devotee. Hiranyakashipu was very angry on hearing the failed attempts on the life of his son Prahlad.
One day, Hiranyakashipu challenged his son in the open court: “Prahlad! Is my enemy, whom you worship, present anywhere here?”. Prahlad replied, “Vishnu is omnipresent. There’s not a single place where he’s not found.”
  • Hiranyakashipu’s fury flared more and more. You say there is a being superior to me,” said Hiranyakashipu, but where is He?. If he is present everywhere, then do you think he is in this pillar?”.

“Yes, “ Prahlada answered, “He is there.” Further enraged, Hiranyakashipu knocked down a pillar and from within the pillar came a half-man, half-lion form never before seen. The lord’s form was extremely fearsome.

Lord Narasimha then proceeded to battle with Hiranyakashipu. Finally at twilight, Lord Narasimha captured Hiranyakashipu and placed him on his lap on the doorway as he began ripping the demon in to pieces with his nails.Lord Narasimha finally threw him aside and destroyed an army of his faithful followers.
By his cleverness, Lord Narasimha was able to kill Hiranyakashipu without contradicting any of Lord Brahma’s benedictions. The execution took place neither inside nor outside, but in the doorway; neither on land or in sky, but on Lord’s lap; neither during day nor during the night, but at twilight; neither by man, beast or demigod nor by any created being and not by the weapon, but by the Lord’s nails relieving the whole universe of Hiranyakashipu’s demonic activities.
  • Having been protected by theLord, Prahlad maharaja offered many prayers to Lord.