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Lord Nrisimha emerges -Slaying of Hiranyakashyipu


When the king Hiranyakashipu found to his horror that all mortal means of getting rid of the boy who was perfectly devoted to his enemy, the God Vishnu, were powerless, he was at a loss to know what to do. The king had the boy again brought before him, and tried to persuade him once more to listen to his advice, through gentle means. But Prahlada made the same reply.

The Srimad Bhagavatam has the exchange between the father and son beautifully described this way .

Enraged with his son’s reply Hiranyakashyipu’s anger knew no bounds and he said

“you stupid wretch, you are causing disgrace to the family, I shall dispatch you this very day to the adobe of Yama. You have grown stubborn and  have slipped away from my authority. By whose might have you violated my order and the authority of me, before whom the three worlds, including their guardians shake with fear.

Prahlada replied  ” Lord Vishnu is unquestionably the strength not only of mine but yours as well. It is by him these creatures high and low, animate and inanimate, commencing from Brahma have been held under sway. He is the ruler, He is the mighty Time, He is the embodiment of organic and mental powers, physical strength and fortitude. The supreme controller of Nature and its three qualities (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas), It is he who creates, protects and destroys the universe. Abandon this demoniac disposition of yours and keep your mind equipoised. There are no enemies other than an uncontrolled mind. Some consider to have conquered the four directions without having curbed the thief in the form of mind.

Hiranyakashipu “ Evidently you are keen to die, now that you are bragging too much. For the words of those who are anxious to die are sure to be incoherent. Who is the Lord of the universe other than me? If it is urged that he is present everywhere, why is he not seen in that pillar? I being the master of everything, am going to severe your head. Let Hari protect you today if he is present in the pillar.

Thus tormenting his son, Hiranyakashipu sprang from his seat, taking his sword and knocked the pillar with his fist.

That very moment there arose in that pillar a deafening noise , the sound of which seemed to sway the very heavens and upon hearing which Brahma and the guardians of the world suspected the dissolution of the universe was near.

Tearing apart the Pillar stood a majestic beast which was neither man nor Lion.It was Lord Vishnu himself who had incarnated as Narasimha the manlion to protect his tiny devotee.

Hiranyakashyipu gazed at the huge manlion in front of him and wondered to himself ” This must surely be the trickery of Vishnu who has come to kill me in this fashion . I finally get a chance to avenge the death of my brother and will surely put an end to the trickester Vishnu who has killed many of the demons by treachery. ”   Hiranyakashyipu was drunk with the power of his boons and thought death could no longer reach him. However he had forgotten the hidden loophole in the boons he had requested.

Lord Narasimha was neither Man nor Lion….

Hiranyakashyipu only had protection from the demigods, humans and animals but what to do with a creature that is neither man nor lion .

Lord Narasimha incarnated  at the twilight time …..It was neither day nor night .

Having forgotten all about his boons the demon attacked Lord Narasimha . With a deafening roar that shook the skies the manlion entered into combat with the king of demons.  Hiranyakashipu rushed towards Narasimha. Narasimha seized him even as he paced forward just as a Garuda would catch a huge snake. At that time the demon slipped from his hand.Hiranyakashyipu was a great warrior skilled in combat and Lord Narasimha was even more ferocious than the demon. The blows landed hard and fast  from either side with deafening sounds .

Battle fast and furious

Finally when the sun was right about to set….

When it was neither day nor night …

Lord Nrisimha caught the demon in a vice grip and threw him on the lord’s thighs

Placing him in a place which was neither earth nor sky….

He dragged the demon to the threshold of the palace —which was neither inside a residence nor out.

Using his sharp nails as weapons –which were neither weapons nor metals

He tore apart the stomach of the demon with a roar that sent fear even into the hearts of the celestials.

Lord Narasimha kills the demon-Panel Belur

The desire of the lord to punish his devotee’s tormentor was so great that even after killing the demon he remained in a furious state sending the three worlds into panic. It is said even Goddess Lakshmi was unable to approach the furious lord . The demigods , gods , yakshas,kinneras, vidhyadharas,nagas and Lord Shiva and Brahma stood praying to Lord Narasimha pleading with him to come back to his pleasant form .

Finally they decided to send Prahlada . Prahlada prayed to the lord to come back to his peaceful form. Lord vishnu hearing the prayer of his little devotee became pleased and having seated prahlada on his lap regained his composure.

The Lord  “Noble Prahlada, I’m pleased with you. Ask any boon that you like. I’m difficult of perception. Having beheld me as a living being you have no reason to grieve. ”

Narada “ Even on being tempted with boons Prahlada did not hanker after them, exclusively devoted as he was to the Lord. Regarding all that as an impediment to the practice of devotion.”

Prahlada smilingly addressed Narasimha as follows.

Prahlada said “Pray do not tempt me with boons, attached as I’m to the pleasures of the senses. Afraid of attachment to them I’ve approached you for protection, anxious to secure freedom. He who seeks blessings from you is no true devotee, he is only a businessman. I’m your devotee without any craving while you are my master having nothing to gain from me. I however solicit this boon from you Supreme Lord, that my father, who was ignorant of your glory and whose heart was stung with indignation, spoke ill of you under the false notion that you had been the slayer of his brother and bore ill will towards me, may he kindly be absolved from that sin, although I’m sure he was purged of it the moment you looked at him.”

The Lord “Your father was purified of his along with twenty one past generations by the mere fact that you were born in his race. People who follow your ways become my devotees. Indeed you will serve as a model for them. Now perform the rites to be performed to your father, though he is purified in everyway by my touch. Having been blessed with a noble son, he will attain to the higher worlds. Occupy the throne of your father and fixing your mind on me and devoted to me, perform your duties as directed by the Vedas.”

Prahlada having attained the highest boons from the lord was crowned king of the demons and it is said the demons turned equally spiritual as the devatas as long as Prahlada ruled. After his rule Prahlada attained to Vaikuntha .

Always worship the Lord with Lakshmi devi-Pleasant form

Glory be to the Maha Bhagavata.Glory be to Lord Narasimha who is very protective of his devotee’s. Glory be to the great saints.

My next post will be on the Maha Punya Kshetra Ahobilam which is the place Lord Narasimha appeared.

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