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The extraordinary Avatar Narasimha!

May 14, 2022, 10:57 a.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 156 views)

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In Sanskrit, the word Narasimha consists of two words "nara" which means man, and "simha" which means lion. Together the term means "man-lion" Narasimha, who is the God of Protection, Destruction(MahaPralaya) & Kala! He is Kala (time) Mahakala (great-time) or Parakala (beyond time) as well. The Destroyer of Evil,in Hinduism, Narasimha is a major deity & a significant iconic symbol of creative resistance, hope against odds, victory over persecution, and destruction of evil. He destroys both external evil and one's own inner evil of "body, speech, and mind".

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Lord Narasimha is the 4th incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Narasimha is known primarily as the 'Great Protector' who specifically defends and protects his devotees from evil. Vishnu killed the demon Hiranyaksha during his Varaha avatar which was the third incarnation. Hiranyaksha’s brother Hiranyakashipu wanting to take revenge performed penance to please Brahma, the God of creation. Impressed by his penance, Brahma offered him a boon.

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Hiranyakashipu cleverly asked for a tricky boon: That he would not die either on earth or in space; nor in fire nor in water; neither during day nor at night; neither inside nor outside (of a home); nor by a human, animal or God; neither by inanimate nor by animate being. With virtually no fear of death, the demon unleashed terror on earth.But his son, Prahalad told his tyrant father that the Lord Vishnu was everywhere, including in the pillars of his father's palace. An enraged Hiranyakasipu prepared to strike a pillar. There was no knowing which pillar he would strike. And yet the Lord was keen that the child's words should not be proved false. So He was present in every pillar, so that whichever pillar the asura struck, He would be there.

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Since Hiranyakasipu had cleverly sought from Brahma a boon to evade death, the Lord had to reckon all these factors and choose a different strategy  to destroy the Asura. He had to be ready to come from anywhere when called. In the Narashima avatara, even the ordinary and the illiterate can experience the Lord’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience.The Bhagavata Purana also extols this avatara as ‘Ati Atbhutam’ — the most extraordinary !

On Narasimha Jayanti, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narasimha, a half lion and half man, to kill the Demon Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu died,but the uncontrolled anger of Narashima avatar created havoc in the world. Prahalad prayed to him  which had a calming effect on the avatar.

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"om kraum narasimhaya namaha

om ksaum namo bhagavate narasimhaya

jvala-maline dipta-damstrayagni-netraya

sarva-raksho-ghnaya sarva-bhuta vinashaya

sarva-jvara-vinashaya daha daha pacha pacha

raksha raksha hum phat".

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some scriptures say that the fierce Avatar continued his rampage destroying everything which came his way.The Shiv Purana mentions after two unsuccessful attempts to calm the anger of Narasimha, Shiva turned himself into his most devastating form, Sharabha – a huge and terrifying man-eating bird. Sharabha is an avatar of Shiva, part-lion and part-bird & the most powerful incarnation of Shiva. In Shaivite Hindu mythology, Shiva takes the form of Sharabha to subdue Narasimha.He knocked Narasimha down with his giant wings and carried him off.

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Seeing all this,Prahalad  goes to Narada Muni and asks: ‘Who is stronger, Shiva or Narasimha?’ Narada smiles and says: ‘Vishnu and Shiva are like seasons. One comes after another. One dies, one is born Like life and death. Don’t fall into the trap of comparison.What is important is not the specific manner in which God is worshiped but the degree to which the devotee is filled with love & bhakti.

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As Sri Krishna told Arjuna:
"Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavati bharata |
Abhythanamadharmasya tadatmanam srijamyaham" ||

Whenever there is a decline of righteousness [dharma] and rise of unrighteousness then I send forth Myself. For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the wicked, and for the establishment of righteousness, I come into being from age to age!

The Nine Forms Of Lord Narasimha       

1-Ugra-narasiṁha

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The word 'Ugra' is translated as ferocious. The lord is depicted as the ferocious form with Hiranyakashyapu's mutilated body on his lap. Prahalada stands before the Lord with his head bowed. It is said that it was in this form that the Lord gave darshan to Garuda and Adi Shankaracharya.

2-Kroddha-narasiṁha

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This form of the Lord is depicted with extruded teeth. The form also is a combination of the third avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu - Varaha. He holds the Mother Earth in between his teeth. 

3-Mallola Narasimha

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'Maa' refers to Goddess Lakshmi and 'lola' refers to lover. This form of Lord Narasimha has the Goddess Maha Lakshmi depicted in it. This is one of the calmest forms of the Lord.

4-Jwala Narasimha

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This is one of the most ferocious forms of the Lord. He is depicted as a beast with eight hands. He used two hands to tear open Hiranyakashyapu's stomach, two garlands on himself with the intestines, two hands are used to hold the demon in place and the last two hold the weapons - conch and discuss.

5-Varaha Narasimha

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This form of Lord Narasimha is also called Prahalada Varadar or Shanta Narasimha. This form is also often depicted along with Goddess Lakshmi or the Varaha Avatar of Lord Maha Vishnu.

6-Bhargava Narasimha

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Lord Parashurama was blessed by Lord Narasimha. The form in which he appeared is known as Bhargava Narasimha. This form is similar to the Ugra Narasimha form.

7-Karanja Narasimha

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It is said that Lord Hanuman once did a penance to see Lord Rama. Lord Maha Vishnu appeared as Lord Narasimha instead. The form of Lord Narasimha has a resemblance to Lord Rama. He holds the bow and arrow and has the serpent Ananta spread over his head as an umbrella.

8-Yoga Narasimha

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In this form, Lord Narasimha holds a meditative pose. He has his legs crossed and his eyes are closed. His hands rest in a yogic mudra that denoted peace.

9-Lakshmi Narasimha

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The Lakshmi Narasimha form is a calm depiction of Lord Narasimha. The Lord is shown with his consort Senju Lakshmi. It is said that during the avatar of Lord Narasimha, Goddess Lakshmi took birth as Senju Lakshmi in the home of some tribals to be with Lord Narasimha. There are tribals who worship this form of Lord Narasimha even to this day.


Comments (3)

user
AnonymousUser 1 month, 2 weeks ago
The sharaba avatar of Shiva is interesting.
user
AnonymousUser 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha temple, Simhachalam is a Hindu temple situated on the Simhachalam Hill Range, which is 300 metres above the sea level in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. It is dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped there as Varaha Narasimha. As per the temple's legend, Vishnu manifested in this form (lion's head and human body) after saving his devotee Prahlada from a murder attempt by the latter's father Hiranyakashipu. Except on Akshaya Trutiya, the idol of Varaha Narasimha is covered with sandalwood paste throughout the year, which makes it resemble a linga.
user
AnonymousUser 1 month, 2 weeks ago
Lord Narasingha /Lord Buddha/ Gautam Budha ———————————— Yesterday was Narasingha chaturdasi & today is Budha purnima , both believed to be incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Killing Hiranyakasipu the demon father of Prahallad a gr8 devotee of Lord Vishnu was a great challenge . He had the exceptional boon of not getting killed by any man or woman,God ,asura,or animal by birth, neither by day or night,not at any place in the entire universe i.e. inside or outside house ,neither in sky nor on land or heaven or hell not even by any weapon. So the Lord killed him at twilight ,putting on his lap after he appeared out of a pillar in a hybrid form of half human torso & lower body with a lion’s face & sharp knife like claws on his hands ! It depicts that:It is not only miracle & amazing form of Part man -part lion , may be genetically super- mutant like the Sphinx or Naba Gunjara in Jagganath cult of Odisha depicted in pattachitras to combat any form of evil and restore Dharma.He is beyond time i.e Parakala all achieved by the power of Yoga by the master of Yoga. It also indicates a demon can father a God loving son who is going to follow the path of righteousness as groomed by his loving mother who also followed the same path & worshipped Lord Vishnu!! Now regarding Buddha , is he Lord Buddha or Gautam Buddha , are they same or different , is he the 9 th incarnation of Hindu God Vishnu? Controversial! 10 avatras as follows: Matsya(fish),Kurma( tortoise), Varaha( boar),Narasimha( A hybrid -half lion & half man), Vamana( Dwarf brahmin), Parashuram( carrying the Parshu) ,Rama ( carrying bow) , Krishna( carrying Chakra with all 16 qualities of God) ,Budha( early kali yuga ) & Kalki ( next in line in Satya yuga).Madam Blavatsky , the theosophist believed this was quite scientific & categorically represented the modern theory of Darwinian evolution behind which was a crude hindu representation of the ascending scale of divine creation . But as per Vaishnavites Balaram is alternate with Krishna as 8 th incarnations & Krishna is alternate with Buddha as 9 th incarnation , so Buddha is omitted. In Marathi Vithoba replaces Buddha as 9,th avatar In certain Odishan culture & literature Buddha is replaced by Jagganath as 9 th Avatar. By 450 to 550 c.e.Buddha was included as 9 th avatar in some puranas . Ambedkar who got himself converted in 1955 from Hinduism to Buddhism rejected Buddha as an avatar of Vishnu . Sugata Buddha son of ANJANA refers to Vishnuavatar 1800 BCE born in Bodhagaya( Kikata) who helped Lord Siva to kill Tripurasura as described in Brahmanda Purana i.e.beautiful looking Buddha destroyed Patibrata of wife of Tripurasura that created an opportunity for Siva to kill Tripurasura. Gautam Buddha born in Lumbini the son of MAYA & Sudhodhan was not incarnation of Vishnu . The controversy will continue but let’s follow the righteousnesses & truthfulness tought by both the Buddhas. Happy Natasimha Chaturdasi & Buddha Purnima . Tadit mohanty
user
AnonymousUser 1 month, 2 weeks ago
The hybrid incarnation of Shiva also known as Sharav avatara , takes the story to another climax