The term Narasimha is made up of two words: “Nara,” which means “man,” and “Simha,” which means “lion.” The name “Narasimha” means “man-lion” and alludes to Lord Vishnu’s mixed-creature avatar.
Narasingh, Narasimba, Nrusingha, and Narasingha are some of the names given to Narasimha. He is also known by several other names, including:
Agnilochana – the one with blazing eyes
Bhairavadambara – He is the one who terrorises people by roaring.
He’s the one with the broad mouth and protruding teeth, Karala.
Hiranyakashipudvamsa – He is the one who assassinated Hiranyakashipu.
Nakhastra – the one who wields nails as a weapon.
Sinhavadana – the one with a lion’s face.
Mrigendra means “king of animals” or “lion.”
The human torso and lower body of Narasimha are shown in his iconography. He has the visage and claws of a lion. He is preparing to murder the demon Hiranyakashipu, whom he is holding in his lap.
Hiranyakashipu was the mighty sibling of the demon Hiranyaksha, who had been destroyed by Lord Vishnu before. Hiranyakashipu has exceptional abilities, and he could not be slain by any weapon, man, or animal, at any time of day or night, indoors or outdoors.
Hiranyakashipu used his newfound abilities to cause havoc all across the world. He attacked all Lord Vishnu worshippers, including harassing and torturing his own son, Prahlad.
Lord Vishnu recognised the demon’s abilities and imaginatively assumed the shape of Narasimha, a hybrid avatar who is neither man nor beast, and slew the demon at the intersection of day and night, inside and out.
As a result, Narasimha emerges as a “Great Protector” who shielded his believers from harm. Hiranyakashipu, Prahlad’s evil father and ruler, was defeated and murdered by him.
In the Hindu religion’s Vaishnava traditions, Narasimha is revered as a popular god. Lord Narasimha has several Hindu temples, books, and festivals devoted to him. Many Hindu celebrations honour him, including Holika, which occurs before the colourful holiday of Holi.
Lord Narasimha has been honoured with several works of art. Narasimha’s earliest known artworks have been discovered in a number of locations in Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, including the Mathura archaeological site.
Even the Rig Veda has a line (Vishnu hymn 1.154) that has been regarded as a Narasimha tale, such as “wild beast, terror, prowling, and mountain-roaming.”
Narasimha Avatar is mentioned in several Puranas, including the Valmiki Ramayan, Bhagavata Purana, Agni Purana, Vayu Purana, Kurma Purana, Matsya Purana, Skanda Purana, and others.
Lord Narasimha’s Story
In his fourth incarnation, Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Narasimha. Varaha (Boar) was his prior existence, and he was the one who destroyed the demon Hiranyaksha.
Hiranyakashipu, Hiranyaksha’s brother, was enraged at Lord Vishnu’s murder of his brother. He intended to exact vengeance on Lord Vishnu and his devotees.
As a result, he went to great lengths to satisfy Lord Brahma, the God of Creation. Lord Brahma was so impressed by Hiranyakashipu’s deed that he told him he may ask for whatever blessing he wanted.
Hiranyakashipu requested a perplexing boon: he could not be slain on earth or in space, by man, animal, or God; at any time of day or night, in fire or water, within or outside the home; by any inanimate or animate thing.
Hiranyakashipu received this blessing from Lord Brahma.
Hiranyakashipu was no longer afraid of death. He wreaked havoc and proclaimed himself a god. He forbade his people from using any other God’s name than his.
His son, Prahlad, on the other hand, was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and refused to obey his commands. Hiranyakashipu attempted to persecute him but failed. Lord Vishnu, according to Prahlad, is everywhere.
Hiranyakashipu once pointed to a structure and asked Prahlad if it contained Vishnu. Prahlad agreed with a nod. Hiranyakashipu, enraged at his son’s response, takes his sword and slashes the pillar. Lord Narasimha emerged from the shattered pillar.
Lord Vishnu took in the shape of a man-lion named Narasimha. He murdered Hiranyakashipu in the twilight (neither day nor night); on the doorsteps of his palace (neither inside nor outside the residence); on his lap (neither on earth nor in space); and with his nails (neither on earth nor in space) (neither animate nor inanimate).
As a result, Lord Narasimha rendered the boon’s power ineffectual and murdered Hiranyakashipu. The death of Hiranyakashipu is commemorated in India during the Holi celebration, which is particularly popular in the north.
What was Narasimha’s method of killing Hiranyakashipu?
Hiranyakashipu was enraged at his son Prahlad’s adoration of Lord Vishnu. Vishnu was considered as Hiranyakashipu’s deadliest adversary. As a result, he resolved to murder his son Prahlad.
All of his attempts, however, failed since Prahlad was shielded by Vishnu’s supernatural abilities. Prahlad claimed that Lord Vishnu is all-pervading and omnipresent, refusing to acknowledge Hiranyakashipu as the highest Lord of the Universe.
Hiranyakashipu once pointed to a neighbouring pillar and asked Prahlad if it contained Vishnu. Prahlad responded by saying, “He was, He is, and He will be.” Hiranyakashipu was enraged when he heard Prahlad’s response. He shattered the pillar with his mace because he was furious with Prahlad.
Lord Vishnu arrived in the shape of Narasimha from the shattered pillar, accompanied by a thunderous uproar. In defence of Prahlad, Narasimha proceeded to confront Hiranyakashipu. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Narasimha in order to destroy Hiranyakashipu without breaching Brahma’s blessing.
Hiranyakashipu, according to the boon, cannot be slain by a person, a deva, or an animal. Narasimha, on the other hand, is none of these things since He is the avatar of Vishnu, who is half human and part animal.
At twilight, which is neither day nor night, Narasimha assaulted Hiranyakashipu. On the brink of a courtyard that is neither indoors nor out, he assaulted Hiranyakashipu.
He sat the devil on his thighs, which are neither earthly nor celestial. He disembowelled and killed Hiranyakashipu with his nails, which were neither living nor inanimate.
Who was the assassination of Lord Narasimha?
Lord Narasimha became enraged after tearing the demon Hiranyakashipu into pieces, and his rage could not be quenched. He assumed a monstrous appearance and walked about with crimson eyes. Furthermore, he took horrible shapes, such as Kandaberunda, a very unusual two-headed bird manifestation.
The three realms shuddered in terror at the sight of Lord Narasimha in this incarnation. All of the Gods were terrified and sought help from Lord Shiva. They offered a prayer to Lord Shiva, requesting that he assist in the situation.
So Lord Shiva dispatched Veerabadhra, his lieutenant, to appease Lord Narasimha. However, Veerabadhra’s efforts were in fruitless, since he was unable to even approach Narasimha. Veerabadhra returned to Lord Shiva and asked Him to perform something special for him.
The Sarabha Upanishad of the Atharva Veda describes Lord Shiva’s actions in response to Narasimha’s rage.
To put an end to Narasimha’s mayhem, Lord Shiva took the appearance of Sarabeshwara (a mix of man, eagle, and lion).
Sarabeshwara was Lord Shiva’s thirty-fourth incarnation out of a total of sixty-four incarnations.
Sarabeshwara had two enormous wings. He was an eagle with eight legs and an eagle’s snout. Fire, deer, ankus, and snake were all held in his four arms. Like a thunderbolt, he possessed razor-sharp nails.
Sarabeshwara’s terrifying and terrifying form descended from the heavens and arrived near Lord Narasimha.
Lord Narasimha was comforted and cooled by his flapping his wings. Lord Narasimha, on the other hand, could not be restrained, and he took the shape of Kandaberunda and began fighting Sarabeshwara. For eighteen days, the heavenly conflict raged.
Sarabeshwara has now chosen to put a stop to the sport. As a result, he freed Pratyinkira Devi from the Kandaberunda bird’s devouring wings. Narasimha acknowledged his mistake and begged Lord Shiva’s forgiveness. Lord Shiva was pleased by Lord Narasimha’s conduct, and he soothed him.
Several times, Narasimha and Brahma sung praises for Sarabeshwara, which have now become hallowed chants. Sarabeshwara now declares that he materialised to satisfy Narasimha’s wrath. The two are, nevertheless, identical to water and water, milk and milk, and ghee and ghee. As a result, they are inextricably linked and should be venerated as such.