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Lord Narsimhadev

Lord NarsinghadevLord Narsimhadev is the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Sri Krishna. Sri Krishna at different time appears in this world to protect His devotees. Lord Narsimhadev appeared millions of years ago, to protect His devotee Prahalad Maharaja from the cruelty of his demoniac father King Hiranyakasyapu.
Hiranyakasyapu was born of the great sage Kasyapa Muni and his wife Diti and was demoniac in nature. The word Hiranyakasyapu means 'one who likes gold and soft beds'. Hiranyakasyapu spent his life in the search of money and power. When Hiranyaksha, the younger brother of Hiranyakasyapu was killed by Sri Vishnu in His Varaha incarnation (in the form of a tortoise), Hiranyakasyapu was furious and vowed to avenge the death of his brother by killing Vishnu himself. He sent his followers to the different places to spread chaos and turmoil. These followers of Hiranyakasyapu tormented the saintly people, and spread irreligiosity every where. Meanwhile Hiranyakasyapu went to Mount Mandara to perform severe austerities in order to please Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe.

In the absence of Hiranyakasyapu, Indra, the king of the demigods attacked and drove away the demons. Indra also took captive Queen Kayadhu, the wife of Hiranyakasyapu, who was at that time pregnant. Indra, being fearful that the child of Hiranyakasyapu could also be a future threat, wanted to kill the child at the time of birth. He was however stopped by Narada Muni, the sage of the demigods. Narada gave shelter to Queen Kayadhu in his ashram and instructed her on the glories of Sri Krishna. In the womb of Kayadhu, her son, who would later become Prahalad, also heard and absorbed these nectarean instructions. Kayadhu, fearful that Indra may still return to kill her child on birth, requested Narada Muni to give her the boon that her child will not deliver till Hiranyakasyapu returns. Prahalad thus stayed in the womb of his mother for 36,000 years, while his father performed intense austerities.

Lord Brahma was very pleased by Hiranyakasyapu’s intense austerities and granted him the boon that he would not be killed during day or night, in the ground or the air, inside or outside, by man, by beast or demigod, by any weapon living or non living. In asking for such a boon, Hiranyakasyapu was attempting to become immortal.
Kayadhu on being re-united with Hiranyakasyapu, gave birth to Prahalad. Hiranyakasyapu, empowered with the boons from Brahma soon bought everything under his power. He ruled his kingdom fiercely, causing miseries to the demigods and the human beings. He deprived the demigods of all their powers and assumed all their positions. Miserable under the cruelty of Hiranyakasyapu, the demigods ultimately surrendered to Lord Krishna, praying to Him for protection. Pleased by their prayers, Lord Krishna who always protects His devotees promised to bring an end to Hiranyakasyapu.

Prahalad, although born in a demoniac family was a pure devotee. Because of the Narada Muni, Prahalad carefully planted the nectarean instructions of Narada Muni in his heart, even before he was born. Understanding the true position of Lord Vishnu, Prahalad spent his time meditating on the name, form and pastimes of Vishnu. Being a devotee, he was always kind, gentle and respectful, but firm in his faith. Hiranyakasyapu could not tolerate his son being a devotee of Lord Vishnu and thus cruelly harassed him. Finally after several ploys, Hiranyakasyapu ordered to kill him.

The cruel guards of Hiranyakasyapu tried very hard to kill Prahalad, but failed. When one is protected by Sri Krishna, it is impossible to harm him. Hiranyakasyapu now grew fearful of his son, and urged his teachers to try harder to teach him about his own glories. The teachers tried their best to teach Prahalad about the greatness of his father. However when Prahalad was taken back to Hiranyakasyapu, he remained firm in his belief and even advised his father to give up his envy for Vishnu and become His devotee. Enraged by this Hiranyakasyapu finally decided to kill Prahalad himself and mockingly asked him if his God was there to save him now. When Prahalad explained that Vishnu is present everywhere, Hiranyakasyapu kicked down a column asking him if his Vishnu was present in that pillar.

Lord Narsimhadev emerged from the pillar in a wondrous from that was half man and half lion. He was glittering in His arms, garments, helmet and weapons. Hiranyakasyapu, confident of the prowess of his boons, fearlessly attacked Lord Narsimhadev and a terrific fight took place. It is said that Lord Narsimhadev played with Hiranyakasyapu, much like Garuda, the carrier of Lord Vishnu, plays with a snake before killing it. Finally, when it was dusk, neither day nor night, Lord Narsimhadev, who in that form was neither man nor animal, took Hiranyakasyapu on his lap, which was neither in the ground or the air, took him under the palace gate, which was neither inside nor outside and killed him with his nails, which was not a weapon, living or dead. In this way Lord Narsimhadev honored all the boons of Brahma and protected His devotees from the irreligious.

The killing of Hiranyakasyapu gave relief to everyone. All the demigods, headed by Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva assembled to glorify Lord Narsimhadev. The form of Lord Narsimhadev was so fearful that no one dared approach Him, and it was finally Prahalad Maharaj, who pacified Lord Narsimhadev by offering sweet prayers to Him. Finally when the Lord was pacified, He offered many boons to Prahalad Maharaj and was then worshipped by all the demigods assembled there. Devotees pray to Lord Narsimhadev for protection from material harm.

 

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