Narasimha Chaturdashi Appearance Day of Lord Nrsimhadev

Lord Nrsimhadev Slays The Demon Hiranyakashipu

Lord Nrsimhadev Slays The Demon Hiranyakashipu

By Seshadri Veeraraghavan

HOUSTON: The Supreme Lord Sri Krishna, in one of the most memorable verses in the Bhagavad Gita (4.7), assures Arjuna that:

Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion–at that time I descend Myself.

In one such manifestation, He appeared as Lord Sri Nrisimha – the Man-Lion incarnation that tore the world asunder in the ferocity of the event. In this case, it was to protect his beloved devotee Prahlada from the demoniac Hiranyakashipu.

The evil Hiranyakashipu, the son of Sage Kashyapa and Diti, desirous of achieving immortality and thirsting for revenge for his brother Hiranyaksha’s demise (who was killed by Varaha-deva), had obtained a boon from Lord Brahma that he should not be killed by man or beast; in the day or at night; by any kind of weapon; neither on Earth nor in the sky; and neither inside nor outside the house. After obtaining the boon, he was unstoppable and became the ruler of the worlds. He was extremely cruel and especially hostile to the devotees of the Supreme Lord Hari.

Little Prahlada was a saintly child who worshiped the Supreme Lord Hari and considered him to be the Supreme rather than his father; he also taught this to his fellow classmates. Hearing this, a highly disturbed Hirankyakashipu started plotting the death of his own son. He ordered his ministers to kill Prahlada, such as poisoning, throwing off a cliff, placing poisonous serpents, burning in a pyre. However, each time Prahlada emerged unscathed.

Hiranyakashipu tried once again to reason with Prahlada but to no avail. Finally, in a state of great fury, asked Prahlada, “Where is your Vishnu to whom you pray so much,” to which Prahlada calmly replied, “He is everywhere; within and without; in every single atom of the universe.”

Angrier Hiranyakashipu pointed large pillar and asked Prahlada whether Vishnu was inside the pillar, to which affirmative reply. This enraged him and struck the pillar, at which moment there was a great noise as if the entire world was torn apart. Amazed at this event, everyone watched the terrifying Man-Lion form of the Lord appear from the pillar. This was Lord Nrsimha, an incarnation of the Supreme descended to protect his dear devotees from miscreants.

Lord Nrisimha attacked Hiranyakashipu and dragged the demon-king to the courtyard, placed him upon his lap, and using his lightning-like nails, tore him apart. It was twilight, and every single aspect of the boon that had been promised to Hiranyakashipu by Lord Brahma had been honored in its entirety.

At that time, the rage of the Lord Nrisimha could not be pacified by anybody. The demigods, extremely fearful of the rage, finally requested Prahlada to step forward and pacify the Lord. Lord Nrisimha, seeing him, immediately calmed down and smiled, then hearing the profound prayers of Prahlada, offered him benedictions, but he just wanted his father to be pardoned, to which the Lord said:

My dear Prahlāda, O most pure, O great saintly person, your father has been purified, along with twenty-one forefathers in your family. Because you were born in this family, the entire dynasty has been purified. 

The Narasimha Chaturdashi festival is observed with great enthusiasm every year at the ISKCON, Hare Krishna Dham in Houston. This year the festival falls on Thursday, 23 May. Please mark your calendars so you do not miss the joyful festival with delicious prasadam feast. We look forward to having your association in jointly celebrating the most auspicious and glorious advent of the Lord Himself.

Hare Krishna Dham located on 1320 W 34th Street, Houston TX – 77018.

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Call 713-686-GITA (4482)