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LORD NARASIMHA AND MEANING OF HIS NAME
The Sanskrit word Narasimha is formed of two words 'nara' meaning ‘man’ and 'simha' meaning Lion. Lord Narasimha's image is portrayed as the head of a Lion, claws in His hands, and the body of a man. Lord Narasimha is revered by other names like Hiranyakashipudvamsa, meaning the one who destroyed/killed Hiranyakashyipu, Bhairavadambara, meaning the one whose fierce roaring causes horror, Karala, which means the one who has sharp teeth projecting out, Agnilochana, the one who has eyes of fire or fiery-eyed one. In various languages of India, Lord Narasimha is revered in different ways, such as Nrusingha, Narasimba, etc.
Prahlada was the son of Asura (demon) King Hiranyakashyipu, who used to make a victim of anyone who dared to follow or invoke the Divine God. From the time of birth, Prahlada showed signs of being a devotee of Lord Vishnu. For Prahlada, Lord Vishnu was the center of His Universe which was not acceptable to King Hiranyakashyipu and made several attempts on his own son's life. But every time Prahlada was saved by the Lord.
In desperation, Hiranyakashyipu connived with his sister Holika and tried to kill Prahlada by burning Him. However, the plan failed as in this situation too Prahlada remained unscathed, while Holika burnt to death. Hiranyaksyipu had been bestowed with a boon from Lord Brahma of being invincible, that no living or inanimate weapon could kill him, he could not be killed during the day nor night, he could not be killed by man/human or any animal, and that he would not be killed inside nor outside his residence. After Prahlada was saved, Lord Narasimha appeared to finish Hiranyakashyipu. The form of half- man-half-Lion was taken by Lord Vishnu because of the conditions of Hiranyakashyipu's boons of invincibility. The demon king was killed by Lord Narsimha with His claws.
LORD NARASIMHA IN VEDIC AND PURANIC SCRIPTURES:
The Rigveda mentions a creature that is described as a 'wild-beast, mountain prowling' which is assumed to be Lord Narasimha. The Namuchi legend mentions Lord Indra killing Namuchi, where parallels of Lord Narasimha's story is found.
Legend of Namuchi: Lord Indra is referred to in Hinduism as the King of the Gods and the Lord of the river, thunder, rain. Namuchi was an Asura/demon who was in a power-play with Gods. However, Namuchi and Lord Indra called for peace and Namuchi demanded certain conditions. The conditions being that Namuchi could not be killed by Lord Indra's palm or fist, during night or day and that nothing dry or wet would be able to kill him and Lord Indra promised all this. But the cunning Namuchi steals the elixir Soma, all the strength of Lord Indra.
This put Lord Indra in a dilemma as He had given word to Namuchi, so He approached Goddess Saraswati and the Ashvins (twin sons of Surya and physician of Gods). They agree to help Lord Indra but want the Soma, nourishments, and powers to be shared with them, once it is all retrieved from demon Namuchi. When Lord Indra agrees, an innovative plan to slay Namuchi is drawn and a 'foam of water' is poured as a thunderbolt and Namuchi is killed with it, keeping the promise of neither wet nor dry weapon and the attack on Namuchi is done when it is neither day nor night, that is assumed as twilight. All that Namuchi had stolen is got back. However, as Namuchi had drunk the Soma and it had mixed with his bad blood, the Gods extracted it from the bad therefore separating the good from the evil.
It is derived by scholars that there are similarities between Lord Narasimha story and the legend of Namuchi, especially in the terms and conditions laid down by demon Namuchi and demon King Hiranyakashyipu.
Among the Puranas, the Ramayana, Vishnu Purana, Shiva Purana, Harivamsa and other Puranas mention the Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu. The Mahabharata also has Lord Narasiimha references.
LORD NARASIMHA STORY: VEDIC AND HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
Shrimad Bhagavatam or the Bhagavata Purana describes the pastimes of Lord Narasimha, and Prahlada Maharaja, son of the demonic King Hiranyakashipu of Multan, a region of present-day Punjab. Prahlada was a great devotee of Lord Vishnu. The King had always held grudge against Lord Vishnu who had killed his brother, Hiranyaksha. Therefore, the King also despised his son Prahlada. It is not that the King always hated him since the beginning. He wanted to have his son receive the best of education under proficient teachers Sanda and Amarka.
The teachers tried their best to educate him in the field of politics, economics, architecture, and other sciences but Prahlada was absorbed in the Hari Bhakti, devotion to the Lord Hari (Vishnu or Krishna). Despite many attempts when the teachers failed, the King chastised them. When they informed him about other students listening to him, the King got angry. He kept his anger under control affectionately asked Prahlada who was in his lap: ‘Son, where did you learn this Vishnu Bhakti?’ To which the son said: “those who are attached to family life do not develop prema (love) for Lord Vishnu, either personally or collectively. Instead, they suffer repeated birth and death in this material world and continue simply chewing the chewed. The duty of every man is to take shelter of a pure devotee and thus, become eligible to understand the Lord”.
The King who wanted to be worshiped as God despised his son Prahlada, the ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. He tried to get him killed in many ways but failed. Finally, he told his evil sister Holika to kill Prahlada by setting him on a pyre. Holika who tried to burn Prahlada was herself devoured by the fire burning her to ashes. Later the King asked his son that if God is great, where is He? Does He live in these columns of my palace? Prahlada said, “Yes He lives everywhere. The King then laughed at his reply. And then all of a sudden there was a tumultuous sound as Lord Vishnu in His Narasimha avatar emerged out of the columns and killed the self-proclaimed King!
SIGNIFICANCE OF LORD NARASIMHA’S CHARACTERISTICS:
Lord Narasimha is an important symbol of hope, triumph over oppression and ill-treatment, innovative ways of resistance, eradicating evil forces, and destruction of the inner and outer demon/evil.
The iconography of the Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu is very popular in the Southern states of India with statues and paintings of the Lord.
In Lord Hanuma's form of Panchmukhi (5 faces) Lord Narasimha's face is one. Lord Hanuman is an ardent devotee of Lord Rama, an avatar of Lord Vishnu.
In the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Lord Narasimha is worshipped widely and temples of Lord Narasimha are common. However, the deity which is worshipped is not the one of Lord Narasimha killing Hiranyakashyipu.
The Gupta Empire had coins with Lord Narasimha image, perhaps the intension of the Gupta kings were to project that their rule follows Lord Narasimha and like the Lord does, they destruct the evil.
The Indian classical dance forms like Kathakali have been performing the Lord Narasimha- Hiranyakashyipu story since ages as it is dramatic. Tamil Nadu celebrates Narasimha Jayanti by conducting drama performances of the Lord Narasimha story in temples.
NARSINGH JAYANTI PUJA MANTRA:
The mantra of Lord Narasimha which removes obstacles from the path is the Sri Narasimha Mantra.
उग्रं वीरं महाविष्णुं ज्वलन्तं सर्वतोमुखम्।
नृसिंहं भीषणं भद्रं मृत्युमृत्युं नमाम्यहम् ॥
Ugram Viram Maha Vishnum Jvalantam Sarvato Mukham Nirisimham Bhishanam Bhadram Mrutyur Mrutyum Namamy Aham
Meaning: May Lord Narasimha who is highly ferocious and brave and the emanation of Lord Maha Vishnu, full of effulgence, terrific and auspicious and the death of death blesses us as we bow down to Him.
HOW TO CELEBRATE NARASIMHA JAYANTI?
One can visit their nearest Vishnu temple and also worship Lord Narsimha at home. Usually, Lord Narasimha and Goddess Laxmi is invoked together to seek their Divine grace. Performing the puja as per proper rituals bestows the worshipper with protection and abundant blessings of Lord Narasimha and His consort Lakshmi.
NARASIMHA JAYANTI PUJA VIDHI
- Start the day with a positive mind frame and purify yourself
- Place a photograph of Lord Narsimha and Goddess Lakshmi on your puja altar
- Light an oil lamp (diya) in front of the photo
- Offer fresh flowers, fruits, panchmeva, kesar and roli to the deities
- Further offer a coconut, akshat, pitambar, Gangajal and black sesame seeds one by one
- Burn incense sticks, dhoop and kapoor (camphor)
- Recite the Lord Narasimha Katha and chant the mantra
- Now close your eyes and ask the God to fulfil your desires
Narasimha Jayanti Special Products and Pujas
An elegantly created brass idol of Lord Narasimha Dev killing Hiranyakashipu. Best gift for your near and dear ones.
Narasimha Lakshmi statue in brass
An elegantly created brass idol of Lord Narasimha Dev and Goddess Lakshmi. Best gift for your near and dear ones.
Narasimha Yantra - 6 Inch
For protection from enemies and negative planetary influences. It balances, neutralizes, and strengthens natural elements.
A beautiful frame of Lord Narasimha and Goddess Lakshmi that can be gifted, hung on the wall or placed at the altar for worship.
A beautiful brass idol of Lord Narasimha and His divine consort Lakshmi. Can be gifted or placed at the altar for worship.
Shree Narasimhadev Yantra Locket - Small - Silver
A locket with Shree Narasimhadev Yantra on one side and Lord Narasimha on the other. For overall protection from negativity in life.
Laxmi Narasimha Yantra - Gold - 6 Inches
Made in pure copper with fine 24K gold finish, this Yantra is best for those seeking to win over their enemies with protection from adverse planets.
Narasimha Shaligram Murti
A deity idol of Lord Narasimha mad of rare material; Shaligram found the Gandaki Kali River in Nepal. Best for daily worship.
Lord Narasimha Puja Mantra Japa
For protection against accidents, diseases and ailments. For success, wealth, victory, prosperity, abundance and peace of mind.
Laxmi Narasimha Puja and Yajna
A powerful Vedic puja for divine grace and blessings of Lord Narasimha and Goddess Lakshmi. Blesses success, wealth, prosperity and abundance.
Pratyangira Devi Puja Mantra Japa and Yajna
For those seeking protection against black magic, witch-craft and evil spirits and relief from debts, diseases, misfortunes and bad karma.
Puja and Yajna at Sri Maha Pratyangira Devi Temple Sholinganallur
For those seeking removal of obstacles and prosperity and blessings of Pratyangira Devi.