Mythology: Vishnu’s Narsimha Avatar: The Half Man- Half Lion Incarnation

Mythology: Vishnu’s Narsimha Avatar: The Half Man- Half Lion Incarnation
Vishnu’s Narsimha Avatar

The story goes back to Satya Yuga, where Sage Kashyap and his wife Diti had two sons – Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyaksha troubled innocent humans and the Devas alike. The humans and the Gods prayed to Lord Vishnu to protect them. Lord Vishnu being the Preserver incarnated as Varaha Avatar (Boar) and killed Hiranyaksha.

Lord Vishnu killed Hiranyakasipu


When his brother Hiranyakashyap heard about this, he ordered his army to go and kill every sage, Brahmin or God loving person. Asuras (Demons) and Daityas went around burning and breaking ashrams of sages. However the Gods fought Hiranyakasipu and his men.

Hiranyakashyap did penace to get a boon

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Hiranyakashipu came to know that Lord Vishnu helped the Devas to fight him back. So, he went to Mandranchal Parvat and did penance to please Lord Brahma.

When Lord Brahma appeared before him, he said, “0 Lord, kindly grant me the boon that I won’t die at the hands of any human, God, any Daitya(Devil) or any Asura. If you are truly pleased with my penace then grant me the boon that no instrument or weapon can be successful to kill me. Neither can I die at night nor at day. Also I will not die in the sky or on earth.” Lord Brahma granted him the boon.

Hiranyakashyap became immortal and announced that he will kill those who found worshipping Lord Vishnu


Hiranyakashyap had four sons and youngest was named Prahlad. He became devotee of Lord Vishnu.

While he was in his mother Kayadu’s womb, he had heard about the greatness of Lord Vishnu through Narada.

When Hiranyakashyap came to know about this , he asked the royal priest to take care that Prahlad would stop worshipping Lord Vishnu. But nothing worked and pupil at the royal priest’s ashram were also influenced by Prahlad.

Hiranyakashyap ordered his guards to kill his own son Prahlad but he survived even the deadliest of attacks


He ordered guards to give poison to Prahlad but but he did not die. Then Hiranyakashyap ordered that Prahlad must be tied to a large rock and thrown into the sea. But the ropes that bound Prhlad came free and he walked out of the sea-waters reciting Lord Vishnu’s name.

After that Prahlad was made to sit on a burning pyre. But mira­culously, Prahlad sat unscathed.

When Hiranyakashyap dared Prahlad to prove if God existed in the pillar of his palace. Narsimha appeared


Hiranyakashipu points to a pillar of his palace and asks if ‘his Lord Vishnu’ is in it. He confidentially said “yes”. In a fit of rage, Hiranyakashipu broke the pillar and fund a half-man-half-lion being pouncing on him ferociously.

Narsimha had matted hair on his head, large moustaches on the face and terrible teeth in the mouth. His paws had terrible nails on them. He held Hiranyakashipu on his lap, tore his torso apart with his nails at twilight on the threshold of a courtyard thereby meeting all the mandatory parameters that could kill the king.

It became impossible to calm Narasimha’s fury, So all the Devas & Devis called his consort, the goddess Lakshmi, but she also failed to do so. Then, at the request of Brahma, Prahlada was presented to Narasimha. He was pacified when Lord Prahlad touched his feet.

Lessons we can learn from this story:

  • God is the Supreme Truth.
  • God is invincible.
  • Devotion to God has enormous powers. Faith can create miracles.
  • Ego, pride, anger, hatred and jealousy will ruin everything.

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