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What did Lord Narasimha do after killing Hiranyakashipu?  


Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimad Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

We are all familiar with the story of Prahalad and Bhagavan Narasimha. The advent of Narasimhadev was specifically to rescue Prahalad, his dear-most devotee and to neutralise the boon that Hiranyakashipu had acquired from Brahma.

But what happened after the killing of Hiranyakashipu? Did the Lord just disappear or did he spend some time in this world? Where did he go? There are several tales found in Vishnu Purana, Skanda Purana and Shiva Purana as well as in folklore. One version says that after killing Hiranyakashipu, Bhagavan became uncontrolably angry. Beside Himself with rage.

Recalling the series of tortures meted out to Prahalad, He became more and more angry. And being half lion, He just couldn’t calm down.  He roared ferociously and destroyed the solid rock palace of Hiranyakashipu. His anger and roaring created so much energy that planets were thrown out of orbit and crashed into one another. The earth trembled. Supernovas exploded in the universe and a inter-galactic cosmic fire erupted. 

All the gods headed by Brahma, Lord Shiva, Indra, Vayu, Agni, Narada and others were fearful that the destructive energy of the Lord would annihilate the universe. Brahma urged Lakshmi devi the Lord’s consort to approach Him, but she declined, never having seen Him in such a frightful form.

Next they requested Shiva to do something. Lord Shiva, being a great devotee of Hari, was actually thrilled with joy to behold the wonderful form of Narasimha. Thinking he would subdue Him and also because Shiva wanted to participate in the divine leela, he instructed Veerbhadra (his fierce expansion) to take the form of a fantastic bird-cum-animal called Sharabha, a gigantic frightening beast part cannibal bird and part lion with thousands of legs and wings.

Sharabha tried to distract Narasimha from his destructive fury by hitting him with his wings but when Narasimha saw the creature, He became even more livid. His own form mutated and expanded into another huge beast called Gandabherunda and both the divine beings caught up in the nature of beasts, fought each other savagely. Finally Sarabha was defeated. 

Then Brahma looked at the child Prahalad and said “O blessed one, here is your worshipful Lord incarnated in this fearful form. Take this flower garland and go forth and let Him see you. Surely that will appease Him.” Prahalad fearlessly walked forward holding the garland and stepped in front of Narasimha. The moment His eyes fell on Prahalad, the Lord’s natural mamta (maternal love) sprung forth.

Being the sole refuge of surrendered devotees, Bhagavan immediately calmed down and lifted the child in His arms, embraced him to his heart and started licking him. After blessing Prahalad and receiving the assembled gods’ prayers and hymns the Lord decided to tarry a while in the earthly realm and bless more devotees. Bhagavan gave His own self to Prahalad in the form of a shaligram and departed.

The region where Hiranyakashipu had his kingdom is believed to be in Telangana today. This region is the core of Narasimha cult and worship in India. There are more than 350 Narasimha temples in Andhra and around 170 in Telangana including the famous ones at Ahobilam, Simhachalam and Mangalagiri. All of these areas are densely forested and filled with wildlife.

The famous Ahobilam shrine which is believed to be the place where the Lord killed Hiranyakashipu is also here. There is the famous Simhachalam shrine located on a hill near Vishakhapatnam. It is believed that Bhagavan liked this picturesque hill where there was an ancient Varaha temple. He rested there and since then it is known as the Varaha-Narasimha Simhachalam shrine.

Panakala Swamy temple is located near Vijayawada opposite to Indrakeeladri hills on the banks of River Krishna. It is said that the Mangalagiri hill is an active volcano and He cools it. This temple though not famous is very powerful. Even though Lord Narasimha is offered sweet lemon and jaggery water all through the day you will never find any ants there. Cool sweet things are constantly offered to keep Lord Narasimha cool.

In Andhra Pradesh, the tribals have a legend which goes like this. When Hiranyakashipu ordered his guards to throw Prahalad into the sea after tying a big boulder around his feet, the ocean god Varuna rescued the child.

The same Varuna was born as a chieftain in a tribe called Chenchu in the Andhra region due to a curse. Varuna had a lovely daughter named Chenchita (who was Goddess Lakshmi incarnate), a beautiful huntress wielding a bow. When Narasimhadev travelled through the jungles he met Chenchita and fell in love with her. 

The story describes how Narasimha transformed himself into a more amenable form of a man called Narahari and plucked a thorn from Chenchita’s foot and wanted to marry her. But she didn’t say yes immediately. She wanted to be sure of his affection as well as his hunting and food gathering skills. According to the legend Narasimadev in his Narahari expansion stayed on there as a son-in-law of the tribe.

To this day, the Chenchu and other tribals in the region perform the marriage celebration of Narasimhadev and Chenchu Lakshmi with great festivity.

Yet other versions tell us that the Lord wandered all over the world. There are tales and temples of Narasimha Bhagavan all over India in Odisha, Bengal, Bihar, Madhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and even in Multan, Pakistan and Germany.

Narasimha avatar is one of the prominent Leela avatars of the Supreme Being. He appears instantaneously to accomplish a task and invariably disappears from vision thereafter. However, who is to say what the divine play of God is? Where He appears and where He disappears is His sweet will.

No one can fathom the leela of Bhagavan.

 

Shri Narasimha Bhagavan ki Jai !!

Jai Gurudev !

Jai jai Shri Radhey Shyam !