Sri Narasimha Avatar

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


There are six broad categories of ‘avatar’ or descent of Sri Krishna from the eternal transcendental realm to the material universe generally accepted in the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition. These avatars are variously labelled as Purusha Avatar, Leela Avatar, Guna Avatars, Manvantar Avatars, Yuga Avatars and Shaktyavesh Avatars.  

Sri Krishna being “Bhagavan Swayam”  God Himself, first expands Himself into the first Chatur-vyuha or quadruple expansion of Vasudeva, Shankarshan, Pradyumna and Anirudha.

Bhagavan Vasudeva Krishna further expands into three Purusha avatars for the purpose of creation:


Karanodakashayi Vishnu - "The Lord who is lying on the causal ocean". 
Garbhodakashayi Vishnu - "The Lord who is lying on the universal ocean". 
Kshirodakashayi Vishnu - "The Lord who is lying on the ocean of milk".

All the other incarnations or descents emanate from the Chatur-vyuhas or the subsequent quadruple expansions of the chatur-vyuhas.

Lord Narasimha, is listed as being a Leela or pastime avatar in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Sometimes leela avatars appear and disappear relatively quickly and sometimes they lead a long life.

The Supreme Lord appears on the earthly plane from time to time to save His devotees and to give them joy by enacting pastimes. A true devotee is one who believes that the Lord exists in all sentient and non-sentient beings. He is so attached to the Lord that he cannot bear separation even a moment from Him.

And, if at all he is separated from the Lord even for a few seconds, he feels as if he has been separated for yugas. Desiring nothing for themselves such devotees are only engrossed in finding newer ways to serve the Lord.

Such devotees are very very dear to the Lord. How can He tolerate it if any one hurts them. To save such devotees, He doesn’t even think for a moment and appears at any time any place to save them.

Even so, in the case of the child Prahalad, the Lord tested him quite a bit by allowing Hiranyakashipu, the father of Prahalad, to torment him relentlessly just because the child refused to accept that his father the demon king Hiranyakashipu, was the Supreme Divine Authority. Prahalad on the contrary always extolled Lord Hari as the Supreme Being much to the dismay of his father.

Hiranyakashipu tried to have Prahalad poisoned, bound and thrown from a cliff into the sea; thrown into a pit of deadly snakes; crushed by an elephant, burnt alive, etc., but he was always miraculously saved.  Prahlada never complained despite the atrocities committed by his father.

Totally frustrated, finally Hiranyakasipu personally challenged Prahalad on the existence of God. In his grand glittering assembly hall, he summoned the child and mocked him saying “..so where is your Vishnu now? Is he here? Show me !” he thundered. 

Calmly Prahalad replied that Divine Lord is present everywhere, in fact right at that moment, he said, the Lord is right now here.  Shouting “Where, where?” Hiranyakasipu pointed to a pillar and mockingly asked, “Is He here.. in this pillar?” “Yes” replied Prahalad.

Lifting his massive mace, Hiranyakashipu swirled around and hit the huge shining moonstone pillar. There was a crackling sound as the pillar cracked and then crashed with a loud shattering sound and a cloud of dust rose.  Even as he watched, Hiranyakashipu could discern a pair of glittering eyes in the dust.  Startled he peered to see if there was someone really inside the pillar. And lo! The Lord appeared from the pillar in the fearful yet beautiful form of half-lion half-man, Nara-simha.

Devotees and scholars delight in describing the appearance of the Lord.  They say, even as Hiranyakashipu and Prahalad were engaged in their dialogue, Sri Hari was hearing every word and watching every move, waiting for just the right moment to appear.  He had to fulfil Lord Brahma’s boon to the demon and at the same time, fulfil Prahalad’s word that He was indeed present everywhere.

Startled as he was, Hiranyakashipu was by no means a coward. He fought fiercely and valiantly. After all his weapons were exhausted on the adamantine body of Lord Narasimha, he engaged in hand-to-hand combat with Him.

Rasik bhaktas aver that as the fight dragged on, the Lord was getting a little anxious to dispose of Hiranyakashipu as He didn’t want the demon, who was afterall, Vijaya one of the gate-keepers in Vaikuntha re-incarnated as a demon due to a curse, to commit more and more aparadh which would then have to be expiated. He wanted to send His servant back home to the divine abode.

The Lord’s eyes were flaming red as He recalled the tortures the demon put his beloved son through. The eyebrow He raised in anger crossed the horizon of the Universe. His earth-shattering roar made the directions tremble. The flames from the energy released by His anger were enough to destroy the demon, and yet to honour Brahma’s boon, the Lord used the loopholes in the boons granted to him to kill him.

Hence, He appeared at the time of twilight, (neither morning, afternoon or night); dragged him to the threshold of the palace (neither inside nor outside the house) and placing Hiranyakashipu on his lap (neither on the ground nor above it), He tore open his belly using his sharp claws which were as hard as diamonds, thus not using any weapons as granted in the boon.

As Bhagawan Narasimha proceeded to kill Hiranyakashipu, Prahalad with folded hands stood in a corner watching with grateful tear-filled eyes how his beloved Sri Hari had appeared just to save him and his father, because he knew that being killed by Maha Vishnu meant absolute liberation for his father. Indeed he would reside eternally in Vaikuntha – Beyond Sorrow.

After delivering Hiranyakashipu, Bhagavan Narasimha who was still highly enraged could not calm down. All the assembled demigods, siddhas and celestial denizens were alarmed as they saw the Lord’s anger releasing cataclysmic amounts of energy which was burning the material universe.

Lord Brahma suggested to Goddess Lakshmi to try and approach Him, but she was fearful as she had never seen the imperturbable Vishnu so angry before. Then clever Narada, Prahalad’s guru, gently urged the child to go towards Sri Hari as only the sight of the child would assuage the Lord’s cosmic anger.

It was even so. At the sight of Prahalad approaching fearlessly with folded hands, Lord Narasimha at once calmed down and gathering the boy in His arms embraced him to His heart.  Seating Prahalad on His lap He licked him lovingly and said, “I should have come much earlier... you have suffered so much on account of Me”. This is the nature of Bhagavan.  He loves to be in the debt of His devotees and actually, never wants to be free.

aham bhakta-paradhino
hy asvatantra iva dvija
sadhubhir grasta-hridayo
bhaktair bhakta-jana-priyah

“I am completely under the control of My devotees. Indeed, I am not at all independent. Because My devotees are completely devoid of material desires, I sit only within the cores of their hearts. What to speak of My devotee, even those who are devotees of My devotee are very dear to Me.” (Bhag. 9.4.63)



Narasimha Bhagavan ki Jai !!

Jai Guru !!

Jai Jai Sri Radhey !!