Narasimha Avatar

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Story of 4th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu

Narasimha is Lord Vishnu’s fourth incarnation. He is said to have taken the avatar in order to defeat Hiranyakashipu, the demon king. Narasimha is depicted as having a human body with lion-like claws and a lion-like head. Lord Vishnu killed Hiraṇayakṣa in his Varaha avatar. 

Narasimha Avatar

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Lord Vishnu's fourth avatar is Narasimha. The name means "man-lion" in Sanskrit. He takes on the appearance of a lion and a man in order to defeat evil.

Vaikuntha, the celestial place of Lord Vishnu floated in the milky ocean separated by 7 golden sparkling doors. Only by passing through these 7 doors, one could get to the lord. The lord sleeps on his 1000 headed snake named Adishesha. One day when he was resting, there came the sons of Lord Bramha, Sanka Sanandana, Sanak Sujatha, and Sanat Kumara. They were peaceful sages and wanted to meet Lord Vishnu but the seven doors to Vaikuntha had their guards. Jaya and Vijaya were two proud guards of Vaikuntha. They stopped the Bramha sons from entering saying that the Lord was resting. The sons clarified that the Lord himself permitted them to visit whenever they wished to. But Jaya and Vijaya denied their entry without paying to the sages. The sages were furious and were cursed to be born as humans on Earth.

When Lord Vishnu came out, the guards apologized and pleaded to be saved from the curse. The Lord gave them two options: either they could choose to be born on the earth 7 times or have only 3 births as his enemies. Jaya and Vijaya did not want to stay far from Vaikuntha and the Lord for so long so they considered the second option. The first birth was as Hiranyakashyap and Hiranyaksha, the second was Raavana and Kumbhakarna and the third one was Shishupala and Dantavakra. Every time they took birth as asuras, Lord Vishnu had to come down to end them and bring back peace everywhere.

We know from the story of Varaha Avatara that Hiranakashyap was killed by Lord Varaha. But the twin brother Hiranyakashipu meditated and prayed for several years to Lord Bramha to get a boon from him to defeat Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu demanded the boon where he could never be killed by any human or animal neither on earth nor in the sky or the water. Neither at day nor a night and not by any weapon.

He destroyed every temple of Lord Vishnu and ordered to worship him. He ransacked devlok and drove away Indra and other gods. He punished and killed people who denied to follow his orders. Hiranyakashipu’s wife was about to give birth to their child but Indra wanted to kill the child to prevent the birth of another asura. But Narada stopped it and promised to take care of the child by himself. Narada made the child listen to several stories of Lord Vishnu and named him Prahlada. Prahlada grew up to be one of the biggest devotees of Lord Vishnu.

Hiranyakashipu was unaware that his son was a follower of Lord Vishnu. When he asked Prahlada about his learnings from the school, Prahlada sang and danced in Lord Narayana’s fondness. Hiranyakshap tried every way to devastate his own son’s fate, even tried to kill him. Out of anger, Hiranyakashipu smashed a pillar and from it appeared a deity that was neither human nor animal. ‘Nara’- a human and ‘Simha’- a lion, Narasimha appeared in front with fierce eyes, sharp claws, and a roar. Lord Narasimha was the incarnation of Lord Vishnu to release Hiranyakashipu of his sinful life. 

Listen to this episode of Indian mythological story and other god stories on “Indian Epics & Puranas: Mythological Stories For Kids”  available on Chimes Radio App. 

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