This is the story behind the celebration of Narasimha Jayanthi and can be read along with the puja which is available HERE. Our thanks to Satsanghi Vidya Rangarajan for providing this content for the web site.
Narasimha Avatar is a proof of the Lord’s promise that, one who is totally surrendered to him, will be under the protection of Lord at all times.
Once Hiranyakasipu asked his son Prahlada , what did he learn from his teacher. Prahlada replied, I have learnt the essence of all the learning that Narayana is the one who illumines everything in the mind , gives bliss and fulfillment to all. Prahlada’s answer disappointed Hiranyakasipu , and he tried all methods to divert his son from the devotion to God. The child Prahlada was subjected to all kinds of torture , but Prahlada’s devotion to god strengthened further. Enraged at his son’s unshaken devotion to his arch enemy, Hiranyakasipu decided to put an end forever to Prahlada , by all possible means.
Prahlada was totally in bliss chanting the name of Hari and survived all tortures inflicted upon him. Finally, Hiranyakasipu asked Prahlada , “who is this god that protects you”? Where is he?
Prahlada who had realized the omnipresence of the Lord told that , God is everywhere but one who is slave to senses cannot see him. As long as, one is having Ego and attachment, one cannot see Hari, though he is present within us and outside every being.
Angered by the reply Hiranyakasipu then asked Prahlada “Is Hari in this pillar”? Prahlada said “YES HE IS”. Hiranyakasipu broke the pillar with his mace and split the pillar into pieces. A terrible noice was heard. It was like a clap of thunder. The lord in the dreadful from of Narasimha emerged from it. Due to the boon Hiranyakasipu had (that he could not be slayed by either a man nor an animal), the lord had assumed a terrible form of Narasimha (half-man and half-lion). He seized the demon by throat, placed him on his lap, tore his entrails with his nails and killed him. The lord walked with his dead victim and sat on the throne. No one, neither Devas nor Brahma or Lakshmi dared to go near him. This was lord’s anger against the person who dared to offend his devotee.
Though, everyone trembled at the sight and the form of Narasimha, Prahlada stood cheerfully in adoration without any fear, as he saw the lord as an embodiment of love.
Lord Narasimha then commended Prahlada to take over the kingdom and he ruled over for long time with justice and righteousness.
For us Hiranyakasipu may appear as demon, but in the view of divinity, he is an instrument to help Prahlada to affirm faith in god. If there had been no Hiranyakasipu, there would have been no Narasimha Avatar. To demonstrate the power of faith, hatred has to be there in one side. Hiranyakasipu was responsible for revealing the devotion, love, faith and greatness of Prahlada and for the appearance of Lord Narasimha.
This story teaches us that we should do the work that has come to us sincerely and efficiently. We should give up attachments and give up everything that is outside the service of the lord. It also teaches us that Lord prevails everywhere. Devotion can be practiced at any point of time. Constant faith in god leads to devotion. Make your home and everyplace around you a Vaikuntha, a place devoid of miseries and temple of love and unity.
OM SHRI NARASIMHAYA NAMAHA