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Narasimha Avatar Home -› Hindu Trinity -› The Preserver -› Vishnu -› Narasimha Avatar
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Pillar splitting
Narasimha - the man-lion
All the gods were under the thumb of the mighty Hiranyakasipu; and here was a mere boy of five giving him advice. The king of the Rakshasas was mad with anger. He shouted in rage: "Unlucky fool, your death is near. I am the Lord of all the worlds, the only master. Is there another ? Where is he? Show him to me." "He is everywhere," young Prahlada's answer came without a moment's delay.

The king could no longer control himself through anger.

"Wicked fellow, is he everywhere? You mad boy, why should he not appear to me in this pillar? I am, going to kill you this very moment. You have been praising Hari as the Lord of the Universe. Let him come to your help if he can." So saying he drew out his sword and pounced upon the little boy. Then there was a terrible deafening noise as if the universe itself split into two. Even the very brave Hiranyakashipu started from his place at the terrible noise. The courtiers shook with fear and stood like statues of stone. As the stunned men watched, the pillar split into two.

There was Sri Hari, in the form of Narasimha. He had the head of a lion and the body of a man.

The eyes of this terrible figure were dazzling they looked like molten gold. The hair on the head and the moustache and the beard stood straight and erect. The sharp and pointed jaws chattered harshly; the tongue quivered like a sword and was sharp as a dagger. His eyebrows were close knit. The ears were raised and stood erect. The mouth gaped like a mountain cave. The two nostrils looked like wells turned upside down. The body was huge and mountain - like. It seemed to touch the skies and to stop the very clouds. It had countless arms. The body was covered with white like silver. The very sight of the sharp claws made one tremble.

Hiranyakshipu attacking narasimha
This terrible form split the pillar and came out. Hiranyakashipu's courtiers had crowded the hall; but not one dared to look at him, not to speak of approaching him.

And yet, Hiranyakashipu steadily looked him in the face. His was extraordinary courage. He understood what was going to happen. "Oh, this is Mahavishnu. This is the very god who killed my brother assuming the form of a wild pig. If I kill him all the gods will be helpless; they will be like the branches of a tree whose trunk has been cut and removed. Well, I shall test his strength." So thinking he raised his mace and fell upon Narasimha.

Without doubt, Hiranyakashipu was a man of extraordinary strength and courage. But what could he do against Lord Narasimha? He was like a little sparrow dashing against a mountain. That god of immense power seized the Rakshasa as easily as Garuda seizes a snake. But the Rakshasa slipped from his grip like a snake.

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