The Incarnation of Sri Narasimha and the Slaying of the Demon!

Angered at Prahlada, Hiranyakashipu said, "You scourge of the demon race! Your madness has gone too far. When the guardians of the worlds tremble at my footsteps, what power do you have to boast so arrogantly?" Prahlada, with a smile, replied, "King, didn't you boast with pride, claiming yourself to be the lord of the universe, undefeated in the three worlds? And now, have you forgotten how you bowed your head, unable to kill a mere bird? Do you know who that bird was? It was the Supreme Vayudeva, existing within all beings, who governs the world according to Sri Hari's will and decree!"

"Listen, father! You asked me whose power I believe in, from the humble grass to Brahma who granted you boons, the entire animate and inanimate world is under the sway of the one whose servants include Brahma and others – it's only Hari's power. Before the might of that supreme power, no other strength can stand.

Not just that, father. The very power by which you are known as 'Mahabali', my life depends solely on the strength of my lord, the omnipotent Sri Hari!"

Hiranyakashipu's anger exceeded its limits. Trembling with dissatisfaction and rage, he descended from his throne, dragged Prahlada towards him, and blustered, "Hari, Hari! Where is that Hari of yours? Is he in the one who killed my brother with his affection?" He then looked at Prahlada, mistaking him for Hari, and pushed him back and forth, exclaiming, "Hari! Hari!! Caught you! Now let's see how you escape from my hands."

Then, Prahlada calmly told his father, "Father! Obsessed with hatred for Hari, everything seems like Hari to you, naturally. Father, I am not Sri Hari; I am his devotee, Prahlada." Hiranyakashipu, coming to his senses, asked, "You are not Hari? Then where is that deceiver, tell me?" Prahlada replied, "Father, Sri Hari is everywhere. There is no place without him. He is in me and also in you."

Hiranyakashipu: "He is in me?"

Prahlada: "Yes, father, he is in everyone."

Hiranyakashipu, puffed up with pride from the assurances given by his guru, Shukracharya, that wherever Hari might be, he would come to protect Prahlada, and then he could easily destroy him, exclaimed, "Prahlada! You say Vishnu is everywhere, don't you? Foolish boy! I will kill you now! Let's see how your Hari saves you," and raised his sword to kill Prahlada.

Prahlada, fearlessly: "Protecting the welfare of his devotees at all times is not a significant task for my Lord. Sinful one, you, who gave me life, have authority over this body of mine. If killing me would appease your hatred towards Hari, then here, my head is ready for your sword. (Joins palms) Hari Narayana, Victory to Narayana."

Hiranyakashipu: "Where is your Hari? Is he in this pillar?"

Prahlada: "He is, father!"

Hiranyakashipu: (Dragging Prahlada) "In this wall?"

Prahlada: "He is there too."

Hiranyakashipu: (Stomping on the ground) "Here?"

Prahlada: (Firmly) "He is."

Then Hiranyakashipu, pointing at a metal pillar in the assembly, bellowed, "Prahlada, that illusionist, your lord, Hari, is he in this pillar?"

Prahlada: "Father, there is no place where he is not. Sri Hari is also in that pillar."

Hiranyakashipu: "Oh boy, truly, you desire death now. You speak such nonsense. You bragged that Sri Narayana gives you strength?"

"If he is omnipresent, why can't I see him in this pillar? I will cut off your head right now, babbling like an idiot! Let's see how Hari saves you!" Saying so, he kicked, raised his sword, and powerfully punched the pillar with his fist.

To everyone's surprise, a terrifying sound emanated from the pillar immediately. That sound was so fierce and intense, it seemed as though the entire cosmos might split apart, sending shivers down everyone's spine. The gods, including Rudra, feared an untimely cosmic dissolution upon hearing that ominous sound. Hiranyakashipu, who had intended to kill his own son, was startled by that thunderous noise and looked around, trying to find the source. Puzzled by the sound that seemed to come from a being, yet no being was visible, he stood bewildered. The demon warriors were also frightened, wondering how a sound could emanate without a visible source. "What an astonishment! The sound is coming without any visible entity!" Hiranyakashipu thought. Just as he was pondering, breaking through the assembly, a fearsome creature emerged from the pillar!

It was neither a lion nor a human - a bizarre entity with a form combining both man and beast. Truly,

"To establish the truth of his own words, and to show the extent of his soul's reach within all beings,

He appeared in an awe-inspiring form not seen before, neither animal nor man." - Bhagavata Purana 7.8.18

"Srihari is omnipresent. He is the protector of us all," said the devoted Prahlada, and to prove the truth of Prahlada's words and Brahma's boon, Srihari took the form of Narahari and emerged from the assembly hall, becoming visible to everyone.

Hiranyakashipu, seeing this terrifying form, was astonished and thought, "This is neither a lion nor a man. What could this strange creature with a man-lion form be?" As he pondered, the Narasimha form stood before him.

This unique Narasimha form was frightening merely by its sight. It had eyes red like molten gold, a terrifying wide mouth set amid a mane of hair, fierce tusks, a tongue lashing out like a sharp-edged sword, furrowed brows, ears standing tall, nostrils like cave openings, a broad forehead, a tall stature with a full neck, bulging chest and thighs, and a waist as slender as that of a lion.

Sri Narasimhaswamy was resplendent with various ornaments. His radiance was enhanced by the mark of Srivatsa and the jewel Kaustubha, garlanded with a wreath of divine Tulasi and pearls, and smeared with divine fragrances. His formidable form was adorned with earrings, armlets, bracelets, rings, and necklaces, shining with the brilliance of lightning, and his body was radiant with a golden hue. He was decked with a multitude of weapons, each adding to his fearsome aura, and his claws gleamed with a light that could split the darkness.

Upon seeing this awe-inspiring form of Sri Narasimha, Hiranyakashipu was dumbfounded. "This is neither a lion nor a man. What is this extraordinary man-lion creature?" And right there before him stood Narasimha!

The sight of Narasimha, with his golden eyes, hair spreading all around, a terrifying mouth amid his mane, cruel tusks, a tongue flicking like a sharp sword, knotted eyebrows, ears erect like towers, nostrils wide as mountain caves, a broad forehead, towering height, and muscular build, was utterly fearsome. He shone with divine ornaments, the Srivatsa mark, Kaustubha jewel, draped in divine Tulasi and pearl garlands, and his entire being radiated a golden glow, terrifying to behold. Hiranyakashipu was completely taken aback by this form.

Then Hiranyakashipu thought, "This Narasimha form is none other than an avatar of Narayana, my eternal foe! It seems Hari has come to slay me because I intended to kill my son Prahlada. My attempt to kill Prahlada, as advised by my guru, now appears successful! There's no point in killing Prahlada now." Thinking this, Hiranyakashipu grabbed his fearsome mace and, swinging it, charged at Sri Narasimhadeva. Like a moth unaware of its impending doom flies into the flame, the demon fell into the unbearable blaze of Narasimha's aura.

Even as the demon advanced, Narahari momentarily disregarded his bold endeavor. Would it be a significant feat for Srihari, who consumed the primal darkness that enveloped everything before creation, to destroy this minor demon?

Then, the great demon Hiranyakashipu, in extreme rage, struck Narasimhadeva with his mace at high speed. Narasimhadeva, like Garuda seizing a serpent, effortlessly caught the demon with his hands. As Hiranyakashipu tried to escape from the grasp of the lord, Narasimhadeva played with the demon as Garuda would toy with a snake.

The demon, having escaped from Srihari's grasp again, became deluded into thinking he was invincible and that Narahari had let him go because of his (the demon's) valor. The various devotees in the celestial realm, the protectors of the directions like Shiva and Indra, and all the planets and stars doubted if the demon's power had indeed become supreme due to the Lord's play, wondering whether the demon would again fall into Narahari's clutches.

After regaining his strength, the demon king quickly grabbed his sword and shield, ready to fight the Divine. Narahari, swift as a hawk, blinked and moved rapidly, causing a great commotion. The deluded Hiranyakashipu, trying to capture him, remained unharmed and bewildered. Sri Narasimha, like a tiger catching a mouse, firmly grasped him in his hands, sat on the doorstep of the assembly hall, placed him on His lap, and leisurely tore open his abdomen with His claws as Garuda would split a venomous serpent.

Then Sri Narasimha, with fierce red eyes, looked terrifyingly majestic as He licked His lower lip with His long tongue, covered in the demon's blood, smearing His matted locks and face. Like a lion killing and wearing the intestines of an intoxicated elephant around its neck, Sri Narasimha adorned Himself with the intestines of the demon Hiranyakashipu on His neck and pierced the demon's heart with His sharp claws.

Thus, the destroyer of demons, after annihilating the scourge of the world, Hiranyakashipu, witnessed his demon warriors abandoning their lord's body and fleeing in terror. Surrounding Lord Nrisimha from all sides, they launched an assault. Lord Nrisimha then eliminated all these demons with his claw-weapons.

At that time, the entire universe trembled with the fury of Lord Nrisimha. His hair's velocity scattered the clouds in all directions. The sun and other celestial bodies dimmed in the glare of his fiery gaze. The oceans roiled with his roaring. The directional guardians fled in panic, the sky filled with scattering celestial chariots, and the earth groaned under the weight of his steps. Mountains were dislodged by his might, and the universe's corners darkened.

Following this demonstration of his unmatched prowess, by annihilating Hiranyakashipu and his demon chiefs, Lord Nrisimha resumed his seat on the high throne, manifesting his extraordinary form, fierce, blazing, and impossible for any mortal to approach.

The gods, witnessing the demise of Hiranyakashipu, whom Lord Nrisimha had subdued, showered flowers from heaven, reveling in joy and relief. Celestial beings and apsaras danced and sang in praise, marveling at the lord's majestic form and deeds, celebrating the demon's death with divine music and floral rain, filling the heavens with their presence.

Lord Nrisimha then slightly moderated his fierce form.