Encyclopedia for Epics of Ancient India

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Read about Narasimha at Wikipedia or the Urday website.

See Avatara. [Source: Dowson's Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology] 'A descent.' The incarnation of a deity, especially of Vishnu. The 10 Avataras of Vishnu:

4. Narasinha, or Nrisinha `The man-lion.' Vishnu assumed this form to deliver the world from the tyranny of Hiranyakasipu, a demon who, by the favour of Brahma, had become invulnerable, and was secure from gods, men, and animals.

This demon's son, named Prahlada, worshipped Vishnu, which so incensed his father that he tried to kill him, but his efforts were all in vain. Contending with his son as to the omnipotence and omnipresence of Vishnu, Hiranyakasipu demanded to know if Vishnu was present in a stone pillar of the hall, and struck it violently.

To avenge Prahlada, and to vindicate his own offended majesty, Vishnu came forth from the pillar as the Narasinha, half-man and half-lion, and tore the arrogant Daitya king to pieces.

Modern Languages MLLL-4993. Indian Epics. Laura Gibbs, Ph.D. The textual material made available at this website is licensed under a Creative Commons License. You must give the original author credit. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one. No claims are made regarding the status of images used at this website; if you own the copyright privileges to any of these images and believe your copyright privileges have been violated, please contact the webmaster. Page last updated: October 16, 2007 12:22 PM