Why Lord Vishnu took half lion, half man Narasimha avatar
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This is very important factor and question to be asked: Just before going forward let us know a few important points.
1. Simha (Lion) has always been considered as the ultimate animal on earth since ages. It is the King of the forest and no one dares to attack it and no question about fighting with it.
2. Simha (Lion) is a mark of excellence and superiority. Just looking at a Simha (Lion), we get our blood flowing from our head to toe. That’s the brilliance of a Simha (Lion).
3. Simha (Lion) signifies the fearlessness, boldness, bravery, valor, courage etc. No one dares to touch a Simha (Lion) even when it is sleeping.
Left: Hiranyakashipu troubling his own son Prahlada. Right: Hiranyakashipu been slayed in that same way.
4. Let us consider a divine shlokas which signifies Lion and Bhagavan Sri Narasimha:
|| श्री नरसिंह महा मंत्र ||
उग्रं विरं महाविष्णुं ज्वलंतम सर्वतोमुखं |
नृसिंहं भीषणं भद्रं मृत्योर्मृत्युं नमाम्यहं ||
|| ಶ್ರೀ ನರಸಿಂಹ ಮಹಾ ಮಂತ್ರ ||
ಉಗ್ರಂ ವೀರಂ ಮಹಾವಿಷ್ಣುಂ ಜ್ವಲಂತಮ್ ಸರ್ವತೋಮುಖಂ |
ನೃಸಿಂಹಂ ಭೀಷಣಂ ಭದ್ರಂ ಮೃತ್ಯೋರ್ಮ್ಯತ್ಯುಂ ನಮಾಮ್ಯಹಂ ||
|| Sri Narasimha Maha Mantra ||
ugram viram maha-vishnum jvalantam sarvato mukham
nrisimham bhishanam bhadram mrityur mrityum namami aham
ugram = Most ferocious; viram = Most heroic; maha-vishnum = Bhagavan Sri Vishnu; jvalantam = Burning; sarvato mukham = Every side; nrisimham = Bhagavan Sri Narasimha; bhishanam = Most terrific; Most safeguarding; mrityur mrityum = God of death of the deaths; namami = Namaste; aham = I do.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha I bow down to you, you the most ferocious and most heroic God and you are an avatar of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu. You are burning from every side for your enemies.
You are the most terrific, most safeguarding and you are the God of death of the deaths and thus I bow down to you and do namaste to you.
5. Let us consider another divine shloka:
|| नरसिंह प्रपत्ति स्तोत्रं ||
माता नृसिंहश्च पिता नृसिंहो भ्राता नृसिंहश्च सखा नृसिंहः |
विद्या नृसिंहो द्रविणं नृसिंहः स्वामि नृसिंहः सकलं नृसिंहः ||
इतो नृसिंहः परतो नृसिंहो यतो यतो यामि ततो नृसिंहः |
नृसिंह देवादपरं न किंचित् तस्मान्नृसिंहं शरणं प्रपद्ये ||
|| ನರಸಿಂಹ ಪ್ರಪತ್ತಿ ಸ್ತೋತ್ರಂ ||
ಮಾತಾ ನೃಸಿಂಹಶ್ಚ ಪಿತಾ ನೃಸಿಂಹೋ ಭ್ರಾತಾ ನೃಸಿಂಹಶ್ಚ ಸಖಾ ನೃಸಿಂಹಃ |
ವಿದ್ಯಾ ನೃಸಿಂಹೋ ದ್ರವಿಣಂ ನೃಸಿಂಹಃ ಸ್ವಾಮಿ ನೃಸಿಂಹಃ ಸಕಲಂ ನೃಸಿಂಹಃ ||
ಇತೋ ನೃಸಿಂಹಃ ಪರತೋ ನೃಸಿಂಹೋ ಯತೋ ಯತೋ ಯಾಮಿ ತತೋ ನೃಸಿಂಹಃ |
ನೃಸಿಂಹದೇವಾದಪರಂ ನ ಕಿಂಚಿತ್ ತಸ್ಮಾನ್ನೃಸಿಂಹಂ ಶರಣಂ ಪ್ರಪದ್ಯೇ ||
|| Narasimha Prapatti Stotram ||
mātā nr̥sinhaśca pitā nr̥sinhō bhrātā nr̥sinhaśca sakhā nr̥sinhaḥ |
vidyā nr̥sinhō draviṇaṁ nr̥sinhaḥ svāmi nr̥sinhaḥ sakalaṁ nr̥sinhaḥ ||
itō nr̥sinhaḥ paratō nr̥sinhō yatō yatō yāmi tatō nr̥sinhaḥ |
nr̥sinhadēvādaparaṁ na kin̄cit tasmānnr̥sinhaṁ śaraṇaṁ prapadyē ||
Our divine mother is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha, our divine father is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha.
Our divine brother is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha, our divine Friend is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha.
Our divine knowledge is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha, our divine wealth is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha.
Our Bhagavan is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha, and anything and everything is Bhagavan Sri Narasimha.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is in this universe, Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is everywhere (Omnipresent).
There I go, here I go, that way I go, this way I go, Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is present everywhere.
Narasimha is the Supreme Bhagavan, there is none other than HIM in this universe who is greater or equal to Bhagavan Sri Narasimha. Thus, I humbly, very gracefully seek refuge in you Oh Bhagavan Sri Narasimha Swamy.
This is the greatness of a Simha (Lion) and our almighty Bhagavan Sri Narasimha Swamy.
6. As said above Simha (Lion) is a sign of royalty, strength, power, toughness, bravery, solidity, firmness etc.
Bhagavan Sri Vishnu took the avatar of half man and half lion in his Bhagavan Sri Narasimha avatar.
But why did Bhagavan Sri Vishnu took only Bhagavan Sri Narasimha avatar and not any other roopa / form?
Let us understand this now:
In the most divine Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhagavan Sri Krishna says:
परित्राणाय साधूनां विनाशाय च दुष्कृताम् |
धर्म-संस्थापनार्थाय संभवामि युगे युगे || 4.8 ||
ಪರಿತ್ರಾಣಾಯ ಸಾಧೂನಾಂ ವಿನಾಶಾಯ ಚ ದುಷ್ಕೃತಾಂ |
ಧರ್ಮಸಂಸ್ಥಾಪನಾರ್ಥಾಯ ಸಂಭವಾಮಿ ಯುಗೇ ಯುಗೇ || 4-8 ||
paritraanaaya saadhunaam vinaashaaya cha dushkrutam |
dharma-samsthapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge || 4-8 ||
paritaranaaya = To protech; sadhunam = All the Bhagavan Sri Vishnu devotees; vinaashaaya = For the annihilation / complete slaying; cha = And; dushkrutaam = All are who are against Dharma (Like Rakshasa, demons etc);
dharma = Sanatana Dharma; samsthaapana-arthaya = Mainly to re-establish; sambhavaami = I will definitely appear; yuge = Every time and time (now and then); yuge = Every time and time (now and then).
For the protection of all the Bhagavan Sri Vishnu devotees, for the annihilation / complete slaying of people who are against Sanatana Dharma and to re-establish Sanatana Dharma I (Bhagavan Sri Vishnu) incarnate from time to time (again and again).
Here we should always keep in mind that, Bhagavan Sri Krishna is telling that ‘Yuge Yuge’, this means from time to time (again and again) and not just every Yuga (Like Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dwapara Yuga and Kali Yuga).
Also we should note that the words like ‘paritraana instead of traana, vinaashaaya instead of nashaya and samsthaapanaaya instead sthapanaya. This instructs us all that whenever there is Adharma, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu will completely destroy (and not just destruction) the Adharmi people and will definitely re-establish the Sanatana Dharma completely (and not just partially).
This is the greatness of our greatest Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.
And this particular avatar of Bhagavan Sri Narasimha was to protect his beloved devotee Prahlada from his demonic father Hiranyakashipu.
Yes, off course to reestablish a point and to make true the words of his devotee (here Prahlada), that is, “the existence (omnipresence) of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is in everything and in everywhere”.
Prahlada’s incidence proves that, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu will always come to the rescue of his real and beloved devotees each time and every time. This is the greatness of our greatest Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.
7. Now, let us consider Sri Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram’s one shloka as given below:
नारसिंहवपुः श्रीमाम् केशवः पुरुषोत्तमः ॥ 3॥
ನಾರಸಿಂಹವಪುಃ ಶ್ರೀಮಾನ್ ಕೇಶವಃ ಪುರುಷೋತ್ತಮಃ ॥ 3॥
nārasinhavapuḥ śrīmān kēśavaḥ puruṣōttamaḥ॥ 3॥
Bhagavan Sri Vishnu (Narasimha) is the one who has taken a rarest of the rarest and highly unique form of a half lion and half man and whose worship will definitely eradicate all the human’s ignorance.
Bhagavan Sri Vishnu (Narasimha) is the possessor of Goddess of prosperity Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi and she always dwells in his (Bhagavan Sri Vishnu) chest and thus Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is also called as Srivatsa (Someone who has Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi as a divine mole on his chest).
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the one who has the most beautiful and charming hairs.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the giver of knowledge to all the Devatas starting from Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi, Sri Brahma Deva, Sri Saraswati Devi, Sri Rudra Devi etc.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the greatest among all Purushas (All the living and non-living beings).
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the the Sarvottama / Supreme aatma / soul who is omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient.
Bhagavan Sri Krishna says in Srimad Bhagavad Gita as:
मृगाणां च मृगेन्द्रोऽहं वैनतेयश्च पक्षिणाम् ॥ 10-30॥
ಮೃಗಾಣಾಂ ಚ ಮೃಗೇಂದ್ರೋಽಹಂ ವೈನತೇಯಶ್ಚ ಪಕ್ಷಿಣಾಂ ॥ 10-30 ॥
mr̥gāṇāṁ ca mr̥gēndrō̕haṁ vainatēyaśca pakṣiṇāṁ॥ 10-30॥
I am (Bhagavan Sri Krishna) is the ‘mr̥gāṇāṁ‘ / Lion among all ‘mr̥gēndrō̕haṁ‘ / animals.
Sri Venkateshwara Stotram from Brahmanda Purana eulogizes Bhagavan Sri Venkateshwara (Srinivasa) as given below:
श्रीनृसिंहो महासिंहः सूत्राकारः पुरातनः || 4 ||
ಶ್ರೀನೃಸಿಂಹೋ ಮಹಾಸಿಂಹ: ಸೂತ್ರಾಕಾರ: ಪುರಾತನ: || 4 ||
śrīnrusinhō mahāsinha: sūtrākāra: purātana: || 4 ||
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha with his consort Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi on his left lap will always be in ‘Shanta Swaroopam’, that is, Bhagavan Sri Narashimha will always be in ‘divine gentle nature’.
But, while slaying the rakshasa / demon Hiranyakashipa, Bhagavan Sri Narashimha takes his ‘Ugra Narasimha roopam’, that is, Bhagavan Sri Narasimha takes the ‘Sri Maha Narasimha Ugra Swaroopam’ (Sri Maha Narasimha’s form of ferocity)
And this same form Bhagavan Sri Vishnu takes even during the great deluge (Pralaya).
To know more about “What is Maha Pralay or Great tribulation or Qayamat meaning according to Hinduism”, please visit the below link:
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the defender of the entire universe (both living and non-living beings) like a ‘Sutrakaram’, that is, he is the one who will be like a ‘sutra’ / thread in a long necklace of many beads.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the one who is the director of everyone’s life and we are just actors and nothing else. He is instruct us to act like this or that, then we need to act as per his instructions.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the most ‘puratana’ / ancient Bhagavan (Sanatana) and he is the one who is in existence since the ‘aadi kalam’ (Grand first time / time immemorial).
In Tirupati, on the third day morning of ‘Tirumala Srivari Brahmotsavam’ festival, Bhagavan Sri Venkateshwara is taken out in procession on a Lion symbol as his vehicle.
Bhagavan Sri Venkateshwara riding on ‘Simha Vahana’ (Divine Lion vehicle), is depicted as a great protector at the time of need of all.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha (Vishnu) is the Ishwara (Bhagavan) of Ishwara and thus he is known as ‘Parameshwara’ (Grand first Ishwara) or ‘Aadi Moola’ (Grand first original) or ‘Aadi Beeja’ (Grand first seed) etc.
Bhagavan Sri Narasimha is the ‘Mrutyu for the Mrutyu’, that is, “he is the one who gives the dissolution to all”.
Thus we need to always say to Bhagavan Sri Narasimha that, “I surrender and bow down to you oh Bhagavan Sri Narasimha”:
1. As you are the one who is the most ferocious and heroic of all.
2. As you are the most terrific of all.
3. As you are the who gives to the death even to Mrityu and Mrityunjaya.
4. As you are the one who is सर्व-भूत (omnipresent), सर्वशक्तिमान् (omnipotent), सर्वज्ञ (omniscient), सर्वव्यापी (omnificent), सर्व-भक्षक (omnivorous), सर्वव्यापक (omniranges) etc.
5. As you are the one who is Sri Maha Vishnu himself.
6. As you are the most वन्दनीय (Divine adorable).
7. As you are the one who bestows शुभ (Divine auspiciousness).
8. As you are the one who is the most देदीप्यमान (Divine radiant) and तेजस् (Divine glowing) in all the directions.
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