|NARASIMHA - THE MAN-LION
Narasimha, the fourth incarnation
of god Vishnu, is half-lion half-human and provides
a very fascinating study of Lord's incarnation in order to
alleviate the sufferings of devotees.
The story runs thus,
Among descendants of Daksha, the first man that Brahma created,
there was one Kashyap, a sage, who had four wives,
Diti, Aditi, Vinita and Kudroo. Diti gave birth to
demons and from Aditi were born gods, while from Vinita was
born Garud, the carrier of Vishnu and the last one Kudroo
created the hydras.
Out of the demons born of Diti, two
were with terrific powers. These two brothers were named Hiranyaksha
|NARASIMHA - THE FIERCE MAN-LION
Both of them performed so many religious practices and austerities
that in course of time they gained limitless powers. Hirayanyaksha
proud with his powers attacked Vishnu who was in his Varaha
form and was killed.
At the death of Hiranyaksha his wife
Vrishadbhanu and her children were overpowered with grief.
His mother Dithidevi was heart-broken. Hiranyakashipu also
was filled with sorrow. But he tried to console the
others. He said, 'everyone has to die. So do not weep. My
brother fought and died like a hero. So why weep for his death?'
Although Hiranyakashipu tried to console others his sorrow
burnt his own heart like fire. Even, before this, Hiranyakashipu hated Vishnu. Now Vishnu's very name was like poison to him. His
blood was boiling with the hatred of Vishnu.
|HIRANYAKASHIPU - THE ASURA
He called the generals of his army Illyala, Namuchi and others.
He said, 'Give the devotees of Vishnu as much trouble as you
can.' They burnt the cities; razed temples to the ground and
destroyed the crops.
Hiranyakashipu King of the Rakshasas retired
to the mountain Mandara and began Tapas (meditation on the
Lord). He stood on the toe so as to throw the whole
weight of the body on it, held the arms raised straight and
the eyes looking up at the sky.
Thus he offered a severe prayer.
Many years passed. But he did not move even an inch. Flame
rose from his body and enveloped the entire universe. Rivers
and oceans boiled. The earth shook. Fire spread on all sides.
The very gods were filled with fear. They went to Satyaloka
and prayed to Brahma to save them. Brahma
appeared to Hiranyakashipu and said, 'Hiranyakashipu,
arise. I am pleased with your devotion. I never saw before
such a severe meditation. Ask for whatever you desire.'