|THE PILLAR IN THE COURT SPLITTING
|NARASIMHA - THE MAN-LION
BURSTING OUT OF THE PILLAR
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.
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
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.