Half Beast, Half Man-Why?

A firm development of household life) with values and virtues, is needed today in a big way.

The story is known to most of us--Hiranya Vadham (destruction of Hiranya, the demon king) by Lord Vishnu taking the form of half man-half beast--Narasimha Avatar --to rid the world of the tyranny of the demon and to establish the truth in the words of a staunch devotee.

Lord NarasimhaHiranyakasipu had amassed great power through severe penance and become extremely proud of his prowess, with the result he was a terror to everybody.

His head was so swollen with pride that he ordered his name to be chanted in schools as prayer--Hiranyaya Namaha--instead of Narayanaya Namaha (the name of Lord Vishnu, against whom Hiranya nurtured a special hatred for the killing of his brother, Hiranyakshan, who had hidden the whole world under the sea).

Son's Defiance

Strangely, the first to defy his order was his own son, Prahlada, who was a staunch devotee of Vishnu, having heard from Maharshi Narada about the greatness of the Lord even when he was in his mother's womb, Despite the father's strict order he kept on chanting "Om Namo Narayanaya Namaha." Hiranyakasipu punished him severely--death penalty everytime--but Prahlada came out unscathed.

Then, desperately Hiranya asked Prahlada to show him where 'that Hari' was. "Everywhere," was the nonchalant reply. "In this pillar, too?" ''Yes; undoubtedly."

In a fit of anger Hiranyakasipu hit the pillar with his gadha (mace). Out came a strange creature, half man and half lion, with ferocious look and loud roar, took Hiranyakasipu on the lap, and tore his chest apart.

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