Narasinghadev - The Man-Lion

 traditional painting of Sri Narasingha and Hiranyakashipu. Bhakta Prahlad is shown on the left.

traditional painting of Sri Narasingha and Hiranyakashipu. Bhakta Prahlad is shown on the left.

This evening we celebrate the appearance of Lord Vishnu’s incarnation as Sri Narasingha, the Man-Lion.

The Demon King Hiranyakashipu had received a boon from Lord Brahma, and could be killed neither by man nor by animal, neither by day nor by night, neither inside nor outside, neither in the air nor on the ground, neither by hand nor by weapon.

On the 14th day of the waxing moon in the month of Vaisakha, Lord Vishnu appeared, exploding out of a pillar in Hiranyakashipu’s palace. His form was neither man nor animal, but half-man, half-lion; He appeared neither by day nor by night, but at dusk; neither inside nor outside, He dragged Hiranyakashipu to the door of the palace, exactly at the threshold; He placed Hirnanyakashipu neither on the ground nor in the air, but upon His lap; He used neither hand nor weapon, but disemboweled the demon with His claws.

When the Divine Reality unavoidably appears before us, the selfish ego will not survive. The mind, too, which can only function within the syntax of self-relating opposites, is annihilated, leaving only the consciousness of the Transcendent Reality. Bhagavan-Bhagavati will always do what is needed. The soft heart of a bhakta will be slowly wrung, through a lifetime of joyful surrender and dedication. The stone heart of a demon will be smashed to pieces. The end for all is Liberation.