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 Title : Shri Narasimba upasana Author : Mr Sudhanshu Kumar Nayak

In the Vaishnav upasana (worship) system, worshipping of God Narasimha is very ancient. The roots of this can be traced back to Upanishadhas. In "Narasimha Purvatapini Upanishadhas" we find mention of Narasimha hymn.

It is said in admiration of this hymn that the whole universe was full of water at first. Lord Brahma was seated on the lotus leaf amongst all water. Suddenly Lord Brahma thought of creating the world. He started mortification fro it and as a result of that mortification he found Narasimha hymn. Lord Brahma was able to create the world with the help of that hymn. By chanting this hymn, along with its creature was created.

This hymn has four lines (legs) and 32 alphabets and is created in Anushtup Chhanda and is considered great. According to the science, all creatures take birth in virtue of this hymn and dissolve in it. So this Narsimha hymn is the reason for nature, condition, and benefit. Upanishadhas say that by chanting this hymn, humans get glory like gold. Narasimha hymn has been related to ancient gods as it is considered as the origin of the nature. Narasimha hymn has been divided in four lines considering it as the origin and form of Lord Brahma. It is called Saptaloka with Bhu, Bhuva, Swa, Maha, Jana, Tapa, and Satya. It also includes 10 origins and 5 elements. Four angles of the mind are four faces of it. Because of his existence as a male in this worldly body, this origin of the nature is called "Vaishwanaar." This is called "Jagrat Avastha."

The second line of this is the world of micro organisms. This world exists in the body of Lord Brahma in the form of Narasimha. This is called "Hiranyagarbha." This is "Swanpna Avastha."

The third line of this is "Karan Lok". This is "Sushupti Avastha" where Lord Brahma exists in the whole universe. This is also known as scientific and happy form of the Lord Brahma. The fourth line of this is "Turiya Lok." It is also called "Turiya Avastha." This comes in the immortal form of Brahma. Thus with this holy and pure feeling, the world was created, Narasimha is the from of that unseen Brahma who is the power of this world.

This Narasimha in the form of Lord Brahma after some time was worshipped as Vishnu Avtara in Mahabharata, Harivansha, Bhagwat, and Puranas. Bhagwat also mentions Narasimha Avatara as one of 24 Avatars. Of 10 Avatars (forms) of Lord Vishnu, Narasimha Avatar is considered as 4th. Shri Jaydev admires Narasimha in his "Dashavatar Stotra" as following. In this hymn, he tells the story of Hiranyakashyapu related to Narasimha. Different Puranas tell one story related to Shri Narasimha, which is not related to Upanishadhas. It says that in ancient times, there were two demons called Hiranyakha and Hiranyakashyapu who were brothers. Because of his crime, Hiranyaksha was killed. His brother Hiranyakashyapu who was very powerful mortified to please Lord Brahma. When Lord Brahma was pleased with his mortification, Hiranyakashyapu put a list of his demands to Lord Brahma that let he not be killed by any human being, God, or any creature created by Lord Brahma and that let he not die in water, or ground, or in the hell. He would not die with any weapon or arms. Not in a day or night. Not in house or outside, etc. thus ruling out all causes of death, he thought that he would never ever die. As result, he started thinking of himself as strongest as, more powerful as Lord Vishnu and started offending and assaulting people more and more, but his son Prahlad was a great worshipper of Lord Vishnu. He always chanted the name of Lord (Hari naam). And because of this, Hiranyakashyapu was angry with Prahlad and troubled him a lot. He tried to kill Prahlad by throwing him off the mountain, he threw him in the sea, he gave Prahlad in the lion’s mouth, he tried to stamp him under elephant’s legs. He also tried to burn Prahlad. But because of blessing from Lord Vishnu, Prahlad was saved every time. Angry with this, Hiranyakashyapu asked Prahlad where did his God love, on this Prahlad’s answer was that he lived everywhere. Hiranyakashyapu was very angry. He pointed to one pillar and asked Prahlad for presence of god in the pillar. On a positive answer from Prahlad, he kicked the pillar and Shri Narasimha who appeared from the pillar killed Hiranyakashyapu and protected Prahlad with love.

Archeologists claim to find the first mention of Narasimha in the fifth century as a carving. In the eighth century in Mamlapur carving, mentions of Bhimatsya, Kurma, Varah, Narasimha avatar. Apart from this, Vigraha of Badami, Vishnu temple of Devgarh from sixth century, Kailasnath temple of Verul of eighth century, Pahadpar temple of Bengal, Narasimhanath temple of Seemachalays of twelfth century, Narasimha temple near Jagannath Mandir of Puri, Maj Narasimha of Chakarateertha, Narasimha temple of fifteenth century, etc., give the proof of Narasimha worshipping from the ancient time.

It will be wrong to say that worshipping Narasimha is limited only to Vaishnavas. In Lingaraj temple of twelfth century in Bhuvaneshwar we find temples of Laxmi-Narasimha.

Great believer of Adwaitvada, Aadishankar created Laxmi-Narasimha Ashthak in the eighth century, which made worshipping of Narasimha-Laxmi well known.

forward the tradition of worshipping of Narasimha. It is said that Shankaracharya used to worship Narasimha (male), so Padmapaad sounded the temple for Laxmi-Narasimha. Afterwards at the time of Chalukya Mukund Dev, the idol of Laxmi-Narasimha was founded in Mahalaxmi temple. Thus Jagannath worship is related to Narasimha worship. Shri Chaitanyadev also describes Shri Narasimha for his worldly existence.

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Tag Names : Puran,Upnishad
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