Faith

Narasimha avatar

The uniqueness of Narasimha avatara has been glowingly depicted in the Bhagavata Purana. The exchanges between Prahlada and Hiranyakasipu just before the Lord manifests from the pillar contain high philosophical and spiritual truths, pointed out Sri R. Krishnamurthy Sastrigal in a discourse.

Hiranyakasipu laughs in derision at Prahlada’s implicit faith and devotion for Hari since the child keeps asserting that the Lord is present everywhere. Hiranyakasipu goes on to ask him, if, as he claims, such a person exists everywhere, why is He not seen in the pillar? I see the Lord everywhere, says Prahlada. He not only sees the Lord in the pillar but as the indweller in all beings including his father. Interpreters show that this is proof that the Lord is easily available to those who are devoted to Him and are able to experience His presence everywhere and in all objects.

But He remains distant and unseen to the non-believers. So the demon keeps asking, “Where is He?” He then strikes a pillar and instantly the Lord manifests from the pillar, proving the Sukta Vakya, ‘Narayana pervades both inside and outside of everything’.

The Lord's pervasiveness is such that there is not a miniscule of space that is not occupied by Him. He is present everywhere and in all objects of creation, giving them form, shape and special qualities. Since Hiranyakasipu had cleverly sought from Brahma a boon to evade death, the Lord had to reckon all these factors and choose a suitable form, time and killing tactics. He had to be ready to come from anywhere when called. In this avatara, even the common and the unlettered can experience the Lord’s omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience which the sastras themselves struggle to express adequately. It is no wonder that the Bhagavata Purana extols this avatara as ‘Ati Atbhutam’ — the most extraordinary — and it goes on to unfold its many salient features.


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Printable version | Jan 27, 2022 4:31:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/narasimha-avatar/article37883274.ece

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