narasimha avatara

उग्रं वीरं महाविष्णुं ज्वलन्तं सर्वतोमुखं ।
नृसिंहं भीषणं भद्रं मृत्युमृत्युं नमाम्यहं ।।

ugraṃ vīraṃ mahāviṣṇuṃ jvalantaṃ sarvatomukhaṃ |
nṛsiṃhaṃ bhīṣaṇaṃ bhadraṃ mṛtyumṛtyuṃ namāmyahaṃ ||
This is the beeja mantra for Narasimha, which appears in the Nrsimha Purva Tapaniya Upanishad.
  Salutations to That Nrsimha, Who is fierce, Who is heroic, Who is Maha Vishnu, Who is burning, Who has faces every where, Who is half Lion and half Man, Who is fearful, Who is safe, Who is death and also deathlessness.

A short story of the narasimha avatara

Hiranyakashipu had obtained a boon from Brahma, so that no human or animal could kill him. His death wouldn’t happen either in day or night, neither inside any premises nor outside. Thus invincible, he started harassing everybody including the devas.

He decreed that only himself (Hiranyakashipu) be worshipped all across the three lokas. While all the three lokas complied, his own son – Prahlada, had become a devotee of Maha Vishnu. Much to Hiranyakashipu’s chagrin, Prahlada wouldn’t change his mind inspite of severe punishments.

When Hiranyakashipu challenged Prahlada to seek Vishnu’s refuge, Maha Vishnu assumed the form of Narasimha (half-human and half-lion) and appeared from a pillar. Narasimha and Hiranyakashipu then fought each other fiercely. Finally, Narasimha carried a worn out Hiranyakashipu and sat on the courtyard threshold (which was neither inside nor outside) just before the sun set. Narasimha killed Hiranyakashipu using his claws.

Play Video
Watch a 9 minutes video from the movie Dashavataara (kannada) that shows the context of Narasimha Avatara and the climax of the avatara.

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This is a part of the Dashavatara puzzle set from trita. 

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