Significance of Narasimha Jayanthi – The Power of Devotion
( Translated from Kannada Article ಭಕ್ತಿಯ ಶಕ್ತಿ by Deepika Pandurangi )
The path of devotion was strongly paved by haridasas. In the path of devotion a staunch devotee is always revered more than god. Sri Vijaya Vittala dasaru, says that “ Lord Venkataramana married padmavati to appease his devotees.” So is the greatness of Lord Srinivasa. According to hindu calender , the month vaishakha is very auspicious. Lord Srinivasa married Goddess Padmavati on Vaishakaha shuddha Dashami.
The month of Vaishakha is auspicious for another incidence. That is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu as Narasimha. This happened on Vaishakha shuddha Chaturdashi. This incarnation of Vishnu happened to show the world that Lord abides by his words (which he had given to Jaya and Vijaya) and listens to pure devotion (prayers of his devotee Prahlada).
The story line goes as follows. The cursed dwarapalakas , Jaya and Vijaya take birth as demons Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. The most pleasurable thing for them was to insult Lord Vishnu. Once Hiranyaksha abducts Bhudevi to infuriate Vishnu. Lord Vishnu reincarnates as Varaha and saves Bhudevi. In this avatara Lord kills Hiranyaaksha. Demise of his brother makes Hiranyakashipu more intolerant towards Lord Vishnu and his devotees.
Meanwhile Hiranayakashipu’s wife Kayadu becomes pregnant. At this time there was a big fight between asuras (demons) and devatas(angels) to get a hold on position of Indra. Saint Narada asks Hiranyakashipu to keep pregnant kayadu in his ashram to protect her from ill effects of war. Thus the baby in womb of kayadu grows hearing the divine Bhagavata and hari kirtane. This child is Prahlada who is known as a superior devotee of Lord Vishnu or Bhagavatottama.
Hiranyakashipu’s anger sees no limits when he hears praises of Hari or Vishnu from his own son. He tries to kill Prahlada through various methods. But none of these were successful. Prahlada emerges as winner. This infuriates Hiranyakashipu. He questions the presence of god. Child Prahlada explains that Sri Hari is omnipresent. Hiranyakashipu points at a pillar and asks Prahlada to show Sri Hari in that pillar. Prahlada starts praying Lord Vishnu and the pillar splits into half. Sri Hari comes out of the pillar in the form of Narasimha (half lion and Half Human). Narasimha takes Hiranyakashipu on his lap, digs his stomach with his sharp nails. Lord Narasimha garlands himself with intestines of Hiranyakashipu. The anger of Narasimha was unfathomable. Even Bramha and Lakshmi could not pacify Lord Narasimha. Prahlada starts praising god. Lord Narasimha cools down as he listens to little Prahlada’s prayers. Hence Prahlada is known for his innocent devotion. The strength of devotion was that it destroyed the evil and peace prevailed.
Hence this day is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanthi.