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Why do celebrate the Holi festival in India | Story of Narasimha Avatar

Story of Narasimha Avatar | Why do celebrate the Holi festival

Why do celebrate the Holi festival in India, Story of Narasimha Avatar
Why do celebrate the Holi festival

Introduction:

Dashavatar represents the ten different incarnations of Vishnu, which were taken to save the earth and its living beings from destruction. This article will narrate to you the story of the fourth incarnation of Vishnu. Then let's start the story behind the Narasimha avatar.

Prahlad and Hiranyakashipu story | Bhakt prahlad ki kahani

Prahlad and Hiranyakashipu story, Bhakt prahlad ki kahani
Bhakta Prahalad story

Among the nine avatars of Lord Vishnu that have appeared so far, the Narasimha is the fiercest one. Hailed as the preserver and sustainer of the universe, Vishnu transformed into a ferocious form to eliminate Asura king Hiranyakashyap, who had created havoc in the three worlds. Hiranyakashyap was the brother of Hiranyaksha who was killed by the second Avatar of Vishnu, the Varaha Avatar. When he saw that Hiranyaksha has been killed by Vishnu he swore vengeance. He meditated to Lord Bramha and because of his severe penance, the Devas were frightened and asked Bramha to pacify the king. Lord Bramha was impressed by this austerity and granted him a wish.

Hiranyakashyap tried to force Bramha to make him immortal. Bramha, however, could not do that because even he had to die someday. So instead the demon extracted from him various assurances. He asked boon to be that he would not die during the day or the night; on land, at sea or in the sky, inside or outside, by the hands of human or beast or by any weapon. Bramha granted him his wish, now he thought that he was immortal. With blazing eyes, he called all his associates together and vowed to kill Lord Vishnu and sever his head from his body.

Hiranyakashyap commanded his associates to go down to earth and attack the Brahmanas and devotees of Lord Vishnu. Wherever cows were protected the demon set fire to the houses and cut down the trees. Vedic culture places special importance on the welfare of Brahmanas, cows, and trees. Hiranyakashyap knew that they attacked these three; they would be destroying all that was most dear to Lord Vishnu.

 

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Hiranyakashyap then set about becoming the most powerful person in the universe, trampling all beneath him and spreading a reign of terror but he was always in search of Lord Vishnu to kill him. Having obtained the boon, he considered himself the supreme God and forbade all worship of gods by anyone. In due course Hiranyakashyap had a son, his name was Prahlad. When Prahalad was born to Hiranyakashyap's wife Kayadhu, the demon was in the Himalayas doing intense penance to please Lord Bramha for obtaining his boon.

Interestingly Prahalad was destined to take birth at the humble adobe of Narada Muni, and none other than goddess YogMaya helped Kayadhu deliver her baby. Therefore, Prahalad has always been surrounded by sages who preached to him the greatness of Lord Vishnu. Prahalad grew up to be a great devotee and had the blessings of Lord Vishnu and the Gods, even when he was in his mother's womb.

Hence, despite being the son of an Asura, the boy turned out to be quite different from his father and exhibited divine qualities. From the beginning of his life, Prahalad spread light and love around him. His father tried every possible way to turn the boy into a demon-like him but nothing worked. Unable to tolerate a member of his family worshipping his mortal enemy, he decided to kill his son. But it was not easy, he gave him to his soldiers to execute but they couldn't do it. He tried throwing him off a cliff, crushing him beneath an elephant, putting him amongst venomous snakes, and poisoning his food, nothing would work.

 

Holi festival India | Holika dahan story

Holi festival India, Holika dahan story
Holi festival India

During a particular attempt on Prahalad's life, king Hiranyakashyap called upon his sister Holika for help. Holika had a special cloak garment that prevented her from being harmed by fire. Hiranyakashyap asked her to sit on a bonfire with Prahalad, by tricking the boy to sit on her lap. However, as the fire roared the garment flew from Holika and covered Prahalad. Holika burnt to death, Prahalad came out unharmed, from that day people are celebrated as Holika Dahan and next day play with colors which called as 'Dhuleti'.

 

Story of Narasimha Avatar | Narasimha the fourth avatar of Vishnu

Story of Narasimha Avatar, Narasimha the fourth avatar of Vishnu
Story of Narasimha avatar of lord Vishnu

Prahalad's life was always protected by some supernatural force. Finally, in anger, Hiranyakashyap demanded Prahalad "where do you get your strength?" Then Prahalad replied to him that "from the same place you get your father, from Lord Vishnu." Hiranyakashyap asks Prahalad, "where is this Vishnu of yours! Let me see him so that I can kill him." Then Prahalad replied to him, "my lord is everywhere!" Hiranyakashyap ask again to his son, "Then he must be in this pillar too," and rushing at a nearby pillar of the palace struck it a terrible blow.

At that moment a fearful sound came from the pillar as if the universe itself was about to split apart. All who heard it were afraid. The pillar burst asunder and a terrifying form emerged from it with the head of a lion and the body of a man. This was Narasimha swami, the man-lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu, who had come to protect his devotee, Prahlad. Hiranyakashyap was afraid to see him and tried to protect himself from Lord Narasimha swami, but after a brief struggle, Lord Narasimha picked up the demon and killed him.

He was killed at the point of dusk, neither day nor night, he was the lap of Lord Narasimha, neither land nor air, nor sea; demons death took place on the threshold of the palace, neither inside nor outside, he was killed by the Lord's nails, not by any weapon, Hiranyakashyap died at the hands of neither human nor animal but half-man and half-lion. Thus Vishnu's Narasimha avatar, whilst keeping all the conditions of Lord Bramha intact, still killed the demon Hiranyakashyap who had so cruelly tried to end the life of his devotee Prahlad. After his death, Hiranyakashyap was freed from his hatred of Lord Vishnu. Being purified by Lord Narsimha's touch, he gained liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

This story is also similar to other stories; all the stories present the victory of dharma over unrighteousness, the victory of humanity over inhumanity.

 

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