Sri Dasavathara Stothram (Narasimhavatharam) – 5




The key words (prayer) are again for the protection of all the three worlds and their beings by the Simha Roopa BhagavAn (SA: Vaikunta KaNDeerava: threeNi jaganthee avyAth).


The Lord had to destroy HiraNyakasipu as “SthambhOthbahvan” with the power of His nails alone because of the boons granted by BrahmA to that asuran which granted him freedom from death caused by DevAs, Humans, Beasts or weapons. To respect those foolish boons granted by His son, our Lord incarnated in the Man- Lion form from the pillar in the house of HiraNyakasipu and used His nails to tear the asuran apart. Lord Narasimha left behind His ancient weapons (Disc, Conch, Sword, Bow and Mace) and used just His nails to destroy the asuran and blessed the BhAgavatha SiSu PrahlAdhan. The pillar in the house of the asuran got elevated thus to the loftiest status among all the other pillars in the world. That pillar lost its infertility. It became the grandmother by giving birth to the Lord, who is the Father of Brahma Devan. May this Narasimha BhagavAn protect all the three worlds!


For a few moments, Lord Narasimhan gave prAdhAnyam (importance) to His nails and set aside His well trusted weapons like Sudarsana chakram. This was in deference to the boons granted earlier by Brahma to HiraNyakasipu, which freed him from fears about death from traditional causes. The Lord with “akunta MahimA” (unlimited Vaibhavam) side stepped the boons of Brahma and came up with a scheme to rid off the evil HiraNyakasipu, who had offended His dear Bhakthan.He just used His nails to destroy the asuran.He was neither a Man nor a beast or a DEvan in this avathAram He was half-lion and half-man. He did not use any traditional aayudham. He killed the asuran during SandhyA Kaalam while seated on the steps of the palace. He did not thus violate any boon granted earlier by Brahma to the asuran. Lord Narasimhan arose out of a pillar the moment the asuran hit it while asking whether PrahlAdhan’s Lord was in that pillar as well. He came out of there (PrAthurbhavanam) and made the pillar become fertile by giving birth to the Lord, who is the Father of all including Brahma. The oft-quoted slOkam from Srimath BhAgavatham celebrating the Lord’s action in a trice to make sure that His devotee’s words stay true is:

“Satyam vidhAthum nija bhruthya bhAshitham vyApthim cha bhUthEshvakhilEshu
chAthmana: adhrusyathAth-adhbhutha roopam udhvahan sthambhE sabhAyAm na mrugam na mAnusham”

This SimharaaD arose instantaneously, when HiraNyan hit the pillar in his sabhA asking his son to show whether the Sarva VyApi Lord was residing in that pillar: “HiraNya-kara ghaDDithAth sapadhi jrumbhitha: stambhatha:”. Thus, He became SthambhOthbhavan and jumped out of there with His attahAsams that instilled terror in the heart of HiraNyan, who had the foolishness to fight the Lord instead of surrendering to Him as an aparAdhi. For that adhbhutha Kesari, His nails alone (nakhamEva) were the Balam (source of destruction of the asuran). The traditional weapons appealed: we are here at your beck and call for destroying your enemies (chathrum praharthum vayamAsmahE). We are Your PurAtana (ancient) weapons. Please use us. Our Lord set aside those ancient weapons of His (PrathyA purAtana praharaNa grAma:) and told them that He has to be separated from them for a few moments until His avathAra kaaryam was completed (“KshaNamAthram bhavadhbhi: madh-viSlEsham sahya:”). I will call you back in a few seconds. All of you indeed are my permanent weapons (bhavath-adhikAra: sTiram)! PrahlAdhA’s words have to be maintained in an unfalsified state (“PrahlAdhasya gira: pramANana vidhou dhivyAkruthi: stambhathO niryAtha:”). Our Lord incarnated, took on an adhiadhbhuta Sundara roopam (Naarasimha Vapu: SrIman Kesava: PurushOtthama:), destroyed the asuran and then invited Bhaktha PrahlAdhan to come near Him and placed His auspicious hand on the child’s head (PrahlAdha AahlAdhanam as TeLLiya Singham). Swamy Desikan prays to this Adhbhutha Sundara Simham to bless all the three worlds (Adhbhutha Sundara Vapu: pradarSanEnAvanam prArTayathE). He is “Naarasimha Vapu: SrImAn” according to Sri VishNu Sahasra Naamam. Sri GopAlAcchAr Swamy points out: “The Naarasimha sabdham will create fear in the minds of some”. Hence, Srimath sabdham is added next (Naarasimha Vapu: SrImAn) to invite our attention to His soundharyam and soulabhyam (as MalOlan).

This avathAram is glorious for many reasons and the Lord’s Mahimai is akunDam (Limitless). This avathAram lasted only a few seconds (KshaNikOyam idham avathAra:). The enemy of His bhakthan was killed and His Bhakthan was made blissful through this prAthurbhAvam. The anugraham to the three worlds was accomplished and all of this was achieved in a few Seconds. That is why Swamy Desikan celebrates the glories of Nrusimhan as “akunDa mahimA of the VaikunDa KaNDeeravan”).

PrahlAdhan declared Hari is every where (Hari: Sarvathra). The Lord had to hold His bhakthan’s statement as true before the interrogating and unbelieving asuran (Sathya parishakan). The Lord, who is sarva vyApi jumped out of the pillar hit by the asuran and made all the worlds “Nrusimha garbham” (“noonam ThrailOkyamEvam Nrusimha garbham”). Asura nirasanam (dhushta samhAram) and Saadhu ParithrANam were demonstrated by our Lord in a second. Both His ThirunAmam and His Roopam are indeed gambheera SrI.

Commentary by: Sri Oppiliappan Koil VaradAchAri Sadagopan

to be continued…

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