Sri Narasimha Caturdasi, Saturday April 28, 2018 , Los Angeles, CA, USA time. Sunday, April 29, 2018 Mayapura, India time
Srila Prabhupada explains Sri Narasimha Lila
compiled by Yasoda nandana dasa
As described in this chapter, Hiraṇyakaśipu was ready to kill his own son Prahlāda Mahārāja, but the Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared in front of the demon as Śrī Nṛkeśarī, half lion and half man, and killed him.
Following the instructions of Prahlāda Mahārāja, all the sons of the demons became attached to Lord Viṣṇu, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When this attachment became pronounced, their teachers, Ṣaṇḍa and Amarka, were very much afraid that the boys would become more and more devoted to the Lord. In a helpless condition, they approached Hiraṇyakaśipu and described in detail the effect of Prahlāda’s preaching. After hearing of this, Hiraṇyakaśipu decided to kill his son Prahlāda. Hiraṇyakaśipu was so angry that Prahlāda Mahārāja fell down at his feet and said many things just to pacify him, but he was unsuccessful in satisfying his demoniac father. Hiraṇyakaśipu, as a typical demon, began to advertise himself as being greater than the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but Prahlāda Mahārāja challenged him, saying that Hiraṇyakaśipu was not God, and began to glorify the Supreme Personality of Godhead, declaring that the Lord is all-pervading, that everything is under Him, and that no one is equal to or greater than Him. Thus he requested his father to be submissive to the omnipotent Supreme Lord.
The more Prahlāda Mahārāja glorified the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the more angry and agitated the demon became. Hiraṇyakaśipu asked his Vaiṣṇava son whether his God existed within the columns of the palace, and Prahlāda Mahārāja immediately accepted that since the Lord is present everywhere, He was also present within the columns. When Hiraṇyakaśipu heard this philosophy from his young son, he derided the boy’s statement as just the talk of a child and forcefully struck the pillar with his fist.
As soon as Hiraṇyakaśipu struck the column, there issued forth a tumultuous sound. At first Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the demons, could not see anything but the pillar, but to substantiate Prahlāda’s statements, the Lord came out of the pillar in His wonderful incarnation as Narasiṁha, half lion and half man. Hiraṇyakaśipu could immediately understand that the extraordinarily wonderful form of the Lord was surely meant for his death, and thus he prepared to fight with the form of half lion and half man. The Lord performed His pastimes by fighting with the demon for some time, and in the evening, on the border between day and night, the Lord captured the demon, threw him on His lap, and killed him by piercing his abdomen with His nails. The Lord not only killed Hiraṇyakaśipu, the King of the demons, but also killed many of his followers. When there was no one else to fight, the Lord, roaring with anger, sat down on Hiraṇyakaśipu’s throne.
The entire universe was thus relieved of the rule of Hiraṇyakaśipu, and everyone was jubilant in transcendental bliss. Then all the demigods, headed by Lord Brahmā, approached the Lord. These included the great saintly persons, the Pitās, the Siddhas, the Vidyādharas, the Nāgas, the Manus, the prajāpatis, the Gandharvas, the Cāraṇas, the Yakṣas, the Kimpuruṣas, the Vaitālikas, the Kinnaras and also many other varieties of beings in human form. All of them stood not far from the Supreme Personality of Godhead and began offering their prayers unto the Lord, whose spiritual effulgence was brilliant as He sat on the throne.
Books : Srimad-Bhagavatam : Canto 7: “The Science of God” : SB 7.8: Lord Nrsimhadeva Slays the King of the Demons : SB 7.8 Summary
taṁ śyena-vegaṁ śata-candra-vartmabhiś
carantam acchidram upary-adho hariḥ
kṛtvāṭṭa-hāsaṁ kharam utsvanolbaṇaṁ
nimīlitākṣaṁ jagṛhe mahā-javaḥ
tam—him (Hiraṇyakaśipu); śyena-vegam—possessing the speed of a hawk; śata-candra-vartmabhiḥ—by the maneuvers of his sword and his shield, which was marked with a hundred moonlike spots; carantam—moving; acchidram—without any weak spot; upari-adhaḥ—up and down; hariḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead; kṛtvā—making; aṭṭa-hāsam—loud laughter; kharam—extremely shrill; utsvana-ulbaṇam—very fearful due to its great sound; nimīlita—closed; akṣam—eyes; jagṛhe—captured; mahā-javaḥ—the greatly powerful Lord.
Making a loud, shrill sound of laughter, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nārāyaṇa, who is extremely strong and powerful, captured Hiraṇyakaśipu, who was protecting himself with his sword and shield, leaving no gaps open. With the speed of a hawk, Hiraṇyakaśipu moved sometimes in the sky and sometimes on the earth, his eyes closed because of fear of Nṛsiṁhadeva’s laughter, Sb 7.8.28
viṣvak sphurantaṁ grahaṇāturaṁ harir
vyālo yathākhuṁ kuliśākṣata-tvacam
dvāry ūrum āpatya dadāra līlayā
nakhair yathāhiṁ garuḍo mahā-viṣam
viṣvak—all around; sphurantam—moving his limbs; grahaṇa-āturam—afflicted because of being captured; hariḥ—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nṛsiṁhadeva; vyālaḥ—a snake; yathā—just as; ākhum—a mouse; kuliśa-akṣata—not cut even by the thunderbolt thrown by Indra; tvacam—whose skin; dvāri—on the threshold of the door; ūrum—on His thigh; āpatya—placing; dadāra—pierced; līlayā—very easily; nakhaiḥ—with the nails; yathā—just as; ahim—a snake; garuḍaḥ—Garuḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu; mahā-viṣam—very venomous.
As a snake captures a mouse or Garuḍa captures a very venomous snake, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva captured Hiraṇyakaśipu, who could not be pierced even by the thunderbolt of King Indra. As Hiraṇyakaśipu moved his limbs here, there and all around, very much afflicted at being captured, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva placed the demon on His lap, supporting him with His thighs, and in the doorway of the assembly hall the Lord very easily tore the demon to pieces with the nails of His hand.
Hiraṇyakaśipu had received from Lord Brahmā the benediction that he would not die on the land or in the sky. Therefore, to keep the promise of Lord Brahmā intact, Nṛsiṁhadeva placed Hiraṇyakaśipu’s body on His lap, which was neither land nor sky. Hiraṇyakaśipu had received the benediction that he would not die either during the day or at night. Therefore, to keep this promise of Brahmā, the Lord killed Hiraṇyakaśipu in the evening, which is the end of day and the beginning of night but is neither day nor night. Hiraṇyakaśipu had taken a benediction from Lord Brahmā that he would not die from any weapon or be killed by any person, dead or alive. Therefore, just to keep the word of Lord Brahmā, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva pierced Hiraṇyakaśipu’s body with His nails, which were not weapons and were neither living nor dead. Indeed, the nails can be called dead, but at the same time they can be said to be alive. To keep intact all of Lord Brahmā’s benedictions, Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva paradoxically but very easily killed the great demon Hiraṇyakaśipu. Sb 7.8 29
vyāttānanāntaṁ vilihan sva-jihvayā
yathāntra-mālī dvipa-hatyayā hariḥ
saṁrambha—because of great anger; duṣprekṣya—very difficult to look at; karāla—very fearful; locanaḥ—eyes; vyātta—expanded; ānana-antam—the edge of the mouth; vilihan—licking; sva-jihvayā—with His tongue; asṛk-lava—with spots of blood; ākta—smeared; aruṇa—reddish; keśara—mane; ānanaḥ—and face; yathā—just as; antra-mālī—decorated with a garland of intestines; dvipa-hatyayā—by the killing of an elephant; hariḥ—the lion.
Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva’s mouth and mane were sprinkled with drops of blood, and His fierce eyes, full of anger, were impossible to look at. Licking the edge of His mouth with His tongue, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nṛsiṁhadeva, decorated with a garland of intestines taken from Hiraṇyakaśipu’s abdomen, resembled a lion that has just killed an elephant.
The hair on Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva’s face, being sprinkled with drops of blood, was reddish and looked very beautiful. Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva pierced Hiraṇyakaśipu’s abdomen with His nails, pulled out the demon’s intestines and wore them as a garland, which enhanced His beauty. Thus the Lord became very fearsome, like a lion engaged in fighting an elephant.SB 7.8 30
visṛjya tasyānucarān udāyudhān
ahan samastān nakha-śastra-pāṇibhir
dordaṇḍa-yūtho ’nupathān sahasraśaḥ
nakha-aṅkura—by the pointed nails; utpāṭita—torn out; hṛt-saroruham—whose heart, which was like a lotus flower; visṛjya—leaving aside; tasya—of him; anucarān—the followers (soldiers and bodyguards); udāyudhān—having raised weapons; ahan—He killed; samastān—all; nakha-śastra-pāṇibhiḥ—with His nails and other weapons in His hands; dordaṇḍa-yūthaḥ—having unlimited arms; anupathān—the attendants of Hiraṇyakaśipu; sahasraśaḥ—by thousands.
The Supreme Personality of Godhead, who had many, many arms, first uprooted Hiraṇyakaśipu’s heart and then threw him aside and turned toward the demon’s soldiers. These soldiers had come in thousands to fight with Him with raised weapons and were very faithful followers of Hiraṇyakaśipu, but Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva killed all of them merely with the ends of His nails.
Since the creation of the material world, there have been two kinds of men—the devas and the asuras. The devas are always faithful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, whereas the asuras are always atheists who defy the supremacy of the Lord. At the present moment, throughout the entire world, the atheists are extremely numerous. They are trying to prove that there is no God and that everything takes place due to combinations and permutations of material elements. Thus the material world is becoming more and more godless, and consequently everything is in a disturbed condition. If this continues, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will certainly take action, as He did in the case of Hiraṇyakaśipu. Within a second, Hiraṇyakaśipu and his followers were destroyed, and similarly if this godless civilization continues, it will be destroyed in a second, simply by the movement of one finger of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The demons should therefore be careful and curtail their godless civilization. They should take advantage of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement and become faithful to the Supreme Personality of Godhead; otherwise they are doomed. As Hiraṇyakaśipu was killed in a second, the godless civilization can be destroyed at any moment 7.8 31