Story of Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu
Hiranyakashyap heard of his brother Hiranyaksh’s death. He was filled mill anger and wanted to take revenge. He called all the evil kings, Asuras and Daityas for a meeting. In the meeting, he picked up the trident and took an oath to kill Lord Vishnu.
Then Hiranyakashyap ordered his army to go and kill every sage, Brahmin or God loving person. Soon there was chaos all around as the Asuras and Daityas went around burning and breaking ashrams of sages. Hiranyakashyap himself went to Mandranchal Parvat. He stood on the toe of his right foot and did penance to please Lord Brahma. When Lord Brahma appeared before Hiranyakashyap, he said, “0 Lord, kindly grant me the boon that I won’t die at the hands of any human, God, any Daitya or any Asura. If you are really pleased with me that grant me the boon that no instrument or weapon can be successful to kill me. Neither can I die at night nor at day. Also I will not die in the sky or on earth.” Lord Brahma granted him the boon. Now Hiranyakashyap was sure of his immortality. He made an announcement that anyone who was found praying to or worshipping Lord Vishnu in his kingdom would be killed immediately.
Hiranyakashyap had four sons. The youngest was named Prahlad. Shand and Amark Acharya, Shukracharya’s sons, were his gurus. They went to Hiranyakashyap with a complaint, “Your Majesty, your son does not study what we teach him. All the time he is busy reciting Lord Vishnu’s name.”
Hiranyakashyap at once called for Prahlad and asked him why he did so. Prahlad replied, “Father, Lord Vishnu is the protector of the whole universe that is why I pray to him. I cannot worship like the others who follows your orders and pray to you.”
Hiranyakashyap now asked the royal priest to take care that Prahlad would stop worshipping Lord Vishnu. But nothing like that happened. On the other hand, the pupil at the royal priest’s ashram were also influenced by Prahlad and prayed to Lord Vishnu like him.
Then Hiranyakashyap asked Prahlad, ?”Son, what do you like the most”
I like to recite Lord Vishnu’s name the most Prahlad replied. “Who do you think is the strongest?” asked Hiranyakashyap. “Lord Vishnu, the protector is the strongest.”
Till now Hiranyakashyap had controlled his anger. He lost his temper and ordered his guards to poison Prahlad. Prahlad drank the offered cup full of poison but he did not die. Everyone was surprised to see the miracle.
Then Hiranyakashyap ordered that Prahlad must be tied to a large rock and thrown into the sea to drown. But once again a miracle occurred. The ropes that bound him came free and he walked out of the sea-waters reciting Lord Vishnu’s name. Then Prahlad was made to sit on a burning pyre. But miraculously, the flames touched his body and were extinghished. Prahlad sat unscathed.
Now Hiranyakashyap tied Prahlad to a pillar. He picked up the sword to cut off his head. As he was about to use his sword, the Earth shock violently. The pillar broke into pieces and a strange creature appeared. He was the Narasimha Avatar of Lord Vishnu. He had the head of a lion and the torso of a human. He picked Hiranyakashyap and laid him on his laps and positioned himself at the door post. But Hiranyakashyap shouted, “Whoever you are, you cannot kill me. I have such a boon.”
Narasimha roared, “It is neither day nor night, its evening. You are on my lap which is neither on earth nor in the sky. I am neither human, nor god, nor an Asura or a daitya. I am not using any instruments or weapons to kill you. I am using my sharp nails to kill you. So I can kill you without showing any disrespect to Lord Brahma’s boon.” Thus, Lord Vishnu’s Narasimha Avatar killed Hiranyakashyap.