Narasimha Jayanthi

Narasimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and is popularly known as ‘man-lion’ or ‘half man – half lion’ incarnation. In 2017, the date of Narasimha Jayanthi is May 9. The main aim of the Narasimha incarnation was to end the tyranny of Hiranyakashipu and restore the path of Dharma, righteousness. Prahlada the young son of Hiranyakashipu and an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu paved the way for the removal of opposition to righteousness, adharma. Here, we bring you both a short narrative and the long narrative of Prahlad, the devotee, and two stotrams to Narasimha, the second composed by Lord Sanischara.


4: Nara-simha Avatara: the short version

The Fourth incarnation of Vishnu was the man-lion, Nara-simha, to save the ‘greatest of all devotees’, the child Prahlāda (‘joy’), from his devilish father Hiranyakashipu, a man of no faith who believed himself to be invincible on account of a boon given by Brahmā. The king tried in vain to kill his son by throwing him off a mountain, by drowning, poisoning and burning him, as well as having him trampled by an elephant, but the child kept on chanting the name of God. The Lord himself appeared when the demon struck a pillar and challenged his saintly son to show him the all-pervading god he was worshipping in defiance of his own wishes. Neither man nor beast killed Hiranyakashipu. Nara-simha killed him using his claws as the weapon, neither inside nor outside the palace but on the doorstep. He was killed not by day or by night but at twilight; not on the earth or in the sky but by placing him on his lap. The Lord as Nara-simha is especially worshipped by rulers and warriors.

The Long Version (from Sri Yoga Vasishtha Q.187)

Ramji, I shall now narrate to you, for the sake of your spiritual progress, the story of the asura (demon) Prahlad. Emulating his example, you too will attain the immortal bliss. Once upon a time, there ruled over the netherworld (patala desha) an asura (demon) named Hiranyakashipu, who was very powerful and who had vanquished King Indra. No one could, vanquish him. He had a large family. Intoxicated with power, he became very wicked in due course and started wars against gods. The gods sought the protection of Lord Vishnu, who assured them that for the sake of Prahlad, the son of Hiranyakashipu, he would kill Hiranyakashipu.

When Prahlad grew up, Hiranyakashipu tried to train him in the traditions of the family, but Prahlad would pay little attention to the commands of his father. Instead, he would worship Lord Vishnu. The enraged king tried to threaten and punish his son in various ways, but it had no effect on Prahlad. One day Hiranyakashipu, displaying his sword, asked Prahlad to show him Lord Vishnu or else worship him (Hiranyakashipu). In case he (Prahlad) failed to do so, Hiranyakashipu threatened that he would chop off his (Prahlad’s) head. Prahlad pleaded with his father that God is omnipresent. This further enraged his father and he commanded, “If your God is everywhere, show that to me in the iron pillar in front, or else you will be beheaded.” Lord Vishnu who is omniscient and omnipotent could not bear the plight of his devotee Prahlad and incarnating himself as Narasimha (half man and half lion) burst out of the pillar.

Roaring ferociously he caught hold of Hiranyakashipu and tore him into pieces with his claws. The other demons fled away with fright. Lord Vishnu then disappeared. The demons were unhappy without a king. On this, Prahlad pleaded with them and said, “Lord Vishnu is supreme and He is the caretaker of all. Let us surrender ourselves unto Him and worship Him and that will ensure welfare to all. Let us not forget Him for even a moment. All objects — even you and I — are His manifestation. He is Atma pervading all. Those who worship Him with a spirit of duality gain nothing; but those who meditate upon Him cognising their own selves as Vishnu achieve the supreme goal. Let us, therefore, realise ourselves as Vishnu and be established in That.”



In this manner, Prahlad developed within himself all the qualities of Lord Vishnu and meditating upon Him entered into samadhi. Following Prahlad, other demons too started worshipping Lord Vishnu. Thus in the city of Prahlad, all demons became virtuous and devotees of Lord Vishnu. As soon as it became known to gods that the demons had given up opposition to Lord Vishnu and had become His devotees, they were scared and wondered how the demons could earn devotion to Lord Vishnu.

They ran up to the Lord to ask how the wicked demons could earn devotion. Reassuring the gods, the Lord said, “There is nothing to grieve about. Prahlad is My devotee and this is his last birth. The virtuous ought not to abandon their qualities. If the demons were wicked hitherto, that is not of much importance. Meditating upon Me, they have now taken to the right path and have, therefore, acquired virtues in place of vices. No harm will come to you because of this attitude of Prahlad.”

Thereafter the gods returned to their respective places and abandoned their opposition to Prahlad. The demons were so much absorbed in their devotion that all traces of wickedness disappeared within them; they developed the attitude of renunciation and started enjoying bliss. After sometime, Lord Vishnu, being pleased with the devotion of Prahlad, appeared before him again and invited him to ask for any boon for obtaining liberation. Prahlad submitted,”My Lord, grant me that which is the most rare.” And the Lord thus spoke to him, “My son, you will be blessed with spiritual discrimination that brings relief from ideation and leads one to the realisation of the Absolute.” Saying so, the Lord disappeared.

Prayer and Fasting

Devotees fast on Narasimha Jayanthi day and visit Lord Vishnu temples. Fasting is from sunrise to next day sunrise. Those opting for partial fast can consume milk, fruits and food items not made using rice and grains. Prayers dedicated to Narasimha are chanted on the day. The best prayer is to read about the avatar of Narasimha in the Bhagavad Purana. People also give alms on the day and perform Annadhanam (donate food to poor). Donating food to poor children is highly meritorious on the day.

Narasimha Gayathri Mantra

Om Narasimhaya Vidmahe
Vajra Nakhaya Dheemahe
Thanno Narasimha Prachodayath

Om, Let me meditate on the god who is the lion man,
Oh, God who has diamond claws, give me higher intellect,
And let God Narasimha illuminate my mind.

Narasimha Panchamrutham
(The five nectars on Narasimha)

(This prayer is supposed to have been composed by Lord Rama when he visited the temple of Narasimha at Ahobilam. Since each stanza is like nectar, it is called Panchamrutham.)

Introductory Stanza:
Ahobilam Narasimham gathwa Rama prathapavan,
Namaskruthwa Sri nrusimham asthousheetha kamalapatheem.

The glorious Rama went to Narasimha of Ahobilam,
Prostrated before him and offered prayers to the Lord of the Lotus.

Main text

Govinda, Kesava, Janardhana, Vasudeva,
Viswesa, Viswa, Madhusudhana, Viswaroopa,

Sri Padmnabha Purushothama Pushkaraksha,
Narayanachyutha Nrusima namo namsthe.                                               

Protector of beings, destroyer of persons, he who is everywhere,
Lord of the universe, he who is complete, killer of Madhu, lord with universal form,
Lord having lotus on his belly, best among men, lotus eyed god,
He who lives in water, he who does not slip and Oh  Lion man,
Salutations and salutations to you.

Deva samastha khalu yoga mukhya,
Gandharva vidhyadhara kinnarscha,
Yath pada moolam sathatha namanthi,
Tham Narasimham saranam gathosmi.                                                       

I have sought the protection of that Man lion,
Whose feet is ever worshipped by,
All devas, certainly by great experts in yoga,
Gandharvas, Vidhyadharas and Kinnaras

Vedan Samasthan khalu Sastragarbhan,
Vidyabale keerthimathim cha Lakshmeem,
Yasya prasadath sathatham labhanthe,
Tham narasimham saranam gathosmi.                                                           

I have sought the protection of that Man lion,
By whose grace , one receives always without fail,
All the Vedas, essence of all sciences,
Knowledge, strength fame as well as wealth.

Brahma shivasthwam purushothamancha,
Narayanoasoumarutham pathischa,
Chandrarka vayvagni maruth ganamcha,
Thwameva tham thwam sathatham nathosmi.                                                

I always salute you and you only as you are,
Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, Narayana,
The chief of maruts, moon, wind,
Fire and all the celestial principles.

Swapnepi nithyam jagatham trayanam,
Srushta cha hantha vibhuraprameya,
Thratha thwameka sthrividho vibhinna,
Tham thwam narasimham sathatham nathosmi.                                                 

I always salute you and you only  as you are,
Who creates destroys and looks after,
The entire three worlds as if in a dream,
And you are the won who divides,
Yourself in to these three forms.


Ithi sruthwa Raghu sreshta poojayamasa tham vibhum,
Pushpavrushti papathasu thasya devasya moordhani,
Sadhu sadhudwithi  tham prochu deva rishi ganair saha

The best of the Raghu clan prayed him thus,
And showered a rain of flowers on the god’s body,
And the sages and devas told Great, Great.

Deva Ouchu:-
Raghavena krutham stotram panchamruthamanthamam,
Padanthi ye dwija vara thesham swargasthu saswatha.

Devas told:-
The is prayer sung by Lord Rama is equal to five nectars,
And the twice born who reads thid would permanently attain his heaven.


Nrusimha Sthuthi
(Prayer to Lord Narasimha)
Lord Sanaischara

(Translated by P.R.Ramachander)

(This is a rare and great prayer extolling Lord Narasimha and composed by Lord Sanaischara(Slow moving planet) .In the end Lord Narasimha tells Sani that the evil effects that are brought about by Sani would be cured by reading this prayer on Saturdays. The Vaishnavites who normally do not recite anny prayers addressed to planets may get the bad effects of sani by this prayer. I could not get the Sanskrit original. There are many transcription mistakes and so I could not understand a few words. I have tried my best to correct them.)



1. Sulabho bhakthi yukthanam, dur daso dushta chethasam,
Ananya gatkanaam cha Prabhu baktha vathsala,
Sanischara thathra nrisimha deva chakra mala chitha vruthi,
Pranamyam sashtangam asesha loka kireeta nirajitha pada padmam.

Sanaischara, the slow moving God prayed to Lord Narasimha
Who is Easily available for those with devotion, bad period for evil minded,
Saviour to the helpless, dear one to his devotees,
And whose toe nails reflected the glitter of the crowns,
Of Indra, planets and devas who prostrated before him.

Sri Shanir Uvacha:-
Sri sani told:-

2. Yad pada pankaja raja paramadharena,
Samsevitham sakala kalamsa rasi nasam,
Kalyana karakam asesha nijanu gunam,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For when your lotus like feet is worshipped with great respect,
It would destroy all sins committed completely
And would result in greatly innumerable auspicious events

3. Sarvathra chanchalathaya sthithyaspi lakshmyah,
Brahmadi vandhya padaya stiryanya sevi,
Padaravinda yugalam paramadharena,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances
For even though Lakshmi never is stable in any place,
She worships with great respect, the pair of your lotus like feet,
Which are also worshipped by Brahma and others with great devotion.

4. Yad rupam agama shirah pathipadhya Madhya,
Adhyathmikadhi parithapa haram vichinthyam,
Yogeeswarair apthagakila dosha sangai,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For your form has been dealt with extensively by the Vedas,
And leads to the liberation of great saints from sins,
And also great dangers while attempting spiritual practices.

5. Prahladha bhaktha vachasa harir avirasa,
Sthambhe Hiranyakasipum ya udarbhava,
Urayau nidhaya udharam nakharai dadhara,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For to save the word of his devotee Prahlada,
Lord Hari who does not have any emotions,
Came out from the pillar, placed Hirankasipu on his thighs,
And split open his stomach with ebbing blood using his nails.

6. Yo naija bhaktham analambudhi bhudhar ugra,
Sringa prapatha visha dhamthi sarisupebhya,
Sarvathmaka parama karuniko raraksha,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For you protected your devotee from raging fire, deep ocean,
Fall from a tall mountain, murder by a mad elephant and bite of serpents,
As you are in all beings and are a saviour with very great mercy.

7. Yan nirvikara para roopa vichinthanena,
Yogeeswara vishaya sagara veetha raga,
Vishnranthim apura vunasa vathim parakhyaam,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For by deeply meditating on your emotionless divine form,
The great saints attain liberation from the ocean of sensual attachments,
And obtain rest to the unmitigated salvation.

8. Yad roopam ugra parimardhana bhaya shaali,
Sanchinthanena sakalagha vinasa kari,
Bhootha jwara graham samudbhava bheethi nasam,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For your form which is serious stunning and fearsome,
Which brings prosperity and destroys sins,
And also destroys fear due to ghosts, fever and planets.

9. Yasyo thamam yasha uma pathim Padma janma,
Shankaradhi daivatha sabhasu samastha geetham,
Shaktaiva sravasa mala prasamaika daksham,
Sa twam nrisimha mayi dehi kripavalokam.

Oh Narasimha! Please see me with your side long merciful glances,
For you are the most famous with your fame exceeding Shiva and Brahma,
As it is being sung about in the assembly where Shiva and others are present,
And your power is steadfast wiping out all sins and impurities.

10. Yevam sruthwa sthuthir deva,
Saninaam kalpitham Hari,
Uvacha brhama vrundastha ,
Sanim tham Bhktha vathsala.

After hearing the prayer,
Done by Sanischara, Hari
Who is very dear to his devotees
Told as follows to the devas around Brahma,
As well as Lord Sani

Sri Narasimha Uvacha:-
Lord Narasimha told:-

11. Prasannoham sane Thubhyam,
Varam varaya shobhanam,
Yam vanchasi thameva thwam,
Sarva loka hithavaham

I am pleased with you, Oh Sani,
Please ask for one boon that is auspicious,
And let that which is desired by you,
Be of good use to all the world.

Sri Shanir Uvacha:-
Lord Shani told

12. Nrusimha thwam mayi kripaam,
Kuru deva dayanidhe,
Mad vasras thava preethi,
Kara syath devatha pathe

Oh Narasimha who is the treasure of mercy,
Please shower your grace on me
Let my day of the week be liked by you,

13. Math kritham thvat param stotram,
Shrunvanthi cha patanthi cha,
Sarvaan kamaan prayetas,
Thesham thwam loka bhavana.

Oh Lord of all devas,
And let this prayer composed by me,
If heard and read by people,
Let all their wishes be fulfilled,
And let them be considered by you as yours.

Sri Nrusimha Uvacha:-
Lord Narasimha told:-

14. Thathaivasthu shane aham vai,
Raksho bhuvana samsthitha,
Bhaktha kaaman poorayishye,
Thwam mamaika vacha srunu,
Thwat kritham math param stotram,
Ya pdaeth srunu vacha yah,
Dwadasa ashama janmasthaad,
Bhayam nasthu thasya vai

Oh Sani! let it be so,
As I am the protector of the universe,
My job is to fulfill the desire of devotees,
And so please hear my words,
The prayer on me that was composed by you,
If it is read either read or heard by anyone
They need not be afraid of your being in
Twelfth, eighth as well as Janma houses.

15.Sani naraharim devam,
Thathethi prathyuvacha,
Thatha parama santhushto,
Jayethi munayo vadan.

Sani told Lord Narasimha,
I would follow that,
And became extremely satisfied,
And the sages cried “Victory! Victory!”

Sri Krishna Uvacha:-
Sri Krishna told:-

Itham sanaicharasyatha nrusimha deva,
Samvadam yethat sthavanam manava,
Srunyothi ya shravanyathe cha bhakthya,
Sarva abeeshtani cha vindathe dhruvam.

If this discussion that took place,
Between Sani and Lord Narasimha,
Is meditated upon, heard or others are made to hear,
With devotion then definitely their desires would be fulfilled.

Ithi Sri Bhavishyothara purane raksho bhuvana mahatmye,
Sri Sanaischara kritha Sri Nrusimha Sthuthi sampoornam.
Thus ends the prayer to Lord Narasimha composed by Sani,
Occurring in the chapter on protecting of earth,
Which occurs in Bhavishyothara Purana.