Narasimha Jayanti is the day of re-incarnation of God Vishnu, the protector of the Universe, as Narasimha Avatar. According to Hindu legends, Narasimha is the half-man and half-lion Avatar who re-established dharma or justice when the demons had begun to raise their evil heads to oppress the sages and noble people. In 2014, Narasimha Jayanti is on 13th of May, Chaturdashi or the fourteenth day of waxing phase of Moon in the Hindu month of Baishak.
Significance of Narasimha Avatar:
Appearance of God Vishnu as the strange and ferocious Narasimha Avatar is an instance that demonstrates how negative emotions like Ego, Pride, Jealousy, Anger are finally vanquished. Negative thoughts and evil deeds eventually culminate to a point where it destroys the perpetrator.
Legend of Narasimha:
According to Hindu mythology, God Vishnu had saved the Gods and the sages every time the demons or Asuras tried to subdue them. Once God Vishnu killed the demon Hiranyaksha and this incident enraged his brother Hiranyakashyapu who vowed to take revenge by overpowering Vishnu. In order to fight Vishnu, Hiranyakashyapu wanted to become immortal and prayed to God Brahma. He practiced such austerity and severe penance that Brahma was pleased and granted him boons.
The demon Hiranyakashyapu asked Brahma to grant him a boon that no human, god or demon created by Brahma can ever kill him, he cannot be killed in his house or outside, neither in the day nor night, no weapon can kill him and he will not die either on land or in the sky. Blessed with Brahma’s boons, the demon began his rule over the demons on Earth and he was so confident of his immortality that he perpetrated torture and oppression on the Gods and sages.
Birth of Prahlad:
While the demon Hiranyakashyapu was in penance, his wife Kayadu who was bearing Hiranyakashyapu’s son was under the protection of sage Narad. At Narad’s hermitage, Kayadu and her unborn son heard stories of Vishnu’s benevolence and kindness towards his devotees. When this son named Prahlad was born, he was inspired by the spiritual guidance of the sage and became a devotee of Vishnu.
The demon king began to hate his son Prahlad for worshipping Vishnu. He was so conceited that he ordered people to worship him as the only God and in spite of several warnings from father, Prahlad continued to worship Lord Vishnu instead of accepting his father as the all-powerful being. King Hiranyakashyapu decided to kill his son but he failed because Prahlad was always saved by Vishnu.
Narasimha re-established Dharma:
When everybody’s attempt to kill Prahlad failed, Hiranyakashyapu himself decided to end his son’s life. When he was about to kill Prahlad inside his palace, he hit the nearest pillar with his mace and asked Prahlad if Vishnu will emerge from the pillar at that time to protect him? The Earth shook and the pillar broke into pieces as the strange featured Narasimha emerged from the pillar to kill Hiranyakashyapu. The half man and half lion placed Hiranyakashyapu on his lap and tore him apart with his claws.
He was not a human, god or demon, it was neither night nor day, Hiranyakashyapu was not killed by a weapon not on land or sky but on the lap of Narasimha. The demon king had crossed all limits of tolerance and to protect the Earth and Universe, the protector emerged in a form that never existed anywhere to establish justice and protect the noble.