Lord Narasimha is the 4th avatar of Lord Vishnu. He is a ferocious form of the deity and is in the form of half-man and half-lion. He took this form to protect the universe from demons and preserve the rule of Dharma. Devotees worship Lord Narasimha for protection against disasters and evil forces. Nava Narasimha refers to the nine primary incarnations of Narasimha.
The Legend behind Narasimha Avatar
As per mythology, Vishnu took this form to protect his devotee, Prahlad, from his father, the demon, Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu was angry with his son because he worshipped Lord Vishnu. Persuasion and threats did not work with Prahlad, who continued to worship Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu even tried to kill his son. Despite several attempts to kill him, the demon did not succeed, as Vishnu protected Prahlad each time. Finally, Vishnu had enough and took the form of Narasimha to kill the demon.
He took this form because Hiranyakashipu had received a boon from Brahma that neither human, animal, nor any God could kill him. Also, according to the boon, he could not be killed during the day or at night, indoors or outdoors, on earth or in the air, or by any weapon or any living or non-living thing. Narasimha killed the demon by disemboweling him with his claws while he lay on his thighs, at twilight, on the threshold of his courtyard. It is said that even after killing the demon, his fury did not abate. Vishnu’s wife, Lakshmi, too, was unable to calm him. Finally, at Brahma’s suggestion, Prahlad was summoned, and his prayers finally made Narasimha calm down.
Narasimha and his 9 Avatars
Ugra Narasimha- In this avatar, he is very angry and ferocious. He is depicted with the disemboweled body of Hiranyakashipu on his lap. Garuda and Adi Shankaracharya supposedly received the vision of this avatar.
Krodha Narasimha- In this form, Narasimha has an extruded tooth in which he holds Mother earth. This avatar is closely related to Varaha, the 3rd avatar of Vishnu.
Malola Narasimha- In this aspect, he is depicted and worshipped along with his consort, Goddess Lakshmi. This avatar is calm and serene.
Jwala Narasimha- This is a fierce and brutal form. He is a beast with 8 huge hands in this avatar.
Varaha Narasimha- This incarnation is also called Prahlada Varadan. He appears with Lakshmi in this avatar.
Bhargava Narasimha- In this form, he blessed Lord Parshurama, who is also an avatar of Vishnu. He shares many of Ugra Narasimha’s traits.
Karanja Narasimha- This incarnation has a close resemblance to Lord Rama, another Vishnu avatar. Karanja is the tree under which Lord Hanuman performed penance to please Rama. It is also the place where Narasimha took his avatar.
Yoga Narasimha- In this form, Narasimha does yogic kriyas and meditation. It is a calm and serene avatar.
Lakshmi Narasimha- In this incarnation, Narasimha appears with Lakshmi in her Senju avatar. Tribals worship this aspect of Narasimha mostly.
Benefits of Nava Narasimha Homam
Nava Narasimha Homam is a powerful fire ritual to gain Lord Narasimha’s blessings. As part of the ritual, devotees chant Slokas and Nava Narasimha Mantras praising the nine different forms of Narasimha. They also make various offerings to him during the ritual.
The benefits of doing the Nava Narasimha Fire Ritual are given below:
- Nava Narasimha Homam bestows the blessings of nine supreme forms of Lord Narasimha.
- It helps invoke the divine aura of Vishnu.
- It can bestow courage and vitality to overcome all problems.
- It can attract positive energies.
- It helps to overcome enemies.
- It can bring wish-fulfillment and bliss.
- It can bestow success in all endeavors.