Narasimha Jayanti - The Birthday of Half Human, Half Lion God

Narasimha is a mighty God and an extremely fierce incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Supreme God of Protection and Sustenance. This fourth Avatar of Vishnu is also a unique divinity, who combined in his physical frame, the head of a lion and the trunk of a human being. He is hence called Nara Simha, the man-lion! Vishnu had to appear in this strange form to slay a mighty demon and thus uproot evil and establish virtue on earth!        

The day of advent, that is, the birthday of this mighty God, is observed as Narasimha Jayanti and celebrated as an auspicious festival.

The Legend of Narasimha  

Hiranyaksha was a mighty demon who once carried away the earth and hid her under the great ocean. This caused severe distress to Mother Earth and immense pain to all earthly beings. Then, it was left to the Universal Protector Vishnu to assume the form of a wild boar, take on the demon, slay him, rescue the earth, and restore her to her position.

But this infuriated Hiranyaksha's brother Hiranyakasipu, who swore to avenge his brother's killing. He performed severe penance and obtained incredible boons from Brahma, the Creator, which made him virtually invincible. Emboldened by the shield of protection provided by the amazing boons, Hiranyakasipu assumed himself to be immortal, launched a no-holds-barred assault on heaven and earth, subjugated the celestials as well as the human beings, and subjected them to unspeakable miseries. Declaring himself the only God to be celebrated and worshiped by everyone else, he let loose a reign of terror.

When the entire universe was reeling under his cruelty, Vishnu stepped in to check the powerful demon and protect everyone from his assault. And strangely, the means Vishnu chose to achieve this end was nothing other than Prahlada, the young son of the demon himself!

Narasimha Incarnation   

Hiranyakasipu's son Prahlada turned out to be an antithesis of his father in all respects. While Hiranyakasipu was cruel and hated Vishnu from the bottom of his heart, Prahlada, virtuous to the core, grew to be a staunch Vishnu devotee. Having failed in all his attempts, first to bring his young son under his fold and then even to kill him, Hiranya realized that it was only Vishnu who was behind Prahlada's power and defiance. And going by Prahlada's declaration that Vishnu is present everywhere, Hiranya broke open a pillar in his palace to take on Vishnu!

Lo and behold! There emerged from it, the breathtaking, mighty man-lion Narasimha! Vishnu had to take this strange form, only to circumvent the boons the demon obtained, which protected him from being killed either by a celestial, human, or animal, or by any weapon.  

The powerful Narasimha seized Hiranya, carried him to his palace entrance, laid him on his lap, tore his body with his sharp claws, destroyed the fearsome demon, and relieved the universe of his heinous crimes! Thus the Vishnu-Narasimha managed to put an end to the terrible demon without violating the provisions of any of his powerful boons!         

Narasimha Jayanti

Narasimha is believed to have incarnated on Shukla Paksha Chaturdashi of Vaishaka, the 14th Lunar Day of Moon's Waxing Phase during Vaishaka month (April-May), and that auspicious occasion is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanti. With the Moon in the Rahu-ruled Swati star and in the Venus-ruled Libra sign, that day is ideal for removing all negative traits such as ego, jealousy, avarice, stubbornness, etc., and other qualities hindering our progress in life. This festival falls on May 4, 2023, this year.

Poojas & Rituals

Devotees should get up early in the morning on Narasimha Jayanti, freshen themselves, wear fresh clothes, and offer Pooja and worship to the decorated idols or pictures of Lord Narasimha and Goddess Lakshmi at home. Many also observe fast on that day or take only light food and break the fast the next morning after performing Pooja and doing charity. They can also visit Narasimha temples and offer worship.

Narasimha is believed to have manifested in the evening, so people offer prayers to him at sunset along with flowers and fruits, make oblations like jaggery and gram sprouts, and read about Narasimha Avatar from Bhagavata Purana. They also give generous donations to the poor and the needy, which can bestow them immense good Karma.   

They can also chant Narasimha Mantras like the following 21 times, with devotion and faith:

Sri Narasimha, Jaya Narasimha, Jaya Jaya Narasimha


Ugram Viram Maha-Vishnum

Jwalantam Sarvato Mukham

Narasimham Bhishanam Bhadram

Mrityur Mrityum Namam Yaham

Narasimha Jayanti Benefits

Observing Vrat and worshiping Narasimha on Narasimha Jayanti can bestow his immense, benevolent blessings. These can protect against all dangers and evil energies, cure diseases and give good health, clear all forms of debts, grant victory against enemies and court cases, provide a good income, prosperity, success, progress, family welfare, and peace, bestow spiritual motivation, Siddhi powers, and enlightenment, and lead to salvation.      

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