Auspicious Friday: Narasimha Jayanti

Today the birthday of Narasimha is celebrated. He is the fourth incarnation of Vishnu and is depicted as half-lion/half-man who is the destroyer of all evil. He is mentioned numerous times in Iyengar’s writings and even was a source of inspiration for Iyengar when he started to utilize props. As you can see in the statue below, Narasimha is using both blocks and a strap in his seated asana.

narasimha blocks

Devotees of Narasimha are given protection. There was a evil king named Hiranyakashipu who threatened his son Prahlad not to pray to Vishnu. Prahlad did not let his father’s threats deter him and maintained his devotion. Hiranyakashipu attempted to slay his son by throwing him to poisonous snakes, having him trampled by elephants, and putting him in a fire. None of the methods harmed the child. The son told his father that Vishu is everywhere and protects him no matter what. The wicked Hiranyakashipu mocked is son and asked if Vishu was in a nearby pillar. The boy said “yes.” In a fit of rage Hiranyakashipu kicked the pillar and Narasimha burst out and destroyed the evil king who had been given powers of invincibility by Indra.

These stories surrounding Istha Devatas remind me that faith and devotion are important in one’s practice, even when conditions are not ideal. Linked here is a video with devotional song to Narasimha. Many blessings to you on this Narasimha Jayanti!

 

 

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One thought on “Auspicious Friday: Narasimha Jayanti

  1. anonymous sadhaka

    I was at the Archaeological museum in Goa yesterday and was mesmerised with the sculptures. Many of them were from the 10-12th century and the work on them was so detailed and aligned. There were some ‘hero stones’ which had the characters depicted in different stances, one of them in Virabhadrasana. The amazing thing was the precision and proportion, would definitely have passed an Iyengar eye. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed but I spent a happy while admiring Superb craftsmanship. In contrast, later work from the Portuguese times had much less detail and depicted mostly objects.

    Liked by 1 person

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