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The story of Narasimha can be found in several Puranas, including the ‘Matsya Purana,’ ‘Padma Purana,’ and ‘Harivamsa.’ According to legend, an evil king named Hiranyakasipu performed tapas, or repentance, for a very long time and requested a boon from Lord Brahma – almost for eternity. He requested that he not die because of one or more men or creatures, nor by any weapon, nor at any time of day or night. Hiranyakasipu is said to have gone out of control to annoy the divine beings after being given this shelter and feeling strong. To put an end to this, Lord Vishnu took the Narasimha avatar, a part-lion, part-man divinity, and murdered Hiranyakasipu with his sharp nails.

There are 17 different versions of this story, and strangely, the account of Prahlada, Hiranyakasipu’s Vishnu-adoring child, and the presence of Narasimha out of a column do not appear in the early versions.

In general, the underlying foundations of Narasimha love can be traced back to lion love in ancient India. A song (1.154) in the Rigveda (1500-1200 BCE) depicts Vishnu as a “wild monster, repulsive, sneaking, mountain-meandering.” Vishnu was a minor god in the early Vedic period, compared to others such as Indra, Agni, and Vayu. Various gods’ cliques, such as Nara-Narayana, Vasudeva, and Vishnu, consolidated over hundreds of years to form the Vaishnava faction.

Antiquarians such as A. Eschmann and others believe that Narasimha descended from a lion god worshipped by tribals in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The oldest known depiction of Narasimha can be found in a board in Kondamotu town, in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, dating back to the fourth century CE. It depicts a lion with two human hands holding the Lord Vishnu’s gada or mace and chakra or plate. Its discovery in the territory is intriguing, as waterfront Andhra is still the actual centre of Narasimha devotion in India.

While the Kondamotu Narasimha dates back to late Satavahana times, it was during the Gupta administration (fourth to sixth century CE) that Narasimha love gained widespread popularity in large parts of India. Indeed, one of the Gupta head’s name was ‘Narasimhagupta’ (470-535 CE).

Other Aspects

The narrative of Narasimha emerging from a column to kill Hiranyakasipu first appears in the post-Gupta period. Prof Suvira Jaiswal, an Indian antiquarian, discovered the origins of this ‘column’ association in her paper ‘The advancement of Narasimha Legend and its Potential Sources’ presented at the Indian History Congress in 1973. According to Prof Jaiswal, this image of the ‘column’ can be traced back to the command hierarchies revered by the clans that occupied the forests of Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Chattisgarh. In the long run, ancestral convictions were merged in the Vaishnava convention, giving rise to the legend that Narasimha arose from a column.

Surprisingly, they appeared as column goddess ‘Stambheshwar’ or Shiva as Stambeshwar Mahadev in Odisha, where ancestral convictions converged with Shakta and Shaivite custom.

By the same token, very few people are aware of Narasimha’s deep connection with the Jagannatha temple in Puri. The renowned Puri sanctuary was previously a Narasimha sanctuary, in the interim stage between its origins as an ancestral altar and its progression to the current Jagannatha sanctuary. Even today, Narasimha is the managing divinity of the holy place, and all functions begin with offerings to him. Similarly, the ‘Narasimha mantra’ is recited during the sanctuary’s petitions and services.

Between the third and sixth centuries CE, the Vakatakas with their capital at Nandivardhan (present-day Nagardhan, Maharashtra) spread Narasimha love from Odisha and Andhra to large parts of present-day Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra. The massive Narasimha at Nagpur’s Ramtek Hill is strikingly similar to the contemporary Narasimha images found in Odisha.

However, Andhra Pradesh remained the heart of the Narasimha clique in India. Even today, there are over 350 Narasimha sanctuaries in Andhra Pradesh and approximately 169 in Telangana. The most notable are the Ahobilam, Simhanchalam, and Mangalagiri sanctuaries. Each of these prominent places of worship began as timberland sanctums of neighborhood clans. The Narasimha Swamy temple in Ahobilam, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, was previously the altar of the nearby Chenchu clan, which occupied the dense Nallamala woods.

According to legend, after killing Hiranyakasipu, Narasimha wandered the Nallamala backwoods, where he married a local young lady from the Chechu clan, who was a reincarnation of Goddess Laxmi.

The third significant Narasimha shrine is the Panakala Narasimha Swamy sanctuary in Mangalagiri, Andhra Pradesh, which was originally a slope sanctum that was later expanded. The face of Narasimha is incorporated into the essence of the slope inside the sanctuary. According to local beliefs, the Mangalagiri slope is torpid lava well, and contributions of ‘Panakala,’ or Jaggery water, through the mouth of Narasimha prevent the fountain of liquid magma from erupting.

Over hundreds of years, Narasimha’s devotion spread from Andhra Pradesh to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Celebrated Narasimha images can be found in Maharashtra’s Ellora caves and north Karnataka’s Badami caves. The most well-known Narasimha sculpture in South India is the Ugra Narasimha or Lakshmi Narasimha sculpture at Hampi, Karnataka, which was built in 1528 during the reign of Vijayanagara lord Krishnadevaraya. Narasimha sanctuaries can now be found all over India, from Rajasthan to Kerala.

Attributes of Narasimha

Different forms of Narasimha

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Mantra on Narasimha

Shloka on Narasimha

The glory of Maharashtra will grow like the first-day moon. It will be worshipped by the world and will shine only for the well being of people.
മഹാരാഷ്ട്രയുടെ മഹത്വം ആദ്യദിന ചന്ദ്രനെപ്പോലെ വളരും. അത് ലോകം ആരാധിക്കുകയും ജനങ്ങളുടെ ക്ഷേമത്തിനായി മാത്രം പ്രകാശിക്കുകയും ചെയ്യും.
पहले दिन के चांद की तरह बढ़ेगी महाराष्ट्र की शान दुनिया इसकी पूजा करेगी और लोगों की भलाई के लिए ही चमकेगी।
மகாராஷ்டிராவின் மகிமை முதல் நாள் நிலவு போல் வளரும். இது உலகத்தால் வணங்கப்படும், மக்களின் நல்வாழ்வுக்காக மட்டுமே பிரகாசிக்கும்.
ମହାରାଷ୍ଟ୍ରର ଗ glory ରବ ପ୍ରଥମ ଦିନର ଚନ୍ଦ୍ର ପରି ବ grow ିବ | ଏହା ଜଗତ ଦ୍ୱାରା ପୂଜା ହେବ ଏବଂ କେବଳ ଲୋକଙ୍କ ମଙ୍ଗଳ ପାଇଁ ଉଜ୍ଜ୍ୱଳ ହେବ |
ਮਹਾਰਾਸ਼ਟਰ ਦੀ ਸ਼ਾਨ ਪਹਿਲੇ ਦਿਨ ਦੇ ਚੰਦ ਵਾਂਗ ਵਧੇਗੀ। ਇਹ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਪੂਜਦੀ ਰਹੇਗੀ ਅਤੇ ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦੀ ਭਲਾਈ ਲਈ ਹੀ ਚਮਕੇਗੀ।
Abandon unrighteousness, greed, and affection resort to the performance of your duty, and make war on the ego zero. Where there is dharma, there will be victory.
अधर्म, लोभ और मोह का परित्याग कर अपने कर्तव्य का निर्वाहन करो और अहंकार के विरुद्ध युद्ध करो। जहां धर्म होगा वहां विजय होगी।
Truth alone triumphs; not falsehood. Through truth, the divine path is spread out by which The sages whose desires have been completely fulfilled, Reach where that supreme treasure of Truth resides.
सत्य की ही जीत होती है; झूठ नहीं। सत्य के द्वारा दिव्य मार्ग का प्रसार होता है जिसके द्वारा जिन ऋषियों की मनोकामना पूर्ण हुई है, वहाँ पहुँचो जहाँ सत्य का वह सर्वोच्च खजाना रहता है।
உண்மை மட்டுமே வெல்லும்; பொய் அல்ல. சத்தியத்தின் மூலம், தெய்வீக பாதை பரவுகிறது ஆசைகள் முழுமையாக நிறைவேறிய முனிவர்கள், சத்தியத்தின் உன்னத பொக்கிஷம் இருக்கும் இடத்தை அடையுங்கள்.
କେବଳ ସତ୍ୟ ଜିତେ; ମିଥ୍ୟା ନୁହେଁ ସତ୍ୟ ମାଧ୍ୟମରେ, divine ଶ୍ୱରୀୟ ପଥ ଯାହା ଦ୍ୱାରା ବିସ୍ତାର ହୁଏ | ଯେଉଁ ସାଧୁମାନଙ୍କର ଇଚ୍ଛା ସଂପୂର୍ଣ୍ଣ ରୂପେ ପୂରଣ ହୋଇଛି, ସତ୍ୟର ସେହି ସର୍ବୋଚ୍ଚ ଧନ କେଉଁଠାରେ ଅଛି ସେଠାରେ ପହଞ୍ଚ |
ਸੱਚ ਦੀ ਹੀ ਜਿੱਤ ਹੁੰਦੀ ਹੈ; ਝੂਠ ਨਹੀਂ। ਸੱਚ ਦੇ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਰੱਬੀ ਮਾਰਗ ਫੈਲਦਾ ਹੈ ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਸਾਧੂਆਂ ਦੀ ਇੱਛਾ ਪੂਰੀ ਹੋ ਗਈ ਹੈ, ਉੱਥੇ ਪਹੁੰਚੋ ਜਿੱਥੇ ਸੱਚ ਦਾ ਉਹ ਪਰਮ ਖਜ਼ਾਨਾ ਰਹਿੰਦਾ ਹੈ।
जिनकी कृपा से मोक्ष की इच्छा रखने वालों की अज्ञानमय बुद्धि का नाश होता है,जिनसे भक्तों को संतोष पहुंचाने वाली संपदाएं प्राप्त होती हैं। जिनसे विघ्न-बाधाएं दूर हो जाती हैं और कार्य में सफलता मिलती है, ऐसे गणेश जी का हम सदैव नमन करते हैं, उनका भजन करते हैं ।।
By whose grace the ignorant intellect of those who desire salvation is destroyed, from whom the devotees get the wealth of satisfaction. From whom obstacles and problems are removed and we achieve success in work, we always bow to such Ganesha, we worship him.
யாருடைய அருளால் முக்தியை விரும்புவோரின் அறியாமை புத்தி அழிக்கப்படுகிறதோ, யாரிடமிருந்து தடைகள், பிரச்சனைகள் நீங்கி வேலையில் வெற்றி அடைகிறோமோ, அத்தகைய விநாயகரை எப்போதும் வணங்கி, வணங்குகிறோம்.
ಯಾರ ಅನುಗ್ರಹದಿಂದ ಮೋಕ್ಷವನ್ನು ಬಯಸುವವರ ಅಜ್ಞಾನದ ಬುದ್ಧಿಯು ನಾಶವಾಗುತ್ತದೆಯೋ, ಯಾರಿಂದ ಭಕ್ತರು ತೃಪ್ತಿಯ ಸಂಪತ್ತನ್ನು ಪಡೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಯಾರಿಂದ ಅಡೆತಡೆಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಗಳು ದೂರವಾಗುತ್ತವೆ ಮತ್ತು ನಾವು ಕೆಲಸದಲ್ಲಿ ಯಶಸ್ಸನ್ನು ಸಾಧಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ, ಅಂತಹ ಗಣೇಶನಿಗೆ ನಾವು ಯಾವಾಗಲೂ ನಮಸ್ಕರಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ, ಪೂಜಿಸುತ್ತೇವೆ.
Salutations to Ganesha, who rules over obstacles in the form of Satchidananda, the giver of all pleasures. Salutations to Ganapati, the supreme deity, the destroyer of evil planets.