Monday April 22, 2019

Happy Narasimha Jayanti

Narasimha Jayanti is the day when Lord Vishnu appeared in his 4th incarnation in the form of Lord Narasimha, half-lion and half-man, to kill Hiranyakashipu.

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Narasimha Jayanti is celebrated as the day when Lord Vishnu appeared in his 4th incarnation in the form of Lord Narasimha, half-lion and half-man, to kill the demon Hiranyakashipu. Occurring on Chaturdashi, Shukla Paksh in the Hindu month of Vaishakha, in 2016 Narasimha Jayanti falls on May 20.

Lord Narasimha Idol, Wikimedia Commons
Lord Narasimha Idol, Wikimedia Commons

• According to Hindu mythology, in ancient times there was a Sage named Kashyap who had two sons known as Harinyaksha and Hiranyakashipu.

• After Harinyaksha was killed by the 3rd avatar of Lord Vishnu in the form of Lord Varaha, his brother Hiranyakashipu sought revenge and undertook severe penances to please Lord Brahma.

Related article: Learn about Parshuraama Jayanti

• When Lord Brahma appeared to Hiranyakashipu and blessed him with a boon, Hiranyakashipu asked for immortality. Lord Brahma refused to grant immortality, then Hiranyakashipu asked for a series of circumstances: that he may not die indoors or outdoors, during day or night, on the ground or the sky, not by any weapon, not by any human nor any animal, not by any living or non-living entity and not by any demigod or demon.

Lord Narasimha depiction in stone, Wikimedia Commons
Lord Narasimha depiction in stone, Wikimedia Commons

• Hiranyakashipu was granted his desire, and empowered, thinking he had no rival, he established his rule on the world, even insisting that his name be offered in prayers.

The atrocities of Hiranyakashipu continued and were turned upon his son Prahalad as well, who was devoted to Lord Vishnu.

• Following multiple attempts to kill Prahalad, by poisoning him, drowning him, trampling him with elephants and having him sit in fire on the lap of Holika his sister who was blessed with a boon preventing her from being burnt by fire, Prahalad survived, his faith in Lord Vishnu intact.

Lord Narasimha appears from Pillar, Wikimedia Commons
Lord Narasimha appears from Pillar, Wikimedia Commons

• One day, Hiranyakashipu faced Prahalad and asked him about his God. Prahalad responded that his God was present everywhere and resided in everything. Hiranyakashipu then asked if his Lord Vishnu was in the pillar at the threshold of his palace. Prahalad answer yes, and an enraged Hiranyakashipu attacked the pillar, from where stepped forth Lord Vishnu in his Narasimha avtar, in the shape of half-lion, half-man.

On the threshold of the palace which was neither indoors nor outdoors, at the time of dusk which was neither day nor night, on his lap which was not the ground nor sky, Lord Narasimha who was neither human nor animal, killed Hiranyakashipu without a weapon using his nails.

Lord Narasimha, also known as Narasimhadeva and as the ‘Great Protector’ is said to defend his devotees in times of need.

Narsimha Jayanti, the day when Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Lord Narasimha, is observed by fasting, prayers, and donations to the poor.

  • Pritam Go Green

    History depicts the fact that god listens to those who are pure. There is so much divine power in being spiritual. We all should learn a lesson from Bhakt Prahlaad.

  • Archita aggarwal

    Go spiritual,go in the divine power…..

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Know How Each Community in India Celebrates Hindu New Year

It is a celebration of life; however, it is not a celebration of its creator

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new beginning
Jhulelal, the Ishta Devta of the Sindhi Hindus.

By: Jatin Damudre

Many communities in India celebrate their New Year on Chaitra Shukla Pratipada (First day of the month of Chaitra of Hindu Lunar Calendar). Marathi community celebrate it as Gudi Padwa, the Kanada and Telgu community celebrate it as Ugadi, Sindhi community celebrate it as Cheti Chand. Every community has their unique way of celebrating this festival, but for all it is a day of New beginning; the day when Lord Brahma created this Universe.

Unlike the rest of the world, which welcomes and celebrates New year on 31st December, on cold winter nights (except Australia), the Hindus prefer the warmth of the spring celebrating, at sunrise, where the molten ice has made the soil moist, tiny blades of grass have covered the earth, trees are festooned with leaves, flowers and fruits. It is a celebration of life; however, it is not a celebration of its creator. Surprisingly Hindu’s don’t worship the Creator of Universe Lord Brahma.

new beginning
12th-century Brahma with missing book and water pot, Cambodia. (Wikipedia)

Throughout puranic stories, Brahma has either been cursed to never have been worshipped, or he has had his head cut off. This is a subtle reminder to each one of us, in our own way, to be the creator and maintainer of our own life-long journey, so that people find us worthy of their acknowledgement, unlike Brahma, who has been forgotten.

The seed of creation is desire and the god of desire is Kama. However, Shiva burns Kama to ashes, which I see as a subtler reminder to keep our intentions pure and genuine.

new beginning
Traditional Gudhi.

In a Marathi household, the day is celebrated by erecting Gudi, which stands tall on a wooden base with an offering of coconut and beetlenut. It is a wooden stick on which hangs, a sugar string, neem leaves, marigold flowers, a cloth with a border and an inverted kalash. The wooden base represents stability in life, while the coconut represents knowledge, the beetlenut is your commitment. The stick represents your strength, a bordered cloth represents prosperity, the sugar string is sweetness of life and bitter neem leaves offer health and immunity, the marigold flowers represents fruition of every task under taken and the kalash is achievement. The traditional meal of the day is Shrikhand- Puri which one relishes in the company of family and friends.

new beginning
The traditional meal of the day is Shrikhand- Puri which one relishes in the company of family and friends.

Meanwhile, as you are researching and seeking your own help, here are a couple of tips that can help you for your new beginnings:
# Let bygones be bygones – make peace with the past, ask forgiveness if need be.
# Set yourself free from guilt and self-criticism.
# Face your fears
# Let go of the things beyond your control
# Clean your clutter, it will refresh your mind
# Find time to connect with yourself and disconnect with the world, like taking a day off from your phone or the internet.

Originally Published by hinducouncil.com