Sunday July 21, 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…..

Next Story

After Three Decades, Japanese Emperor Akihito Will Abdicate His Throne

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Japan's Emperor Akihito takes part in a ritual called Taiirei-Tojitsu-Kashikodokoro-Omae-no-gi, a ceremony for the Emperor to report the conduct of the abdication ceremony, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan April 30, 2019. VOA

Japanese Emperor Akihito will abdicate on Tuesday in favor of his elder son, ending a three-decade reign during which he sought to ease the painful memories of World War Two and engage with people, including the marginalized in society.

The abdication, the first by a Japanese monarch in two centuries, will be marked by a brief and relatively simple ceremony in the Imperial Palace’s prestigious Matsu no ma, or Hall of Pine. About 300 people will attend and it will be broadcast live on television.

Akihito, 85, was the first Japanese monarch to take the throne under a post-war constitution that defines the emperor as a symbol of the people without political power.

His father, Hirohito, in whose name Japanese troops fought World War Two, was considered a living deity until after Japan’s defeat in 1945, when he renounced his divinity.

People raise hands as they shout 'banzai', or cheers, facing the Imperial Palace on the day of the Emperor Akihito's abdication in Tokyo, April 30, 2019.
People raise hands as they shout ‘banzai’, or cheers, facing the Imperial Palace on the day of the Emperor Akihito’s abdication in Tokyo, April 30, 2019. VOA

Akihito, together with Empress Michiko, his wife of 60 years and the first commoner to marry an imperial heir, carved out an active role as a symbol of reconciliation, peace and democracy.

“I think the emperor is loved by the people. His image is one of encouraging the people, such as after disasters, and being close to the people,” Morio Miyamoto, 48, said as he waited near a train station in western Tokyo.

“I hope the next emperor will, like the Heisei emperor, be close to the people in the same way,” he said.

Akihito, who has had treatment for prostate cancer and heart surgery, said in a televised address in 2016 that he feared his age would make it hard for him to carry out his duties fully.

‘Sacred treasures’

Akihito will report his abdication on Tuesday morning at sanctuaries inside the Imperial Palace grounds, one honoring the sun goddess Amaterasu Omikami, from whom mythology says the imperial line is descended, and two others honoring departed emperors and Shinto gods.

The abdication ceremony will take place in the afternoon with attendees including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Empress Michiko, Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako, as well as the heads of both houses of parliament and Supreme Court justices.

Imperial chamberlains will carry state and privy seals into the room along with two of Japan’s “Three Sacred Treasures” — a sword and a jewel — which together with a mirror are symbols of the throne. They are said to originate in ancient mythology. Abe will announce the abdication and Akihito will make his final remarks as emperor.

Naruhito, 59, will become emperor in separate ceremonies on Wednesday. Naruhito, who studied at Oxford, is likely to continue an active role and together with Harvard-educated Masako give the monarchy a cosmopolitan tinge.

FILE - Japan's Emperor Akihito, flanked by Imperial Household Agency officials carrying two of the so-called Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, leaves the main sanctuary as he visits the Inner shrine of the Ise Jingu shrine, ahead of his April 30, 2019 abdication.
Japan’s Emperor Akihito, flanked by Imperial Household Agency officials carrying two of the so-called Three Sacred Treasures of Japan, leaves the main sanctuary as he visits the Inner shrine of the Ise Jingu shrine, ahead of his April 30, 2019 abdication. VOA

Police have tightened security near the Imperial Palace, a 115-hectare site that is home to the emperor and empress in the heart of Tokyo. Media said several thousand police officers were being mobilized in the capital over the next few days.

Tuesday marks the last day of the Heisei imperial era, which began on Jan. 8, 1989, after Akihito inherited the throne. The era saw economic stagnation, natural disasters and rapid technological change.

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Akihito officially remains emperor until midnight, when the new Reiwa era, meaning “beautiful harmony,” begins.

Japanese traditionally refer to the date by the era name, or “gengo,” a system originally imported from China, on documents, calendars and coins but many people also use the Western calendar. (VOA)