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Narasimha Jayanti 2017: Why Lord Narasimha is known as the 4th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu?

To end evil in the form of demon Hiranyakashipu, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of his 4th 'Avatar' or incarnation Narasimha, a half man and half lion on the Narasimha Jayanti day.

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Lord Narasimha, wikimedia

May 3, 2017: According to Hindu Mythology, Lord Narasimha is considered to be the 4th incarnation or “Avatar” of Lord Vishnu. Hindus celebrate Vaishakha Shukla Chaturdashi as Narasimha Jayanti. To end evil in the form of demon Hiranyakashipu, Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Narasimha, a half man and half lion on the Narasimha Jayanti day, which is on May 9, every year.

It is considered that the combination of Vaishakha Shukla Chaturdashi with Swati Nakshatra and weekday Saturday is highly auspicious for the observation of Narasimha Jayanti Vratam.

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There are a number of rules and guidelines, similar to those of Ekadashi fasting, to observe Narasimha Jayanti fasting. Devotees are supposed to consume only one single meal one day before Narasimha Jayanti. During the fasting, all type of grains and cereals are prohibited. The next day at an appropriate time the fast is broken maintaining certain rules; this is called ‘Parana’.

On the day of Narasimha Jayanti, devotees take an oath or ‘Sankalp’ during the afternoon period (‘Madhyahna’). Lord Narasimha Pujan is performed during Sanyakal before sunset. The popular belief is that Lord Narasimha appeared during sunset while Chaturdashi was prevailing. Night vigil is advised to be kept and Visarjan Puja is supposed to be performed next day morning. After performing Visarjan Puja and giving Dana to Brahmin on the next day, the devotees can end the fast.

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Narasimha Jayanti fast is to be broken the next day when Chaturdashi Tithi is over after sunrise. In the case of Chaturdashi Tithi getting over before sunrise then the devotees can break the fast any time after sunrise after completing Jayanti rituals. If Chaturdashi gets over very late, in case if Chaturdashi prevails beyond three-fourth of Dinamana (the time window between sunrise and sunset), then it is permitted to break the fast in the first half of Dinamana.

There are lists available about the details: Madhyahna time to take Sankalp, Sanyakal duration to perform Puja and Parana time on next day to break the fast and more. It should be mentioned that all these timings and schedules are based on location hence it is mandatory to change location before noting down Puja and Parana timings.

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This year’s Narasimha Jayanti is on 9th May, which is a Tuesday. According to the standard 24-hour clock, the timings are:
Madhyahna Sankalp Time = 10:15 to 12:51
Narasimha Jayanti Sanyakal Puja Time = 15:27 to 18:03 (Duration = 2 Hours 35 Mins)
On 10th, Parana Time for Narasimha Jayanti = 05:02 Onwards
On Parana Day Chaturdashi would be over before Sunrise

Also, Chaturdashi Tithi Begins around 23:16 on May 8, 2017 and it ends around 01:07 on May 10, 2017.

– by Durba Mandal of NewsGram. Twitter: @dubumerang

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Here’s How Fasting Can Improve Your Overall Health

This study opens new avenues of investigation that could ultimately lead to the development of nutritional strategies to improve health in humans

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Wikimedia commons
Wikimedia commons

Fasting may not be just a religious or political practice. It may actually protect you against age-related diseases and improve your overall health, researchers say.

The study, led by a team from the University of California-Irvine (UCI), found that fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against age-related diseases.

The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment.

And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear until now how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.

“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI.

“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Sassone-Corsi added.

Water fasting can be harmful Wikimedia commons
How fasting can improve your overall health. Wikimedia commons

The research, detailed in the Cell Reports journal, was conducted using mice, which were subjected to 24-hour periods of fasting.

While fasting, the mice exhibited a reduction in oxygen consumption (VO2), respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and energy expenditure, all of which were completely abolished by refeeding, which parallels results observed in humans.

“The reorganisation of gene regulation by fasting could prime the genome to a more permissive state to anticipate upcoming food intake and thereby drive a new rhythmic cycle of gene expression. In other words, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses,” Sassone-Corsi said.

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“Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against age-associated diseases.”

This study opens new avenues of investigation that could ultimately lead to the development of nutritional strategies to improve health in humans. (IANS)