27 Facts About Narasimha


Narasimha is often depicted with three eyes, and is described in Vaishnavism to be the God of Destruction, he who destroys the entire universe at the time of the great dissolution.

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Narasimha is described as the God of Yoga, in the form of Yoga-Narasimha.

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Narasimha is known primarily as the 'Great Protector' who specifically defends and protects his devotees from evil.

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The most popular Narasimha myth is the legend of his protection of his devotee Prahlada, and the slaying of Prahlada's demonic father and tyrant, Hiranyakashipu.

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Narasimha is one of the major deities in Vaishnavism and his legends are revered in Vaikhanasas, Sri Vaishnavism, Sadh Vaishnavism and various other Vaishnavism traditions of Hinduism.

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Narasimha is celebrated in many regional Hindu temples, texts, performance arts and festivals such as Holika prior to the Hindu festival of colours of the spring, called Holi.

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One of the earliest representation of Narasimha, dating back to the 4th-century CE, is from Kondamotu in Coastal Andhra.

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Narasimha is known as Nrisimha, Nrisingha, Narasingha, Narasingh, Narsingh, Narasimba and Narasinghar in derivative languages.

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Narasimha likely has roots in the metaphor-filled Indra-Namuci legend in the Vedas.

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Narasimha is described as having three eyes just like Shiva and does destruction with fire coming from his third eye.

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Narasimha is found and is the focus of Nrisimha Tapaniya Upanishad.

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Narasimha undertook many years of austere penance to gain special powers.

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Hiranyakasipu, unable to control his anger, smashed the pillar with his mace, and following a tumultuous sound, Visnu in the form of Narasimha appeared from it and moved to attack Hiranyakasipu in defense of Prahlada.

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Narasimha was none of these, as he is a form of Visnu incarnate as a part-human, part-animal.

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Narasimha came upon Hiranyakasipu at twilight on the threshold of a courtyard, and put the demon on his thighs.

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Narasimha was in rage and seeing this, Lord Brahma sent Prahlad to pacify him.

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Narasimha then brought forth Gandaberunda, for which Lord Sarabeshwara released goddess Pratyangira from one of his wings while goddess Shoolini being the other wing.

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Narasimha is always shown with a lion face with clawed fingers fused with a human body.

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Narasimha is a significant iconic symbol of creative resistance, hope against odds, victory over persecution, and destruction of evil.

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Narasimha is the destructor of not only external evil, but one's own inner evil of "body, speech, and mind" states Pratapaditya Pal.

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In South Indian art – sculptures, bronzes and paintings – Visnu's incarnation as Narasimha is one of the most chosen themes and amongst Avataras perhaps next only to Rama and Krsna in popularity.

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Narasimha is worshipped across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States in numerous forms.

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Narasimha legend was influential by the 5th-century, when various Gupta Empire kings minted coins with his images or sponsored inscriptions that associated the ethos of Narasimha with their own.

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Narasimha legends have been a part of various Indian classical dance repertoire.

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Images representing the narrative of Narasimha slaying the demon Hiranyakasipu survive from slightly later Gupta-period temples: one at Madhia and one from a temple-doorway now set into the Kurma-matha at Nachna, both dated to the late fifth or early sixth century AD.

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An image of Narasimha supposedly dating to second-third century AD sculpted at Mathura was acquired by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1987.

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An image of Narasimha, dating to the 9th century, was found on the northern slope of Mount Ijo, at Prambanan, Indonesia.

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