|The Savior comes
from the Split Pillar
Shukracharya's sons were filled with horror to see that the situation was out of their
control. They now understood clearly that they could not make Prahlada change his mind.
They went straight to the King of the Rakshasas and told him what had happened. When he
heard this anger knew no bounds. He sent messengers to bring Prahlada. He came and stood
before him. Then the king thundered at the boy, "You curse of the family! Have you
not yet given Up Your evil thoughts? The three worlds tremble at my glance. But you, my
son, how did you dare to disobey me? You are very young; some one must have misled you and
encouraged you.Otherwise you would not have had such evil ideas and such courage. Speak
the true who has shown you such an evil path T' The earth shook as the king roared at the
boy. But Prahlada calmly replied, "Dear father, it was Srihari who gave me this
courage. He is stronger than any one else. You and 1, the universe, even Brahma is as
nothing before his strength. He is the real Lord of the Universe."
All the gods were under the thumb of the mighty Hiranyakasipu; and here
was a mere boy of five giving him advice! The king of the Rakshasas was mad withanger. He
shouted in rage: "Unlucky fool, your death is near. I am the Lord of all the worlds,
the only master! is there' another ? Where is he? Show him to me."
"He is everywhere," Young Prahlada's answer came without a moment's delay.
The king could no longer control himself through anger. "Wicked fellow, is he
everywhere? You mad boy, why should he no, appear to me in this pillar? I am, going to
kill you this very moment. You have been praising Hari as the Lord of the Universe. Let
him come to your help if he can." So saying he drew out his sword and pounced upon
the little boy.
Then there was a terrible deafening noise as if the universe
itself split into two. Even the very brave Hiranyakasipu started from his place at the
terrible noise.The courtiers shook with fear and stood like statues of stone. As the
stunned men watched, the pillar split into two.
There was Srihari, in the form of Narasimha!
He had the head of a lion and the body of a man.
The eyes of this terrible figure were dazzling they looked like molten gold. The hair on
the head and the moustache and the beard stood straight and erect. The sharp and pointed
jaws chattered harsely; the tongue quivered like a sword and was sharp as a dagger. His
eyebrows were close knit. The ears were raised and stood erect. The mouth gaped like a
mountain cave. The two nostrils looked like wells turned upside down. The body was huge
and mountain - like. It seemed to touch the skies and to stop the very clouds. It
had countless arms. The body was covered with hair,white like silver. The very sight
of the sharp claws made -one tremble.
This terrible form split the pillar and came out.
Hiranyakashipu's courtiers had crowded the hall; but not one dared to look at him, not to
speak of approaching him.
And yet, Hiranyakasipu steadily looked him in the face. His was extraordinary courage. He
understood what was going to happen. "Oh, this is Mahavishnu. This is the very god
who killed my brother assuming the form of a wild pig. If I kill him all the gods will be
helpless; they will be like the branches of a tree whose trunk has been cut and removed.
Well, I shall test his strength." So thinking he raised his sword and fell upon
Without doubt, Hiranyakasipu was a man of extraordinary strength and courage. But what
could he do against Lord Narasimha? He was like a little sparrow dashing against a
mountain. That god of immense power seized the Rakshasa as easily as Garuda seizes a
snake. But the Rakshasa slipped from his grip like a snake. Narasimha caught him again
like a snake seizing a mouse; with a loud roar he carried Hiranyakasipu to the threshold
of the hall. He sat on the threshold with the Rakshasa in his lap. Then he dug his nails
deep into his body and tore it open. He took out the entrails and wore them round his
All this while the bodyguards and the other courtiers had stood speechless and motionless
in paralyzing fear. But at the death of their king they sprang to action. In fierce rage,
they fell on Narasimha in a body. But all were crushed into a lump of flesh in the winking
of an eye.
After the enemies were all destroyed, Narahari sat on the throne of the Rakshasa King,
glaring at those around him. The gods showered flowers from heaven. The Gandharva sang
divine music. The Apsaras, the dancers of heaven, danced in joy. All earth rejoiced. But
the terrible anger of Narasimha did not diminish. Even Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu's
was afraid to go near him.
How was he to be pacified? The little boy Prahlada touched the feet of Narasimha with his
head, in deep devotion.
At the tender touch of Prahlada the Lord was pleased. He grew
calm. Anger gave way to kindness. Narasimha kissed the boy softly and raised him gently.
The gods nodded their heads in admiration and praised Vishnu's ways. "Hiranyakasipu
got boons from Lord Brahma; and Narasimha has respected all the promises. For it is now
twilight, which is neither day nor night; the place is neither outside the house nor
inside it, it is the threshold. Again he was killed neither on land nor in the sky, but on
the lap of the god; he was killed neither by weapons nor by missiles but torn by nails; no
one created by Brahma has killed him; it is Vishnu, in the form of Narasimha, who slew
him. 0 wonder of wonders!" so they
sang the praise of the Lord.
Prahlada was thrilled at the touch of the Lord's hand. Tears of joy ran down his cheeks.
All his sorrow disappeared. The highest knowledge dawned in his mind. He prayed to
Narasimha, "God, you are full of compassion. You protect the whole world. Even the
gods cannot fully understand your greatness. You have punished the unjust. Lord, why are
you still anger and protect the just."
Narahari was pleased with these words. He said, "Child Prahlada, I am pleased with
your devotion; ask for whatever you desire."
How different was the son from his father Prahlada was a tender boy of five; but he had
He bowed and said to the Lord, I am devoted to God. May this devotion be firmly rooted in
my heart! May no other desire appear there I" Narahari was very much pleased with
this prayer of Prahlada, the greatest of God's devotees. He said, "I grant your
prayer, child. Rule over this kingdom for some time. Live happily. Do only what is right
and just, so that all men will approve. At the end you will come to me." So he
granted a boon.