Thursday, December 20, 2007

Narasimha - Half Man/Lion Deity

"Described as an incarnation (avatara) of Vishnu within the Puranic texts of Hinduism who takes the form of half-man / half-lion, having a human torso and lower body, but with a lion-like face and claws. He is worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups throughout India (especially in the South) and is primarily known as the 'Great Protector', being a form of Vishnu who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need."
- quote from article at Wikipedia.

The story behind this bizarre deity can be read here.

And an amusing quote from the above link..

"Narasimha caught him again like a snake seizing a mouse; with a loud roar he carried Hiranyakashipu to the threshold of the hall. He sat on the threshold with the Bakshasa 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 neck. Thus the wicked Asura was finally killed by the hands of the man-lion, Vishnu. 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 into 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."

No comments: