Vishnu as Narasimha after slaying Hiranyakashipu, Group of Monuments at Badami. Narasimha iconography shows him with a human torso and lower body, with a lion face and claws, typically with a demon Hiranyakashipu in his lap whom he is in the process of killing. The demon is powerful brother of evil Hiranyaksha who had been previously killed by Vishnu, who hated Vishnu for killing his brother. Hiranyakashipu lakshmi narasimha stotram pdf special powers by which he could not be killed during the day or night, inside or outside, by god, demon, man or animal.
Coronated with his new powers, Hiranyakashipu creates chaos, persecutes all devotees of Vishnu including his own son. Vishnu understands the demon’s power, then creatively adapts into a mixed avatar that is neither man nor animal and kills the demon at the junction of day and night, inside and outside. Narasimha is known primarily as the ‘Great Protector’ who specifically defends and protects his devotees from evil. These have been variously dated between 2nd and 4th-century CE.
Together the term means “man-lion”, referring to a mixed creature avatar of Vishnu. 14 alludes to the Namuci legend with “waters’ foam you tore off, Indra, the head of Namuci, subduing all contending hosts”, but the hymns does not present details. Other references to Narasimha are found in the Vedic texts Vajaseneyi Samhita 10. 8 and Taittiriya Brahmana 1. Narasimha likely has roots in the metaphors filled Indra-Namuci legend in the Vedas. Namuci suggests peace to Indra, which the latter accepts.
He demands Indra to promise that he will neither try to slay him with his “palm of the hand nor with the fist”, neither in day nor in night, neither “anything that the dry” nor “anything that is moist”. After the deal is done, Namuci carries away all that nourishes the Devas: the Soma drink, the essence of food and the strength of Indra. The leader of the gods finds himself conflicted, feels bound by his promise. They reply they will deal with Namuci, get it all back, if Indra agrees to share his powers, the essence of food and the Soma drink with them. The gods and the goddess then come up with a creative plan. They pour out “foam of water” as a thunderbolt, which is neither dry nor moist, and the evil Asura Namuci is attacked and killed when it is neither day nor night. After Namuci is killed, the gods get all the powers back, but discover that Namuci had drunk the Soma already.