He is often visualized as half-man/half-lion, having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws. This image is widely worshiped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups, particularly in Southern India. He is known primarily as the 'Great Protector' who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need.
References to Narasimha are found in a wide variety of the Puranic scriptures, with seventeen versions of the main narrative, some in more detail than others. The Bhagavata Purana (Canto 7), Agni Purana (4.2-3), Brahmanda Purana (2.5.3-29), Vayu Purana (67.61-66), Harivamsa (41 & 3.41-47), Brahma Purana (213.44-79), Vishnudharmottara Purana (1.54), Kurma Purana (1.15.18-72), Matsya Purana (161-163), Padma Purana (Uttara-khanda 5.42), Shiva Purana (2.5.43 & 3.10-12), Linga Purana (1.95-96), Skanda Purana 7 (2.18.60-130) and Vishnu Purana (1.16-20) all contain depictions of the Narasimha avatar. There is also a short reference in the Mahabharata (3.272.56-60) and a Tapani Upanishad (Narasimha tapani Upanisad), earliest of Vaishnava Upanishads named in reference to him.
References from Vedas:
One phrase of the Rig Veda appears to indicate an epithet that can be rightly attributed to the form of Vishnu as Narasimha. It clearly calls the qualities of Vishnu that are seen only in this avatara as "like some wild beast, dread, prowling, mountain-roaming" (RV.I 154.2a). There is a reference or an allusion to knowledge of Namuci story in RV.VIII 14.13: "With waters' foam you tore off, Indra, the head of Namuci, subduing all contending hosts." This short reference is believed to have culminated in the full puranic story of this highly popular Narasimha form.
Lord Vishnu in his incarnations as Lord Narasimha,incarnated to kill Demon Hiranyakashipan,and to save his devotee Prahlada.
Demon Hiranyakashipan, performed vigourous tapas to Lord Brahma for taking revenge on Devas as his brother Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Vishnu,and to conquer the universe.
After performing tapas for a long time the demon Hiranyakashipan got a boon from brahma such that he cannot be killed either by a human being or an animal,neither demon nor god,nor with a weapon,and neither in day or night,nor inside or outside.
So after getting a boon he returned to his kingdom and began to conquer the earth.He is above to show his power on devas.He has got a child named Prahlada.The demon Hiranyakashapan,wished his son to learn asura vidyas,and to become a powerfull king of asuras.And sent him to a guru,and prahlada refused to leave the Lord Vishnu Devotion.
Demon Hiranyakashipan,with the pride of his boon,and in a thought of conquering of earth,and thought to declare himself as god and stopped all Vishnu poojas.
Prahlada,has told his father that the Lord Vishnu is the only god,and had not accepted his father as a God.And with an anger on his son,Demon Hiranyakashipan has ordered his servants,to kill Prahlada.The servants has thrown Prahlada from top of mountains,and in to the sea,in to snakes,and thrown into fire.But as he started praying Lord Vishnu,he could not be killed.
In return the servants had taken him to the Demon Hiranyakashipan,and he asked prahlada that where is Lord Vishnu present,in order to fight with him.The prahlada replied that he is present every where.He asked prahlada,Is ur Lord Vishnu present in this pillar.The Demon Hiranyakashapan,took his mace above to beat the pillar to find Lord Vishnu and fight with him,then the Lord Vishnu emerged from the pillar incarnated as Lord Narasimha,a lion headed,and as Demon Hiranyakashapan was a great devotee of Lord Shiva,Lord Shiva came to save him and fight with Lord Vishnu.Lord Narasimha with a fiercefull face and by his unlimited power,Lord Shiva went back away.
Demon Hiranyakashipan,was on the thighs of Lord Narasimha at the exit of the court,neither inside or outside,in the dawn,neither in the day or night,with his nails he opened his stomach,which is not a weapon,and killed him,and made the great devotee Prahlada the king.And Prahladas grand son was the King Bali.
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