Feature

Narasimha

A special feature in connection with Narasimha Jayanti on May 17.

1:16:32
RJ: Jyothi

Narasimha

A special feature in connection with Narasimha Jayanti on May 17.

Narasimha, the fourth avatar of Mahavishnu, is unique in being a concatenation of two different creatures - Man and Lion. As with the earlier avatars, Narasimha has a short history, coming into being for a specific purpose - that of saving Prahlada and killing Hiranyakashipu. The story of Prahlada has been immortalized through his unshakeable devotion to God, and in music Tyagaraja has continuation through his opera, Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam.

Hiranyakashipu seeks, and is granted, a boon that says he cannot be killed inside his house or outside, on the ground or in the air or in water, during day or night, by humans or any other creature, or by any weapons. Thinking himself invincible because of this boon, Hiranyakashipu becomes and arrogant and cruel. His son, Prahlada, however, is a staunch devotee of Vishnu, which enrages Hiranyakashipu. The boon necessitates the avatar of Narasimha, a hitherto nonexistent creature, who lays Hiranyakashipu across his lap and kills him at dusk with his bare hands right at the entrance of his house.

Narasimha as a deity has resulted in very few compositions, especially compared to the other popular avatars of Rama and Krishna. However, the few that are in existence bring out the nature and power of Narasimha and the fascinating aspects of this unique avatar. This programme, in connection with Narasimha Jayanthi, plays a few classical compositions on Narasimha by various composers, starting with Tyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar.

Songs in this Program