Monday, April 22, 2024

Vishwamitra Calls Him Narasaardoola

23. Tiruppavai Stories

He is Raghava Lion, who never fears even in sleep. Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are Parantapas, who frighten the enemies anytime.  They wake up listening to the cries for help, though they do not know when to wake up, they get up at the right point of time.  When asleep in the lap of Seeta as she was watching the beauty of Rama, Kaakasura attacks her. SomayaabodhitahSrimanSukhaSuptahParantapah. I have awakened Sri Rama, who even suffers no diminution in beauty even in sleep and retains his valour which frightens His enemies. That is what SeriaSingham, the expression of Goda in this pashuram means.  SeeriaSingam again is not alone. He is with Lakshmi, the lioness.

His Shayana Soundarya is enchanting. Kausalya used to forget herself watching Rama while asleep. Viswamitra enjoyed the sight of sleeping beauty of Rama.  He wakes Him with Suprabhatam.

Kausalya Supraja Rama, Poorva Sandhya Pravarthate,

Utthishta Nara Shardoola, KartavyamDaivaMahnikam.

This is Valmiki Shloka written for Viswamitra. Tirumala Lord’s Suprabhatam starts with this shloka. Not only this, all other suprabhatams in Vishnu Temples in India start with this aadikavi Valmiki Shlokam,  Vishwaamitra calls him narashaardoola — Lion among men. In Ramayana Valmiki admires Rama with expressions like Purusharshabha, Rama Saardulam, Matta MaatangaGaaminam, Simha VikraantaGaaminam.

Also read: Our Devatha’s are 33, not 33 Crore!

Sleeping Beauty

Yashoda watches with admiration Balakrishna when asleep.  Gopikaas also watch Him, His graceful personality, while sleeping in Nanda’s Palace, with Yashoda and then with Neela.  He is called Yadu Simha.

They want to see the transformation of Energy from sleeping posture to kinetic process.  He is Narasimha. Till yesterday, they likened His eyes with lotus. Today they are emitting fire. Gopikas like the fiery looks of Hari against the enemies of the devotees. Other than those who had no other desires, none can watch the sight of His fiery eyes just as one cannot see the bright Sun. 

The Yadu Simha woke up, stretched the body, shook the mane, roared like bursting cloud, breaking the hearts of enemies, stepped out of his Palace, gracefully started moving towards his well decorated Singhasana, even as Gopikas call him O Lion of Yadava Clan, the Valiant Hero, please come and settle on the grand chair and consider our desire and purpose of our vrata.

Also read: Romantic Thiruppavai with divine inner meaning


In Vishnu Sahasranamam, one of the thousand names of Vishnu isChaturgati.  His movement is described in four kinds – (1) the gait of an elephant – heavy and stolid signifying ponderous strength; (2) the gait of a lion, majestic and imperious, signifying valour: (3) the gait of a bull, steady and indifferent, signifying hauteur; and (4) the gait of a tiger, fierce and agile, signifying rage, as explained by Sri BhashyamAppalacharya. 

In Sri Ranganatha temple, Ranganatha’s palanquin is moved in these four kinds by the bearers.

Also read: Neela – Shree Tatwa, Krishna – Narayana Tatwa


While all the Avataras of Narayana are pleasant and kind, Narasimha is furious and fearsome.  When Prahlada replied to his father Hiranya Kashipu that Vishnu is all-pervasive and could be found in any thing around him, Vishnu was particular about the veracity of devotee’s word, whereas Prahlada was tense whether God’s all-pervasive character gets established or not. Vishnu resolves to attest the words of his devotee.  But, Hari was not sure which object the King would choose for the presence’s of Sarvantaryami.  He may pick up whatever that comes to his mind at random. The God took care that each and every object and being in the palace and the surroundings would give rise to His form.  When Hiranya Kashipu wanted to find Hari in a pillar, He comes out of a non-living thing, without parents, as soon as the devotee wanted, in a ferocious form unprecedented, which is neither an animal nor man, to protect the good and punish the wicked immediately, thus making possible the impossible. Narasimha is a unique form of self-manifestation chosen for that occasion.  Brahma, Indra and other celestial personalities fear that kind of Avatara, and could not go nearer to Him seeing the terrific way of killing Hiranya Kashipu with nails on the threshold in twilight – the Sandhya time.  Even His concert Lakshmi was terrified and could not venture to go near Him. Brahma advises Prahlada to pacify Narasimha as He was born for the sole purpose of protecting him from his own father. Prahlada, though frightened, collects courage to prostrate before Him. The anger vanishes and the Lion smiles.  He lifts the boy and blesses with his hand on his head. Bapu (See picture) draws a wonderful picture with great imagination. It is really a creative art to bring smile on the face of Simha without losing ferocity.

Also read: Neela is the Deepa Rekha of Sri Krishna

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is Dean, Professor of law at Mahindra University at Hyderabad and former Central Information Commissioner. He published a number books in English and Telugu.


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