Half Beast, Half Man-Why?

Half Beast, Half Man-Why?:

Different Interpretations

This puranic event is told and retold generation after generation to pass on the greatness of our tradition and culture. It was originally depicted in Srimad Bhagavatam and later presented by great poets and learned pundits, giving different interpretations.

In recent years the great poet, Narayana Bhattadri of Kerala, has highlighted this event in his Narayaneeyam and Sri Vedanta Desikar, the Vaishnavite guru, has embellished it with a scientific interpretation. Their vision of Nara-simha Avatar throws indepth meaning and brings out the unknown significance of the avatar.

Hiranyakasipu is depicted as a loving father, and at the same time a haughty king who wanted everybody to toe his line. How dare his own loving son defy him and worship his enemy? This led to a constant conflict between the father and son.

At times Hiranyakasipu's anger transgressed all limits and he ordered that Prahlada be poisoned to death, trampled by an elephant, or thrown into the sea, or rolled down a hill. But each time the Lord protected Prahlada. And, strangely, though mad while ordering the punishment, Hiranya was relieved that the young lad was not harmed --the affectionate father's instinct!. Once, when his wife was anguished to hear about a punishment, Hiranya consoled her, "Do not worry. He will come out unscathed."

So, at a sober moment, Hiranya pleaded: "My dear son, can you not for a moment forget that hari and accept me, your father,in his place?"

Prahlada: "Respected father, if you can forget Had fat a moment, I also can. Within this short while, you have uttered his name thrice. In fact, you are thinking about him always, even in your dream. You are searching for him everywhere, though with a disastrous motive. I am also searching for him. We are both seekers and he 1S the sought after. The only difference lies in our motives."

Hiranyakasipu: "If you adore him so much, you must be; knowing where he is. Tell me where."

Prahlada: "He is omnipotent and omnipresent. He is everywhere. He is in you, he is in me. He is in every particle of dust here."

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