Narasimha Jayanti
Narasimha Jayanti is an important festival, dedicated to Lord Narasimha. He is a fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The day, when Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Lord Narasimha is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanti. In this incarnation, Lord Vishnu appeared as man-lion form that is the face was like a lion and the trunk was like a man. Narasimha Jayanthi is observed on Vaishakha Chaturdashi 14th day of the Shukla Paksha. This year it falls on 28th April, 2018. Lord Vishnu had taken this incarnation to kill demon Hiranyakashipu who has got a boon from Lord Brahma. Lord Narasimha had killed demon Hiranyakashipu and gives relief to the people from the demon’s autocracy on this day. This day is grandly celebrated by devotees of Lord Vishnu.

Reason behind Narasimha Avatar
According to one version, there was a sage named Kashyap and his wife called Diti. They had two children called Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu’s brother Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Vishnu to protect mankind (humanity) and earth. Hiranyakashipu was very angry with his brother’s death and he decided to take revenge for it. He prayed for many years towards Lord Brahma by standing on his right leg toe without any diversion. Lord Brahma appeared before him as the result of his penance. Hiranyakashipu asked for a boon of immortality. Lord Brahma replied that no one can live in this world without death. So Hiranyakashipu asked for a tricky boon that he could not be killed by humans or living beings, Gods or Demons, not in the day or night, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither earth nor sky. Lord Brahma granted that boon to him. After he got that powerful boon he started ruling all lokas including heaven. He ordered people to worship him not Vishnu.

But, Hiranyakashipu’s son Prahlada was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu which irked his father. Prahalada disobeyed his father. The whole kingdom worshiped Hiranyakashipu but his own son worshipped Lord Vishnu and this made him jealous. Hiranyakashipu tried to change his son from praying Lord Vishnu in many ways, but he failed every time. Then he decided to kill his son but each time the young boy escaped because Prahalada was blessed by Lord Vishnu. ‘Holika’, the sister of Hiranyakashipu and aunt of Prahalada received a boon that she can never be burnt by fire. Finally, in distress, Hiranyakashipu told his sister ‘Holika’ to kill Prahalada. She held Prahalada on her lap and sat in the middle of a bonfire, thinking that Prahalada will die in fire while she remained safe. But on the contrary Holika got burnt and Prahalada was saved. Hiranyakashipu got very angry after seeing all this. Prahalada told his father that the Lord resides in everything and everywhere. Hiranyakashipu asked his son that whether his God is present in the pillar also. Prahalada replied that he is present in the pillar and even in rust. Hearing this Hiranyakashipu attacked a pillar near him. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu came out from the pillar in the form of Narasimha and killed the demon by keeping him in his lap and cutting the chest with bare hands thus overcoming all the boon the demon had attained from Lord Brahma.

How To Observe Puja On Narasimha Jayanthi Day
On the day of Narasimha Jayanti, Lord Narasimha and his consort Lakshmi is worshipped with full devotion. People wake up early in the morning during the Brahma Muhurat and take bath. They wear colourful clothes and offer special pujas to the idol of Lord Narasimha and Goddess Lakshmi. They fast on this day from sunrise and end the fast at sunrise the next day. Devotees sitting in front of Lord Narasimha chant Narasimha Mantra by using Rudraksha mala. It helps to attain a more meaningful life. Donating food, clothes, precious metals and sesame seeds to the poor people on Narasimha Jayanthi is highly meritorious. Read about the incarnation of Lord Narasimha is the best prayer on this day. It is believed that people who observe fast on Narasimha Jayanthi will reach ‘Vaikunta’ (Heavenly abode of Lord Vishnu). They worship Lord Narasimha on this day with complete dedication and devotion using flowers, fruits, five sweets, ‘kesar’, kumkum, fruits, ‘ganga jal’ and coconuts etc. It helps to get relief from all problems and fulfill all dreams. After the puja ceremony is done, the prasad items are shared with neighbours and relatives.

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