Garuda Purana: Shiva’s prayer to Lord Narasimhadev
By Deena das
Hare Krishna. Pranams. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.
For the pleasure of the devotees this coming Nrsimha Caturdasi, below is Chapter 231 of the Garuda purana, where Mahadeva Shiva calls on Lord Narasimhadeva.
(The Matrgana’s mentioned in this story are eight goddesses produced from the bodies of Vishnu, Shiva and six other main deities during the killing of a powerful demon called Andhaka. Their origin is recounted in the Varaha-purana.)
1. Suta said: O Saunaka, I shall now mention the prayer to Narasimha sung by Shiva. Formerly the Mothers (matrgana) told Sankara thus:
2. “O Lord, we wish to devour the entire universe along with the deities, demons and human beings with your favour. Please permit us.”
3. Sankara said: “Certainly all these people are to be protected by you all. Therefore this ruthless mentality should be diverted.”
4. Disregarding the advice given by Sankara, the Matrgana’s began to devour the three worlds and all mobile and immobile creatures.
5. When the worlds were thus being eaten, Lord Shiva meditated on the Lord in the form of Nrsimha.
6 – 9 Lord Sankara’s meditation of Nrsimha was thus: ‘He has no beginning or death; He is the originator of all living beings; His tongue blazes like lightening; He has great curved teeth and his mane blazes like a garland; He has bracelets studded with gems; He has a brilliant crown; He is bedecked with a golden mane; with His brillaince He pervades the whole Brahmanda; the hairs on His body curl in small circles; and He is wearing a great garland consisting of many flowers of variegated colours.’
10. As soon as He was meditated upon, the Lord appeared before Sankara assuming the form as was conceived by Rudra with great devotion.
11. In the same dazzling form, unperceivable by the devas, the Lord stood there. Sankara then knelt before the Lord and prayed.
12. Sankara said: “Obeisance to You, Lord of the universe, having the body of a man-lion, shining with claws resembling an oyster shell with which the lord of demons (Hiranyakashipu) was killed.
13. You have the golden and tawny coloured body of that demon clinging to Your lotus-like nails. Obeisances to Padmanabha, obeisances to the preceptor of the world. You roar like the rumbling cloud at the end of the kalpa, O Deity, shining with the lustre of ten million suns.
14. O Deity, terrifying like a thousand Yama’s, valorous like a thousand Indras, affluent like a thousand Kuveras, O Deity with a thousand lotus-like feet.
15. O Deity resembling a thousand moons, a thousand rayed, moving like a lion, resplendent like a thousand Rudras, sung in praise by a thousand Brahmas.
16. Remembered in japa by a thousand Rudras, endowed with a thousand all protecting eyes, progenitor and destroyer of thousands, untier of thousands of bondages.
17. O fierce deity, having the velocity of a thousand winds, O compassionate One!’ Having sung the hymn to the Lord of Lords, Hari in the form of Narasimha, Shiva spoke in all humility thus:
18. “I had created the matrganas for the destruction of the demon Andhaka. Disregarding my advice they are now devouring the wonderful created beings of the universe.
19. Having created them, I am unable to kill them although I am undefeated elsewhere. Having first created them, how can I wish for their annihilation?
20-21. Thus addressed by Rudra, Hari in the form of a man-lion, created a thousand goddesses from the tip of his tongue. Hari the Vagisvara (Lord of speech) subdued the mothers and protected the devas. He accorded peace and happiness to the world and vanished.
22. He who recites this Narasimha prayer in all purity and restraint of the sense organs shall be blessed with the realisation of all his desires, as was Rudra. There is no doubt in this.
23. One shall meditate on the deity Narasimha with eyes shining like the midday sun (for evil doers) and like a white lotus (for devotees), with his face beaming like a blazing fire, having neither beginning or end, the eternal, unborn, Lord of the great and small, the receptacle of the universe.
24. If anyone recites this prayer it dispells all miseries like the sun dispelling snow. When he [Shiva] wants to perform worship of the Lord in the form of Narasimha, Lord Shiva prepares his deity along with the mothers. Then the Lord appears before him and stands near him. [final sentence of translation unclear.]