Harivamsha Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1897 | 293,872 words | ISBN-10: 8178542188 | ISBN-13: 9788178542188

This page is entitled “the man-lion incarnation of vishnu” and represents Chapter 37 of the third book (Bhavishya Parva’) of the Harivamsa (English translation in Prose). The Harivamsha Purana narrates the lineage and life-story of Krishna (Hari). Although not officially mentioned in the list of Puranas, this book includes topics such as geology, creation theory, time (manvantaras), ancient historical legends and accounts of royal dynasties.

Chapter 37 - The Man-lion Incarnation of Vishnu

[Full title: The Man-lion Incarnation of Vishnu; Hiranyakashipu’s Prayer to Brahma].

1-10. Vaishampayana said:—O king, I have thus described to you the boar incarnation of Vishnu. I will next describe the man-lion incarnation in which form the Lord killed Hiranyakashipu. Formerly in the Krita Yuga the founder of the Daitya race, the king Hiranyakashipu practised great penances. Living under water he observed the vow of silence like an immoveable object for five thousand and five hundred years. Pleased with his self-control, mastery over his senses and regulations Brahma was highly pleased. Afterward in his white sunny car drawn by swans the Lord Brahma himself came there and said to the king of Daityas "O you of firm vows, you are my votary. I am pleased with you for your ascetic penances. May you fare well. Pray for a desirable boon".

11-18. Thereupon the Danava-chief Hiranyakashipu, with a delighted heart and folded hands, said:—"O lord, may none, amongst the gods, Asuras, Gandharvas, Yakshas, Uragas, Rakshasas, men and Pisacas, slay me. May not the Rishis, when angered, curse me. May not my destruction be brought about with a weapon, mountain, tree, dry or wet articles. May not my death take place in heaven, nether region, sky or either in day or in night. May he be my death only who, with the stroke of his own palm, will be able to kill me with my followers, servants and kinsmen. I will discharge the functions of the sun, moon, air, fire, water, sky, stars and ten quarters. I will be Kama, Krodha, Varuna, Vasava, Yama, Kuvera and the king of Kimpurushas. May huge weapons appear bodily before me in a battle". Brahma said:—"O my son, I grant you these wonderful and celestial boons. These boons are rare and not to be obtained by men. Forsooth, by my favour, you will obtain all desirable objects."

19-26. Vaishampayana said:—Having said this Brahma went to the Vairaja region through the etherial way. Afterwards hearing of the grant of this boon the gods, Nagas and Gandharvas went to the Grand-father and said:—"O lord, by virtue of this boon the Asura will oppress us. Do you concert a measure for his destruction." Hearing their words the Lord Brahma said:—"O you gods, he must obtain the fruits of his penances. After he will have enjoyed them the Lord Vishnu will slay him." Delighted with what the lotus-sprung Deity had said the celestials repaired to their respective quarters. Vaishampayana said:—Elated with the power of the boon he had obtained the Daitya-chief Hiranyakashipu began to oppress the creatures. That powerful Daitya assailed the ascetic Munis in the hermitages and the trutuful and self-controlled Brahmanas. Having vanquished all the gods in the three worlds he brought them under subjection and lived in heaven. Urged on by Destiny and elated with the pride of boon he made the Daityas entitled to sacrifices and deprived the gods therefrom. Thereupon the Adityas, Sadhyas, Vishvas, Vasus, Rudras, all the saints and the Brahmanas approached the highly powerful and eternal Vishnu adored of the world and sought his shelter. The gods said:—"O Narayana, the gods have sought refuge with you: do you save them and slay the Daitya-chief Hiranyakashipu. You art our protector, great preceptor and the great god. You dost please the party of your friends and destroy the enemies. Do you help us for slaying Diti’s progeny." Vishnu said: "Cast off your fear, O you immortals, I promise you safety. You will, in no time, attain to the celestial region as before. I will soon kill that Danava king with his people who is elated with the pride of his boon and is unslayable even by the immortals".

27-48. Vaishampayana said:—Having said this and dismissed the celestials the omniscient Lord thought of the destruction of Hiranyakashipu. Having assumed a body, half-lion and half-man, he arrived at Harinyakashipu’s court. It was highly charming and a hundred yojanas in length and half as much in breadth. There existed neither decrepitude nor sorrow. It was adorned with various flowers and excellent seats.

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