The Garuda Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736

The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...

Chapter CCXLI - The hymn to Nri-Sinha

Suta said:—O Shaunaka, now I shall narrate the hymn to Narasinha, as composed by Shiva. The Matrikas of yore addressed the blissful one (Shankara) as follows:—we shall devour, O lord, all the demons and men, if you so permit us. The universe is from thee, O lord.

Shankara said:—O you goddesses, I think it is rather incumbent on you to preserve the inmates of the universe: (.;?) banish, O goddesses, these cruel intentions from your minds.

Suta said:—Even thus being addressed by Shankara, the ferocious Matrikas paid no heed to his counsels and began to devour the universe with all its inmates, both mobile and immobile. The god Shiva meditated upon the form of Nrishinha while the Matrikas were engaged in devouring the universe. The endless and originless Shiva contemplated a form which inspired terror in the hearts of all creatures. The manes on his neck stood up erect on their ends. His dreadful teeth were illuminated with the lurid light of his lightning-tongue, which fearfully lolled out. His was a voice which resembled the roar of the seven oceans, agitated by the tornado of universal dissolution. He pulled aside the corners of his lips with the tips of his finger-nails, which were hard as thunder-bolts. His eyes had a glow, which resembled that of the summits of the mount Meru reflecting back the splendour of the rising sun. His body was like the summit of the Himalayas, illuminated with the reflected blaze of his diabolical teeth. The manes on his neck were burning, like the tongues of fire, with rage. He wore a crown of gold on his head and bracelets of gems round his wrists. Girdles composed of chains of gold decorated his waist, and the whole expanse of universe was illumined with the glow of his complexion, which was like the colour of a blue lotus. Ringlets of hairs grew on his body, and he wore a garland of beautiful and multi-coloured flowers. The god, thus meditated upon by Shankara, instantly appeared before him in this form, and Shankara propitiated this dreadful vision of Nrisinha.

Shankara said:—Salutation unto thee, the lord of the universe. Thou hast assumed the form of Narasinha and bearest the entrails of the demon king on thy finger-nails. Obeisance to thee, the lotus-naveled one, whose complexion illumines the whole expanse of the universe. Obeisance to thee, the beautiful one, effulgent as a million suns, and whose voice is like the roar of the universal ocean of dissolution. I make obeisance to thee, who art dreaded by thousands of the lords of death, who bearest the strength of thousand Indras in thy limbs, whose riches exceed those of thousands of Kuveras, who art composed of the essence of thousands of Varunas, who art effulgent with the effulgence of thousands of moons, who art mightier than thousands of planets and thousands of Rudras, art hymnised by thousands of Brahmas and meditated upon by thousands of Rudras, and looked up to by thousands of Indras, and dost snap the chords of thousands of rebirths and unfetter the chains of thousands of bondage; dreadful as thousands of winds thou dost compassion to thousands of Indras.

Suta said:—Having thus hymnised the Nrisinha-shaped Hari, the god Shiva, devoutly bent down, addressed him as follows: —

Shiva said:—The Matrikas, whom I had created for the purpose of killing the demon, Andhaka, are now devouring the inmates of the universe without paying heed to my admonition. Invincible though I am, yet I do not wish to kill them myself, as it is I who have brought them into being. How can I wish their annihilation, when I am their creator?

Suta said:—Having been thus addressed by Rudra, the lord (Nrisinha) caused the Matrikas to be merged in his person, and having reestablished peace in this world, vanished in the air. The self-controlled votary, who reads this hymn to Nrisinha, is enabled, like Rudra, to witness the realisation of his desires. “I meditate upon Nrisinha, whose eyes are like the rising sun, and tongues of blazing fire are emitted from whose lotus-white mouth. I meditate upon the endless, originless Nrisinha, the original subjectivity, the most excellent lord of the universe and its final refuge.” Recitation of this hymn by a person dissipates his misery as the sun destroys the dews. The Matrikas fly the presence of such a person, and the god Hara waits upon him to do him a good turn. The destroyer of Tripura (Shiva) first promulgated the worship of Nrisinha, the lord of the gods, in this world, and was enabled to protect its inmates from the depredations of the Matrikas, through his grace.