Narasimha Dwadashi is devoted to Lord Narasimha, the man- lion manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Narasimha Dwadashi falls on the twelfth day of the Shukla Paksha during Phalguna month of Hindu Lunar calendar. It falls on the 12th day of waxing phase of the lunar month February – March. Narasimha Dwadashi is also known as Govinda Dwadashi. There are two types of Dwadashi namely Shuklapaksha Dwadashi (twelfth day of the bright half of lunar month) and Krishna Paksha Dwadashi (twelfth day of the dark half of lunar month). There are twenty-four Dwadashi in a year. Each Dwadashi is associated with worshipping a particular manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Narasimha Dwadashi is dedicated to worshipping Lord Narasimha. Narasimha Dwadashi vrat is the most popular vrats in Hinduism which helps to get rid of all the sins of the devotees.
Significance Narasimha Dwadashi:
Devotees observe fast, worship Lord Narasimha and chant the shlokas dedicated to Lord Vishnu to win his blessings for fearlessness, conquering the obstacles of life, and to achieve happiness, peace as well as success in all the endeavours. Lord Narasimha blesses his devotees with courage, confidence, and protection. Hence, Narasimha Dwadashi is considered highly efficacious. It is believed that worshiping Lord Narasimha brings good luck, prosperity and liberates devotees from past sins while protecting the devotees from the evil forces.
According to legend, once an Asura king Hiranyakashyap wanted to avenge Lord Vishnu over his brother’s death. He had received a boon from Lord Brahma that made him nearly invincible. However, Hiranyakashyap’s son Prahlad was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu. Hence, Hiranyakashyap tried to kill him many times but all in vain. Once Hiranyakashyap asked Prahlad for the proof the existence of Lord Vishnu, Prahlad pointed to a pillar. An angry Hiranyakashyap banged his mace against the pillar. Suddenly, Lord Vishnu appeared from the pillar in the ferocious manifestation of Narasimha and killed Hiranyakashyap.
Prahlad’s victory over his enemy is seen as a victory of good over evil. His devotion to Lord Vishnu saved his life. Hence, Narasimha Avatar is revered by Hindu devotees.
On the day of Narasimha Dwadashi, the devotees need to wake up before sunrise and take a dip in a sacred river such as Ganges, Saraswati, Yamuna, Godavari or Cauvery. People can take a dip in a nearby river or lake chanting the mantras of Lord Vishnu and Mother Ganga.
If this is not possible, then they can invoke the deities of the river in the water they use for bathing to set the tone of the worship. Devotees throng at the Mahodadhi Teerth on the coast in Puri which is believed to have a great astrological significance. Devotees perform the puja for Lord Narasimha with offerings like fruits, flowers, and special prasad.