Narasimha Jayanti is an important festival and is celebrated on the Fourteenth day of the Shukla Paksha in Vishakh month. Narasimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He has a face like a lion and a trunk like a man. He had killed demon Hiranyakashipu on this day. It is known that Narasimha appeared during the sunset on Chaturdashi and hence the puja is performed during those hours. The message of Narasimha Jayanti is to remove adharm and to follow the path of dharma.
Significance and Legend of Narasimha Jayanti:
Lord Narasimha represents power and victory. As per the beliefs and religious texts, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Lord Narasimha on this day to kill the demon Hiranyakashyap and establish dharma. Hence, the day is celebrated as Narasimha Jayanti across the country.
Lord Narasimha is the fourth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Lord Narasimha was half-human and half-lion. He killed Hiranyakashyap. Narasimha avatar has been explained in many religious texts. As per the Hindu scriptures, sage Kashyap and his wife, Diti. He had two sons Harinyaksha and Hiranyakashipu. Lord Vishnu killed Harinyaksha to protect the earth. Hiranyakashipu wanted to take the revenge of his brother. He offered austerities to please Lord Brahma who blessed him. After receiving Lord Brahma’s blessings, Hiranyakashipu established his rule in all Lokas including the heavens. The Devas were helpless as they were unable to defeat Hiranyakashipu. In the meantime, Hiranyakashipu’s wife Kayadhu gave birth to Prahalad. This child was devoted to Lord Vishnu. Hiranyakashipu tried to distract Prahalad from Lord Vishnu. All his attempts failed, and Prahalad was devoted even more towards Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu’s blessings, always saved Prahlad from Hiranyakashipu’s atrocities. Finally, Hiranyakashipu decided to burn Prahalad. He made Prahalad sit in his sister Holika’s lap between the fire. Holika was blessed with a boon that she could not burn in fire. With Prahalad sitting in her lap, Holika was burnt alive, and nothing happened to Prahalad. Angry Hiranyakashipu asked Prahalad about the existence of Vishnu. Prahalad replied that the Lord was present everywhere. Hence, Hiranyakashipu asked Prahalad if his Lord resided in a pillar to which Prahalad replied, yes. Hence, Hiranyakashipu attacked the pillar, and Lord Narasimha appeared from a pillar. Lord Narasimha held him and killed him by cutting his chest with his nails. Lord Narasimha blessed Prahalad. Those who would fast on this day would be blessed and would be relieved from all problems.
Special Puja is performed on this day for Lord Narasimha and Goddess Laxmi. Devotee wakes up early during the Brahma mahurat to take a bath and wear new clothes. Devotees perform puja and offer flowers, sweets, kumkum, Saffron, Coconut, Gram dal and Jaggery to the deity. Fast begins with sunrise and continues until the next day’s sunrise. Avoid eating any kind of cereals or grains. Narasimha mantra should be recited with rudraksha mala to please God. Devotees also donate clothes, precious metals, and sesame seeds on this day to the poor.