I recently came across this image on a late night google meander annotated ‘krishna as Narasimha’, and it struck me as a most interesting contrast to the flute playing/lovestruck/cowherd familiar face of Lord Krishna.
The Ṛg Veda contains an epithet that has been attributed to Narasiṁha.
like some wild beast, dread, prowling, mountain-roaming.
His main claim to fame is as the ‘Great protector’, defending his devotees in times of need. Vishnu/Krishna is said to have taken this form as an avatar to destroy a particularly difficult demon king. But thats a story for another day.
I recently had an intense dream which involved an embodied experience of an all encompassing rage. A rage that felt quite different from anything I had experienced before as it came from compassion as well as anger, and it came with an undeniable will and power to action, action to reduce suffering as quickly as possible.
In my waking life I’m still working at placing and pacing that power in the so called real world. In spiritual circles anger is often seen as something to be avoided at all costs but I’m beginning to think theres different kinds of anger. One the personal, ignorant blind anger that things aren’t as I think they should be,…. and the other a divine invitation to take action to live ferociously giving what you have for what you know to be right.
Perhaps the symbology of Narasimha, is an invitation to the pure mindedness of an animal, ( ferocious ever watchful hunter). Can we allow this energy to move through us, to act powerfully potently with our human hands and hearts to effect meaningful change? Can we surrender our egoic desire for control into the wild power of life itself, knowing it has the power to tear us to shreds ?
A few hours deeper into my google adventures and I’ve found a female counterpart- as Narasimhika, She who is the Ferocious Half Human Half Lion of Courage. She is of course even bigger and badder and the only thing that can calm Narasimha down when he gets upset…. It is said when she shakes her Lion’s Mane, she throws the stars into disarray. I don’t know who calms her down when needed but so far luckily it hasn’t come to that. I trust the gods will find a suitable solution if necessary.
In the meantime, for those inclined to play with fire, heres a mantra (prayer) for invoking the powerful majesty of Narasimha. You can call on him for protection, to remove problems, or even to help tear us away from our own delusions and illusions. Proceed with care.
The Narasiṁha Mahā-Mantra
- oṁ hrīṁ kṣauṁ
- ugraṁ viraṁ mahāviṣṇuṁ
- jvalantaṁ sarvatomukham ।
- nṛsiṁhaṁ bhīṣaṇaṁ bhadraṁ
- mṛtyormṛtyuṁ namāmyaham ॥
O’ Angry and brave Mahā-Viṣṇu, your heat and fire permeate everywhere. O Lord Narasiṁha, you are everywhere. You are the death of death and I surrender to You.