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Fascinating Stories about Lord Shiva Ep III : Shiva’s fight with Narasimha avatara

Perhaps one of the least known stories about Shiva is his fight with Narasimha avatara of Lord Vishnu in the form of Sharabha. One version says he killed Narasimha! Another says Vishnu assumed another superhuman form Gandaberunda to fight Sharabha.

The mythical creature Sharabha shown here is part-bird and part-lion. Shiva Purana describes Sharabha as thousand-armed, lion-faced and with matted hair, wings and eight feet. In his clutches is Lord Narasimha, whom Sharabha slays!

First, Vishnu assumed the form of Narasimha to slay Hiranyakashipu, an asura (demon) king, who was terrorizing the universe and devotee of Shiva.The Shiva Purana mentions: After slaying Hiranyakashipu, Narasimha’s wrath was not appeased. The world trembled, fearing what he might do. The Devas (the gods) requested Shiva to tackle Narasimha. Initially, Shiva brings forth Virabhadra, one of his terrifying forms, in order to calm Narasimha. When that failed, Shiva manifested as the human-lion-bird Sharabha. Shiva then assumed the Sharabha form. Sharabha then attacked Narasimha and seized him up until he was immobilized. He thus quelled Narasimha’s terrifying rage. Narasimha became a devotee of Shiva after being bound by Sharabha. Sharabha then decapitated and de-skinned Narasimha so Shiva could wear the hide and lion-head as a garment. The Linga Purana and Sharabha Upanishad also mention this mutilation and murder of Narasimha. After the mutilation, Vishnu assumed his normal form and retired to his abode, after duly praising Shiva. It was from here on that Shiva came to be known as “Sharabeshamurti” or “Simhagnamurti”.

This myth is particularly interesting because it brings to forth the past rivalries between Shaivites and Vaishnavites.

The Vaishnavites have a similar story of Vishnu transforming into Gandaberunda to fight Sharabha, in yet another bird form: a 2 headed eagle.

Credits: Wikipedia
Harish Aditham

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6 thoughts on “Fascinating Stories about Lord Shiva Ep III : Shiva’s fight with Narasimha avatara

  1. Sarabeswarar was the avatar God Shiva took to subdue the aggression of God Narasimha the 4th avatar of God Vishnu. Sarabeswarar was God Shiva’s most fierce form, he was a thousand-armed, lion-faced and with matted hair, wings and eight feets creature. Sarabeswarar has such strong features that it could clear a valley in one single jump.

  2. Lord Narasimha is Lord Narayana. He can be stopped only with Devotion so obviously stopped by his devotee Prahlada. Any other stories are interpolated by Saivas to prove the supremacy of Siva, so Tamasik puranas are not to be trusted
    In the Vedas, it is written,
    “Narayana parabrahman tatvam Narayana paraha”
    which points to how Narayana is essentially the supreme force and/or essence of all.
    our Great Guru Shankaracharya said Brahmendra, Rudra Arka kireeta koti (Supreme God Lakshmi Nrsimha’s feet is touched by the crowns Of Brahma, Indra, Shiva and Sun)
    Nrsimha Karavalamba stotra by Adi Shankaracharya
    Sri Nakshmi Nrsimha Karavalamba stotra

    Nobody stopped Lord Narasimha, the stories of Sarabha were fictions and fabricated by King Kulothunga Chozha an ardent Shaivaite fanatic. He was the culprit who oversaw the writing of completely fictions work in fact a pulp fiction called Linga Purana that originally had these stories which never has any base or credibility. He also did some fabulous stuff like rewriting Shiva Purana, hiding the original texts of Vyasa, just because he was insulted that every Shiva follower was killed by Vishnu and his couterers cannot win debates against Vaishnavism.
    The modern day Shaiva Puranas Shiva Puran, Skanda Puran, Nandi Puran etc that floating around these days in Devanagari and other storylines were all written during his period by his courteures in Tanjore his capital city. The original works he had buried it somewhere and it should re surface as time evolves in to a Dharma Yuga

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