Canto 7: The Science of GodChapter 8: Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva Slays the King of the Demons

Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 7.8.29

viṣvak sphurantaḿ grahaṇāturaḿ harir

vyālo yathākhuḿ kuliśākṣata-tvacam

dvāry ūrum āpatya dadāra līlayā

nakhair yathāhiḿ garuḍo mahā-viṣam

SYNONYMS

viṣvak — all around; sphurantam — moving his limbs; grahaṇa-āturam — afflicted because of being captured; hariḥ — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nṛsiḿhadeva; vyālaḥa snake; yathā — just as; ākhuma mouse; kuliśa-akṣata — not cut even by the thunderbolt thrown by Indra; tvacam — whose skin; dvāri — on the threshold of the door; ūrum — on His thigh; āpatya — placing; dadāra — pierced; līlayā — very easily; nakhaiḥ — with the nails; yathā — just as; ahima snake; garuḍaḥGaruḍa, the carrier of Lord Viṣṇu; mahā-viṣam — very venomous.

TRANSLATION

As a snake captures a mouse or Garuḍa captures a very venomous snake, Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva captured Hiraṇyakaśipu, who could not be pierced even by the thunderbolt of King Indra. As Hiraṇyakaśipu moved his limbs here, there and all around, very much afflicted at being captured, Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva placed the demon on His lap, supporting him with His thighs, and in the doorway of the assembly hall the Lord very easily tore the demon to pieces with the nails of His hand.

PURPORT

Hiraṇyakaśipu had received from Lord Brahmā the benediction that he would not die on the land or in the sky. Therefore, to keep the promise of Lord Brahmā intact, Nṛsiḿhadeva placed Hiraṇyakaśipu's body on His lap, which was neither land nor sky. Hiraṇyakaśipu had received the benediction that he would not die either during the day or at night. Therefore, to keep this promise of Brahmā, the Lord killed Hiraṇyakaśipu in the evening, which is the end of day and the beginning of night but is neither day nor night. Hiraṇyakaśipu had taken a benediction from Lord Brahmā that he would not die from any weapon or be killed by any person, dead or alive. Therefore, just to keep the word of Lord Brahmā, Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva pierced Hiraṇyakaśipu's body with His nails, which were not weapons and were neither living nor dead. Indeed, the nails can be called dead, but at the same time they can be said to be alive. To keep intact all of Lord Brahmā's benedictions, Lord Nṛsiḿhadeva paradoxically but very easily killed the great demon Hiraṇyakaśipu.

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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness