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Stories From The Nrsimha (Narasimha) Purana

Stories From The Nrsimha (Narasimha) Purana
$29.00
Item Code: IHE014
Author: Vedavyasa, Told by Purnaprajna Dasa
Publisher: Ras Bihari Lal and Sons
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788184030709
Pages: 194
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.0" X 5.8"
weight of the book: 400 gm

From the Jacket

The eighteen major Puranas are the Brahma, Padma, Visnu, Siva, Linga, Garuda, Narada, Bhagavata, Agni, Skanda, Bhavisya, Brahma-vaivarta, Markandeya, Vamana, Varaha, Matsya, Kurma and Brahmanda Puranas.

The Brahma Purana consists of ten thousand verses, the Padma Purana of fifty-five thousand, Sri Visnu Purana of twenty-three thousand, the Siva Purana of Twenty-four thousand and Srimad-Bhagavatam of eighteen thousand.

The Narada Purana has twenty-five thousand verses, the Markandeya Purana nine thousand, the Agni Purana fifteen thousand four hundred, the Bhavisya Purana fourteen thousand five hundred, the Brahma-vaivarta Purana eighteen thousand and the Linga Purana eleven thousand. The Varaha Purana contains twenty-four thousand verses, the Skanda Purana eighty-one thousand one hundred, the ‘Vamana Purana ten thousand, the Kurma Purana ten thousand, the Kurma Purana seventeen thousand, the Matsya Purana fourteen thousand, the Garuda Purana nineteen thousand and the Brahmanda Purana twelve thousand. Thus the total number of verses in all the Puranas is four hundred thousand. Eighteen thousand of these, once again, belong to the beautiful Bhagavatam.

It is known that of the eighteen major Puranas, six are for those in the mode of goodness, six are for those in the mode of passion, and six are for those in the mode of ignorance. Although there may be different opinions as to which Puranas belong to which group, Srila Prabhupada writes as follows in a purport of Sri Caitanya-caritamrta:

The Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, Atharva Veda, Mahabharata, Pancaratra and original Ramayana are all considered Vedic literature. The Puranas (such as the Brahma-vaivarta Purana, Naradiya Purana, Visnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana) are especially meant for Vaisnavas and are also Vedic literature.

Back of the Book

Nrsimha Purana is not one of the eighteen Puranas, but is one of the upa-puranas, or auxiliary Puranas. It is quite definitely a Purana in the mode of goodness, or a Vaisnava Purana, because from beginning to end it is nothing but glorification of Lord Visnu and His innumerable forms, one of which is Lord Nrsimha, as well as glorification of the Lord’s devotees, as well as His devotional service.

We find in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, sixteenth chapter of the Antya-lila, this verse describing Lord Caitanya’s going to the temple of Lord Jagannatha: “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His left side toward the Deity, offered obeisances to Lord Nrsimha as He proceeded toward the temple. He recited the following verse again and again while offering obeisances:

 

namas te nara-simhaya
prahladahlada-dayine
hiranyakasipor vaksah-
sila-tanka-nakhalaye

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Lord Nrsimhadeva. You are the giver of pleasure to Maharaja Prahlada, and Your nails cut the chest of Hiranyakasipu like a chisel cutting stone.

Introduction

Nrsimha Purana is not one of the eighteen Puranas, but is one of the upa-puranas, or auxiliary Puranas. It is quite definitely a Purana in the mode of goodness, or a Vaisanva Purana, because from beginning to end it is nothing but glorification of Lord Vasnu and His innumerable forms, one of which is Lord Nrsimha, as well as glorification of the Lord’s devotees, as well as His devotional service.

A nice example of this is found in a purport of the Tenth Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, written by the humble disciples of Srila Prabhupada who completed his monumental project: “As stated in the Nrsimha Purana, patresu puspesu phalesu toyesv akrita-labhyesu vadaiva satsul bhaktya su-labhye puruse purane muktyai kim artham kriyate prayatnah: ‘Since the primeval Personality of Godhead is easily attained by offering Him such things as leaves, flowers, fruits and water, which are all found without difficulty, why does one need to endeavor for liberation separately?”

We also find in Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, sixteenth chapter of the antya-lila, this verse describing Lord Caitanya’s going to the temple of Lord Jagannatha: “Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, His left side toward the Deity, offered obeisances to Lord Nrsimha as He proceeded toward the temple. He recited the following verses again and again while offering obeisances:

 

namas te nara-simhaya
prahladahlada-dayine
hiranyakasipor vaksah-
sila-tanka-nakhalaye

“I offer my respectful obeisances unto You, Lord Nrsimhadeva. You are the giver of pleasure to Maharaja Prahlada, and Your nails cut the chest of Hiranyakasipu like a chisel cutting stone.”

PURPORT: This and the following verse are quoted from the Nrsimha Purana.

 

ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho
yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho
nrsimham adim saranam prapadye

“Lord Nrsimhadeva is here, and He is also there on the opposite side. Wherever I go, there I see Lord Nrsimhadeva. He is outside and within my heart. Therefore I take shelter of Lord Nrsimhadeva, the original Supreme Personality of Codhead.”

So, every day the devotees are singing two verses of the Nrsimha Purana. As in the eighteen major Puranas, there are many interesting and unusual stories that are not found in Srimad-Bhagavatam. And, when there are stories that are also found in Srimad-Bhagavatam, we discover nuances that enhance the understanding the Lord’s pastimes.

A major portion of the Nrsimha Purana is taken up by summary descriptions of the dasa-avatara, or ten major pastimes incarnations of the Lord. Here the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra are described in greater detail than those of the other incarnations, so that is a kind of mini-Ramayana.

The pastimes of Lord Nrsimhadeva are not told very elaborately, but there are many additional details found in this rendition. Nrsimha Purana is a very short work compared to other Puranas but the advantage there is that the stories are told in a concise manner and do not ramble on and on. I have tried to give a simple and clear rendition of the Nrsimha Purana that will not bore you. I hope that you find it a pleasant read.

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