On Vaikshakh Sud Teras, Hindus celebrate the birth of Nrusinh Bhagwan, an incarnation of Vishnu Bhagwan. Pleased with Prahlad’s unflinching faith in and devotion to Vishnu Bhagwan, Nrusinh Bhagwan incarnated on this Earth to grant him darshan and free him from the oppression of his own father. Vaishnav devotees observe a farali fast on this day.
- When Varaha, an avatar of Vishnu, incarnated on the Earth and vanquished Hiranyaksh, Hiranyakashipu, the brother of Hiranyaksh, was infuriated and determined to seek revenge. He climbed Mt. Mandrachal and performed difficult austerities. Brahma was pleased with his devotion and granted him a boon. Hiranyakashipu requested, “Oh Brahma! Let my death not occur by the hands of a man, animal, dev, or demon. Let me never die, neither indoors nor outdoors, neither during the day nor night, neither by weapons nor mantra, neither on Earth nor sky. Let me become the eternal emperor of the entire Earth….”
Brahma granted Hiranyakashipu this boon. Thereafter, Hiranyakashipu terrorized the three lokas with his newly acquired invincibility. While Hiranyakashipu was performing penances, the child in his wife Kayadhu’s womb frightened Indra. Indra kidnapped her, but he encountered Naradji, who persuaded him to release Kayadhu. Naradji took her to his ashram and instructed her to worship Vishnu. During this time, Naradji read scriptures describing Vishnu Bhagwan’s lila charitras to her. The child in her womb, Prahlad, became absorbed in Vishnu Bhagwan’s bhakti.
After Prahlad was born, Hiranyakashipu made several attempts to kill him because of his unflinching faith in Vishnu, whom Hiranyakashipu despised due to the death of his brother. Prahlad tried explaning the importance of performing bhakti and worshipping God, but his father, evil in nature, could not understand the glory of God. Without a moral conscience, Hiranyakashipu continued to terrorize thousands of people.
Although Hiranyakashipu made several attempts to kill his son, none of them were successful.
Once, Prahlad was explaning the omnipresent glory of God to his father. Hiranyakashipu asked if Bhagwan was present in the room in a heated pillar. Prahlad reaffirmed that Bhagwan is everywhere, even in that pillar. Hiranyakashipu became angry and struck the pillar with his sword. From the pillar, Paramatma manifested in the form of Nrusinh Bhagwan, whose upper body was that of a lion and lower body that of a man. Nrusinh Bhagwan, who was neither man nor beast, neither fully outside nor inside, nor on Earth or in the air, grabbed the evil Hiranyakashipu when it was twilight, neither day nor night. He killed Hiranyakashipu with his claws, which were not considered weapons.
Prahlad prostrated at Nrusinh Bhagwan’s feet and received his blessings. He offered a unique prayer in which he requested moksha for his father and himself and deliverance from his indriyas and antahkaran. Nrusinh Bhagwan gave Prahlad his blessings and coronated him as the king. After some time, Prahlad transferred the reigns of the kingdom to his son, Virochan, and engrossed himself in bhakti.
- Devotees observe a fararli fast on this day.