[Advaita-l] An Upanishadic Advaitic Etymology for 'Nr-simha'

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Fri Sep 22 06:42:29 EDT 2017

An excerpt from the book 'Yoga Enlightenment and Perfection': (Published by
Sri Vidyatirtha Foundation, Chennai, and available as e-book  for free
download at:

The Mantrarāja of Narasiṁha is:
ugraṁ vīraṁ mahāviṣṇuṁ jvalantaṁ sarvatomukham ।
nṛsiṁhaṁ bhīṣaṇaṁ bhadraṁ mṛtyumṛtyuṁ namāmyaham ॥3

I salute Nṛsimha, the fierce, heroic, great one who pervades all
(Mahāviṣṇu), the lustrous one with faces everywhere, the fearsome one, the
auspicious one and the destroyer of death. Acharyal once told me, in 1976,
“Every word of this mantra is deeply significant. I shall illustrate this
by briefly considering three of the words. A term describing the Lord is
‘jvalantaṁ’. That Narasiṁha is lustrous is a simple meaning. Consciousness
is the light of lights; but for it, no luminary like the sun or a lamp
would be visible. Narasiṁha ever shines as the light of consciousness. This
is a deeper meaning.

“Another term of the mantra is ‘sarvatomukhaḥ’. This literally means that
He has faces on all sides. The Upaniṣads teach that
though devoid of all organs, the Supreme grasps everything everywhere. In
this sense, Narasiṁha is ‘sarvatomukhaḥ’.
The mantra speaks of the Lord as ‘bhīṣaṇaṁ’. The word literally means,
‘fearsome’. The Bhāgavata-purāṇa conveys that when
Narasiṁha slew Hiraṇyakaśipu and continued to be fierce, the devas and even
Lakṣmī feared Him. The term fits the Lord in
another way too. The Supreme ordains and enforces order in the universe.
The laws of nature are His. It is said, ‘Out of fear of this One,
the wind blows. Out of fear of Him, the sun rises (Taittirīyaupaniṣad
2.8).’ In this sense, Narasiṁha is ‘bhīṣaṇaḥ’. The
Nṛsiṁha-pūrvatāpanīya and Nṛsiṁha-uttaratāpanīya upaniṣads deal extensively
with this mantra.”

Om Tat Sat

On Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 1:05 PM, V Subrahmanian <v.subrahmanian at gmail.com>

> An Upanishadic Advaitic Etymology for 'Nr-simha'
> The NrsimhaTāpinyupaniṣat has given an etymology to the terms 'Nr-simha'.
> Shankara has brought out the purport of this etymology, which occurs as
> part of the famous Nrsimha Mantra Rāja:
> ॐ उग्रं वीरं महाविष्णुं ज्वलन्तं सर्वतोमुखम्।
> नृसिंहं भीषणं भद्रं मृत्युमृत्युं नमाम्यहम् ॥
> An article that brings out all this and also several other aspects
> important to Advaita, such as māyā-avidyā identity, is available here for
> download:
> http://www.mediafire.com/file/d1va1ahtczbdd19/The_etymology_
> for_the_word_nrsimha_AAA.pdf
> regards
> subrahmanian.v

More information about the Advaita-l mailing list