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

Raghuraya Das raghavadasa at gmail.com
Sat Sep 23 00:04:06 EDT 2017

I really appreciate Mr. Subramanian's post.

It appears there are many layers of meaning to the Narasimha Mantra.
The mantra would seem to be not only a beautiful means to express devotion,
but a profound philosophical meditation. May one repeat the mantra without
formal diksha?


On Fri, Sep 22, 2017 at 5:42 AM, V Subrahmanian via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> An excerpt from the book 'Yoga Enlightenment and Perfection': (Published by
> Sri Vidyatirtha Foundation, Chennai, and available as e-book  for free
> download at:
> https://www.sringeri.net/2015/10/03/affiliate-news/
> vidyatheertha-foundation/digital-version-of-the-book-
> yoga-enlightenment-and-perfection.htm
> 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>
> wrote:
> > 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
> >
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"With my ears I'll hear no other story, and with my tongue I'll
sing no other song
I'll check my eyes from seeing aught else, and bow down my
head before the Lord alone"

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