Once upon a time, Hiranyakashyap,
King of Asuras
performed austerities and penances to please
Impressed by his devotion, Lord Brahma granted him a boon
whereby neither at day nor at night,
neither in the sky nor on earth
could any man or beast kill him, and no weapon
could ever destroy him.
This boon made Hiranyakashyap invincible.
The King banned the worship of gods, thus ordering
his subjects to worship him instead.
However, Hiranyakashyap noticed that his own son
Prahlad's devotion towards Lord Vishnu increased day by day.
He refused to worship his father.
King Hiranyakashyap tried to convince and convert
his son Prahlad, but all his attempts proved unsuccessful.
He lost his temper and thus decided to kill him.
He ordered his men to throw Prahlad amongst
venomous snakes; get him crushed by big elephants;
pushed off tall mountains; and burnt alive with Holika,
but all his attempts proved unsuccessful.
Prahlad came out unhurt after each and every experience
due to his deep rooted, strong devotion and faith
in his beloved Lord.
Finally, Hiranyakashyap decided to kill Prahlad himself.
he tied Prahlad to a pillar and hit the pillar.
Prahlad began to chant Lord Vishnu's name and
a miracle occurred.
As soon as the king started hitting the pillar,
the pillar broke and Lord Vishnu took the form of Narsimha,
a creature that was half-man and half-lion.
It was the sunset hour. Lord Narsimha came out
of the pillar and dragged Hiranyakashyap at his doorstep; held him
in his lap
and killed him with his powerful pointed nails.
Thus, without breaking the conditions of the boon, Lord
vanquished the cruel and saved his true devotee.
Thereafter, Prahlad was blessed by Lord Vishnu and crowned as the
in place of Hiranyakashyap. He ruled the kingdom with utmost
fairness and righteousness.