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King Hiranyakashipu





















King Hiranyakashipu is a central figure in Hindu mythology, known for his tyranny and eventual downfall at the hands of Lord Vishnu's incarnation, Narasimha. Here's an overview:


1. **Background**: Hiranyakashipu was a powerful demon king and the son of Sage Kashyapa and Diti. He had a brother named Hiranyaksha. According to Hindu mythology, Hiranyakashipu was granted a boon by Lord Brahma, which made him virtually invincible.


2. **Tyranny and Arrogance**: Empowered by the boon, Hiranyakashipu became arrogant and declared himself the ruler of the universe. He demanded that everyone worship him as a god and forbade the worship of Lord Vishnu, whom he considered his archenemy.


3. **Conflict with Vishnu Devotees**: Despite Hiranyakashipu's decree, his own son, Prahlad, remained devoted to Lord Vishnu. This defiance enraged Hiranyakashipu, leading to numerous attempts to kill Prahlad. However, Prahlad's devotion remained unshakeable.


4. **Boon and Protection**: Hiranyakashipu's boon granted him immunity from death at the hands of humans, animals, or gods, and at any time of day or night. Feeling invincible, he challenged the authority of the gods and wreaked havoc on the universe.


5. **Confrontation with Narasimha**: Lord Vishnu, in his Narasimha avatar (half-man, half-lion), emerged to fulfill the boon's conditions and confront Hiranyakashipu. Narasimha appeared at dusk, on the threshold of a courtyard, neither indoors nor outdoors, and slew Hiranyakashipu with his claws, thus bypassing the conditions of the boon.


6. **Symbolism and Lessons**: The story of Hiranyakashipu symbolizes the triumph of good over evil and the consequences of arrogance and tyranny. It teaches the importance of humility, devotion, and righteousness in Hindu philosophy.


7. **Legacy**: Hiranyakashipu's tale is often recounted during Hindu festivals such as Holi and Narasimha Jayanti, which celebrate the victory of virtue over vice. Though depicted as a villain, his story serves as a moral lesson and reinforces the belief in cosmic justice and divine intervention.

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