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Narasimha Purana Importance

Narasimha Purana is one of the minor Puranas in Hinduism and it glorifies the man-lion avatar of Vishnu and the related legend.

This Purana begins with the description of the primary creation, following the Samkhya system of philosophy and division of time. Then it describes the secondary creation through patriarch Daksha, the genealogies of the solar and lunar races, the fourteen Manu periods, the Earth and the seven continents, Jambudvipa with its nine divisions, Mount Meru as the abode of gods and Bharata country with the principal mountains and rivers (Chapter 1 – 4, 21 – 23, 26 – 27 and Chapter 30).

Narasimha Purana chapter 33 describes the merits that accrue by worshipping Vishnu.
The method of installing the Vishnu murti and worshipping is mentioned in chapter 56 of Narasimha Purana.

The greatness of the eight-syllable mantra of Vishnu ‘Om Namo Narayanaya’ is found in Chapter 17.

Chapter 15 of Narasimha Purana has a hymn of Vishnu uttered by Sage Markandeya, a hymn to Surya (Sun God) revealing the 108 names of Surya, and another Vishnu Prayer. The chapter also describes the tree of mundane existence.

The attainment of liberation through meditation on Vishnu is part of chapter 16. The same chapter also describes the principles of Yoga.

Duties of the Brahmins and four stages of life are found in chapter 57 to 60.

The mode of offering 100,000 and 10 million oblations to Vishnu is found in chapter 35.

The importance of several pilgrim centers is found in chapter 66 and chapter 67.

Narasimha Purana also contains legends relating to the birth of the sages Agastya and Vasishta as sons of Mitra and Varuna. Another important legend is that of Sage Markandeya and his conquest of death through his devotion to Vishu.

Some of the other topics in the Narasimha Purana are:
  • Counsel given by Yama, the God of death in Hinduism, to his attendants
  • The origin of Maruts
  • The attainment of permanent position in the sky by Dhruva
  • The restoration of eyesight to Shukracharya, the preceptor of demons
  • Legend of Pundarika and glory of reciting the name of Vishnu
  • King Ikshvaku's devotion to Vinayaka
  • The legend relating to the offering made to Narasimha by King Shantanu
  • The release of Indra from his effeminate form by reciting the eight-syllable formula of Vishnu – Om Namo Narayanaya.
  • The legends relating to the ten avatars of Vishnu.
Studies in the Upapuranas (1958), R C Hazra, Calcutta Sanskrit College Research Series Kolkata
Narasimha Purana (text and English tr) (1987) S Jena Nag Publishers Delhi
Encyclopedia of Hinduism Volume VII page 379 - 80 - IHRF