The distinguishing mark of a bhakta who is steeped in the Lord is a vision of the all pervasiveness of the Supreme Brahman; while one, totally absorbed in worldly affairs, cannot have this vision. This difference in perception is typically showcased in the climactic scene preceding the Narasimha avatar of the Lord, pointed out Sri Kesava Dikshitar in a discourse. Prahlada asserts that he is able to see the Lord everywhere while Hiranyakasipu is impatient to kill Him if only he can locate His presence. Narayana Bhattatiri confesses that he is at a loss to describe what followed when Hiranyakasipu challenges the Lord who is the soul of the entire creation. As the asura strikes the pillar, a hitherto unprecedented roar that is universe shaking in its impact is heard. It sends indescribable tremors. Before Hiranyakasipu could assess anything, the unique form of Narasimha with a lion’s head and a human body emerges from the pillar. Surprised but unfazed, he whirls his mace to attack Him; but the Lord catches him as Garuda would a serpent. Placing him on his lap at the doorway, He tears open his chest with His nails and drinks his blood and makes a garland of his blood-stained intestines. Narasimha then sits on the throne of Hiranyakasipu, roaring repeatedly in anger. The mountains tremble, the celestial beings get scattered, and chaos reigns all over. Brahma, Siva, Indra and others are terrified by this fearsome and formidable form. They offer prayers from a distance as none of them dares to approach Him. Lakshmi too watches with awe and hesitates to pacify Him. Perhaps she thinks this is a fit situation to be handled by Prahlada, the exceptional child devotee, who alone remains fearless. Seeing His rage unabated, Brahma suggests to Prahlada to go near and appease the Lord.

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