HOME
The Info List - Hiranyakashipu


--- Advertisement ---



Arts

Bharatanatyam Kathak Kathakali Kuchipudi Manipuri Mohiniyattam Odissi Sattriya Bhagavata Mela Yakshagana Dandiya Raas Carnatic music

Rites of passage

Garbhadhana Pumsavana Simantonayana Jatakarma Namakarana Nishkramana Annaprashana Chudakarana Karnavedha Vidyarambha Upanayana Keshanta Ritushuddhi Samavartana Vivaha Antyeshti

Ashrama Dharma

Ashrama: Brahmacharya Grihastha Vanaprastha Sannyasa

Festivals

Diwali Holi Shivaratri Navaratri

Durga
Durga
Puja Ramlila Vijayadashami-Dussehra

Raksha Bandhan Ganesh Chaturthi Vasant Panchami Rama
Rama
Navami Janmashtami Onam Makar Sankranti Kumbha Mela Pongal Ugadi Vaisakhi

Bihu Puthandu Vishu

Ratha Yatra

Gurus, saints, philosophers

Ancient

Agastya Angiras Aruni Ashtavakra Atri Bharadwaja Gotama Jamadagni Jaimini Kanada Kapila Kashyapa Pāṇini Patanjali Raikva Satyakama Jabala Valmiki Vashistha Vishvamitra Vyasa Yajnavalkya

Medieval

Nayanars Alvars Adi Shankara Basava Akka Mahadevi Allama Prabhu Siddheshwar Jñāneśvar Chaitanya Gangesha Upadhyaya Gaudapada Gorakshanath Jayanta Bhatta Kabir Kumarila Bhatta Matsyendranath Mahavatar Babaji Madhusudana Madhva Haridasa Thakur Namdeva Nimbarka Prabhakara Raghunatha Siromani Ramanuja Sankardev Purandara Dasa Kanaka Dasa Ramprasad Sen Jagannatha Dasa Vyasaraya Sripadaraya Raghavendra Swami Gopala Dasa Śyāma Śastri Vedanta
Vedanta
Desika Tyagaraja Tukaram Tulsidas Vachaspati Mishra Vallabha Vidyaranya

Modern

Aurobindo Bhaktivinoda Thakur Chinmayananda Dayananda Saraswati Mahesh Yogi Jaggi Vasudev Krishnananda Saraswati Narayana Guru Prabhupada Ramakrishna Ramana Maharshi Radhakrishnan Sarasvati Sivananda U. G. Krishnamurti Sai Baba Vivekananda Nigamananda Yogananda Ramachandra Dattatrya Ranade Tibbetibaba Trailanga

Society

Varna

Brahmin Kshatriya Vaishya Shudra

Dalit Jati

Denominations Persecution Nationalism Hindutva

Other topics

Hinduism
Hinduism
by country

Balinese Hinduism Criticism Calendar Iconography Mythology Pilgrimage sites

Hinduism
Hinduism
and Jainism / and Buddhism / and Sikhism / and Judaism / and Christianity / and Islam

Glossary of Hinduism
Hinduism
terms Hinduism
Hinduism
portal

v t e

Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
(Sanskrit: हिरण्यकशिपु, "clothed in gold"; the name is said to depict one who is very much fond of wealth and sex life: hiranya "gold," kashipu "soft cushion") is an Asura
Asura
from the Puranic
Puranic
scriptures of Hinduism. Hiranyakashipu's Younger Brother, Hiranyaksha
Hiranyaksha
was slain by Varaha, one of the Avatars of Vishnu. Angered by this, Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
decided to gain magical powers by performing a penance for Lord Brahma. He was subsequently killed by the Narasimha
Narasimha
Avatara of Lord Vishnu.[1] His tale depicts the futility of desiring power over others and the strength of God's protection over his fully surrendered devotees (in the case of his son Prahlada). Hiranyakashipu, according to legend, was the king of the daityas and had earned a boon from Brahma
Brahma
that made him virtually indestructible. He grew arrogant, thought he was God, and demanded that everyone worship only him.[2] The story of Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
is in three parts. The first has to do with the curse of the Four Kumaras
Four Kumaras
on the gatekeepers of Vaikuntha, Jaya and Vijaya, which causes them to be born as the daityas Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
and Hiranyaksha. The second part deals with Hiranyakashipu's penance to propitiate Brahma
Brahma
and gain a boon from him. The final part deals with his efforts to kill his son Prahlada
Prahlada
(a devotee of Vishnu) and his subsequent death at the hands of Narasimha.

Contents

1 Birth 2 Penance 3 Prahlada
Prahlada
and Narasimha 4 Holi 5 See also 6 Footnotes

Birth[edit] Main article: Jaya-Vijaya According to a story from Bhagavata Purana, Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
and Hiranyaksha
Hiranyaksha
are Vishnu's gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya, born on earth as the result of a curse from the Four Kumaras. In Satya
Satya
Yuga, Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
and Hiranyaksha
Hiranyaksha
- together called the Hiranyas - were born to Diti (daughter of Daksha
Daksha
Prajapathi) and the sage Kashyapa. It is said that asuras were born to them as a result of their union at the time of dusk, which was said to be an inauspicious time for such a deed.[3] Penance[edit] After Hiranyakashipu's older Brother Hiranyaksha's death at the hands of the Varaha
Varaha
avatar of Vishnu, Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
comes to hate Vishnu. He decides to kill him by gaining mystical powers, which he believes Brahma, the chief among the devas, will award to him if he undergoes many years of great austerity and penance, just as Brahma
Brahma
awarded powers to other Rakshasas. This initially seemed to work as planned, with Brahma
Brahma
becoming pleased by Hiranyakashipu's austerities.[4] Brahma
Brahma
appears before Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
and offers him a boon of his choice. But when Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
asks for immortality, Brahma
Brahma
refuses. Hiranyakashipu then makes the following request:

O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you. Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought by any being other than those created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal. Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or nonliving. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.[5]

In other Puranas, many variations of the boon are given. The Shiva Purana mentions that Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
asked Brahma
Brahma
that he would be invulnerable to dry or wet weapons, thunderbolts, mountains, trees, missiles or any form of weapon. The Vayu
Vayu
Purana mentions that Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
asked to be so powerful, only Vishnu
Vishnu
would slay him. Other variations include not being slain by any living being, not at daytime or nighttime and not above or below. In section 14, the Anusasana Parva of the Mahabharata, the Sage Upamanyu briefly mentioned to Krishna
Krishna
that Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
also performed another penance to please Lord Shiva. Shiva
Shiva
granted Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
the boon that he would have unrivalled combat prowess, exceeding skill in the use of bow and other weapons as well as the powers of all the gods, including Indra, Yama, Kubera, Sūrya, Agni, Vayu, Soma and Varuna. In consequence of these two boons, Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
become so mighty that he was able to shake the very Himalayas down to their roots. Ravana once tried to lift Hiranyakashipu's earrings but he was unable to do so because they were very heavy. The Brahmanda Purana mentions that Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
ruled for 107,280,000 years. Prahlada
Prahlada
and Narasimha[edit]

Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
attacks with Mace on God Narasimha

Whilst Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
is performing the penance to be granted this boon, Indra
Indra
and the other devas attack his home,[6] seizing the opportunity in his absence. At this point the divine sage Narada intervenes to protect Hiranyakashipu's wife Kayadhu,[7] whom he describes as 'sinless'.[8] Narada
Narada
takes Kayadhu into his care, and while she is under his guidance, her unborn child (Hiranyakashipu's son) Prahlada
Prahlada
becomes affected by the transcendental instructions of the sage even in the womb. Later, growing as a child, Prahlada
Prahlada
begins to show symptoms of Narada's prenatal training and gradually becomes recognised as a devoted follower of Vishnu, much to his father's disappointment.[9] Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
eventually becomes so angry and upset at his son's devotion to Vishnu
Vishnu
(whom he sees as his mortal enemy) that he decides he must kill him[10] but each time he attempts to kill the boy, Prahlada
Prahlada
is protected by Vishnu's mystical power. When asked, Prahlada refuses to acknowledge his father as the supreme lord of the universe and claims that Vishnu
Vishnu
is all-pervading and omnipresent. To which Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
points to a nearby pillar and asks if 'his Vishnu' is in it:

"O most unfortunate Prahlada, you have always described a supreme being other than me, a supreme being who is above everything, who is the controller of everyone, and who is all-pervading. But where is He? If He is everywhere, then why is He not present before me in this pillar?"[11]

Vishnu
Vishnu
as Narasimha
Narasimha
kills Hiranyakashipu, stone sculpture from Halebidu, Karnataka

Prahlada
Prahlada
then answers, He was, He is and He will be. (In an alternate version of the story, Prahlada
Prahlada
answers He is in pillars, and he is in the least twig.) Hiranyakashipu, unable to control his anger, smashes the pillar with his mace. A tumultuous sound is heard, and Vishnu
Vishnu
in the form of Narasimha
Narasimha
appears from the broken pillar and moves to attack Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
in defence of Prahlada. Vishnu
Vishnu
has chosen here to appear in the form of Narasimha
Narasimha
in order to be able to kill Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
without violating the boon given by Brahma. Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
cannot be killed by human, deva or animal, but Narasimha
Narasimha
is none of these, as he is a form of Vishnu
Vishnu
(a deva) incarnate as part human, part animal. He comes upon Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
at twilight (when it is neither day nor night) on the threshold of a courtyard (neither indoors nor out), and puts the demon on his thighs (neither earth nor space). Using his nails (neither animate nor inanimate) as weapons, he disembowels and kills the demon.[12] Even after Hiranyakashipu's death, none of the gods and demigods present are able to calm Narasimha's fury, not even Shiva. So all the gods and goddesses call His consort, the goddess Lakshmi, but she is also unable to do so. Then, at the request of Brahma, Prahlada
Prahlada
is presented to Narasimha, who is finally calmed by the prayers of his devotee.[13] Holi[edit] See also: Holika
Holika
and Holi One of Hiranyakashipu's attempts to kill Prahlada
Prahlada
was to have him sit on a burning pyre with his sister Holika. Holika
Holika
had a special gift that prevented her from being harmed by fire. Prahlada
Prahlada
chanted Vishnu's name and in the battle of good against evil, Holika
Holika
was burnt down but nothing happened to Prahlad. The burning of Holika
Holika
is celebrated in Hinduism
Hinduism
as the festival of Holi.[14][15] See also[edit]

Bhagavata Purana Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana

Footnotes[edit]

^ Gopal, Madan (1990). K.S. Gautam, ed. India through the ages. Publication Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. p. 734.  ^ Holi: Splashed with colors of friendship Hinduism
Hinduism
Today, Hawaii (2011) ^ Mani, Vettam (1975). Puranic
Puranic
Encyclopaedia: A Comprehensive Dictionary With Special
Special
Reference to the Epic and Puranic
Puranic
Literature. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 314. ISBN 0-8426-0822-2.  ^ Bhag-P 7.4.1 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. "Lord Brahma
Brahma
was very much satisfied by Hiranyakasipu's austerities, which were difficult to perform" ^ Bhag-P, Canto 7 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. 7.3.35–38 ^ Bhag-P 7.7.6 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. "The victorious demigods plundered the palace of Hiranyakasipu, the King of the demons, and destroyed everything within it. Then Indra, King of heaven, arrested my mother, the Queen" ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2008.  "When Hiranyakasipu left his kingdom and went to the mountain known as Mandaracala to execute severe austerities, all the demons scattered. Hiranyakashipu's wife, Kayadhu, was pregnant at that time." ^ Bhag-P 7.7.8 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. " Narada
Narada
Muni said: O Indra, King of the demigods, this woman is certainly sinless. You should not drag her off in this merciless way. O greatly fortunate one, this chaste woman is the wife of another. You must immediately release her." ^ Bhag-P 7.8.6 Archived 8 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Bhag-P 7.8.3–4 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. "Thus he finally decided to kill his son Prahlada. Hiranyakashipu
Hiranyakashipu
was by nature very cruel, and feeling insulted, he began hissing like a snake trampled upon by someone's foot." ^ Bhag-P 7.8.12 Archived 26 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Bhag-P 7.8.29 Archived 26 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. "Lord Nrisimhadeva placed the demon on His lap, supporting him with His thighs, and in the doorway of the assembly hall the Lord very easily tore the demon to pieces with the nails of His hand." ^ Bhag-P 7.9 Archived 8 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ http://www.indiacelebrating.com/festivals/holi/holika-dahan/ ^ http://www.holifestival.org/legend-holika-prahlad.html

Preceded by Hiranyaksha Daityas - Succeeded by Prahlad

v t e

Hindu
Hindu
deities and texts

Gods

Trimurti

Brahma Vishnu

Rama Krishna

Shiva

Ganesha Kartikeya Hanuman Indra Surya more

Goddesses

Tridevi

Saraswati Lakshmi

Sita Radha

Parvati

Sati Kali Adi Parashakti Mahavidya

Durga Shakti Navadurga Matrikas more

Texts

Vedas

Rig Sama Yajur Atharva

Upanishads Puranas Ramayana Mahabharata

Bhagavad Gita

Yoga
Yoga
Sutras of Patanjali more

Hindui

.