Many facets of the Divine!
Partial incarnations and full incarnations!
We learn about god not through the scriptures alone. Incarnations of God happen to enable humanity to know Divinity and interact with. Down the ages, many such illustrious incarnations have manifested on the earth. To be more clear, our memory goes to Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, the Buddha, Guru Nanak and the like. In India, the list is vast and each generation has witnessed certain god man, saints and sages.The scriptures have ample evidence. In the present decade, Sathya Saibaba has shown by His personal example, many hidden Truths about the validity of scriptures as well as the secret of Avatars. He says that there are certain Avatars which descends on earth with their fullness of glory and power like Sri Krishna! There are certain other partial avatars who manifest for a specific purpose, mostly for a single task.
For instance, the Narasimha Avatar, the man lion form of God came for the specific purpose of slaying the demon Hiranyakashibhu who obtained many boons from god to make himself invincible. Some of his specific demands were granted by god following his severe penance. He said, "neither man, nor beast should kill him' He should neither be slain in the outer or inner places. He should not die due to any weapons. He should not die either in the daytime or night time. He should not meet his death either on earth or in heaven.Sri Narayana who took the form of Narasimha fulfilled all his demands, yet he was slain in a mysterious way. Let us see the wonderful acts of God! The son of Hiranyakasibu was highly devoted to Lord Narayana, indifferent to the wishes of his father. Hiranyakashibu told Prahlada that he is the sole lord of the universe and everyone should worship him only. Whoever disrespect or disobey his commands would be put to death!
Fearing the might of King Hiranyakashibu, all the people of his kingdom outwardly praised the king knowing fully well that he is a demon. People knew that Lord Narayana alone is worthy of worship. But Prahlada, his son openly defied him but with respect due to the King. He told the King, "In all the three worlds, there is none worthy of worship as Lord Narayana. I will repeat only his name. As my father and King, I obey you in all other items except the supremacy of king over God! The king was arrogant to the core and considered Narayana as his swore enemy. Hence he obtained many boons by his harsh austerity and tapas.
Many a time, the king tried to end the life of his son Prahlada by various means. He was thrown into the ocean. He was kept in the middle of poisonous snakes. He was kept bound while an elephant was made to crush him. He was thrown in the fire. Yet, he was saved by the Lord in all the torturous situations. Finally he was made to drink a strong poison. As Prahlada was always contemplating on the Lord, nothing affected him. The Lord, in a mysterious way saved Prahlada each time from certain death. After the episode, one day the King was in a good mood and asked his son, "Where is your Lord Narayana? Pat came the reply, He is everywhere. Then the King asked him, "Is He in the iron pillar? An emphatic Yes came from the mouth of Prahlada, his son! Roaring in anger, the demon king hit the steel pillar with his huge mace with a violent hit. The iron pillar parted into two and Lo! "a fierce looking lion man emanated from the pillar, caught hold of the demon king, carried him to the threshold of the doorway, placed him on his lap, tore open his intestines with its sharp claw and thus the demon king was slain. None could watch the gory scene with blood smeared hands and swaying head. Lord Narasimha was roaring in anger. None could make him calm. Again it was Prahlada, who prayed to Lord Narasimha to contain his anger and show his beautiful form instead of the fierce form. After some time, the Lord has become calm and shown his beautiful Divine form to Prahlada and embracing him, pronounced many boons on him.
This particular incarnation came for slaying the demon Hiranyakashibu and for blessing Prahlada. But a poorna avatar or full Avatar like Lord Krishna enable many millions of people to cross the miserable ocean of earthly life during his stay on earth. The Bagawat Gita, the immortal songs of Krishna recited in the battle field of Kurukshethra is a boon to entire humanity for all the periods of time. Swami Vivekananda has once told an audience of devotees, "An Avatar is one who is capable of manifesting an ocean where there was not even a drop of water!
Lord Narasimha slays the demon; Prahlada undergoes torture!
How the Lord fulfilled the boons?
Now let us see, how the Lord has fulfilled the boons of the demons while slaying him. The demon king wanted that he should neither be killed by man or beast. The lord assumed man lion form, a mixture of animal head and human body. The demon wished that he should not be killed during day or night. The Lord has chosen 6 PM which is neither day or night. The demon wanted that no weapon should kill him. The lord used his finger nails to tore open the stomach and intestine of the demon. The demon demanded that he should neither be killed outside or inside. The lord has chosen the threshold and sat there to kill the king. The demon wanted that he should not be killed on earth or heaven. The lord placed him on his lap and tore open his stomach. Thus the Lord fulfilled all the boons the king got from the god, yet slayed him to save the earth and Prahlada!