Narasingha (a Sanscrit word from nara, "a man," and singha, "a lion," i.e., the manz- lion) is the name, in Hilndu mythology, of the fourth avatar of Vishniu. It is related that Hiranyakasipu, by his penances and sacrifices in honor of Brahma, had obtained as a boon from that deity that he should possess universal monarchy, and be wholly exempt from death or injury from every god, man, or creature in existence. Having now nothing to fear, his arrogance and impiety became insufferable. He had, however, a son of a wholly different character, and remarkable for his piety and virtue. The son, reproving his father's wickedness, once said to him that the Deity was present everywhere. "Is he in that pillar?" said the angry tyrant. "Yes," replied the son. Thereupon Hiranyakasipu, in contempt, struck the pillar with his sword, when the stony mass fell asunder, and a being, half man and half lion, issuing from its centre, tore to pieces the impious wretch who had thus insulted and defied the divine Power. See Moor, Hindu Pantheon, pages 17, 120; Coleman, Hindu Mythology, page 18 sq.

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