Narasimha Avatar – Part 2 – The story of Suyajna


<<Read Part 1 | Read Part 3>>

After performing the ritualistic observances for his brother’s death, Hiranyakasipu starts to console his nephews, his sister-in-law and his mother by narrating the story of King Suyajna.


In the state known as Usinara there was a celebrated King named Suyajna. When the King was killed in battle by his enemies, his kinsmen sat down around the dead body and began to lament the death of their friend.

His golden, bejeweled armor smashed, his ornaments and garlands fallen from their places, his hair scattered and his eyes lusterless, the slain King lay on the battlefield, his entire body smeared with blood, his heart pierced by the arrows of the enemy. When he died he had wanted to show his prowess, and thus he had bitten his lips, and his teeth remained in that position. His beautiful lotus-like face was now black and covered with dust from the battlefield. His arms, with his sword and other weapons, were cut and broken.

When the queens of the King of Usinara saw their husband lying in that position, they began crying, “O lord, now that you have been killed, we also have been killed.” Repeating these words again and again, they fell down, pounding their breasts, at the feet of the dead King.

As the queens loudly cried, their tears glided down their breasts, becoming reddened by kunkuma powder, and fell upon the feet of their husband. Their hair became disarrayed, their ornaments fell, and in a way that evoked sympathy from the hearts of others, the queens began lamenting their husband’s death.

While the queens were lamenting for the dead body of the King, their loud cries were heard even from the abode of Yamaraja. Assuming the body of a boy, Yamaraja personally approached the relatives of the dead body and advised them as follows.

These persons, who are older than me, have full experience that hundreds and thousands of living entities have taken birth and died. Thus they should understand that they also are apt to die, yet still they are bewildered. The conditioned soul comes from an unknown place and returns after death to that same unknown place. There is no exception to this rule, which is conducted by material nature. Knowing this, why do they uselessly lament?

He told the queens that it is only by the will of the Supreme Lord that the entire world is created, maintained and annihilated. To explain about the protection offered by the Supreme Lord, Yamaraja, in the guise of a boy, told them about how when loses his money on a public street, where everyone can see it, and yet his money is protected by destiny and not seen by others. Thus the man who lost it gets it back.

On the other hand, if the Lord does not give protection, even money maintained very securely at home is lost. If the Supreme Lord gives one protection, even though one has no protector and is in the jungle, one remains alive, whereas a person well protected at home by relatives and others sometimes dies, no one being able to protect him.

Yamaraja continued: O lamenters, you are all fools! The person named Suyajna, for whom you lament, is still lying before you and has not gone anywhere. Then what is the cause for your lamentation? Previously he heard you and replied to you, but now, not finding him, you are lamenting. This is contradictory behavior, for you have never actually seen the person within the body who heard you and replied. There is no need for your lamentation, for the body you have always seen is lying here.

You are all so foolish that you lament but do not see your own death. Afflicted by a poor fund of knowledge, you do not know that even if you lament for your dead husband for hundreds of years, you will never get him back alive, and in the meantime your lives will be finished.

Thus understanding that everything material was temporary, the queens of Suyajna and his relatives allowed the ritualistic funeral ceremonies of the slain King.


Diti, the mother of Hiranyakasipu and Hiranyaksha, heard the instructions of Hiranyakasipu along with her daughter-in-law, Rushabhanu, Hiranyaksha’s wife. She then forgot her grief over her son’s death and thus engaged her mind and attention in understanding the real philosophy of life.

<<Read Part 1 | Read Part 3>>

6 thoughts on “Narasimha Avatar – Part 2 – The story of Suyajna

  1. Irony Na Jairam, Hiranyakashipu knows everything is temporary and yet he troubles his son to chant only HIS name very well knowing that somehow or the other his end will come.
    Brilliant presentation. I love it when you include the smallest details like the way you pointed to varnashrama dharma in the last post 🙂

    • @Bhagyashree, true, his example just goes on to show how much pride and ego can blind a person’s senses. In any case whatever happened to him was pre-destined.

      And thanks for the kind words regarding the ‘detailing’ of these stories. That truly is the tricky part, including all those wonderful little details without making the story too boring or preachy, if you know what I mean 🙂

  2. This is a new bit that I have not heard before. And it is interesting how wise most of our Rakshashas were except for one tragic flaw.

    • @TF, yes, the asuras were a wise race, but for whatever reason have been ‘demonized’ (pun intended, and for lack of a better word) in popular culture. I guess we are all comfortable with one ‘good’ race and one ‘bad’ race of people and sadly the asuras had to become the ‘bad’ race I guess 🙂

  3. Heard the story of Surajna in other form as a folklore. The person telling them was an old brahmin, sitting in the house for some dakshina from the elders. The source of such messages mostly fall into the bracket of life where irony keeps up its play. :p

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