I found most of our religious books speak about Lord Vishnu's avatars and there are much fewer books that I know of about Lord Shiva. If Lord Vishnu has 10 avatars then how many avatars do Lord Shiva has?

In one of my research I came across a Shiva avatar that I never knew. Sharaba was the name for the Avatar, other name is Gandaberunda, derived from the meaning of a half lion and half bird. sharaba incarnation of Lord Shiva is to tame Narasimha avatar of Lord Vishnu.

That is the only line of story I know about Sharaba avatar of Lord shiva. Does any one know beyond this?

I found few pictures of Lord sharabeswar subduing Lord Narasimha. I thought of adding these pictures in question itself. The stone carvings are found in Airavateswar temple, Kumbakonam TamilNadu.

enter image description here

10 Answers 10


If you want to learn about the incarnations of Shiva, you can read the Shatarudra Samhita of the Shiva Purana, which mentions numerous incarnations including the following: Vrishabha the bull, whom I discuss in this answer; Virabhadra, the demon created by Shiva to kill Daksha after the death of Shiva's first wife Shakti; Kalabhairava, the demon created by Shiva to cut off Brahma's fifth head; and Sharabha who is the focus of your question.

The story of Sharabha is told in this excerpt from the Shatarudra Samhita of the Shiva Purana. It says that after Narasimha kills Hiranyakashipu and rescues Prahlada, his anger doesn't subside, so the gods, fearing that he will destroy the three worlds in his fury, ask Shiva for help. So Shiva sends his incarnation Virabhadra to subdue Narasimha. Virabhadra tries to reason with Narasimha, but Narasimha is committed to destroying the three worlds, so Virabhadra transforms into the half-lion half-bird creature Sharabha:

Then in a trice the form of Virabhadra became invisible.... Thereafter [the] middle [of Shiva's splendor] became clearly manifested in the form characteristic of Rudra of deformed shape.... He had a thousand heads and wore matted hair. His head was adorned by the cresecent moon. He appeared like a bird with wings and beak. His body was fierce and fully developed. His fangs were very sharp. Adamantine claws were his weapons. His neck was black in colour. He had huge arms and four legs. He was blazing like fire.... His three eyes were as wide and blazing as the fire of the evil spirit of great fury. His fangs and lips were clearly visible.

Sharabha grabs hold of Narasimha, taking him high up into the sky and then dropping him onto the ground. Narasimha then snaps out of his fury, acknowledges the power of Shiva, and then dies. The gods praise Sharabha, who tells them this:

It was Vishnu alone in the form of Man-lion, haughty and strong, engaged in the activity of annihilating the universe. He shall be prayed and bowed by my devotees aspiring achievements. He is the foremost of my devotees and the granter of boons.

After that Sharabha disappears and Virabhadra appears, tearing the hide off of Narasimha's body, which is said to be the hide that Shiva wears. And Narasimha's head becomes one of the skulls in Shiva's necklace.

Now the Shiva Purana's account ends with Sharabha simply disappearing after defeating Narasimha, but some versions of the story add a further incident, which is where Gandhaberunda comes into the picture: after Sharabha grabs hold of Narasimha, Narasimha in his fury creates a two-headed bird beast called Gandhaberunda which is even more powerful than Sharabha. Gandhaberunda defeats Sharabha in battle, and then Vishnu and Shiva finally call it a day.

enter image description here

Now Gandhaberunda is famous enough that he is depicted in the coat of arms of Karnataka, but I haven't yet found a scriptural basis for his story, which is why I asked this question. But in the mean time, you read the story of Gandhaberunda and Sharabha in this excerpt from the new Amar Chitra Katha comic "Divine Beings"; the above picture is taken from there.

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    excellent, Now I got the clear picture of Sharaba..
    – GIRI
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:00
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    here I've a doubt, in fury if narasimha tries to destroy the three worlds then did he forget about Prahlada. I mean destroying three worlds eventually destroys Prahlada(whom he rescued) and his world right..
    – GIRI
    Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:03
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    @GIRI Well, in the Shiva Purana excerpt it says that seeing Prahlada reduced his anger somewhat but didn't eliminate it: "[The gods] sent Prahlada near Vishnu in order to subside his anger. At the behest of all in a body Prahlada approached the man-lion. The man-lion, the storehouse of mercy, embraced him. The heart became cool, still the fame of fury did not subside." In the story Narasimha is too consumed by his lion-like fury to consider who he's destroying. When Virabhadra tries to reason with him, Narasimha says "I am Kala [Time], the cause of destroying worlds", echoing a Gita quote. Commented Jul 31, 2014 at 18:16
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    @Krishna "One side you say, that Narasimha, hide was torn and worn by Siva and again you say that Siva vanished. Which is correct as per Shiva purana." Well, it's not contradictory. The Shiva Purana says that Virabhadra turns into Sharabha, Sharabha defeats Narasimha and then Sharabha disappears and turns back into Virabhadra, who takes Narasimha's hide and gives it to Shiva. You can read the story here: gdurl.com/qTGn As far as it being an interpolation, it's possible, although it could just be that because it's a Tamasa Purana it's portraying Shiva as supreme. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 16:19
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    @Krishna Well, the Shiva Purana says that devotees of Shiva should worship Narasimha, it doesn't say incarnations of Shiva need to worship him. In any case, I don't think there's any need to assume that it's an interpolation. Even before any interpolations were added to it, the Shiva Purana was already a Tamasa Purana, so it already had inaccurate information in its original form. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 16:39

This sloka clearly mentions the destruction of both lord gandaberunda and lord narashimha by God Sharabha:

"Ganda Berunda Garva Banga Sharabha; Veera Narashimha Tharpa Vinasaga Sharabha!"

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    you should cite sources. Commented May 23, 2016 at 14:02
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    I have removed your rant about ISKON. Commented May 25, 2016 at 6:03

The Narashima was half man and half lion incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Narashima tore apart Hiranyakashipu’s belly with sharp nails. The claw is a part of the body that is both living and dead.

From The story of sharabha:

After he killed Hiranyakashipu, Narashima was still enraged! Brahma sent Prahalada to pray to Vishnu in hope that it would calm him down. Prahalada’s efforts were to no avail. Frightened, all of the gods went to Lord Shiva for help in calming Vishnu. Lord Shiva first sent two of his best earthly men, Bhairav and Veerbhadra, to calm Narashima. Narashima pounced on Veerbhadra when Veerbhadra asked Narashima to calm down nicely. To protect Veerbhadra, Shiva appeared in his most devastating form, Sharabha. It is said to be a giant, frightening, form with thousands of hands. His appearance resembled a huge cannibal bird. Sharabha scratched Narashima with his wings and carried him off into the distance. Vishnu became so scared that he fell unconscious. After he woke up, Vishnu eulogized Lord Shiva, which pleased Shiva.


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    You shouldn't give the story of Narasimha and Hiranyakashipu in such detail. That's irrelevant to the question. Pretty much the only part of your answer that's relevant to the question is the last paragraph. Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 7:56
  • @KeshavSrinivasan : thanks for the comment however a complete answer includes head to tail not just tail, however if OP wishes so then i'll edit the answer
    – Sid M
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 7:57
  • It's fine to give some context, like information about why Narasimha was angry. But stuff like Hiranyakashipu's boon and Hiranyaksha being killed by Varaha are things that don't provide any context to the story of Sharabha. All the reader really needs to know is that Narasimha was angry after killing Hiranyakshipu and saving Prahlada. Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 8:01
  • @KeshavSrinivasan : updated the answer, is it fine?
    – Sid M
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 8:05
  • @SidM, your answer seems like a bit extension to my question. I was asking beyond that. If Sharaba avatar was to calm down Narasimha avatar, then what happened to Sharaba avatar after calming Narasimha.
    – GIRI
    Commented Jul 30, 2014 at 8:07

Correct version of sharabh story is found in padma purAna, uttar khanD chapter 18:

Then the demon (jalandhar) was struck on his chest with a spear by shiv. From his mouth fearful and yawning jvar emerged. He having the face of a lion and a human figure was (called) vIrjvar. Seeing jvar having a lion’s face, moving out of the demon’s body, (shiv) made a ‘hum’ sound. From it a sharabh came out. He was knocked down by the sharabh, sent out by shiv.

Narsimha (vIrjvar) killed by sharabh is not same as narsimha avtAra of vishNu as evident from above verses. The vIrjvar which came out from jalandhar had a man-lion (narsimha) form which was then killed by shiv in the form of sharabh.

  • It isn't the correct version. It contradicts the Vedas(Taittiriya aranyaka and Sharabha Upanishad to be exact)
    – Paramshiva
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 16:30

Everyone is answering wrong. I know the actual story of Shiva's avatar Sharabha. When Lord Vishnu's avatar Narasimha who was half man and half lion had killed evil Hiranyakshyap,he became too much angry and he was trying to destroy the world. All Gods and Gods were so much worried about the condition. Lord Shiva took the form of his avatar Sharabha who was half lion and half bird was appeared in front of Narasimha. Then the fight between Lord Narasimha and Lord Sharabha begins. Lord Indra was very worried because he was thinking if something happens to his heaven,the whole world will destroy. Lord Narasimha was defeated by Sharabha and then Sharabha said ''Oh Lord Narayan! Please come back to your original form! You took this Narasimha form for killing Hiranyakashyap and now you have killed him. So,please come back Narayan!''. Then Lord Narasimha had became very calm and he was transformed back into his original form Vishnu. Lord Sharabha too was also transformed back into his original form Shiva. Vishnu told Shiva that his Sharabha avatar will also called 'Sharabheshwara'. Then all Gods and Goddesses were so much happy and gave respect to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu.

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    you should cite source.
    – Bhavin
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 8:31

I see many answers here say the Tamasic scripture of Shaivas is not authentic hence the Narasimha incident is just a tamasic story Anyways, the most reliable source for this story would the the Upanishads. Hence the Sharabha Upanishad(Upanishad cannot be tamasic) explains in Vivid detail the entire matter. Here are some verses on the matter Verses are all from the Sharabha Upanishad unless stated otherwise

"That Maheshvara, full of supreme power had beheaded Narasimha by holding a gigantic form of Sharabha"- 6

" When Lord Rudra, the God of all had abducted Lord Vishnu by catching his foot, all gods prayed him that he should have mercy on Lord Vishnu and should not slaughter him. Lord Rudra had badly pierced the body of Lord Vishnu by stern blows of his acute nails. The most chivalrous Lord Rudra has been addressed as Virabhadra at that time he was put on leather apparel at that moment"- 7-8

Some say this Upanishad is inauthentic and has not been cited by acharyas. How would it if all the acharyas are basically bias towards Vaishnavism? Opinions of especially Ramanuja and Madhava I digress for I see many flaws of their misinterpreting of Hindu shastra. Ramanuja and Madhava are especially experts in playing with words and their meanings. Anyways, the following verses from Veda will prove that this Upanishad is more authentic than Most Minor Vaishnava Upanishads.

"O man, praise the famous youth, mounted on a chariot, seat Terrible and destructive like a wild beast"- Shri Rudram Anuvaka 10.8

Here the word used is Ugra, generally an epithet for Lion, especially Narasimha. Hence it might be refering to Sharabha. I know Vedic rishis feared Rudra, and declared him to be Lord of thieves, cheaters, etc. But never heard him being called a wild beast apart from here. The verse above might be the basis for the Sharabha legend.

"We salute Lord Rudra who has three eyes, who has skillfully beheaded the monster Tripura, who had subjugated all gods and become animal by which he was called Pashupati"- 14

The story of Tripura is mentioned in Taittiriya Samhita 6.2.3 hence is authentic and based on Veda

"That God is father of Lord Vishnu and myself... "- 5

This is supported by Rigveda 9.96.5 since Soma is a name of Rudra as come confirmed by Shri Rudram.

"We salutate Lord Rudra who is the promoter of Lord Vishnu's incarnations like Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrisimha, Vamana etc... "- 15 This is supported by certain references such as Rudra being referred to as Vamana in Yajurveda 16.30 and Varaha in Rigveda 1.114.5

" O great resolute! The mAyA applied by Him is unsurpassable because it enchants Lord Vishnu and myself too. "- 24

This is supported by Mukhya Upanishads such as Svetashvatara Up. 3.1: " The nondual one being the possessor of rhe Net(Maya) rules through his divine powers.. "

"Everything in this Universe is perished under the cruel clutches of time(kAla). By this reason whatever exited here, that all is false. Lord Mahadeva, holder of the Trident and making all creatures the morsel and the God of earth Rudra who always showers with grace is saluted"- 26

This is supported by Svetashvatara Up. 4.18: "where there is no darkness, then there is no day nor night, neither existence nor non existence. There remains only Shiva" Hence all things which are false are devoured by Time and only the Truth, Shiva remains.

One might ask if Shiva here is a proper noun. Since Rudra is mentioned numerous times in this Upanishad, Shiva becomes a proper name of Rudra as is confirmed by Yajurveda 3.63 which refers to Rudra as :Sivo namasi or one having the name Shiva

Plus Atharva Veda 19.53.8-9 says: Time is the word of wisdom, Time is the Lord of all that is, the Father of the Creator. Sent forth by Him, from Him all this was born. On Him it is established. So soon as He has become Brahman, Time supports the Highest Deity " And as per Taittiriya Aranyaka 10.81 Lord Rudra is Time Himself and as per Svetashvatara and Shri Rudram(Taittiriya Samhita, he is beyond time as well.

"Hari is beyond the parAtparabrahma and Isha is beyond Hari. There is nobody either equal to or greater than Isha"- 32

This has been Proclaimed with certain differences in Shiva Sankalpa Sukta 18 which has been quoted by Srikantha in his Brahma Sutra Bhashya

"Morsel offered to Brahman too is Brahman. It is offered to rhe fire of Brahman and this offering is made by Brahman too. The process of offering too is Brahma. Hence , only Brahman is worth attainable by the Yogi who is duly meditated"- 30

The above verse is found in Bhagavad Gita and is authentic with slight changes.

"Lord Rudra who had defeated all the Gods present in the offering arranged by Prajapati Daksha .. "- 13

Although there is no official mention of Daksha's Yajna in Veda, one does find however the root of this legend in the Rigveda in context of Agni.

Rigveda 10.3.1 no rAjanaratih samiddho raudro dakshAya sushumAnadarshi General translation: The powerful spoked wheel , now kindled has appeared to exercise his skill He who is Rudra wild but of easy birth, o king.

Notice the word raudro dakshAya. Ofc Agni has been identified with Rudra many a times. For example in Taittiriya Samhita which says

rudro va esha yadagnih or rhe Fire is verily Rudra. So this might be the root of the Daksha myth although it is not stated either implicitly nor explicitly

Hence the authenticity of this Upanishad is established and along with it, the narrative is also confirmed to be authentic


Shiva assumed the form of devastating sharabha for calming down narsimha murthy. When sharabha tried to destroy narsimha, narsimha became even more angry,his fury reached peaks, he created a mystical, ferocious,most powerful God named "gandabherunda"..gandabherunda tore sharabha & shoolini devi(parvati) into parts. Then a new form of goddess lakshmi "pratyangira devi" was able to calm down narsimha.


There is one Nepalese edition of Skanda Purana discovered in 1990s that dates back to 810AD. The version of the story that appears there is different from later versions.

This book https://books.google.co.in/books/about/Origin_and_Growth_of_the_Pur%C4%81%E1%B9%87ic_Text.html?id=CLN0F7GGecsC&redir_esc=y discusses the story.

The early Skandapurana often presents stories familiar to us from other sources but in a slightly different guise. I have argued in an earlier paper that the text may well offer us a rare glimpse of classical Saivism in its formative stage, that is, as the myths of Siva were in the process of being developed. In this paper, I would like to build upon my earlier formulations by focusing on one small section of the text, the story of Siva as the fantastic creature called a Sarabha in chapter SP(Skanda Purana) B h71. I will argue that this story, in its reluctance to accord Siva the role of demon-killer, a role it reserves especially for Visnu, supports the notion of a Saivism which only gradually appropriated demon-killing myths to form its own complex mythology. It may also tell us something about the slow acceptance of both the doctrine of avataras in Vaisnavism and the paradigm of god as demon-killer.

The story of Siva as the Sarabha occurs in a number of texts as the conclusion to the appearance of Visnu as the Man-lion or Narasimha. The Vamanapurana contains a brief allusion to the story in two verses in chapter 15 of the Saromahatmya , ’The Glorification of the Lake.’

ndrasimham vapuh krtva hatva danavam urjitam | tiryagyonau sthito visnuh simhesu ratim apnuvan || 291 | tato devdh sagandharva dradhya varadam sivam | ucuh pranatasarvanga visnudehasya lambhane || 30 1 |

Having taken the form of a Man-lion, Visnu killed the mighty de mon. But then, being an animal, he began to enjoy himself among the lions. That was when the Gods along with the Gandharvas, pro pitiated Siva, who grants boons. They prostrated themselves and asked that Visnu be made to take on his own body.

In answer to their plea, Siva takes on the form of a Sarabha and the two gods fight. They fall into the middle of the lake and Visnu takes on his divine form, four-armed, while Siva becomes the liiiga (VmP Saromahatmya 15.33). The sage Narada just happens to be practicing austerities on the bank of that lake and praises both gods. He proclaims the glory of the place they have sanctified by their presence.

While this account is brief, I have begun with it because it is clos est to the version in the early Skandapurana.

The Siva- and Lingapuranas offer a slightly more detailed and vir tually identical account of Sarabha’s defeat of the Man-lion that dif fers from the account in both the Vamanapurana and the early Skanda- purana. In this version, Narasimha kills his demon adversary and con tinues to behave as a lion. But more than that, he remains in a wild rage. His anger cannot be subdued and he threatens to destroy all of creation. Siva summons VTrabhadra, who is described either as his incarnation or avatara , or his own terrible form, atmano bhairavam rupam . 18 At first VTrabhadra tries to talk the Man-lion out of his rage, but this only seems to make him angrier. Finally he takes on the form of the Sarabha, a kind of bird-like creature. He kills the Man-lion and beheads him and skins him. Siva will wear the skin and the head as battle trophies.

Turning to the account of the Sarabha in the early Skandapurana (SP Bh 70-71), it is clear that there are several differences from the ver sions in either the Siva- or Lihgapuranas. Here the Man-lion is far from a threat to universal order; he is more of a nuisance. While it is true that the gods tell Siva that they are afraid of the Man-lion, they seem primar ily concerned by the very possibility that Visnu might make this his per manent form.

As the text tells us in chapter 70 (SP Bh 70.14-16ab),

tad rupam naiva samtyajya svatn vesam akarod vihho | tena rupena devesa krurenapi hitepsuna || 14 || na vayam nirvrta bhiitva trasat tisthama samkara | sa yathd simharupam tat parityajati madhavah || 15 1 | prasadam nas tatha kartum arhasi tvam surottama \

O great one, he has not given up that form and taken on his own form. We are uneasy, O Lord of Lords, frightened by that cruel form of his, even though it means to do good. O best of the gods, show us your favour and bring it about that Madhava will give up that lion-form.

Another difference from the other accounts is that Sarabha does not kill the Man-lion and take gruesome battle trophies, but simply causes him to unite with his own divine body that he had left behind in the process of incarnation; ‘And he caused Kesava to unite with his divine body again,’ in the language of the text.

Here is a translation of the episode from chapter 71, as it appears in Bhattarai’s edition, p. 406-412 (SP Bh 71.1-7 3).

But then the god who has the bull as his banner and the trident in his hand was told by the gods everything that I have just related to you, O Vyasa. In order to force Visnu, the doer of marvelous deeds, to abandon his lion form, he became a Sarabha, mighty like a peak of the Himalaya mountain. Of colossal strength, with sharp fangs, using his four rear feet he went over to the Man-lion and calmly roared. The lion, seeing the Sarabha before him, was seized with great anger and struck him a blow. The Sarabha, struck by the lion, did not even flinch. Instead, it was the lion himself who was in pain from striking the mighty Sarabha with its adamantine body. Then Visnu thought for a while and realized that it was Samkara who had come. He bowed his head to Samkara and began to praise him. [... ]. The lord of the world, thus praised by Visnu, spoke these words to the greatly honoured Hrslkesa: ‘I have granted to you, O Visnu, this auspicious and pure boon. You, caught in this bad birth, will return to your proper form. Glorious Visnu will always have such a boon from me. You have done all that had to be done. Hiranyakasipu has been slain. Come, resume your own pure and wonderful form.’

And then that most excellent Sarabha stepped on the lion with his feet. He caused Kesava to take on his divine form once more. The god who has the bull as his banner, having given Visnu a boon, namely that he would slay the daityas, said to him, ‘Be as you were before’, and vanished.

This simple episode has surprisingly much to tell us. The later versions in the S/va-and Lihgapuranas describe an avatara gone mad; the Man- lion cannot control its rage and threatens to destroy the universe. Only Siva can restore it to order. Visnu as the Man-lion, left to his own de vices, is a menace. Here the situation is somewhat different. While chap ter 70 frames the story in the same terms as the other Puranic texts, namely that the Man-lion, having destroyed its demon adversary, is causing the gods to be afraid, in fact as the story is then told there is no mention of any wild rampage or threat to the world order. The Man-lion, as awesome as it may be, is described here as a playful lion cub. It goes into the palace garden of the daitya and in its playfulness inadvertently wreaks havoc. This in turn becomes the occasion for the Man-lion’s en counter with the demon Hiranyakasipu, whom he is to destroy. Once the demon is destroyed, the gods report back to Siva; perhaps the text here alludes to the conversation between the gods and Siva that was reported in chapter 70 and cited above. But beyond this single allusion there is no mention of fear on the part of the gods or of the Man-lion’s continuing ferocity. By contrast, Siva’s purpose in becoming the Sarabha is made explicit: it is not to put a stop to an avatara that has gone wild, but to help Visnu return to his own divine birth (the term yoni is used) from an undesirable, animal birth and to give him a special boon. In keep ing with this milder design, there is no protracted battle between them; the Man-lion after one blow realizes that his adversary is Siva and sur renders with a song of praise. But most telling is the boon: Visnu is given the task of killing demons as his boon. It is my contention that this story in an uncanny way captures something of the history of these religious cults, in which the stories of slaying demons belonged in the early stages of Puranic mythology primarily to Visnu (and Krsna) and in which Siva began only gradually to assume a subsidiary role. 26 Here that role is that it is Siva who gives Visnu the task of slaying demons; it is also Siva who releases Visnu from his animal form so that he will be ready to assume another form when required.

The changes that the story will undergo in later Puranas support the interpretation I have given here, namely that the objection to the Man- lion in the early Skandapurana is more to his form than to anything that he does. As the story appears in later sources, it is modeled increasingly on the demon-killing paradigm; the Man-lion, like a demon, threatens to destroy the world and Siva must intervene in order to save the uni verse from ultimate destruction. Sarabha will come to be regarded as an avatara of Siva, completely on the model of the avataras of Visnu, while Visnu will be transformed into the destroyer of everything. It will be his actions and not his form that are the clear focus of the later story.


There have been many misconceptions and confusions regarding the form of 'Sharabheshvara' taken by Parameshvara, so I'll try to resolve them with authentic proofs from scriptures.

Sharabheshvara in Purānas.

In Shaiva puranas like Shiva Purana, Skanda Purana and Linga Purana, you find mention of Sharabheshvara form which was taken by Parameshvara Shiva to liberate Narasimha incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The gist of the story goes as follows:

After destroying Hiranyakashipu, Narasimha was unable to control his anger and rage even though Prahalada, Narada and others try to convince him. Later with absolute helplessness all devas led by Brahma went to Parameshvara Shiva and prayed to him to save the universe from rage of Narasimha, listening to these prayers Lord Shiva sent Veerabhadra to convince Narasimha in words, but it was of no use, later Shiva himself took the form of Sharabheshvara and then liberated Narasimha.

However, there are many disagreements to these puranas by Vishnu bhaktas specifically as they cannot digest the truth, they even abuse and badmouth Shaiva shastras as tamasika scriptures which lead one to hell etc: So let us check what Vedas say about Sharabheshvara.

Vedas on Sharabheshvara

Yajurveda's Taittiriya aranyaka says:-

hariM harantam anuyanti devAH | vishvasyeshAnaM vRiShabhaM matInAM ||

Salutations to Lord Hara who ends up his own form Hari, who's adored by all devas, who's the lord of universe.

Commenting upon Sayanacharya (A traditional Advaita Vedantic commentator says:-

paramātman, tvāan sarve devāah anuyanti bhṛutyabhāvenānusaranti | tvāan kathanbhūtam ? Hari viṣhṇurūpam | tathā bhaktānāan pāpan harantam | vishvasya jagatah īshānam | matīnāan sarvaprāṇibuddhīnāan vṛuṣhabhan shreṣhṭhatven niyantāran puṇyapāpayoah sarvaprāṇibuddhiprerakamiti yāvat | taduktam ‘dhiyo yo nah prachodayāt’ iti | …kiancha ayanamasmābhiah sanpāditan mokṣhamārgan mā vivadhīah mā hiansaya | kiancha dātuan vikramasva parākraman kuru, dātumudyaman kuru ityarthah | he prajāpate brahman pārvatīvallabhaha tvat tvatto jātāni utpannāni vishvā vishvāni samastāni tāni prasiddhāni etāni upalabhyamānāni suranaratiryagādilakṣhaṇāni panycha bhūtāni chaturdash bhuvanāni nānāvidhabrahmāṇḍapiṇḍāṇḍāni tvatto’nyo yah kashchinna paribabhūv | …. Api tu sṛuṣhṭikāle tvamev sṛujati, jīvanakāle tvamev jīvayasi pralaye tvamev upasanharasi nānyah kashchidityabhiprāyah | yasmādevan tasmāt te nikhilajagadutpattisthitilayakrtre bhagavate tubhyan juhumaha |

Sayanacharya clearly says that it's Lord Shiva who's the supreme brahman who takes forms like Vishnu etc: and ultimately annihilates them.

The very same mantra 'Harim Harantham' shruti can be found in 'Sharabha Upanishad' of Atharvaveda also and regarding the authenticity of Sharabha Upanishad, there are many dubious claims from Pro-Vishnu clans that Sharabha Upanishad is later added scripture, on the contrary I like to quote Srikanta Shivacharya's commentary on Brahma Sutras where he has quoted few mantras of Sharabha Upanishad.

Adi Shankaracharya on Sharabheshvara

Adi Shankaracharya in his Prapancha Sara tantra glorifies Sharabheshvara as supreme form of Shiva who liberated the tusked Boar form of Lord Vishnu i.e Varaha which is in accordance with Kalika purana, complete and detailed information regarding it can be viewed here.

There were few accusations that Sharabheshvara is a later added story which came up after 12th century Chola Shaivite rule, I think all those dubious accusations are dominantly Rebutted by Prapancha Sara tantra (A 8th CE work by Adi Shankaracharya).

Note:- Regarding the authenticity of Prapancha Sara tantra being penned by Adi Shankaracharya, it has been commented by his own disciple Padmapadacharya as 'Vivaranam' and is quoted by many ancient Advaita Vedantins like Narayanashrama (12 CE), Amalananda (12 CE), Sayanacharya (13 CE) etc:


After killing Hiranyakashipu n drinking his blood lord narsima lost control of himself thus lord shiva took Sharabha avatar n subdued Narsimha at first from sharabha's roar Narsimha got scared than He again instead he got more angry n took the form of Gandaberunda a two headed eagle and after 18 days of fight lord sharabha beheaded and torn Gandaberunda with his nails and beaks into two pieces just like lord Narsimha killed Hiranyakashipu. And later on after requests from devtas and maa Lakshmi lord vishnu was again revived into his original celestial form. And it is said from the two head of Gandaberunda the twin Avatar of lord vishnu nara n Narayana came and lord sharabha turned into a linga which is an omkar swaroopa of parambramha and as a present lord vishnu gave his skin n skull to lord shiva for slaying his ego. So yeah lord vishnu was annihilated or slain by lord shiva so that he can come to his senses. I know this will not be like by the Vaishnavas so they try to create a false narrative.

Sharabha is also mentioned in Mahabharata, budhism and even in Jainism...

These sloka from shiva puran, Sharabha upanishad proves that :

"Ganda Berunda Garva Banga Sharabha; Veera Narashimha Tharpa Vinasaga Sharabha!"

Which translates into lord sharabha killed lord Narsimha and broke pride of lord ganda berunda.

According to Wikipedia:

After Lord Narasimha had slain the demon Hiranyakashipu, he clung on to his dreadful form. The Devas were even more afraid of Lord Vishnu than they were of the demon. In order to protect the entire creation, lord Shiva incarnated as Sharabha or Sharabhesvara, a part-lion and part-bird beast. This further angered Lord Narasimha who took the form of Lord Gandaberunda, who fought Sharabha for 18 days. Finally Sarabha held Gandaberunda in its beak and killed it.[4] [5]

enter image description here Wikipedia page screenshot just in case...

![enter image description here] (https://i.sstatic.net/9TiwS.jpg)!

enter image description here! Sharabha killing Gandaberunda. enter image description here Sharabha killing Gandaberunda Narsimha Vishnu.

enter image description here Sharabha killing Narsimha.

enter image description here Sharabha vs Gandaberunda.

Har Har Mahadev...🙏🙏🙏. Jai shree Ram. 🙏🙏🙏.


Some lines fron Sharabha Upanishad.:

1-2 I am saluting that primeval God who is the Lord, who is the best, who is the father of the world, who is the greatest among gods, who has created Brahma, who gave all Vedas to Brahma in the beginning, who is the father of Vishnu and other devas, who merits praise, and who at the time of deluge destroys the world. He is the only one who is greater than every body, who is the best and who rules over others.

3 That very strong Maheswara took the horrifying form of Sarabha and killed Narasimha who was destroying the world. (Sarabha is the avatar of Shiva which is a combination of eagle, lion and man.)

4 That god with his sharp claws tore, Vishnu who took the form of Narasimha. He who was wearing the hide became Veerabhadra.



  • 2
    Wikipedia is not considered as reliable source here. It would be useful if some authentic sources are cited.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jan 14, 2021 at 7:12

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