This story from Siva purana is biased shaiva stories claiming that Sharabha killed Narasimha.
(I am producing the details from http://narayanastra.blogspot.in/2012/03/keshi-suktam-and-sharabha-narasimha.html?m=1)
This story has no basis whatsoever because:
- Narasimha is Parabrahman and cannot be overcome by anybody.
This story goes against the meaning of the authoritative shAstra.
This story is only found in the tAmasa purAnas like shivapurAna, which are fit to be rejected and have been done so by all vedAntins.
This great Sarabha, Siva, is said to have been destroyed by Pratyingara devi, when Sarabha was overcome by pride and egogism and started destroying the universe.
One can clearly see through, the majestic interpolations in the tamasic and rajasic puranas which talks of Sarabha defeating Narasimha, Sarabha killed by pratyangira..
The idea of one deity progressively suppressing the other only evokes laughter and shows the inherent tAmasatva of these stories.
The truth regarding the Sharabha-Narasimha incident
The anger of Narasimha, which persisted after the destruction of Hiranyakasipu, frightened the devas, upon which they approached Shiva and sought his help. Shiva, being flattered by their praises, was overcome by tamOguNa. Although Shiva is a yOgi by nature who is always meditating on Sankarshana (and hence, Narasimha), this time, due to tamO guNa which is vishNu mAyA, his intellect became clouded and he was unable to recognise Narasimha as his own upAsya mUrthy. Thus, he appeared in the form of Sharabha to engage in battle with Bhagavan.
Narasimha destroyed Sharabha in battle with his mere nails as he did in the case of Hiranyakasipu.
The great sri Vaishnava AchAryan, srIkUrEsha, reiterates this in his work, “srIathimAnushastava” as follows:
kreeDaavidhE: parikaras tava yaa tu maayaasaa mOhinee na katam asya tu hanta! jantO:!Hi! Martya simha vapus tavat tEjasOmsESambhur bhavan hi sarabha: salabhO babhoova //
(~SrI AthimAnusha Stava)
Meaning: Oh bhagavAn (sriman nArAyaNa)! Your mAya indeed benumbs the intellect of all living beings. Did not Shiva who took the form of a strange and mighty animal (supposed to have eight legs and wings) called Sharabha get burnt down in just one small spark of your rage like a moth that perishes in the blaze of fire??
A great scholar, Sri Srinivasacharya swami quotes an ancient SlOka on these lines:
namOstu narasimhaaya lakshmee sthiti jitakudE /yad krOdaagnou puraa roudra: Sarabha: salabhaayatE //
Meaning: Salutations to Narasimha, who is situated in Lakshmi, and plays (?). By whose fire of anger, the body of the ferocious Sharabha was burnt to ashes like a moth perishing in a blaze.
The AchAryan here is alluding to the destruction of Sharabha being an effortless act of Narasimha, who is sarvasakta, and tavasastavIya (stronger than the strongest). Here, the quality of agatitagaTanA sAmarthyam (reconciling contradictions) is also seen in BhagavAn Narasimha. While normally a Sharabha is stronger than a Lion, this was a case where a Sharabha was killed by a Lion. This was indeed an astonishing leela of bhagavAn!
The incident of Narasimha killing Sharabha is justified by the sAttvika purAnas, which alone are authority and faithful to shruti. Here are the pramAnams quoted by both sri Vaishnava AchAryas and mAdhvas (slokas culled from rAmAnuja and mAdhva discussion groups):
hantum abyaagatam roudram sarabham narakEsaree /Nakhair vidaarayaamaasa hiraNyakasipum yathaa // (~varAha purAna)
Meaning: The half-man, half-lion (Narasimha) killed the violent Sharabha who had approached him (for battle) by lacerating Sharabha with his nails in a similar manner as in the case of Hiranyakasipu.
tau yudhyamAnau cha chiraM vegena balavattamau |na samaM jagmaturdevau nR^isiMhasharabhAkR ^itI ||tataH kR^iddho mahAkAyo nR^isiMho bhImavikramaH |sahasrakarajAnatra tasya gAtre nyaveshayat. h ||patitaM bhImamatyugraM nR^isiMhaH sharabhaM ruShA |jaghAna nishitaistIxNaiH nakhairnakhavarAyud haH || sharabhe tasmin.h raudre madhuniShUdanam. h |tuShTuvuH puNDarIkAxaM devA devarShayastathA || (~Padma Purana)
Meaning: The two powerful devas - Narasimha and Sharabha, who have no equal in the Universe, fought a prolonged, fierce and violent battle. As a result of that altercation, the large bodied Narasimha (and thus superior in prowess), who possesses terrific valor that controls the asurAs and prevents anything from going against his will (bhIma vikramaH), whose limbs appeared to have a thousand nails (ie, limitless power in his nails) was angered. Being in (that state of) rage, Narasimha, who is terrible to the adharmIs (bhIma) and becomes extremely formidable when the adharmIs continue to remain bent on adharma (ugra), killed Sharabha using his sharp and fierce nails. Sharabha had incited the Slayer of Madhu to wrath and so, the lotus eyed one (pundarIkAksha) was appeased by (the prayers) of the devas and devarishis.
“madhusUdhana” – “madhu” refers to rAjO guNa which in turn is the cause for desire, that leads to anger that is tamO guNa. Just as the Lord killed the asura madhu, so did he kill Sharabha who possessed anger born of tamO guNa.
“pundarIkAksha” – Since he has lotus like eyes that are reddish due to always looking at the golden complexion of the compassionate srI mahAlakshmi, the Lord is easily assuaged and made peaceful due to the mediatorship of lakshmi.
He resurrected Shiva back to life upon the prayers of the devas.
nikR^itya bAhUrushirA vajrakalpamukhairna khaiH |merupR^iShThe nR^isiMhena sharabhashchAtha so.apatat.h || (~vAmana purAna)
Meaning: Chopping off many heads (of Sharabha) with his nails that were equal to adamantine (vajra), Narasimha who towered like Meru (mountain), also (in addition to hiranyakasipu) Killed Sharabha.
a chaJNchupaJNchAnana maShTapAdaM paxadvayADhyaM ghananIlagAtram. h |sphuranmahAtIvrasah asrahastaM sahasrashastraM sharabhasvarUpam. h ||karadAdaya pratyekaM mukhaM chaJNchupuTadvayam. h |vidArya cha nR^isiMhastaM hiraNyakashipuM yathA | (~kUrma purAna)
Meaning:The form of Sharabha had a beak, the face of a lion, with 8 feet and limbs which were a dense black color. It was throbbing with the intensity (of anger), had bloodied hands, with a thousand weapons. Narasimha, acting mercilessly as in the case of hiranyakasipu tore apart with his hands (ie, nails), the beaks on every single one of Sharabha’s faces at their folds.
tataH kshaNena sharabho nAdapUritadiN^ .hmukhaH |abhyAshamagamadviSh Norvyanadadbhair avasv anam.h ||sa tamabhyAgataM dR^iShTvA nR^isiMhaH sharabhaM ruShA |nakhairvidArayAmAsa hiraNyakashipuM yathA || (~Agni Purana)
Meaning: Thereupon, in a moment, the sound from Sharabha’s mouth intensified in all directions, approaching vishNu (the all-pervading one) with a terrible roar. Narasimha, having seen that arrival of Sharabha with that (sound), became furious and tore apart Sharabha and disposed it with his nails as he did in the case of Hiranyakasipu.
All these clearly shows that Narasimha destroyed Sharabha.
The purAnas state further that when Narasimha was appeased by PrahlAda, he resurrected Shiva back to life upon the prayers of pArvati.
Therefore, the supremacy of Narasimha alone is seen in this incident.