This multi-layered saga seems to have been an epic tussle between Vishnu and Siva partisan story tellers.

This question is not a duplicate of the question

What is the story of Sharaba?

in answers to which questionable sources have been cited by posters.

This question asks for verifiable answers drawn only from canonical scriptures like major Puranas and seeks to leave an unbiased record of the sectarian escalation ladder on this topic.

For example

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

(the Sanskrit is really mediocre in this citation - I don't see Vyasa writing such verse).

Vishnu purana doesn't being Siva into this at all - although it has Vishnu killing a Hiranyakashipu who had repented:

And the great Asura repented of his former cruelty, and treated him with kindness; and Prahlada, fulfilling his duties like any other youth, continued diligent in the service of his preceptor and his father. After his father had been put to death by Visnu in the form of the man-lion. Prahlada became the sovereign of the Daityas

Once Siva gets into the picture all kinds of outcomes arise:

(1) Sharabha kills/defeats Narasimha and the latter recovers his Satvika self and returns to the heavens. this is well documented in Puranas and in sculpture (like the UN World Heritage site Airavateswara temple )

(2) Either Narasimha or a fiercer form (Ganda Bherunda) kills Sharabha - this doesn't seem to be documented in canonical Puranas, although there are blogs that claim this version of events is in Vaishnavite Puranas.

(3) they are both pacified by Pratyangira Devi

(4) Other outcomes I am not aware of

Can someone post (only) what is in canonical Sanskrit scriptures about this matter (I am not interested in regional follow-up legends)?

  • I don't think duplicate questions are allowed because the previous one doesn't contain answers to one's liking Mar 10, 2020 at 1:32
  • Please stop using mythology tag if you seek reference from Puranas. Add Purana tag instead.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Mar 10, 2020 at 11:32
  • 1
    done - @TheLittleNaruto .
    – S K
    Mar 10, 2020 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


According to Srimad Bhagavatam, Narasimha was pacified by Prahalada with his prayers. I will post the summary verse here. You can read the full story at the below link -


ŚB 7.9.51 श्रीनारद उवाच एतावद्वर्णितगुणो भक्त्या भक्तेन निर्गुण: । प्रह्रादं प्रणतं प्रीतो यतमन्युरभाषत ॥ ५१ ॥

śrī-nārada uvāca etāvad varṇita-guṇo bhaktyā bhaktena nirguṇaḥ prahrādaṁ praṇataṁ prīto yata-manyur abhāṣata


śrī-nāradaḥ uvāca — Śrī Nārada Muni said; etāvat — up to this; varṇita — described; guṇaḥ — transcendental qualities; bhaktyā — with devotion; bhaktena — by the devotee (Prahlāda Mahārāja); nirguṇaḥ — the transcendental Lord; prahrādam — unto Prahlāda Mahārāja; praṇatam — who was surrendered at the lotus feet of the Lord; prītaḥ — being pleased; yata-manyuḥ — controlling the anger; abhāṣata — began to speak (as follows).


The great saint Nārada said: Thus Lord Nṛsiṁhadeva was pacified by the devotee Prahlāda Mahārāja with prayers offered from the transcendental platform. The Lord gave up His anger, and being very kind to Prahlāda, who was offering prostrated obeisances, He spoke as follows.


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