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  • Writer's pictureOrsi

Nara-Simhasana (Lion) - Let the lion roar not your ego

Updated: Dec 5, 2018

Simhasana Lion pose mythology
Narasimha the destroyer of Ego

Once there was an asura, a demon, named Hiranyakashipu, who swore eternal enmity to Lord Vishnu. He performed remarkable yogic austerities until he attracted the attention of Brahma, the creator and asked for immortality as a boon. As Brahma knew his evil nature he said no. Then the clever demon asked for something else: “Then, Lord, let me not meet death from any living creature created by you. Let me have no rival. Let me not die during the day or during the night, inside a house or outside of a house, not on the ground and not in the sky, not from a weapon, not from any human being, deva, or animal, not at the hands of any demigod or demon. Make me lord over all creation. Furthermore, give me all the siddhis and mystic powers attained by the practice of yoga and of long austerities, for these can never be lost.” Brahma said yes for this, so Hiranyakashipu proceeded to wreak havoc across the whole creation by claiming everything for himself.

He had a son, Prahlada, who was born with a devotional nature and a thirst for the divine. He grew into a great bhakta whose chosen deity was his father's nemesis, Vishnu—much to his father's fury. One evening, just before sunset, the two argued bitterly about the role of Vishnu. For his question if Vishnu was in the pillar in front of them, his son answered: “He is, he was, and he will be,”, which made Hiranyakashipu brake that pillar in rage, from which emerged a half-lion, half-man, Narasimha—Vishnu in a form neither human nor animal. He seized the demon, jerking him off the ground. Squatting in the doorway, neither in nor out of the house, at twilight—neither day nor night—he flung Hiranyakashipu over his lap. Narasimha's powerful lion-claws ripped open his chest and belly, killing him neither with a weapon nor with a blow from human hands.

Beside the supreme divine force Lion also represents the image of the father, of paternal power. The lion is generally considered as the noblest and the strongest, an example of virtue, greatness, fidelity and morality. It is rightfully considered the king of the animals. If we look at the mythology, Narasimha manifested to destroy the evil and ego. Same is the effect of this asana, which is quite neglected in contemporary yoga due to its “embarrassing” nature. However through the practice of this asana the perseverant practitioner will find balance, gaining at the same time strength, inner force, self-confidence and sense of duty while generating fidelity, devotion and humility. The Gherandha Samhita states: “Simhasana was often praised by the enlightened yogis as it helps in the practice of the three fundamental contractions in Mula, Uddiyana and Jalandhara Bandha, and it guarantees the appearance and strengthening of the paranormal capacities(Siddhis).”

Considering all the above its better to look funny and roar that lion instead of letting our Ego to speak.

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