International Journal of Indic Religions


Avatāra is a theologically significant term associated with Vishnu, due to his role as protector and maintainer of balance between evil and good in the universe. Hence, each avatāra of Vishnu indicates a divinely inspired cosmic role of Vishnu. However, the incarnation of Narasimha is significant, because this incarnation is a dual representation of the God Vishnu within the creation. It is this dual representation that is central to the projection of Narasimha as the Supreme Lord in Hinduism. Therefore, this paper examines the dual roles of Vishnu as the avatāra and vyūha in his interaction with the universe in his incarnation as Narasimha in texts, religious practice and iconic representation.