visvak sphurantam grahanaturam harir
vyalo yathakhum kulisaksata-tvacam
dvary urum apatya dadara lilaya
nakhair yathahim garudo maha-visam
visvak—all around; sphurantam—moving his limbs; grahana-aturam—afflicted because of being captured; harih—the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Nrsimhadeva; vyalah—a snake; yatha—just as; akhum—a mouse; kulisa-aksata—not cut even by the thunderbolt thrown by Indra; tvacam—whose skin; dvari—on the threshold of the door; urum—on His thigh; apatya—placing; dadara—pierced; lilaya—very easily; nakhaih—with the nails; yatha—just as; ahim—a snake; garudahGaruda, the carrier of Lord Visnu; maha-visam—very venomous.
As a snake captures a mouse or Garuda captures a very venomous snake, Lord Nrsimhadeva captured Hiranyakasipu, who could not be pierced even by the thunderbolt of King Indra. As Hiranyakasipu moved his limbs here, there and all around, very much afflicted at being captured, Lord Nrsimhadeva placed the demon on His lap, supporting him with His thighs, and in the doorway of the assembly hall the Lord very easily tore the demon to pieces with the nails of His hand.
Hiranyakasipu had received from Lord Brahma the benediction that he would not die on the land or in the sky. Therefore, to keep the promise of Lord Brahma intact, Nrsimhadeva placed Hiranyakasipu’s body on His lap, which was neither land nor sky. Hiranyakasipu had received the benediction that he would not die either during the day or at night. Therefore, to keep this promise of Brahma, the Lord killed Hiranyakasipu in the evening, which is the end of day and the beginning of night but is neither day nor night. Hiranyakasipu had taken a benediction from Lord Brahma that he would not die from any weapon or be killed by any person, dead or alive. Therefore, just to keep the word of Lord Brahma, Lord Nrsimhadeva pierced Hiranyakasipu’s body with His nails, which were not weapons and were neither living nor dead. Indeed, the nails can be called dead, but at the same time they can be said to be alive. To keep intact all of Lord Brahma’s benedictions, Lord Nrsimhadeva paradoxically but very easily killed the great demon Hiranyakasipu.

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