May 15 marks the appearance day of Lord Nrsimha, the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Krsna. Nrsimhadeva descended to protect His devotee Prahlada from the torment of his atheistic father, Hiranyakasipu, who had performed great penance and gained boons he felt would secure his immortality. But Lord Nrsimha killed the murderous demon while simultaneously honoring the boons he had received from Lord Brahma. The story is narrated in Canto Seven of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Devotees pray to Lord Nrsimha for protection from both bodily harm and their own materialistic desires. [To see more paintings by Madhava Priya Devi Dasi, go to]

By Laksmi LaCuestahalf-man, half-lion
sitting on the threshold
at dusk tearing into Hiranyakasipu's chest
with Your elegant nails
as he is slain over Your lap this great demon's reign of terror
has ended

blood paints the floor
decorating Your golden silken garments
as it shimmers in Your effulgent glow

a garland of intestines
draped around Your neck
Your prize necklace
from Your fresh kill

the multi-headed serpent
and Your faithful servant,
watches with his many eyes
each hood smiling at Your glorious deed

thought he was immortal
because of five boons
in return for thousands of years
of penance

he has been outsmarted by You
who are supreme
his helmet and club abandoned on the
lost in that final moment of suspense
and death

just as a cat plays with a mouse
so You played with the demon
before You pulled apart his ribs
and decorated Your chest
with his insides

Your anger is so intense
it has frightened everyone away
even the demigods
are afraid to offer their prayers

yet Prahlada Maharaja
a five-year-old boy
Your pure devotee
offers a garland of flowers
and his obeisances

You have saved him from his father's
once again

O Nrsimhadeva
the supreme controller
just as You protected Prahlada
so You also protect us
from deviating off the path
of devotional service

All glories to You!