God as sound: Nrsimhadeva & Prahlada

The Sound of Nrsimhadeva before He emerges from the Pillar
In three parts

From the Bhagavatam (7.8.15-16):
Then from within the pillar came a fearful sound, which appeared to crack the covering of the universe. O my dear Yudhisthira, this sound reached even the abodes of the demigods like Lord Brahma, and when the demigods heard it, they thought, “Oh, now our planets are being destroyed!” While showing his extraordinary prowess, Hiranyakasipu, who desired to kill his own son, heard that wonderful, tumultuous sound, which had never before been heard. Upon hearing the sound, the other leaders of the demons were afraid. None of them could find the origin of that sound in the assembly.

Part 1—from the view of the demon, Hiranyakasipu

The pillar shook
It took
A moment
For the room to fill with sound.
The sound came swift
Like an unexpected kick
From a horse.
It filled every corner,
Suffocated all other noise,
Billows of sound found
Every space
Not yet a face
Just sound, sound, sound
Oh! Demons cried
We’ve tried
To find the source
No recourse
No place to run
The sound is everywhere
No escape no shelter
He has found me
But where is He
We are looking—
When we see You,
We’ll challenge Your authority,
Challenge Your right
To disturb the ether
By vibrating waves of terror
And who can dare
To horrify me?
I the supreme,
The controller of
The universal affairs!
We are bundled in this sound!
Wrapped tight
Cocoon night
Vision obscured
Blast of hot, hot searing, bleeding
From raw wounds
It’s chilling
Freezing this
Blood where it oozes
Turn around in all directions
To find the source
Bewildered, lost confused
We cannot fight
This all-present sound!

Part 2—From the point of view of Prahlad

Sweet, gentle purr
Soft motor’s whirr
Comforting me
Pillar broken with a crack
A present opened hastily
With glee
For me
The best surprise
Hidden inside,
But first is sound,
Before vision found.
The sound complete
Cloud softness meets
Our quivering frame
How can I refrain
From His glories?
I want the bliss
That is His
To give,
By this sound
Sound of love
It crushes evil
For the glory of good
On and on—
It’s eternal sound.

Part 3—The Story

With blood splattered mane
Loud roar
Through the hall
Shaking the universe
Touching the sky
Earthquake vibration
Splintered crack
Of terrific pillar
Toppling, teetering
On edge splintering
Snap! It falls
God in noise
Sound of protection
Love of child, sweet child
Still, calm, composed
Standing in hopeful surrender
As Nrsimhadeva revealed
His ferocious form of anger
Pierced with shrill laughter
The demigod’s trepidation
He played with the demon
Like a mouse
Or a wasp
Flick of nails
Finished him.

a class I gave on Nrsimhadeva in Baltimore

A class I gave on Nrsimhadeva in Hawaii

a class I gave on Nrsimhadeva in London: Friends & Enemies

Miracles of the Nrsimhadeva Deity in Mayapur