HIRANYAKSHA – An asura (demon) and brother of Hiranyakasipu



Hiranyaksha was the elder twin of Hiranyakasiipu. Their stories are intertwined through four lifetimes: first as Jaya and Vijaya when they were Vishnu’s door-keepers, then their first rebirth as Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakasiipu, a second rebirth as Ravana and Kumbhakarna, and finally their third rebirth as Sisiupala and Dantavaktra.
Hiranyaksha was the eldest twin and began his rampage first. He stalked the three worlds with his war club and sent the devas (gods) running away in terror. In the meantime, the earth became flooded and the Manu of that age, Svayambhuva, asked Brahma to raise the earth out of the waters. Some versions said that it was Hiranyaksha who had abducted Bhimi (the earth) and taken her beneath the waters. So Brahma meditated on Lord Vishnu and a tiny boar (vamana) came from Brahma’s nose. The boar rapidly grew and then plunged into the waters and rescued Bhimi. Hiranyaksha immediately knew that this enormous boar was Vishnu, so they fought a duel to the finish. Hiranyaksha was killed, and the proper order was brought back to the earth.

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