Narsimha avatar - Man-Lion Incarnate Narsimha is considered the Forth Incarnate of Vishnu. So far nine have appeared. Tenth Lord Kalki, who would be puraaaavatar [Complete Incarnate] is yet to appear. This Incarnate appeared for a very period and was of limited scope. A Wiki entry is a very good one. In his previous avatara of Varaha [the Boar], Vishnu killed a rakshasa known as Hiranyaksha. Hiranyaksha's brother Hiranyakashipu, greatly angered by this, started to abhor Vishnu and his followers. The rakshasa propitiated Brahma with hardest of meditations, and finally He had to come to grant a boon. But He would not a grant immortality of bodyily entry into heaven. The Rakshas thought for a moment and craved a boon like this: I would not killed by a man or a beast. I may not be killed during the day or during the night. I may not be killed within or outside a house. I may not be killed while on ground or in the air water. I may not be killed by any weapons, hand held or launched. Quite a watertight boon. Since it did not directly ask for immortality, Brahma granted it! Have you read Lord of the Rings? Sauron has special powers and he set himslef as a dark lord. So did the Rakshasa. Absolute immunity [he thought] from death is absolute power and can corrupt absolutely. So, he started a campaign against Vishnu, prohibiting His worship, rather the very Name, of Vishnu. Armed with virtual immortality, he set himself as God, and ordered all his subjects to worship none but himself. A reign of religious terror. Brahma, though he weilds an ultimate and irrestible weapon called Bramastra, could not kill him without falsifying His boon. Same dilemma was there with Shiva and Vishnu, who too had irrestible weapons. Even Yama, the Lord of Death, declined for fear of falsification of his powers. Only thing he predicted was that the Rakshasa was still slayable. Dear members, have you examined the boon and analysed with every reason and logic? You would find loopholes in that. The Rakshasa had a son called Prahalad, a highly revered figure [though a rakshasa], and he was an unswerable devotee of Vishnu. His father tried to kill him repeatedly, but he was saved by Vishnu, who was biding for time. He could not intervene without a direct challenge, and challenge soon came. One day the Rakshasa bound his son to a piller heated to red heat and taunted him : Where is your Vishnu? Call him!! Challenge accepted. Vishnu burst forth from the pillar, Prahalad was freed. Vishnu appeared as half man half lion. Except His head and mouth and claws, which were leonine, He was a human. NEITHER man nor beast. He carried no weapons. Vishnu, of course bested the Rakshasa in unarmed combat, overpowered him and sat on the THREASHOLD. Threshold is neither in nor outside the house and put him on His thighs. Neither in the air nor on ground nor in water. After the sun had set, He tore him apart with His Lion claws. No weapons. Neither day nor night. None of the provisions of the boon were violated. Afterwards, Prahlad sang a song to pacify Him, and He returned.