vyāptiṁ ca bhūteṣv akhileṣu cātmanaḥ
stambhe sabhāyāṁ na mṛgaṁ na mānuṣam
When Hiraṇyakaśipu asked Prahlāda Mahārāja, “Where is your Lord? Is He present in this pillar?” Prahlāda Mahārāja fearlessly replied, “Yes, my Lord is present everywhere.” Therefore, to convince Hiraṇyakaśipu that the statement of Prahlāda Mahārāja was unmistakably true, the Lord appeared from the pillar. The Lord appeared as half lion and half man so that Hiraṇyakaśipu could not understand whether the great giant was a lion or a human being. To substantiate Prahlāda’s statement, the Lord proved that His devotee, as declared in Bhagavad-gītā, is never vanquished (kaunteya pratijānīhi na me bhaktaḥ praṇaśyati). Prahlāda Mahārāja’s demoniac father had repeatedly threatened to kill Prahlāda, but Prahlāda was confident that he could not be killed, since he was protected by the Supreme Lord. By appearing from the pillar, the Lord encouraged His devotee, saying in effect, “Don’t worry. I am present here.” By manifesting His form as Nṛsiṁhadeva, the Lord also preserved the truth of Lord Brahmā’s promise that Hiraṇyakaśipu was not to be killed by any animal or any man. The Lord appeared in a form that could not be said to be fully a man or a lion.