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Om Vishnupad 108 Tridandi Swami Sri Srimat Bhakti Sravan Tirtha Goswami Maharaj ki Jai !!

 

Bhagavan Narasimha in Gaudiya tradition

Why is it that in the traditional line of Chaitanya Vaishnavism, we worship Lord Narasimha? The objective of all our sadhna, japa, ekadashi vrata, dham yatra and celebrations is service to Sri Radha Madhav in the mood of the Gopis, Sakhas or the Manjaris – the confidential personal hand-maidens of Srimati Radharani.

Then how is it that Lord Narasimha only – out of all other major avataras – is worshipped in most Gaudiya centres?

There are several reasons for this.  One is that worship of Lord Narasimha helps in removing obstacles from the path of sincere sadhakas or spiritual aspirants.  These obstacles are both external and internal in nature.

Externally Sri Narasimhadev compassionately removes or resolves circumstances and influences that prevent us from performing our bhakti sadhana – devotional practice.

When a novice starts on the path of Krishna bhakti, there are many who give so-called “good advice” that creates confusion and doubt in the novices’ minds.

Often circumstances and situations arise that seemingly prevent us from proceeding on the path.  These are tests put by Maya. Narasimhadev supports our nishtha “determination” by removing these negative influences - if we are determined and sincere.

Internally Sri Narasimhadev aids us in overcoming or own ‘anarthas’ or negative character traits. Worship of Lord Narasimha has the capacity to purify a heart vulnerable to lust, to erase the subtle desire for fame and name; tendency for cunning behavior and to purify us from duplicitous dealings. Lord Narasimha cleanses us and prepares us for genuine loving service to the Divine Couple.

Lord Narasimha gives the benediction of being able to worship Sri Sri Radha-Krishna in the right manner and to live peacefully without disturbance in one’s home or in the Dham. So Bhagavan Narasimha is also protector of the holy places and devotees.

In the struggles of day-to-day life also Lord Narasimha is the one to remove distress and provide succour. Many people ignorantly avoid having deities of Sri Narasimhadev or his worship fearing that it will bring about ruin. Understanding the magnificient nature of the Lord's grace induces unquestionable faith in the Lord which is a pre-requisite for attaining knowledge about Him and His glory.

Lord Narasimhadev has the gentle protective love of a mother-lion towards her devotee-cubs while at the same time He is extremely ferocious and fearsome to evil-doers.

Baba once said “Ma, bahut mukhkil mein jab ho, to Krishna koi kaam ka nahin hain. Narasimhadev hi sahara dete hain..” !! Meaning that in certain grave situations the most effective solution is to approach the fierce manifestation of Krishna – Sri Narasimhadev.

Sri Chaitanya advised his disciples offer dandavat pranam to Lord Narasimha before taking darshan of Sri Jagannath. Sri Chaitanya Himself worshipped Lord Narasimhadev before going to have the darshan of Sri Jagannath.

So in many Gaudiya Maths, Narasimhadev is worshipped. There is a legend that Sri Gauranga saved Thakur Haridas from the attack of an enemy, assuming the form of Narasimhadev.

Lord Narasimha is associated with tantra sandhna also. This is a very secretive and mystical aspect that only someone like our Baba knew about. Lord Narasimha is the one to ultimately award siddhi or perfection to sadhakas.

One or another form of Narasimhadev is generally to be found in most large temples and tirthas. Ancient deities can be found in Vrindavan, Mathura, several places in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Even Lord Rama worshipped Narasimha Bhagavan in Ahobilam.

Narasimhadev removes the evil influences of ghosts, spirits and dark forces.  They can never remain where the Lord is present. Those who are under the malevolent infuence of Shani (Saturn) will get relief if they surrender to Lord Narasimha for protection. Lord Shanidev has promised that he will spare the devotees of Narasimhadev.

There 74 different forms of Narasimhadev mentioned in the Vihagendra-Samhita of the Pancaratra-Agama and they all signify different aspects of the Lord.

The nine most prominent forms are:  

Vira-narasimha;  Vilamba-narasimha; Kopa-narasimha; Yoga-narasimha
Aghora-narasimha Sudarsana-narasimha; Laksmi-Narasimha.

In Ahobila, Andhra Pradesh, the nine forms are as follows:

(1) Chhatra-vata-narasimha (seated under a banyan tree)
(2) Yogananda-narasimha (who blessed Lord Brahma)
(3) Karanja-narasimha (4) Uha-narasimha
(5) Ugra-narasimha (6) Kroda-narasimha
(7) Malola-narasimha (With Laksmi on His lap)
(8) Jvala-narasimha (an eight armed form rushing out of the pillar)
(9) Pavana-narasimha (who blessed the sage Bharadvaja)

Other forms are as follows:

Stambha-narasimha (coming out of the pillar)
Svayam-narasimha (manifesting on His own)
Grahana-narasimha (catching hold of the demon)
Vidarana-narasimha (ripping open of the belly of the demon)
Samhara-narasimha (killing the demon)
Shanta-narasimha (pacified and peaceful Lord)

It is advisable for devotees and householders to worship one of the peaceful and compassionate forms of the Lord such as Sri Lakshmi-Narasimha; Sri Yoga Narasimha; Pushti Narasimha or  Prahlad-varada Narasimha.  Baba used to say that just repeating "Om Namo Narasimhaaya" is enough in terms of worship of the Lord.

In Sri Jagannath Temple, Puri, Narasimhadev is the guardian Deity of the Temple. All the performances, from cooking to puja, are preceded by offering to Lord Narasimha first. Lord Narasimha is described as the protector of Lord Jagannath, and the protector of Nandighosha chariot.

It is customary for a wooden image of Narasimhadev after due ritual, completed by the Head Priest, the only strotriya Brahmin servitor of the temple, to be brought with proper procession and musical accompaniment to the chariots (Hanuman and Bhubaneswari for Balabhadra and Subhadra, respectively).

In fact, the head of Lord Jagannath may be symbolic of a lion head, with the Lord's round eyes being typical features of Lord Narasimhadev’s.

During Nabakalebara (the ritual when new fresh deities of Sri Jagannath, Balabhadra and Subhadra are carved), the role of Lord Narasimha is indispensable. The new images of the Lords are to be consecrated in the presence of Sri Narasimha and the neem trees selected for image making are to be cut also in the presence of Narasimhadev.

In all these above rituals, Mantraraja, the Mantra of Lord Narasimha, are only to be recited by the Brahmins. Yajna-Narasimha is associated in the process of the journey of the logs of the Lord. Narasimha is one of the Veshas (dress) of the Lord on the 13th day of the month of Kartik and Lord Jagannatha is worshipped as Narasimhadev on the 14th day of lunar fortnight of the month of Vaishakha (Narasimha Chaturdasi).

This year Sri Narasimha Chaturdasi is on 23rd May 2013. Bhagavan Narasimha is very mysterious and mystical. He is the original Supreme Power manifest as Man-Lion to protect His child devotee Prahalad Maharaj and destroy Hiranyakashipu. Therefore He is both very merciful and terrible at the same time.

Sri Nrisimha Maha-mantra

Ugram veeram maha-vishnum
jvalantam sarvato mukham
nrisimham bhishanam bhadram
mrityur mrityum namamy aham


Translation
"I bow down to Lord Narasimha the ferocious and heroic form of Lord Vishnu
Emitting fire from every side
At once Terrible and Beautiful
He is the very death of Death personified."

 

 

Sri Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Bhagavan ki Jai !!

Jai Guru!

Jai Sri Radhe !