Whenever I see the fantastic, unique, human-lion combined form of Narasimha Moorthy in a shrine I close my eyes not with fear but with awe and admiration, devotion and love (yes love! ) and sing loudly if none is there in the audible distance , Annamayya’s Attana ” Kadiri Nrismhudu ” * or simply look at the idol, speechless,  and admire its beauty . But when I am back home and muse on the story of Narasimha avatar , I feel pain in a corner of my heart, due to a query – Why did the Lord kill Hiranyakasipu so mercilessly , in the presence of his son and wife?  The demon king deserves punishment for his cruel treatment of his son and many others but could he not have been punished in a less ferocious manner? Tearing the chest pulling out the intestine – I do not know whether the Lord really did so but that is how many of the pictures exhibit the act . But then, the Lord was in his Narasimha avatar, half-lion and half- human . Tearing a body with its sharp claws is Lion’s nature . It does not use a sword or arrow to pierce enemy’s chest ! Though I appreciate the narration God’s ferocity against evil forces to be eliminated , some of the visual depictions of the same are repulsive. A kathakaali show for example, pulling out twisted cotton ropes dipped in red ink from the body and wearing them around the neck with screaming . How artistically the message could have been conveyed by action alone !

Of the ten avatars, Narasimha avatar is the most instant manifestation of the Divine force , which did not wait for a minute when His child devotee’s unalloyed belief in the God was questioned by his own father who firmly believed that he was the best, strongest and most powerful in the universe, none other in the world and even the gods were subservient to him. Prahlaada not only refused to accept his father’s claim but also expressed openly his trust in his father’s arch enemy, Mahavishnu. Even a normal father will not tolerate such arrogance. Prahlada was perhaps the first child to declare total disagreement with his father and to revolt against him. To revolt against the most fearsome, uncompromisingly arrogant cruel father, one needs guts. Prahalad had it . His courage of conviction was unique. And he revolted at a time when father was allotted a honorable second place and God only the fourth and the last in the list of elders to be revered ! -” Matha, pitha, Guru, Deivam ” And think of the plight of Hiranyakasipu’s wife. The poor woman had to witness almost every day the cruelty of her husband towards their own child ? How can a Hindu wife revolt against her husband and how to go against the wisher of her son ? For Hiranyakasipu too it would not have been a wholesome pleasure to cruelly punish his won son, His ego and false prestige overtook his sense of attachment. And what about the God Himself ? It would have been impossible for him to take the life of his enemy in the presence of his son and wife. In a human form he would not have done what he had to do . That was why He manifested in the form of a half human and half animal , the most cruel one.

Now let us pray to the Kadiri Narasimha. Kadiri is a small town in Ananthapur district, Andrapradesh where there is a Lakshmi Narasimha swamy temple . The Lord here is believed to have emerged out from the roots of Kadiri tree and it is said that while doing the daily abishekam for the deity , water droplets trickles out continuously as they are wiped off. “According to the legends of the temple, after exterminating Hiranyakashipu, Lord Narasimha, pacified by the prayers of His devotee Prahalad, shuns his frightening form and appears in a protecting form. Thus, the deity at Kadiri symbolizes this transformational phase of the Lord “

Annamacharya has greatly succeeded in bringing out the ferocity of the presiding deity in the song given below,soaked in bakthi.

Raagam Sudhasaveri-  Adi thalam

Pallavi:

‘Kadiri Nrisimhudu kambhamuna vedale

Vidhidha mukha sevimparo munulu

( Kadiri )

Charanam 1

Phalalochanamu bayadogra mukhamu

Jwalamaya kesaramulunu

Khala rowdra samkhaditha damdhamulu

Helapathi dhariyenchaga niliche.

( Kadiri )

Charanam 2

Mudivadu bommalu munchina noodpulu

Gadagada nadaredi karamulunu

Nidutha naalikayu nippu karanamulu

Nadiyalaku roopai velase

( Kadiri )

Charanam 3

Sakalaayudahamulu sahasra bujamulu

Vikatanekhaambulu vedabooni

Vekaliya guchu Sree Venkateswarudu

Prakatapu dushtula bathinchnithivo .

( Kadiri )

‘ Narasimha mamava bagavan nithyam ‘ is a composition in Aarabhi by Swathy thirunal .

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Beautiful siva to read this in the morning, many a time i have also wondered why he had to be so ferocious but then sometime i feel let me also be the victim then that way i may also find moksha from this cycle of world….

with kind regards
sundari kannan

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Second part

Sun, 20 February, 2011 16:15:00 

Fw: [Iyer123] NARASIMHA MAMAVA BAGAVAN – contd.

From:
Siva Subramanian Perinkulam <sperinkulam@yahoo.co.uk> 

View Contact

To: pattars <pattars@yahoogroups.com>

 

> Encouraged by the response from some of the learned members to my previous post, I have pleasure to continue sharing my contemplation on Narasimha avataram,the most instant manifestation of the Divine force of Mahavishnu and the first in the development towards human from animal form.
>
> Many years ago, as a bachelor, I was living in a spacious house initially with four friends and then alone, when my sister Raji joined me for a short sojourn. A severe typhoid fever damaged her lever which became cirrhotic and she coughed out a large quantity of blood and swooned. It was midnight in a bone-twisting cold December, the lights went off, no candle was traceable and I had no telephone connection to call friends for help and did not want to leave the girl in a semi-conscious state alone, amidst the pool of blood on the floor and go out and disturb friends enjoying deep sleep in the deadly winter night.
>
> When such a calamity of unfathomable magnitude struck me, without knowing what to do or where to go, instantly I lifted my hands towards the heaven and cried for help from Lord Lakshmi Narasimha swamy of Yadagirigutta whom my local friends used to worship as ‘vaidya Narasimha’ – the God who heals. .
>
> “ Lakshmeepathea, Kamalanabha, Suresa, Vishno,
> Yagnesa, Yagna, Madhusoodhana, Viswaroopa!
> Brahamania, Kesava, Janrdahana, Vasudeva,
> Lakshmee Nrisimha mamdehi karaavalambham.
>
> Eakena chakra maparena karena samkham
> Anyena Sindhuthanayaam avalambhia thishtan
> Vaametharena vardabhaya padmachinnam
> Lakshmee Nrisimha mamdehi karaavalambham “
>


> The Lord did not break open a pillar ( there was none in my house ) or appear before me in person but the lights blushed instantly, Raji half-opened her eyes and flashed her usual innocent smile , her eyes brightened, limbs moved and suddenly I became aware that the Yadagiri Lakshmi Narasimha did extend his strong hands to lift me up from the unfathomable deep see I was sinking in . I wrapped my sister’s slender body with a thick blanket after giving her some hot coffee and turned her head to a side to avoid her getting scared by the sight of the spread of blood spilled by her on the floor. Counting every minute, I waited for the break of dawn and hospitalized her. She lived long enough to be married and give birth to three lovely children.
>
> After a couple of months, I visited the famous Yadagirigutta temple along with her and was freighted by the fearsome looks of the God, to reach whom I had to bend my head and walk through a cave at the end of which was His abode. Located around 60 KM from Hyderabad, on a hillock, inside a cave is His shrine, which has undergone a lot of changes since my maiden visit, though for me , the architectural development of the temple, has annihilated the joy of approaching the sanctum in a subservient form, bending once head. The Skandha puranam , it seems, mentions about this shrine and the belief is that Lord Narasimha appeared before the sage Yadarishi, son of the great sage Rishyasrunga and Santa Devi who did penance inside a cave with the blessings of Anjaneya on this hill , in five different forms as Jwala, Yogananda, Gandabherunda, Ugra and Lakshminarasimha, which.later manifested themselves into finely sculpted forms that later came to be worshiped as Pancha Narasimha Kshetram.
>
> Extract from the Google search :
>
> ” Glowing bright atop the sikharam of garbha griha (Sanctum Sanctorum) of this cave temple is the golden Sudarshana Chakra (about 3 ft x 3 ft) of Lord Vishnu (whose reincarnation is Lord Narasimha), the adornment as well as the weapon is a symbol this temple is identified by from as far away as 6 km. It is said that many years ago the chakra moved in the direction from which the devotees came as if like a compass guiding them towards the temple.
>
>
> Lord Narasimha is believed to have been worshiped by sages (rishis). The region of Yadagirigutta is reputed to be a “Rishi Aradhana Kshetram” or the place of worship for sages.
> As the belief goes, Lord Narasimha has taken on the role of a “doctor” and is known as “Vaidya Narasimha” by his devotees at this shrine to cure many chronic diseases and the role of a ‘do gooder’ to those who are under the influence of bad planets, witch craft and black magic. Many instances are cited of the Lord appearing in the dreams of the devotees, and administering medicines and operated the patients and blessed them with good health. Many devotees tell of vivid dreams in which the Lord comes to heal them from chronic or terminal illnesses, and even mental or emotional problems. A mandala (40 day) pradakshina is very popular made by many devotees to get cured of a long standing ailment or chronic disease. Often, the Lord Himself has imparted mantrOpadEsham to select devotees in their dreams “
>
> Unquote :
>
> There can be a Sree Rama without Sita; in fact, He was without her by his side for quite sometime . There can also be a Sree Krishna without Radha or Rukmini but never a Narsimha without Lakshmi . The Sree has to be always with Him to control and regulate His ferocity and that is why in Vishnusahasranamam , Bheeshamacharya was quick in adding ‘Sreeman’ immediately after ‘Narasimhavapu’. Sankara bagavath padar’s Lakshmee Nrismha Karunarasa stothram , starts with the ‘sambodhana’ ‘Sreemath payonidhi nikethana chakrapane !’ and each slokam ends with the prayer, ‘Lakshmi Nrisimha mama dehi karaavalambham ‘.-‘Give me your hand, Bagavan !’
> The pleading is so personal, so moving.
>
>  (On the side line, I do not know whether you have noticed or not but I have; In a family, if the husband is ‘mahasunidi’ a man unable to control his temper,his wife invariably will be an extremely soft-spoken,kind woman of sweet manners. That is how the God balances the family. If she too happens to be like him , which is not the usual case, then “Pahavaane saranam ‘ or ‘Easwaro rakshathu’ God save that family )
>
> Continuing my Narasimha musing:
>
> The next day after my wedding in Thiruvanthapuram, along with my wife and other relatives I went to pray at the Anantha Padhmanabha Swamy temple, my maiden visit to that great kshetram . At the entrance of the sanctum to our left is the shrine of Narasimha and I was frightened at the fearsome appearance and spend a couple of minutes looking at the idol and enjoying its beauty. “Enna ippidy thoon aattama nikkrel ?” why are you standing like a pillar”, whispered my wife . Like any other husband anxious to initiate communication with his just-married girl, I blabbered : “How fortunate was Hiranyakasipu !”. She looked at my face slightly lifting her head, unable to understand why I said so . I should have stopped with that single sentence but did not. I continued.
>
> “I wish I could die like him , lying on the lap of the God, looking at His face, a blessing which no other Asura or Rakshsa had . Sita and not Sri Rama, occupied Ravana’s mind fully by his longing for her but the entire space in Hiranyakasipu’s mind was spared for Mahavishnu , by his staunch hatred and enmity which made him fit for receiving the unique luck and luxury of lying on the lap of the God and expelling his last breath,looking at the Divine face. Kamsa filled his mind with  fear of Krishna and he was therefore lucky to die receiving punches from the Divine hands. No arrow,no sword not even his famous ‘chakram’. But Hiranya’s fortune was unique “
>
> The bride was shocked . Those were not the words to be heard from a man whom she wedded just on the previous day. Those were not the words to be spoken to a girl who had just become your wife and that was not the way you prepare ground for communicating to a girl who had just joined with the hope that you would live with her and take care of her for the rest of her life, which was a long way to go.
>
> She lifted her eyes and head fully for the first time , looked at me from head to toe, perhaps to make sure that I was a normal human being. She did not utter a word but I am now sure that she spoke loud and clear when she asked me a question, during our train journey to her husband’s house in Hyderabad, when I explained to her about the various departments in the Medical Research Institute I was working for : “Clinical biochemistry, Pathology, Bio-physics, radio isotopes —-“
>
> She interrupted, “Psychiatry?”
>
> When I moved my head horizontally to say,’no’, she looked up, bent her head backward and murmured a prayer, which would have been,
>
> ‘Lakshmee Nrisimha mamadehi Karavalambham !’
>
> Who else needed the help of the Divine hand of Lakshmi Narasimha more urgently than that innocent girl who who was crossing the borders of Thiruvanthapuram for the first time, to an unknown distant land, with me !


Comments:

Posted by: “Raji” usharaji_sg@yahoo.com   usharaji_sg

Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:59 pm (PST)

Comments:Namaskaram
I am very much moved reading your sharing about Narasimha Swami. Though I know about the avatar I am introduced to the Annamacharya kriti only now. Thanks for the same. Usha

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