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Nrusimha Jayanti

From: Muralidhar Rangaswamy (rangaswamy_m_at_hotmail.com)
Date: Tue May 16 2000 - 15:52:13 PDT

Sri:

SrimatE Gopaladesika MahadesikAya Namaha,

AhobilE Garuda shaila madhyE krupAvashAth kalpitha sannidhanam
lakshmyA samAlingitha vAmaBhAgam Lakshminrusimham sharaNam prapadyE

Dear Bhaktas,

For the most sacred Nrusimha Jayanthi, Adiyen wishes to share the 
following reflections on Bhagavan Nrusimha on this list. The avataram 
of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha is eloquently described in the Srimad Bhagavatam 
salutation "Satyam viDhAtum nijaBhrutyaBhAshitam vyAptim cha 
BhUtEshu aKhileshu chAtmana: Adhrushyata atyadhBhuta rUpamudhvahan 
sThamBhE SaBhAyAm na mrugam na mAnusham".  The 
avataram of Bhagavan Nrusimha took place at the Kshetram of Ahobilam, 
where the Lord remains enshrined as the Archa Murthis of the Nava 
Narasimhas. 

Lord Vishnu is saluted in the Vedas as Mantraroopi Mahavishnu. The 
most powerful Mantram in this context is the blessed 
NrusimhAnushtup Mantram. Very aptly, the 9 padams employed in this 
Mantram are eloquently expounded on by Ahirbudhnyan in the 
Mantrarajapada Stotram of the Ahirbudhnya Samhita-an important 
Pancharatra Agama text. Specifically, verses 2-10 of the Mantraraja 
pada 
stotram elaborate on the individual padams of the Nrusimhanushtup 
Mantram. As a result of the nine Padams, the nine verses of 
Ahirbudhnyan 
extolling their significance, and the nine Narasimhas of Ahobilam,
the 
number 9 assumes special importance in the context of Bhagavan 
Nrusimha. The Mantrarajapada stotram was discussed by Adiyen in a 11 
part series elsewhere.

A number of reasons have been evinced for the avataram of Bhagavan 
Nrusimha. The Nrusimha puraNam states that the Avataram of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha took place to rescue the Devas from HiraNyan's 
persecution (cf: RuNa vimOchana Stotram salutation "DevatakArya 
sidhyartham saBha sThamBha samudhBhavam"). Some commentators opine 
that the Avataram took place to rescue Prahlada from HiraNyan's 
tyranny. However, U.Ve. Sri Mukkur Lakshminarasimhachariar Swamin 
argues that all these positions while valid are not the primary
reason 
for 
the Lord's incarnation. Swamin notes that had either of these reasons 
been valid, the Lord need not have waited for so long to incarnate.
Instead, the Lord chose to emerge from the pillar primarily to uphold 
the words of Prahlada who declared "He is present everywhere
including 
this pillar". It may be  noted that these words of Prahlada embody
the 
quintessence of Our Sampradayam, wonderfully stated by Lord Krishna 
in the Bhagavad Gita declaration "Vasudeva sarvam iti". Swami Desikan 
pays tribute to the pillar which housed Bhagavan Nrusimha in the 
Dashavatara stotram and declares that the pillar is verily the 
grandmother of the four-faced Brahma. 

The avataram of Bhagavan Nrusimha is unique for a number of reasons. 
(1) In all other incarnations of the Lord, his avataram took place 
easily due to His sankalpam. However, the avatara karyam was
difficult 
to 
accomplish. In the case of Bhagavan Nrusimha, the reverse is true.
The 
avataram was rendered difficult due to the fact that the Lord 
had to satisfy every condition of Brahma's boon to HiraNyan. However, 
the avatara karyam itself was swiftly accomplished.
(2)H.H. the 45th Jeeyar of Ahobila Matham stated in a tele-upanyasam 
"All incarnations of Lord Narayana prior to Bhagavan Nrusimha had 
animal forms and all incarnations following Bhagavan Nrusimha had 
human forms. Bhagavan Nrusimha was the only one who combined the 
traits of the human and animal forms."
(3)The mane of Bhagavan Nrusimha emerging from the pillar was 
beautiful to behold-this is glorified in the Vishnu sahasranamam 
salutation
"Narasimhavapu SrimAn". This is because he simultaneously personified 
terror for HiraNyan and compassion for Prahlada. 
(4) A unique trait of Bhagavan Nrusimha is that of Pida Pariharam for 
Bhaktas and Pida Pradanam for Dushtas. Swami Desikan glorifies this 
aspect of Bhagavan Nrusimha in the KamasiAshtakam salutation 
"Satapatala BheeshaNE...". This salutation set to the Shardoola 
Vikriditha
meter is a most beautiful glorification of the Avataram features of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha.
(5) Among all the avatarams of Lord Narayana, Bhagavan Nrusimha is
the 
only one seen constantly wearing his Padhukas. This is illustrative
of 
His anxiety to uphold His assurances "ParitrANAya sAdhunAm vinAshAya 
cha dushkrithAm".
(6) Swami Desikan eloquently glorifies the avatara Adbhutam of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha in the KamasikAshtakam. Specifically, Swami Desikan 
states that the hands of Bhagavan Nrusimha were in competition to 
grace Prahlada and destroy HiraNyan. Swami also adds that Bhagavan 
Nrusimha's eyes simultaneously denoted fire for HiraNyan and 
compassion for Prahlada.
(7)The Purva and Uttara Tapaneeya Upanishad of the Atharvana vedam 
glorify Bhagavan Nrusimha and contain a majestic Gayathri Mantram 
for Bhagavan Nrusimha. Bhagavan Nrusimha is eulogized in this 
Upanishad as having three eyes-Sun,Moon, and Agni. Swami Desikan 
pays his tribute to this aspect in the second verse of the 
KamasikAshtakam. The underlying message is that the benevolent glance 
of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha destroy the sins of a supplicant, absolves one from 
the three kinds of debt (Deva RuNam, Rishi RuNam, and Pitru 
RuNam), frees them from the three kinds of afflictions (Adhyatmika, 
Adhi Bhowdhika, and Adi Daivika), confers true knowledge about 
Tattva trayam, and most importantly assures one of the efficacy of
the 
path of complete, unconditional surrender to His Lotus feet.

Vedic tributes to Bhagavan Nrusimha include the Vishnu sooktam 
salutation "mrugO na BhIma kucharO giriShtA:", the Taittriya 
Upanishad salutation "BheeShAsmAd vAta: pavatE BheeShodEti sUrya: 
BheeShAsmAdhagnischEndrascha mrutyurDhAvati Panchama iti", the rg 
vedam salutations "Bhadram KarNE...", and "
Ya AtmadA baladA yasya vishva upAsatE prashiSham yasya devA: yasya 
cChayA amrutam yO mrutyumrutyu: kasmai devAya haviShA 
viDhEma " . Each of these salutations is most potent in invoking the 
blessings of Bhagavan Nrusimha. 

Verse 9 of the Mantrarajapada stotram contains in a nutshell the 
essence of Bhagavad Ramanuja Darshanam as practised and propagated 
by Swami Desikan. In a recent Upanyasam, H.H. Sri Rangapriya 
Mahadesikan Swami remarked "Bhagavan Nrusimha is addressed as 
Ugram, BheeshaNam and Mrutyumrutyum. These are really terrifying 
aspects of Bhagavan Nrusimha. Even Devas like Brahma and Rudra 
shuddered in fear at this sight. How is it that Prahlada was 
unperturbed and calm at this sight?" Swami then answered the question 
as "For Prahlada, Lord Narayana was manifest in everything sentient 
and insentient. As a firm believer (Maha Vishvasam) in the 
declaration vasudeva sarvam iti, Prahlada beheld Lord Nrusimha in 
everything. Therefore, why should he be terrified by the form of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha?" Swami then continued "Bhadram is the name of 
Bhagavan Nrusimha and Bhadra is the name of his consort-Sri.
What is the protection (Bhadram) offered by the the Divine Couple 
together? It is the act of granting SharaNagati to a supplicant. Such 
protection is elevating, ennobling and permanent (Moksham resulting
in 
Nithya Kaimkaryam for the pleasure and at the pleasure of the 
Divine Couple). As a by product of this act, the Divine Couple 
(Bhagavan Nrusimha and his consort) also
confer the boons of Dharma, Artha, and Kama. Therefore engage in
daily 
recitation of the Mantrarajapada Stotram" Swami Desikan 
refers to the elevated nature of the protection offered by the Divine 
Couple in the KamasikAshtakam salutation "Tvayi rakshati 
rakshakai: kimanyai: tvayi cha arakshati rakshakai: kimanyai:" (when 
You have decided to protect someone where is the need for 
other protectors? When You have decided not to protect someone of
what 
use are other protectors?)

Adiyen wishes to conclude this posting with the following passage
from 
the Linga Aspotita Nrusimha Gadyam, which appears in the 
Vishnu puraNam

JnAnaIshwarya Shakti Bala TejOguNAtmaka! 
Parama Purusha! PadmanAbha! Hayashira:! AdIvarAha! Narasimha! 
Vamana! Trivikrama! RAma! RAma! VAsudeva! SankarshaNa! Pradyumna! 
Aniruddha! Purusha! Satyashruta!VAsudeva! Adimadhya Nidhana
ChEshtita! 
ChEstAtma MAyA AhOrAtra YatimAnjishta! ShuklavAsa:! SuparNatAla 
Makaradwaja!ParamavidyAkarmakAlanABha! Svasti Asmabhyam, Svasti 
PrajAbhya:! 

TvamEva Mantram Tvam RakshA, TvamoUshadamanuttamam I 
TriviDhadapi DukhAnmAm PramOchaya JagatpatE II 

Sri Sudarshana-Narasimha ParabrahmaNE Namaha,

Namo Narayana,

SriMuralidhara Dasan




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