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RANGASWAMY_at_plh.af.mil
Date: Wed May 01 1996 - 07:01:13 PDT

	   Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Parabrahmane Namaha

Dear Bhagavatottamas,

Tomorrow is Narasimha Jayanti day. Therefore, the following is a brief 
note about Lord Narasimha, marking the significance of this day.
Among the Dashavatarams of Lord Narayana NarasimhAvataram is unique in 
many respects. The speciality of this avataram is that "Avataram Khatinam. 
Avatara Karyam Sulabham" whereas in all other avatarams, the Avatara 
Karyam was Khatinam while the avataram itself took place rather 
easily (upon the Lord's Sankalpam).

Several articles on the subject of Lord Narasimha have been posted in this 
forum. Sri Dileepan posted an excellent article on Sri Adivan Sadagopa 
Mahadesikan (founder of Ahobila Matham). Sri Jaganath posted a beautiful 
summary of the Nava Narasimhas of Ahobilam. Sri Rengarajan had an excellent 
post on the Tala Puranam of Sholingar. Sri Sadagopan's essay on the joint 
worship of Sudarshana-Narasimha was very eloquent and insightful. For the 
benefit of new memebers to the group the scholars mentioned above may 
consider re-posting their respective articles. 

Hiranyakashipu had obtained a boon from Brahma that he could not be killed
either by day or by night, neither inside nor outside and no weapon could
harm him. Additionally, his killer could not be any creation of Brahma. 
The Narasimhavataram was difficult because, the avataram itself could not 
be any creation of Brahma. By emerging from the pillar (Sthambam) in the 
form of Narasimha (half man-half lion), the Lord satisfied the condition of 
not being any creation of Brahma. Since he emerged at twilight (neither 
day nor night), the second condition was also satisfied. By carrying 
Hiranyakashipu to the doorstep (neither inside nor outside), the third 
condition was met. Finally by using his finger-nails to tear 
Hiranyakashipu apart, Lord Narasimha upheld the last condition of 
Brahma's boon (no weapons could kill Hiranyakashipu).

Furthermore, the Lord had to remain in the pillar for a long time before
incarnating. The Avatara Karyam was accomplished by Narasimha rather 
swiftly compared to those of the other Avatarams. The Katha Kalakshepams
by Sri Sundara Kumar provide a very eloquent and moving description 
of the Narasimha avataram. Just before the avataram took place, 
Hiranyakashipu calls out "Ari atra Agaccha" (enemy come here). The Lord's 
grace is such that if Hiranyakashipu had replaced "Ari" by "Hari" 
(and thought about the Lord), the 
Lord would have forgiven him for all his atrocities. Doesn't this say 
something about the beauty of the Sanskrit language? One aksharam can make 
the such a great difference. 

Another useful reference in this context is Sri Thyagaraja Swami's Prahlada 
Bhakti Vijayam where Sadguru Thyagaraja portrays Lord Narasimha as his 
Abhimana Daivam Sri Rama in the Kriti Daya Rani Daya Rani. Interestingly, 
this work is devoid of the Ugra (violent) aspect of Lord Narasimha and 
focusses exclusively on Prahlada's Bhakti. 

According to both the Pancharatra and Vaighanasa Agamams, Lord Narasimha is 
worshipped in four places: below the earth (Patalam), in pillars, on hills
and in the Sudarshana Yantram. Lord Narasimha and the Sudarshana Chakram 
share deep connections. The joint worship of Sudarshana and 
Narasimha is prescribed in both Agamams.  

The Chakram has the attribute of Pida-Pradanam 
which is also a characteristic of Lord Narasimha. The Chakram is the mighty 
Jwala which forms the center of the Kalanala (fire at the end of time). 
This Jwala has the radiance of a thousand Adityas and therefore dispels all 
forms of darkness and ignorance. This mighty Jwala connotes the Jwala 
Narasimhar aspect, It is believed that Lord Narasimha destroyed Hiranyakashipu 
in the form of Jwala Narasimhar, bringing instant relief to Prahlada from 
his sufferings (Pida Pradanam). Therefore, Lord Narasimha is considered to 
be resident in the Chakram. The Chakram is the protector of the 
Devas, destroyer of the Asuras and is the bestower of true 
knowledge as can be seen from Swami Desikan's Sudarshana Ashtakam (Dhanuja
VistAra Kartana Janita Misra Vikartana....). This is also the attribute of 
Lord Narasimha in Jwala and Yoga Narasimhar forms. It can also be argued that
the Sudarshana Chakram destroys one's sins (Papa Nashanam). This is the 
first step towards realizing Lord Narayana. The realization of the Lord comes 
about due to the grace of Lord Narasimhar in Yoga Narasimhar form. There is 
a Saligramam symbolizing the back-to-back forms of Sudarshana and Narasimhar
in support of this argument. There is also a Temple in Srirangam where 
the Murthis of Sudarshana Chakram and Lord Narasimhar are seen in a single 
Peetham. 

Lord Narasimha is known to be Vara Prasadi. In other words even contemplating
on him even for a single moment is sufficient to being instant relief
from sufferings and untold prosperity. Before his marriage to Padmavati 
Thayar Lord Srinivasar was required to perform Tadiaradhanai and feed 108 
Brahmins. Lord Srinivasar made a pilgrimage to Ahobilam, performed 
Tiruvaradanam for Lord Narasimhar and obtained his blessings. Upon 
receiving Lord Narasimha's blessings Lord Srinivasa fed the 108 Brahmins and 
returned to marry Padmavati Thayar. There is a Sannidhi in Ahobilam 
symbolizing this aspect of Lord Narasimhar. 

Finally, an important aspect of the NarasimhAvataram is that the Lord 
grants Sharanagati entirely by himself. Nobody
can control the Lord in the matter of granting Sharanagati. All attempts to 
abate the fury of Lord Narasimha (upon killing Hiranyakashipu) were futile.
The Lord was furious on account of Bhagavat Apacharam to his devotee 
(Prahlada) by Hiranyakashipu. This fury threatened to destroy the three 
worlds. The pleas of all the Devas and Sri were of no avail. It was only 
Prahlada's prayers that made Lord Narasimha come back to his Shanta  
Swaroopam. 

Nara Mrugapati Varshma Lokana Branthanari
Nara Dhanujasuparva Vrata Patala Loka:
Karaja Kulisha Pali Binna Daityendra vaksha:
Suraripu Balahanta Sridharostu Sriyaivaha.

All errors in the above post are mine. If the readers liked this post
they may consider donating to the cause of Ahobila Matham. 
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Muralidhar Rangaswamy