(The following is an excerpt from an informal talk by Srila Sridhara Maharaja
given on the occasion of Sri Narasimha Caturdasi on May 24th, 1983)

Today is the advent of Sri Nrsinghadeva. Of course, He is eternal and He is
in Vaikuntha, but He came down here on this particular day to relieve
Prahlada, His devotee, and save him from trouble. We all look up to Him if
there is any obstacles or hindrances on the path of devotion.

“O Lord, You saved Prahlada, so we also file a petition to You to do away
with all the obstacles that may come in our way when we try with our small
capacity towards the Supreme. Naturally, there may be many difficulties on
the path, and You were gracious enough to remove the great difficulties in
the case of Prahlada Maharaja, so we also expect hope that You will also
remove all the thorns that may fall on our path towards our object of our
aspiration – Krsna. In my past history, I must have done many things which
will come against me, and the illusory energy in general – that also
won’t allow me without clearing the debts incurred in so many previous
lives under her control. You are the only savior. If You come to our help,
then easily all these things may be banished and we may pass over to our
desired end. Be especially gracious on us, Nrsinghadeva. We pray to You to do
away with the difficulties that may come in the way of our progress. So,
particularly with this idea that my belated capital brings some success by
Your grace. I am nothing. So many difficulties are sure to stand in my way.
Please protect my progress so that I may reach my goal.”

He generally helps the devotees in that way and with that sort of prayer we
are to pass this day and observe fasting. After the advent in the evening, we
offer puja and bhoga to Him and then we shall take some anukalpa. That is our
arrangement. The sick or those who are too old may take according to the
measure of the occasion – some sweet, liquid or a little milk to keep up
the body…otherwise fasting.

In the south, Nrsingha temples are found more in number. Andhra-desha is fond
of worshiping Nrsinghadeva. There is one temple in Simhacalam, near Waltair,
then again in Mangalagiri near Viyayawada and another Nrsinghadeva in
Ahobilam. That is in a forest. Once we went there within that forest, near
Warangal in Andhra-desha. These three temples are all within the boundary of
Andhra. One is near Waltair, one near Vijaywada and Ahobilam is far from
Warangal, the nearest city. These three temples of Nrsinghadeva are there.

It is mentioned in Caitanya-caritamrta that Mahaprabhu visited them. Our Guru
Maharaja also visited those places and constructed the pada-pitha temple of
Mahaprabhu in two places – Mangalagiri and Simhacalam. We were in that
party – Vana Maharaja, myself, Madhava Maharaja (who was at that time
Hayagriva Brahmacari) and two others. We went on installing the pada-pitha of
Mahaprabhu there. About twelve hundred steps in Simhacalam, six hundred steps
to Mangalagiri and Ahobilam also. But that was within the forest and rocks,
and it was unapproachable. Tigers and other animals are in that forest. Only
at daytime one priest comes and offers something in the temple and flies
away. That was the position there we saw. Now, I don’t know – that was
in the 30’s.

ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho yato yato yami yato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho nrsimham adim saranam prapadyaye

With this sloka Mahaprabhu climbed up the hill. When we find it is necessary
to secure the help of Nrsimhadeva for our benefit, we are to absorb our
thoughts wholesale in Him, to remove the difficulties. ‘Here is Nrsingha,
there is Nrsingha, Nrsingha is within, Nrsingha is outside, Nrsingha is
all-in-all.’ With this spirit we have to approach.

sri nrsingha jaya nrsingha jaya jaya nrsingha
prahladasa jaya padma mukha padma-brngam

You are full of all resources, let victory be with You, then everythong will
be peaceful. Jaya, jaya Nrsingha – victory after victory may spontaneously
come through Your will, and that will be beneficial for us fallen souls.
Prahladesa – You are exclusively sought after by Prahlada Maharaja; his
connection we can’t severe from you. Jaya Padma-mukha-padma – at the same
time we must not forget that You are the object of divine service for Sri
Laksmi-devi herself. You have come to take such a hard jungle figure to save
Your devotee, but really You are in such a position that Laksmi-devi always
serves You with her whole heart and energy. Your position is such, but to
save Your devotee, You have come in the figure of a half-jungle animal, half
human figure, but we won’t forget that Your position is

vag-isa yasya vadane laksmir yasya ca vaksasi
yasyaste hrdaye samvit tam nrsimham aham bhaje

Vag-isa means Sarasvati, the goddess of learning. She is residing in Your
face. Laksmir yasya ca vaksasi – and Laksmi-devi, the goddess of
resources, is always in Your heart. Yasya ca vaksasi yapyaste hrdaye samvit –
and within Your heart the seat of real knowledge, real consciousness of the
Absolute is there. Samvit means knowledge, the higher consciousness of Your
heart. There is consciousness of the Absolute. Even Krsna consciousness is
also there. I bow down to You repeatedly. In this way so many hints in praise
of Nrsimhadeva we find.

ugro ‘py anugra evayam sva-bhaktanam nr-kesari
kesariva svapotanam anyesam ugra vikramah

Ugro ‘py anugra evayam – apparently we think Your figure to be a fierce,
dreadful form, but really You are very affectionate to the devotee –
sva-bhaktanam, anugra. Kesariva sva-potanam – a lioness is fearful to
others, but to her own cubs, she is very affectionate. That is Your position.

namas te narasimhaya prahladahlada-dayine
hiranyakasipor vaksah sila-tankanakhalaye

I show my obedience to the Lord who is half-human, half-lion, and whose very
appearance and necessity is to please His devotee like Prahlada. For that
purpose, to save the devotees, He does not hesitate if necessary to tear up
the body of the enemies of the devotee. Hiranyakasipor vaksah
sila-tanka-nakhalaye – the enemy of devotion was Hiranyakasipu and his
chest was just like stone. But You tore it to pieces –
sila-tanka-nakhalaye. In this way we find so many hymns in praise of His

We are devotees, or rather we want to be devotees, so our great need is for
the grace of Nrsimhadeva, so that the obstacles will be removed and we can go
on smoothly in our way towards our desired Krsna consciousness.


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