" ōm namō bhagavatē narasimhāya namas tējas-tējasē āvir-āvirbhava vajra-nakha vajra-damśtra karmāsayān randhaya randhaya tamō grasa grasa ōm svaha; abhayam abhayam ātmani bhūyistha ōm ksraum "
-Stanza from Srimad Bhāgavatam
When is Narasimha Jayanthi celebrated?
Narasimha Jayanthi is one of the important festivals of Vaiśnavas. It is
celebrated in the vaiśāka māsam,on ṣukla pakśa chaturdaśi, after akśhaya thrithēya, svāti nakśatra, siddha Yōga, vanija karanam. The date is determined according to chāndramāna system. Since the inception of this avatāram is in the evening, the worship is done in the evening. It is considered to be more auspicious if this day coincides with sōmavasarē, Monday or ṣanivasarē, Saturday. It is a sacred day to remember Lord Narasimha’s sarva vyāpakatva- all pervading - spiritual knowledge,
wealth, strength, valor, splendor, and compassion toward His devotees.
Which are the major manifestations of Lord Narasimha?
There are three major forms of Lord Narasimha.
1. Ugra-Narasimha - His fierce form: In this form He has conch - ṣanka, discus - chakra, mace - gada, bow - chāpa, bells - ghanta-, trident like - ankuśa, and his two hands ready to chisel the demon heart, as His āyudhams - weapons. This form is worshipped in the evenings.
2. Lakshmi Narasimha: In this form he is very peaceful - ṣanta - with His consort - Sri Lakshmi sitting on his left lap, with ādiseṣa on his head as umbrella, and Prahallāda standing in his front praying with his folded hands. This manifestation is followed after his fierce form-- as a result, he is worshipped in the morning.
3. Yoga Narasimha - meditative: Here, He is in his Meditative form for those who aspire for results of Yoga.
What are the various ways of experiencing Lord Narasimha?
- Sāligrāma - sacred stone that pervades the presence of the deity
- Narasimha mantra - sacred chant
- Idol worshipping
- Fire - agni - by performing homam.
- Reading scriptures such as the Upaniśad and ṣruthi - sacred knowledge orally transmitted by the Brahmans from generation to generation.
There following items are offered to Lord Narasimha:
- - Incense, lamplight, flowers and ṣrigandha or perfume.-
- tuḻasi or Holy Basil -- Since he has the element of both viśnu and rudra-
- kamalam - Lotus,
- bilva daḻam - leaves of stone apple,
- japākusumam- red hibiscus can be offered to the Lord.
- Athirasa - fried cake made with jaggery and rice flour.
- Pāyasa - milk puddings made out of any of moong dal, channa dal, and - - - Pānaka - typically made with jaggery water and pepper, or fruit juice like lemonade.
- Any sātvik food can be offered with great devotion by chanting the Narasimha Mantra. sātvik food is that food creates an internal calmness and balance, when one consumes it.
How do we worship Lord Narasimha?
Lord Narasimha can be worshipped in two ways. The first is detailed below:
Along with firm faith, worship of Narasimha is associated with rigid criteria.
This is explained in detail below
1. ācharana ṣuddhi - Requires strict adherence to performance.
2. Cleanliness of ḍravya- physical things like utensils, lamps, ingredients.
3. Inner sanctity of five senses - body, intellect, mind, place, and act of worship
4. Chastity of Mind, speech and deeds unification, compassion, calmness of virtuous soul within. These are to prevent any glitches that might distract the mind while doing the worship.
5. Taking bath and starting with daily routine worship followed by pūja sankalpa-declaration to do worship, and completion without break with little or no food intake till then.
6. Bodily calmness in turn calms the mind. This helps to open up the channel that leads to internal visualization and realization of Narasimha.
These are things that keep body, mind and intellect in balance to further the pursuit of (worship til)attaining perfection.
7. Those who seek Salvation, do fasting till worship is over in the evening.Those who seek all types of desire fulfillment do fasting till the next day morning worship and follow with chanting of Narasimha mantra.
8. To do further, people could do hōma - oblation and read “Nrsimhatāpini " upaniśad.
9. An idol of Narasimha can be donated to someone who has great respect and potential to worship the idol.
The second means of worship is detailed for those who find it difficult to adhere to the above strict rules, can do the following steps
1. ḍhyāna or meditation - along with imagining the worship of Narasimha with the above said flowers etc.
2. Acts of mind and soul offered to God is also oblation. This is equivalent to hōmam.
3.Various purifying actions performed during puja
a. snānha - ablution, pāna - intake of water and food offered to God
b. pādya - chant with clean and clear heart and intellect
c. arghya - water offered with respect from the river of faith
d. āchamana - water used for sipping same river
e. abhiśeka - for the lord
f. Mind filled with the flow of thoughts of God from the river of faith,
ṣraddha - as the water for cleansing.
4. ātma - Offer sacred soul which is inside the body.
5. bow and perform salutation with state of equanimity
6. ṣaranāgati-- self surrender to the Lord
With pure mind and internal contemplation there is no need for external rituals to be performed. Pāramārthika or worship of realizing supreme alone with internal purity surpasses all other forms of worship. That is, true worship with internal purity is more powerful than the external rituals.
As part of worship, singing, listening to discourse is recommended at the end of the worship.
What is the power of worshipping Lord Narasimha?
Lord Narasimha destroys sins, grants virtues, grants moral religious merits, grants objects of human pursuit - Puruśhartha. The lord grants ultimate peace, knowledge, and joy. He fulfills wishes for the seekers of the worldly desires.
Insight about this incarnation of ṣri mahāviśnu:
The brilliant form of Narasimha is described as comprising of three entities. 1. Brahma from feet to naval, 2. Vishnu--naval to neck 3. Rudra--neck unto head., From there onwards-- it is the supreme Godhead, Parabrahma.
Narasimha is personification of truth--perceived and experienced by those who are in the state of union with divine, and that, which is beyond senses - Yoga Samādhi.
The brilliant form of Narasimha is also considered and viewed as an internal phenomenon.
The pillar in evil Hiranyakashipu’s royal court, signifies the ṃērusthambha, the central backbone system. Through the central nervous system called ṣuśumna, the brilliant light emanated. The energy associated came out as Narasimha in its full fierce glory and later transformed into the peaceful form after the destruction of evil force.
--summarized by by Smt. Bharathi Raghavan