A devotee, a demon and the Divine

A transcendental love story

On the most auspicious occasion of Nrsimha Caturdasi – the appearance day of Lord Nrsimha dev, ISKCON NVCC celebrated the festival with great enthusiasm and devotion. This is one of the most beautiful pastimes of the Lord wherein He appears for the sole purpose of reciprocating His dear devotee’s faith in Him and protect him from his father who was a demon, named Hiranyakashipu.

The Pastime:Hiranyakashipu after his brother Hiranyaksha was killed by Lord Vishnu in His Varaha avatar, was enraged and wanted to kill The Supreme Vishnu Himself. Deciding thus Hiranyakashipu undertook sever penances for 100 celestial years and at the which when Bramha appeared he asked for the benediction of remaining immortal. At that time bramha told that he himself is not immortal so cannot award such a benediction. Hearing that he asked a series of other benedictions to make himself immortal in an alternate way. He asked that neither a human nor an animal should be able to kill him. Neither inside the house nor outside should he be killed. Neither on the earth nor in the sky should he be killed. Neither with a dead nor a living weapon should kill him. Neither in the morning nor in the night he should be killed. And for all these benedictions Bramha said – Tatha astu. All these benedictions had made him invincible in the material world, even the demigods were under his terror. Just by his slight raising of the eyebrow in anger the demigods would tremble in fear and serve according to his desires. There was only one person he had absolutely no influence upon and that was- his own little 5 year old son. This was intolerable to him. His son Prahlad maharaj was the devotee of Vishnu whom Hiranyakashipu wanted to kill. One day Hiranyakashipu asks Prahlad where his God is. Prahlad says He is everywhere. Hearing that Hiranyakashipu pointing to a pillar asks if He is there also. And Prahlad with all faith says yes. Then Hiranyakashipu hits on the pillar and on doing so there occurs a tumultuous sound which astonishes Hiranyakashipu. Then appears from that pillar, the Supreme Lord Vishnu as – NRSIMHA! Hiranyakashipu first could not understand who this strange creature was because His head was of lion and from neck below He had the body of a human, and His anger was uncomparable. He was roaring like He was going to rip apart the entire cosmic manifestation. Then the fight ensues between them and then eventually when the sun was setting and it was twilight – neither day nor night, Nrsimha dev took him to the threshold – neither inside nor outside, put him on his thighs –neither on the land nor in the sky, and ripped apart his abdomen with His nails – neither living nor dead and thus ended Hiranyakashipu’s terror.

In the temple after the morning program including Mangal arati, Nrsimha arti, Tulsi arati, and chanting of the Hare Krsna Maha-mantra and the Darshan arati at 7:30 am, the day’s celebration continued with wonderful Bhagvatam katha by HG Radheshyam prabhu, the temple president, wherein he extracted interesting and relevant lessons for the devotees from the pastime like , ‘avoiding pride’- explaining how even though Nrsimha dev appeared solely for Prahlad, still Prahlad did not get proud of it, he was still seeing himself as a descendant of a demoniac race and was feeling he did not have any good in him, ‘getting rid of contamination’, ‘giving up false shelters’, and such other lessons were shared by HG Radheshyam pr etc.

After HG Radheshyam pr, HG Shvetadvip pr spoke on how God consciousness has always been the core ethic in india even in the past citing examples of Shivaji maharaj, Rani Lakshmi Bai. Then the nectar of Bhagavatam continued to shower through HG Mukundanand prabhu who highlighted different aspects of the pastime. He explained how Hiranyakashipu although had full control on everything, but just because his 5 year old son did not conform to his ideology, that brought him tremendous mental agony and he was so disturbed that he did not hesitate to try to kill him. In this way there was 4 hour non-stop sravanam for the devotees in the morning. Then again in the evening the celebration resumed with the abhishek of Lord Nrsimha whilst the devotees were loudly singing the Hare Krishna Maha mantra with the temple hall resonating it.the Lord was bathed with milk, ghee, curd, honey etc. which was collected and distributed to all the visitors along with the prasadam that was served to all those who had come to the temple. Carnamrit – that which is collected after the Lord is bathed is potent to purify everybody and award pure devotional service. Everybody honored it with great reverence and enthusiasm.

After the abhishek there was a drama on the appearance of Nrsimha dev and how He killed Hiranyakashipu. This drama was performed by the devotees of the ISKCON NVCC. The drama thoroughly gripped the audience and everyone was into it. In fact when in the last scene when the fight began between Nrsimha dev and Hiranyakashipu everyone was absorbed in it and when finally the Lord Nrsimha rips him apart the entire temple hall roared in ecstasy and then everyone sang together the Nrsimha stuti celebrating the victory of Lord over the demon Hiranyakashipu. After that there was a short lecture by HG Keshavanand telling how demoniac people defy God whereas demigods abide by the principles given by the God. Then after this lecture there was delicious prasadam for everyone who came for the celebration, because without distribution of prasadam God conscious celebration is incomplete. Kirtans continued to reverberate the temple hall with the devotees dancing in joy, till 10 pm. In Krishna consciousness festivity does not end, one festival carries the devotees to the next festival. So keep watching and chanting Hare Krishna.

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