Friday, August 31, 2007

Ahobilam Nava Narasimhar

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By the boundless grace of the Lord recently the author had the fortune of having the darshan of the Nava Narasimhars of Ahobilam. The kshetram is one of the 108 Divaya Desams. Thirumangai Alwar has sanctified the Lord . Ahobilam is also seat of Ahobilam Mutt. Adi Sankara got back his cut hand after praying to Lord Narasimha here , many legends associated with Lord's Narasimha incarnation is associated with this place in the subsequent postings we will see in detail all the legends now the nine forms in which Lord graces here is given in this post.

The nine forms in which Lord Narasimha has manifested here are as follows

Jwala Narasimhar – Jwala means flame , the Lord is at His most ferocious form here. There are three idols in this shrine in the first one He is depicted as He emerges out of the pillar to kill Hiranya. The second one the Lord is depicted with eight hands with two hands He is tearing open the stomach of Hiranya and two hands are garlanding his intestine with two hands he is holding the legs and head firmly in place on His thigh in the other two hands He is wielding His divine weapons of Conch and discus. The third idol depicts the fight between the Lord and the demon. To visit this shrine we have to cross a beautiful water fall, falling from the top of the Vedatri mountains. On the top of the hill is situated the Ugra stambh( the ferocious pillar) supposed to be the pillar from which Lord emerged the whole mountain is supposed to be the palace of Hiranyakashipu we can see the structure which resembles fort and also the school in which Prahalada studied.

Ugra Narasimhar ( Ahobila Narasimhar) : Ugra means ferocious . This temple is situated in upper Ahobilam and the Lord is self formed inside a cave to give darshan to Garuda here he is depicted with Hiranya on His lap. The idol of Prahalada is in front of the Lord. He gave darshan to Garuda. Adi Sankara got back his hand cut by Kapalikas so he sang the Lakshmi Narasimha Karavalamaba stothram and has also installed a Shivalingam and Sudarshana Narasimha yantram in this temple. There is a seperate shrine for Senju Lakshmi thayar.

Malola Narasimhar : Maa means Maha lakshmi and Lola means Lover. In this form the Lord give dharshan along with His consort Mahalakshmi seated in His left thigh. He is depicted as Santha ( peaceful) Narasimha showering His blessings to the devotees. Out of the nine forms of the Lord two are with thayar other being Pavana Narasimhar. Malola utsavar is the presiding deity of the Ahobila mutt. When there was a confusion as to which Utsavar to adopt as the presiding deity, Maha Vishnu himself indicated Malola vigraha in the dream and cleared the confusion.

Kroda Narasimhar : Kroda means the extruded teeth, the Lord is depicted as the Varaha Narasimhar ( boar) . indicating his previous incarnaton. He is holding mother earth in His teeth.

Karanja Narasimhar : Karanja is a tree . Hanuman did penance to see Lord Rama ( Another incarnation of Vishnu) in Ahobilam as the Lord appeared as Narasimha Hanuman requested him to give darshan as Rama. So the Lord gave darshan along with bow and arrow with the celestial serpent as umbrella ( to show that he is Maha Vishnu) to Hanuman here under the Karanja tree( Punga tree in Tamil). So he is called as Karanja Narasimhar. There is a shrine for Hanuman facing the Lord. Hanuman gives in standing pose with hands in woshipping position.

Bargava Narasimhar : Bargava is Parasurama, he did penance to see Lord in his Ugra Narasimha form . Lord Vishnu appeared as Ugra Narasimha to and also showed all His Dasavatharam ( ten incarnations ) to Parasurama. So we can see all the ten incarnations of the Lord in the idol of the Lord. The temple is built on a hillock with 132 steps. There is beautiful pushkarani also.

Yogananda Narasimhar : Here the Lord is depicted in a yogic posture with His legs crossed and the hands in yogic posture. The legend is that He taught the nuances of yoga to prahalada here.

Chatra vad Narasimhar : Chatra means umbrella and Vad means banyan tree the Lord is here depicted in His jolly mood enjoying the music of Ahaa and Uuhu two divine singers under the banyan tree. He is Santha Narasimhar.

Pavana Narasimhar : Here again the Lord gives darshan along with His consort Senju Lakshmi. Senju are the triabals of this mountains the legend is that the Lord married Senju Lakshmi from among the tribals to grace the tribals. There is a seperate cave shrine for Senju Lakshmi thayar She graces in standing position along with Hanuman. Tribals come and worship the Lord every week according to their customs for the grace of the Lord. It is believed that by the darshan of the Lord ones get washed away. The shrine is located on the leeward side of the Garudatri mountain and involves the arduous trekking in woods lined with bamboos and teak wood and criss crossing wild rivers.

Prahalada Varadar: In the lower Ahobilam a magnificent temple is built for Narasimha. Here Lord gives darshan as Lakshmi Narasimhar with Mother Lakshmi in his left lap. He is also called Prahalada Varadar and Santha Narasimhar. The temple is a good example stone architecture with beutiful mandapams ans wall carvings. There is seperate shrine for Mahalakshmi and Andal. The temple tower is 7 tiered one. There are two utsavars one in the normal Mahavishnu form with consorts and the other in Lakshmi Narasimha form along with consorts.

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