I think my love affair with Nrsimhadeva began when I heard the words of HH Sacinandana Swami. It was a few years ago when I was fortunate enough to be celebrating Nrsimha Caturdasi at New Simhacalam in Germany. Nrsimhadeva there is unlike any other. In fact, that murti is one of the few, if not the only one, where Prahalad Maharaja is actually sitting on his lap. As we were celebrating and meditating on Nrsimhadeva, HH Sacinandana Swami said that we should always think of Nrsimha as our benevolent father. Yes, he can be fierce and very angry, but just like a lioness provides all affection and protection to her cubs, he provides all strength, shelter and love to his devotees.
Those words had a very deep impact upon my heart and so for me, that Nrsimhadeva in New Simhacalam is like a father to me. He is sweetly fierce and extremely merciful.
Fast forward another three years, when I had a chance to attend my first Nrsimha Caturdasi with the beautiful and wonderful Nrsimhadeva in New Vrndavana. We have always had a picture of this Nrsimhadeva on our altar ever since I was little, but I rarely ever had a chance to spend a lot of time with him in person. He is so regal and majestic and as my friend Mandali puts it, "He is a warrior!" This year, I got to render some very special service for him and got to know him a little bit better. He is very soft-hearted and listens very attentively to the heartfelt desires of his devotees.
But now any meditation Nrsimhadeva is not complete without remembering the active and wonderful Nrsimha in Mayapur. For close to 4 months, every morning I got to pray and marvel at that multi-armed ugra Nrsimhadeva. Although many find him extremely fierce and angry, I have always found him to be so cool! He always looks like he's going to jump off the altar. How wonderful would it be to have the eyes to see him dance jubilantly in the Radha Madhava temple room. He is always dressed so beautifully, but my favorite outfit is when he's wearing his pants. It gives the devotees a glimpse of how spectacular he is.
After spending so much time in Mayapur, I started developing the desire to worship Nrsimhadeva. He is my ever-protector and I wanted to reciprocate by serving him more personally. Then somehow through the mercy of the devotees, he came in his sila form. And so now, I'd like to introduce the newest member of my family: Sri Sri Lakshmi Nrsimhadeva. Although I thought that he would protect me and take care of me, apparently my dear Lord had other plans. Instead he is my baby Nrsimhadeva who is constantly demanding my attention and time. I personally think he's speaking too much with my Radha Damodara who are exactly the same way!
But its so wonderful to be able to serve him everyday. If I learned anything from HG Jananivas prabhu and HG Pankajanghri prabhu it is that the murti of the lord and the lord are non-different. That's why we can have different relationships with different deities and all of them are perfect. The lord likes to reveal himself in his different forms. All we need to do is become aware and conscious of that. I am definitely light years from realizing that the lord is a person but it definitely helps to have role models in your life to help show you the way.
Nrsimhadeva Bhagavan ki JAI!
New Simhacalam, Germany
New Vrndavana, West Viginia
Sri Mayapur Dham, India
My beautiful Lakshmi Nrsimhadeva