Written by: Rishika Abirami
Today is appearance day of my beloved Deity – Simhachalam Narasimha Dev. Exactly 2 years ago I experienced the divine miracle of His appearance from the chest, from the heart of my Guru. Today I would like to recall the events of that day and to share the Divine love which I have in my life because of Him.
The story may seem impossible and mind blowing, but it happened in my life, and it taught me many humbling lessons.
Once, Guruji was explaining us what should we pray for when we come to the temple and stand in front of the Deity. He said: “Do not pray for anything. Just ask for the Darshan of the Lord”.
In fact, Gurudev’s words went deep inside of me, because I was often confused, what do I pray about? If He knows everything, He must know our needs even before we know them, and as loving mother takes care of all the needs of the child, so He does. As to my wishes, how can I know what is good for me or for others, if my mind is so narrow and clouded with desires of things, which are transient and limited?
Thus, Gurudev taught me how to pray.
In the year 2019 during the trip to Andhra Pradesh with him, we visited Simhachalam. This place is very famous for the big ancient temple of Narasimha Dev, which is located there. Guruji was very very excited to go in this temple, and after visiting it, his excitement only increased.
When we entered the temple with the group of devotees, and I was standing in front of the mulastanam where Narasimha was fully covered with chandan, so one could only see a lingam shaped form, a miracle happened. While standing I did as Gurudev taught – I prayed to Narasimhadev: “Please, let me transcend all the bad and the good qualities that I have inside and let me have Your Darshan. I know that You are beyond good or bad, so to be able to receive Your Darshan, I need to be beyond also. Please, help me transcend both types of qualities, rise above that and give me Your Darshan”.
I was watching Guruji, who also was standing and praying, and noticed that he said something to the one of the devotees, who stood near him. I wondered what it was. Later, I found out that what he said was: “I feel that something very special is going to happen today,” and “I feel very hot from inside”. Then we went out of the temple, and soon, being busy with the group arrangements, I forgot about it.
On the way to our next destination, the place where we were supposed to have lunch, Guruji was kind of restless. He decided not to eat and wanted to go back to the hotel immediately. I was wondering what happened. As we were driving back to the hotel, I was sitting in the same bus with Guruji. He stood up from his seat, came to me and said: “You know, after being in the Simhachalam Narasimha Dev temple, I feel I would like to give Darshan of Narasimhadev to a few people tonight. Come to my room together with a few people after we arrive at the hotel”. Immediately I connected the two events – me asking for Darshan of Lord Narasimha and this promise of Gurudev – and I thought: “Wow! It really works”. I did not have any expectation about how exactly he is going to give this Darshan, but I was full of anticipation and wonder.
We came to Guruji’s room. He changed His clothes and was only wearing a yellow dhoti and a shawl. He asked us to chant “Ugram Viram Maha Vishnum” mantra and look at His murti of Giridhari. We were sitting with our backs to Guruji and chanting the mantra. The room became hot, and the feeling was very intense. Guruji was standing covered with His shawl and holding His hand on the chest area. The murti of Narasimhadev appeared underneath His hand, He took it out, sat down and asked us to turn around.
Guruji was holding Narasimhadev and looking straight at me, but of course I didn’t have any idea that He appeared for me and that Guruji will give Him to me. He said: “Look! This is how Narasimhadev inside the chandan in the temple looks like. It is Him”. He kept showing Narasimha first to me and then to everybody else in the room. Guruji looked very loving and tender and he kept also looking at the Deity in investigating manner. He noticed a few marks on Narasimha’s body. Then he very softly said (I thought I did not hear properly): “Worshipping Him is the same as worshipping Me”. Then He gave the murti to me. “He is yours. You have to do abhishekam to Him every day. Can you do that?” I said: “Yes, I will do that. Full abhishekam every day will be little bit difficult, but I will do it”. He said: “You can do it with the water”. I said: “Yes, I will do it”.
When I try to remember how it felt, I can only recount that i was in complete shock. Some people asked to hold Narasimhadev and Guruji said that He was mine and I could decide what to do with Him.
I went to my room first to grab my things, and to recollect myself a little, and meanwhile Guruji asked me to come down to show Narasimhadev to other people.
He also wrote me a whatsapp message which I didn’t see right away. In the message he said: “You are not happy having Him, then I can give Him to somebody else”. I was hurt by this message, but I understood later that Guruji wanted me to value the Darshan and the Deity that came. But I could not feel or even express anything, no tears in my eyes, nothing, it came only later. So when I came down with Narasimhadev, Guruji looked at me in very soft manner and said: “Oh, you are shocked. You are overwhelmed”. I said: “Yes, Guruji, I am overwhelmed, I don’t know what to do, or what to say”. He said: “In future, you can build a temple for Him”.
Then Guruji did not want to stay in the hotel anymore, and we decided to go to a Devi temple. We got into the bus and Guruji said: “Look, He is like Tulsidas’ Narasimha. Actually, this is My true form. This is how I look in reality. Let’s call Tulsidas and compare Them”. We called Swami Tulsidasananda, to whom Guruji manifested a similar Deity some years back. His Narasimha was sitting next to him. Guruji started showing my Narasimha to the other Narasimha on the phone. It was really funny. Guruji started showing some details like a square on the asana, etc. He said that they were not same, there were some differences. For example, my Narasimhadev has His tongue out and Swami Tulsidas’ Narasimhadev doesn’t. Then He said that next to Narasimha is not Prahlad, but Garuda. Garuda is holding his hand as a sign of patience. He says to be patient.
After that I came back to my seat, very excited. Guruji went in the end of the bus to tell something to other devotees. I looked at the Deity and thought in my mind: “Swami Tulsidas’ Narasimha has a name – Paranitya Narasimha dev, I wonder what name my Narasimha has” Same moment Guruji shouted from the end of the bus: “His name is Simhachalam Narasimha”. You know, in these moments I always think that Guruji forgot to hide his ability to hear our every thought.
Guruji also said that Simhachalam Narasimhadev is very Ugra, meaning ferocious. He holds Hiranyakashipu on His lap and kills him.
Thus, He kills the demons inside of us, the main among them being the pride and anger. He destroys anger with Divine anger. He destroys ego with Divine Might.
It is only with Simhachalam Narasimhadev appearance in my life, by Gurudev’s Grace, that I started to feel real belonginess to God. He belongs to me and I belong to Him, there is no distance, no separation, – this is what every day service to your Deity makes you feel and realize.
The amazing thing is how He hears every prayer I say. In case I am asking Him anything, which is rare, there is no way it does not get done in the fastest way possible. This is how Narasimha Dev is. He is always here for you.
May Simhachalam Narasimha’s blessings and protection be with all the people who read these lines.