Remembering Bhagavan Narasimha

Remembering Bhagavan Narasimha

17th Mar 2011
Narahari Krishna das

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my dandavat pranams. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva.

The recent tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan has shaken the whole world due to the continuing damage caused to the people of Japan. Japan is one of the developed countries and they are the pioneers in using nuclear technology for power generation for around 50 years. Now nuclear reactors which are their main strength has become the source of trouble for that country. Thousands of families who were living a comfortable and peaceful life were brought to the streets overnight. This incident is a clear proof of the verse from Bhagavata Purana that the material world is full of dangers with danger at every step,(padam padam yad vipadam). When the Lord's material energy exhibits its fury, no technological advancement is able to overcome it. So the scriptures direct everyone to take shelter of the Supreme Lord so that we can be transferred to the spiritual world where there is no anxiety and danger. They also advise that one should not try for a permanent settlement in this world which is by nature unsettled always. While all the material advancement is finished by Time through death and natural disasters, the spiritual advancement we make is preserved by the Lord until we attain full perfection. For ages, great acharyas and sages have advised us to take shelter of Lord Hari in His most protective form as Narasimhadeva. The following shloka from the Bhagavata Purana 6.8.14(Narayana kavacha section) states that we should seek the protection of Bhagavan Narasimha while going through areas like forest and battlefront. 

durgeṣv aṭavy-āji-mukhādiṣu prabhuḥ
pāyān nṛsiṁho ’sura-yūthapāriḥ
vimuñcato yasya mahāṭṭa-hāsaṁ
diśo vinedur nyapataṁś ca garbhāḥ

May Lord Nrsimhadeva, who appeared as the enemy of Hiranyakashipu, protect me in all directions. His loud laughing vibrated in all directions and caused the pregnant wives of the asuras to have miscarriages. May that Lord be kind enough to protect me in difficult places like the forest and battlefront.

Now a question may arise. "People hardly go through forest areas and only army men go through the battlefront. So what about the majority of the people who are not in these areas? Don't they need to seek the protection of the Lord?" As an answer to this, the Bhagavata Purana (5th canto) explains that the material world is compared to a forest of enjoyment and a living entity travelling through this forest is put into various troubles by his uncontrolled senses and mind, other living entities and forces of nature. Whether one is living in a forest or not, without exception all living entities have to go through the 'forest of material enjoyment'. Similarly, though most of the people may not be working as army soldiers, this world is a battlefront for every living entity since there is a severe fight against the threefold miseries. The reality is that it is definitely a losing battle because at the end the Time factor always wins finishing every one. HG Devakinandan Prabhu mentioned in his visit to Chennai, "Our life is full of battles and death is the final battle. Maharaj fought this final battle so well and he was in full control of his final moments by remembering the Lord". So our life in this material world is really a journey through a forest and battlefront and it is important to remember the Lord at every step. This remembrance of the Lord is practised by chanting prayers related to Him as recommended by Srila Prabhupada in his commentary to the verse 8.3.1. This verse deals with Gajendra invoking the Lord's mercy by offering prayers.

Srila Prabhupada comments, "It is imperative, therefore, that all devotees in Krishna consciousness practice chanting some mantra. Certainly one should chant the Hare Krishna mantra, which is the maha-mantra, or great mantra, and also one should practice chanting "cintaamani prakara sadmashu" or the Narasimha strotra (ito narasimha parato narasimho yato yato yaami tato narasimha). Every devotee should practice in order to chant some mantra perfectly so that even though he may be imperfect in spiritual consciousness in this life, in his next life he will not forget Krishna consciousness, even if he becomes an animal. Of course, a devotee should try to perfect his Krishna consciousness in this life, for simply by understanding Krishna and His instructions, after giving up this body one can return home, back to Godhead. Even if there is some fall down, practice of Krishna consciousness never goes in vain. We should not forget the chanting of the Hare Krishna mantra under any circumstances. It will help us in the greatest danger, as we find in the life of Gajendra."

The ultimate fruit of remembering Bhagavan Narasimha is that we become purified and by His grace, we can remember Him in the last moment also. The benefit of remembering Him in the last moment is stated in the Narasimha Tapaniya Upanishad as follows. 

esha dehaante tamasah paramam dhaama praapnuyaat 
yatra virajo narasimho bhaasate tatra upaasate tam sadrshaa munayah 

The pure devotee of Bhagavan Narasimha at the fall of his body attains the Supreme Abode where the blemishless Bhagavan Narasimha shines eternally and all the liberated sages who share the transcendental nature of Narasimha worship Him incessantly. 

I pray the lotus feet of our beloved Gurudeva, Srila Prabhupada and the Supreme Lord so that I will be able to chant the holy names sincerely and remember the Lord.

Thank you very much.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada and Gurudeva,
Narahari Krishna Dasa,