Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy Temple at Simhachalam

in

By editor - 19.4 2018

Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy Temple at Jiyada-Nrsimha Ksetra or Simhachalam


Simha means “lion” and chalam means “hill”. So this is lion’s hill, the hill of Lord Nrsimhadeva. The Deity here, Sri Varaha Laxmi Nrsimha Swamy, is popularly known in Sanskrit as Simhadrinatha or in local Telugu language as Simhadri Appanna (“the Lord of the Lion Hill”). The Sthala Purana of Simhachalam recounts the history of the great devotee Prahlada Maharaja and his demonic father, Hiranyakasipu. After many unsuccessful attempts to kill Sri Prahlada, Hiranyakasipu ordered, as a last resort, to hurl Sri Prahlada into the sea and place a huge mountain over him. The servants chose to do this at Simhachalam.

Hiranyakasipu’s servants brought Prahlada to this place, which is north of Visakhapatnam, just a few kilometres from here is the sea. Hiranyakasipu and his servants, they took Prahlada, little tiny boy, 5 years old, deep into the sea. They threw him into the water. Then they took a mountain and covered him to keep him down. Prahlada Maharaja was not afraid of death. His only fear was to forget Krishna. Chanting the Holy Names of Krishna, Krishna always protects His devotees. The Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared before Prahlada, at this very place. He lifted the mountain and took Prahlada, personally out, with His own hands, and brought Prahlada to safety. It is also said that since the Lord jumped at once to rescue Prahlada, the Lord’s lotus feet went into Patala. The local Sthala Purana says that the darshan of Lord’s lotus feet is available only to inhabitants of Patala Loka.


After Lord Krishna appeared in His avatar as Nrsimhadeva and killed demoniac Hiranyakasipu, in the later pastimes, Prahlada Maharaja came to this place, Simhachalam, because this is one of the places where the Lord performed the great miracle to protect him. He prayed to Lord Nrsimhadeva, that I want to worship You, and have darshan of You in that form that You killed my uncle Hiranyaksha, and my father Hiranyakasipu. Hiranyakasipu. Lord Krishna reveals Himself according to our consciousness. So just to please Prahlada Maharaja, the Lord assumed the form of this deity - Varaha Nrsimha. He has the face of Lord Varahadeva, and He has a body like Lord Nrsimhadeva, body of a man, and the claws and the tail of a lion. Prahlada Maharaja began to worship this deity, which self-manifested before him here, with great, great devotion. In fact he even built a small temple around the deity.


Prahlada built a temple around the Deity. It is said that after Prahlada handed over the kingdom to his son, he worshipped the deity personally. However at the end of Satya Yuga, owing to neglect perhaps, a huge anthill gathered around the Deity. But at the beginning of another yuga the Deity was rediscovered by Pururava, the king of the lunar dynasty, who is mentioned in the 9th Canto of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Riding with Urvashi, in an aerial chariot over the hills of the South, Pururava was drawn by a mysterious power to Simhachalam.

So what they explained is that the Supreme Lord was really disgusted seeing Pururava running around with Urvashi. Something like that. Because king Puruarva was a descendent of great royalty of Vaishnavas, so He approached as a boar and interrupted Pururava’s situation. Pururava chased after the boar. Later on He appeared in a dream to King Pururava, and explained to him that within His form of Varaha-Narasimha, He is on this mountain, and He wanted to find Him. So the king was searching everywhere, but he could not find Him. Then the Lord again appeared to him in a dream and revealed exactly where He was. The King Pururava rediscovered this deity of Varaha-Narasimha in this place.

He got 1000 kalashas or vessels of water from the river called Gangtal. It is said that the Ganga when she saw that Lord Nrsimhadeva is living here, she appeared here just to render service to Him. Then he performed the grand Abhisheka ceremony. But the Lord informed king Pururava that you have not rendered the same quality of service as the ants, the ants made this anthill for Me, to protect Me. The Lord was still in a very angry mood and that anger created a tremendous heat. He told him I want you to cover My body with candana. He told him exactly how to do it, and according to that instruction to this very day the deity is worshipped in that way. The body of the deity is covered with 480 kg of candana by the end of the year. Lord instructed that one day a year, on Akshay Tritiya, He would give darshan without candana covering His body. On Akshay Tritiya the deity is uncovered. By the next day dawn, Lord is covered with 120 kg of candana over His body.

Then on Vaishakha Purnima with another 120 kg of candana over His body, on Jyeshta Purnima with another 120 kg of candana, and on Ashadh Purnima with another 120 kg of chandan. So after Ashadh Purnima you will see the Lord with 480 pounds of Chandan covering His body, and it remains like that until the next time on Akshay Tritiya when they uncover.
The original Deity is situated within the depths of the temple. Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy is worshiped always in the form of a shila, except for on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. On the day of Akshaya Tritiya, the Lord’s original form of Varaha Nrsimha Swamy is unveiled. This festival is known as Candana Yatra. The original form of the Lord (Nija roopam) is open for darshan on Akshaya Tritiya day for 12 hours only. On the night before the Akshaya Tritiya, the old Candana (sandal) paste is removed and in the early hours of Akshaya Tritiya the Lord is offered Sahasra Ghatabhiskekam (Abhishekam / Bathing of the Lord with thousand sacred pots). After that the devotees are allowed to have the darshan of the Nija roopa of the Lord. After the 12 hours darshan sandal would be again applied to the Lord immediately. “Nija roopa” is the darshan seen only on Akshaya Trithiya at start of Candana Yatra, when all the Candana is removed from the transcendental body of the Lord and then freshly smeared again. “Nitya roopa” of Sri Varaha Nrsimhadeva Swamy is the darshan covered with Candana for rest of the year. There is another Deity, known as the vijaya-murti. This is known by the name of Govinda Raja Swamy. In the Sri Caitanya Mangal by Sri Locana Das Thakur there is a story of how this deity got its name Jiyad Narasimha.
Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Simhachalam in 1510 AD, during His tour to South India. The famous darshan Arati Song - “Sri Narasimha Jaya Nrsimha Jaya Jaya Nrsimha….” was sung by Lord Caitanya at this place. In Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 8.3-8.9, we find a great deal of information about Lord Caitanya’s visit to Jiyada-Narasimha Ksetra or Simhachalam.


Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur visited Simhachalam in 1905 and again in 1930. In order to commemorate the visit of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to Simhachalam, on 27 Dec 1930, Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati had footprints of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu installed here. Footprints are at the main entrance of the temple. A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Founder-acarya of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) visited Simhachalam during his stay at Visakhapatnam between 17th to 22nd Feb 1972.
Simhachalam is situated 16 km north of Vishakhapatnam and is easily accessible by local transport. The priests of the Simhachalam temple belong to the Sri Sampradaya, the line that follows the revered devotee and philosopher Ramanuja. Simhachalam is one of the 108 places recognized by the Sri Sampradaya as divya-desams, spiritual places in this material world.. The hilltop road and the location of the eastern ghat ranges are beautiful and picturesque. The hills are densely populated with trees like pineapple, cashew, shrubs and mango groves.


Places to visit near Vishakhapatnam:


1. Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy Temple
2. ISKCON Vishakhapatnam
3. Sri Kurma Ksetra (110 km north of Vishakhapatnam)
4. Rajahmundry (where Lord Caitanya met Ramananda Raya; 3 hrs from Vishakhapatnam)
Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s visit to Simhachalam


Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Simhachalam in 1510 AD, during his tour to South India. The famous darshan Arati Song of “Sri Narasimha Jaya Nrsimha Jaya Jaya Nrsimha….” was sung by Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu at this place. In Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya Lila 8.3-8.9, we find a great deal of information about Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s visit to Jiyada-Narasimha Ksetra or Simhachalam.

Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy Temple at Simhachalam

“According to His previous program, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu went forward on His tour and after some days arrived at the place of pilgrimage known as Jiyada-Nrsimha.”
“Upon seeing the Deity of Lord Nrsimha in the temple, Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu offered His respectful obeisances by falling flat. Then, in ecstatic love, He performed various dances, chanted, and offered prayers.”


sri-nrsimha, jaya nrsimha,
jaya jaya nrsimha
prahladesa jaya padma-mukha-padma-bhrnga


“‘All glories to Nrsimhadeva! All glories to Narasimhadeva, who is the Lord of Prahlada Maharaja and, like a honeybee, is always engaged in beholding the lotus like face of the goddess of fortune.’”


ugro 'py anugra evayam
sva-bhaktanam nr-kesari
kesariva sva-potanam
anyesam ugra-vikramah


“‘Although very ferocious, the lioness is very kind to her cubs. Similarly, although very ferocious to non-devotees like Hiranyakashipu, Lord Nrsimhadeva is very, very soft and kind to devotees like Prahlada Maharaja.’”
In this way Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu recited different verses from the sastra. The priest of Lord Nrsimhadeva then brought garlands and the remnants of the Lord’s food and offered them to Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu. As usual, a brahmana offered Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu an invitation. The Lord passed the night in the temple and then commenced His tour again. The next morning, in the great ecstasy of love, Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu started on His tour with no knowledge of the proper direction, and He continued the whole day and night.


The goddess of fortune is always embraced by Lord Nrsimhadeva. This is mentioned in the commentary on Srimad-Bhagavatam written by the great commentator Srila Sridhara Svami. The following verse was composed by Sridhara Svami in his commentary on the 10th Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (10.87.1): “Lord Nrsimhadeva is always assisted by Sarasvati, the goddess of learning, and He is always embracing the goddess of fortune to His chest. The Lord is always complete in knowledge within Himself. Let us offer obeisances unto Nrsimhadeva.” Similarly, in his commentary on the First Canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.1.1), Sridhara Svami describes Lord Nrsimhadeva in this way: “Let me offer my obeisances unto Lord Nrsimhadeva, who is always enlightening Prahlada Maharaja within his heart and who always kills the nescience that attacks the devotees. His mercy is distributed like moonshine, and His face is like that of a lion. Let me offer my obeisances unto Him again and again.” (Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya-lila 8.5 Purport)
Srila Prabhupada’s visit to Simhachalam
Srila Prabhupada visited Simhachalam during his stay at Visakhapatnam between 17th to 22nd Feb 1972. The following is an excerpt from Srila Prabhupada-lilamrita.
“One day Srila Prabhupada took his disciples to see a famous temple of Lord Narasimha, Sri Simhachalam, on top of a hill about 5 miles north of Visakhapatnam. Thousands of stone steps led up the hill to the temple, which was situated in a natural amphitheatre on the side of the hill. Prabhupada said the temple, which was now run by followers of the Ramanuja sect, was particularly important because Lord Caitanya had visited there on His tour of South India.


Srila Prabhupada chose to approach the temple by car, riding up the winding road past orchards of mango, jackfruits, and cashew, and fields of pineapple. On arriving at the temple, Srila Prabhupada and his disciples met one of the temple brahmanas, who showed them around the grounds. The temple buildings were of black granite, and carved into the rock were the forms and pastimes of Vishnu, especially in His incarnation of Lord Narasimha. As Prabhupada moved from place to place, building to building, he sometimes rode up steep stairs on a palanquin carried by four men.
When Prabhupada came upon an immense banyan tree at the lower end of the temple grounds, he said that the tree must be thousands of years old. As he stood beneath the tree, his servant, Nanda-kumara, handed him a small champaka flower. Extending his thumb and forefinger from his bead bag, Prabhupada held the champaka flower and looked fondly at it. "This flower," he said, "is the colour of Lord Caitanya. And this flower is the most loved all over India. This flower is beautiful to look at and beautiful to smell." He carried the small saffron-gold flower between his fingers throughout the rest of the morning.
When Prabhupada and his group entered the inner sanctum, where the Deity of Lord Narasimha resided, their guide explained that the murti dated back to the time of Prahlada Maharaja. An ancient king named Pururava and his consort Urvashi had once visited this hill, and at the request of Urvashi, the murti, who appeared to her in a dream, had been excavated. The Lord had ordained that He should be worshiped in this place but that He would give darshana only one day a year, during the month of Vishakha. The rest of the year He would be entirely covered with ground sandalwood pulp mixed with camphor and other scents. Therefore, the Deity now appeared to be only a lump covered with a layer of sandalwood. Prabhupada commented that the sandalwood was to keep the Deity "cool-headed."
Madhavananda: When Prabhupada was at the Narasimha temple in Visakhapatnam, it was the same as when he was in Vrindavana. When he got out of the car, he was very grave. We went into the temple, and there was a chamber. Then we went down. The walls were four feet thick, and it seemed like hundreds of feet of tunnels before we got into the inner sanctum. There was the Deity with just a mound of sandalwood paste on Him. As soon as we entered, Prabhupada said, "Begin chanting the Narasimha mantra." So we started singing tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-srngam. And we circumambulated the Deity. Then we stood before the Deity, and Prabhupada offered obeisances.
Gurukripa: When we came into the Deity room, Prabhupada had us sing the Narasimha prayers. He always manifested such devotion. That was what separated him from us - not only his learning or his knowledge, but his devotion. In these places we would see him become very silent, very grave, and when he would speak, such peace would fill us from within. When he would speak, you could feel it. He was constantly convincing us of Krishna consciousness. Not purposely, but he was just being himself. In these places it would come out.
When Prabhupada stood with us before the Deity, we couldn't even see. There was just a mound of sandalwood. There was one brahmana with big earlobes, and he had a ring in his ear. We offered some money. But it was a very devotional time. Prabhupada didn't say much and the main reason was that these places are appreciated according to one's spiritual advancement. The details and facts and the history are not really that important. There is nothing really to say. Prabhupada would just make sure we had the proper respect and didn't commit any offense.”


Sri Varaha Nrsimha Swamy Temple at Simhachalam


“Nitya roopa” of Sri Varaha Nrsimhadeva Swamy, the darshan covered with Candana for rest of the years and (Left picture) “Nija roopa”, the darshan seen only on Akshaya Trithiya at start of Candana Yatra, when all the Candana is removed from the transcendental body of the Lord and then freshly smeared again.
“Nityaroopa” of Sri Sri Varaha Nrsimhadeva Swamy (darshan covered with Candana for 364 days a years)
 


Jiyad Narasimha (Varaha Nrsimha) at Simhachalam

from a talk by His Holiness Radhanath Swami spoken at this temple in Yatra 1999
The Jiyad Narsimha temple is situated on the top of the hill about 16km from Visakhapatnam. There is a railway station on the South Indian Railway known as Simhachalam. The temple known as Simhachalam is the best temple in the vicinity of Visakhapatnam. This temple is very affluent, and is the typical example of the architecture of the area. In one tabulate, it is mentioned that formally a queen covered the deity with gold plate. This was mentioned in the Visakhapatnam gazette. Near the temple there are residential quarters for the priests, and devotees. At the present moment there are many residential quarters to accommodate visiting devotees.

The original deity is situated within the depths of the temple, but there is another deity, a duplicate known as the Vijay Murti. This smaller deity can be moved from the temple and taken on public processions. Priests, who usually belong to the Ramanujacarya sampradya, are in charge of the deity worship.
Prahlada Maharaja was just a little 5 year old boy, and he was living in the palace of Hiranyakashipu the king of the asuras, such a powerful asura. Due to the benediction of Lord Brahma, he was able to conquer even Indra, the king of the heavens. Vayu, Agni, Surya, Kuvera, even Narada Muni, they would all obey whatever order he gave to them. What a demon! Right now all of you, you may think you are very big, powerful devotees and you are fanning each other with fans (devotees laugh). Hiranyakashipu even in the month of May he didn’t have to fan himself (devotees laugh). He just ordered Vayu, "wind, or you die." (devotees laugh). I want 20C, immediately. Just his words, would dictate what the world's thermometers were set to. That was his power. When he raised his eyebrows, even the great gods, who would control the affairs of the universe, they would tremble in fear.


And little Prahlada, a small child, what protection did he have from Hiranyakashipu? But he was fearless. He was totally fearless, because he had faith in his Spiritual Master, Narada Muni, and he had faith in Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who resides in everyone's heart. On the basis of that faith he could tell his father, "You are a fool. You are too much attached to material enjoyment. Therefore you are wasting your life. You should leave all this behind, and leave to Vrindavana and worship Krishna. You should hear the glories of the Lord, and chant His Names, worship Him, follow the nine processes of devotional service, then your life will be perfect."
Hiranyakashipu was so angry with Prahlada. He was so threatened by Prahlada’s very existence. This is the mentality of a person who has control over others. The more you have control over other people, if you cannot control, you fear. We are thinking, the more control we have, the more famous we will become, just the opposite. Because you see the world through your own mentality, Hiranyakashipu his mentality was, whatever I have, I will control with whatever strength I have. Everyone thinks like that. Little Prahlada, if I cannot destroy him that means he has more strength than me. That means he will want to control me. So I have to destroy him, now!


So we know the story. Hiranyakashipu’s servants, they brought Prahlada to this place, which is north of Visakhapatnam, just a few kilometres from here is the sea. Hiranyakashipu and his servants, they took Prahlada, little tiny boy, 5 years old, deep into the sea. They threw him into the water. Then they took a mountain and covered him to keep him down. Prahlada Maharaja was not afraid of death. His only fear was to forget Krishna. Chanting the Holy Names of Krishna, Krishna always protects His devotees. The Supreme Personality of Godhead appeared before Prahlada, at this very place. He lifted the mountain and took Prahlada, personally out, with His own hands, and brought Prahlada to safety.
We know the story how later on Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared from the pillar, of the palace of Hiranyakashipu. And the very throne that Hiranyakashipu dedicated his life to achieve, that was the place of his death. And the very palace that he performed so much tapasya to gain, at the very doorstep of that palace, Nrsimhadeva tore Hiranyakashipu to pieces. Afterwards Prahlada Maharaja came to this place, Simhachalam, because this is one of the places where the Lord performed the great miracle to protect him. He prayed to Lord Nrsimhadeva, that I want to worship You, and have darshan of You in that form that You killed my uncle Hiranyaksha, and my father Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu, one of the reasons he hated Vishnu so much, was because Vishnu appeared in the beautiful form of a boar, Varahadev, to kill his brother Hiranyaksha.


Somehow or the other there was a great affection between these two demons, Hiranyakashipu and Hiranyaksha. From the materialistic point of view, they were very, very, loving brothers. They would do anything for each other. Hiranyakashipu wanted to conquer the universe, and Hiranyaksha performed severe tapasya, just to help his brother. And with his mace on his shoulder he walked to planet, to planet, to planet, conquering everyone and forcing them to surrender to Hiranyakashipu. If this is how demon brothers are so faithful to each other, how much more Godbrothers and Godsisters should be grateful to each other (devotees laugh). So Hiranyaksha won the heart of Hiranyakashipu, by fearlessly risking his life by conquering everywhere and in all directions, just for his brother’s glory.
Due to his exploitation, it is explained, the earth fell into the bottom of the Garbhodakshya ocean. At that time Manu and great rishis approached Lord Brahma. What are we going to do? The earth has sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Brahma began to meditate on the Supreme Lord, because he knew that only Krishna can save us. At that moment the Lord appeared from the nose of Brahma, in the form of a little boar, hardly the size of a thumb, and floated into the sky. Soon he grew, and grew, and grew, until he was like a huge, tremendous mountain.

The various sages and rishis never saw anything so extraordinary. A boar, but so beautiful. Usually boars are quite ugly animals. Boars are wild pigs, the hogs that are wild, with tusks, and they are very dangerous as well, and they make horrible sounds. But when the Supreme Personality of Godhead took this form of a boar, He had beautiful lotus eyes. He was so beautiful to see that everyone’s hearts were enchanted. But they couldn’t understand, who is this? What is this? Then the Lord roared, it sounded like a mountain roaring. They could understand that, this is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has come to protect us.
Sri Varahadev dove deep into the ocean of Garbhodak, all way to the bottom. He assumed such a form that He could lift the entire earth and balance it between His two tusks. On the way Hiranyaksha, challenged Him to a fight. The Lord floated the earth atop the ocean, in a safe position, and then fought with Hiranyaksha. It was a great fight. It lasted quite a while. Hiranyaksha, he was beating the Lord with the club, he was producing all types of mystic illusions. But ultimately Lord Varaha, beat with His hoof, He touched Hiranyaksha behind the ear, and then snapped him with His tusks. Hiranyaksha fell like a banyan tree, which is uprooted by a hurricane.
The demigods rejoiced, but Hiranyakashipu declared to everyone, I will destroy Vishnu. He has killed my brother. My brother will be satisfied when he drinks Vishnu’s blood, and I will cut-off his head and chop His body to pieces.

That was his vow. But ultimately Lord Nrsimhadeva came out of a pillar and Hiranyakashipu, although he thought he was very great, the Lord completely humiliated him. He treated him like a play toy. He captured him, and let him go, He captured him, and let him go, like a cat and a little mouse. Then with great anger, terrible, terrible anger, for the offences he committed to His little devotee Prahlada, Nrsimhadeva was roaring, His tongue was like a dual sword, His eyes were like red hot iron. With His nails He tore open the abdomen of Hiranyakashipu. So Prahlada, as explained by Lord Caitanya, he saw Nrsimhadeva, as the most gentle, soft hearted, loving father, although Hiranyakashipu, saw Him as death personified.
Lord Krishna reveals Himself according to our consciousness. As Prahlada Maharaja, here he prayed that I want to see the darshan of your form and worship it. That form that killed my uncle Hiranyaksha, and then killed my father Hiranyakashipu. So just to please Prahlada Maharaja, the Lord assumed the form of this deity - Varaha Nrsimha. He has the face of Lord Varaha deva, and He has a body like Lord Nrsimhadeva, body of a man, and the claws and the tail of a lion. Prahlada Maharaja began to worship this deity, which self-manifested before him here, with great, great devotion. In fact he even built a small temple around the deity.


Later on Lord Brahma, he was there when Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared. Lord Nrsimhadeva was so ferocious. He was causing fear throughout the universe, so the demigods approached Brahma, “Please do something to pacify the Lord.” Brahma said, “I cannot approach this form of Krishna.” Even Laxmi could not approach this form of Krishna; she did not recognise her husband in this mood of Ugra-Narasimha. So Brahma approached Prahlada, “You please pacify the Lord.” So Prahlada Maharaja came before the Lord and bowed down. And the Lord just upon seeing Prahlada became very, very pleased.
So Brahma went to the ocean of milk and he prayed to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, “I want to have the darshan of this beautiful form of Nrsimhadeva which appeared to protect Prahlada.” So the Supreme Personality of Godhead explained that, the most famous temple of this Narasimha-avatar in the entire world is in Simhachalam.

You go there and worship this deity and all of your desires will be fulfilled. So Brahma, Siva and so many of the other demigods, they all came to Simhachalam to worship this form of Varaha-Narasimha.
Later on this temple was neglected. In course of time, no one came here. Gradually the temple fell down. The deity, out of utter neglect; bushes started growing over Him, and years later ants created an anthill. Just right here, there is an anthill. I would say within the area about one square-foot there are probably a hundred, thousand ants. Somehow or the other they are working in great unity. We don’t hear them complaining, and yet we think it is very crowded with five hundred devotees and how much space we have. In such a small space hundreds and thousands of ants and they have made a nice little hill. So these particular ants, in the age of Satya-yuga they made an anthill which covered the deity, and the deity was very happy because the anthill was protecting Him from the wind, the rain, and the cold. In the next yuga, Treta-yuga, the great king we read about in the 9th canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam, whose name was Pururava, he was on a vimana or a celestial aeroplane along with his girlfriend Urvashi, and they flew overhead here. And there are different versions to the story. His Grace Rohinipriya Prabhu had a very extensive discussion with the pujaris over here, who narrated the Mahatmyam or story of this particular temple.
So what they explained is that the Supreme Lord was really disgusted seeing Pururava running around with Urvashi. Something like that. Because king Puruarva was a descendent of great, great royalty of Vaishnavas. So He approached as a boar and interrupted Pururava’s situation. Pururava chased after the boar. Later on He appeared in a dream to King Pururava, and explained to him that within his form of Varaha-Narasimha, He is on this mountain, and He wanted to find Him.

So the king was searching everywhere, but he could not find Him. Then the Lord again appeared to him in a dream and revealed exactly where he was. The King Pururava, he rediscovered this deity of Varaha-Narasimha in this place. And he got 1000 kalashas or vessels of water from the river called Gangtal. It is said that the Ganga when she saw that Lord Nrsimhadeva is living here, she appeared here just to render service to Him. Then he performed the grand Abhisheka ceremony. But the Lord informed king Pururava that you have not rendered the same quality of service as the ants, the ants made this anthill for Me, to protect Me. The Lord was still in a very angry mood and that anger created a tremendous heat. He told him I want you to cover My body with chandan. He told him exactly how to do it, and according to that instruction to this very day the deity is worshipped in that way.

The body of the deity is covered with 480 kg of chandan by the end of the year. One day a year the Lord instructed that He would give darshan without chandan covering His body. That is on Akshay Tritiya. On that day, that is around the same time as Chandan-yatra the deity is uncovered, and from morning till night tens and thousands of pilgrimage come to see the deity. By the next day dawn, they have to cover this body again, they put 120 kg of chandan over His body, and then on the Vaishakha Purnima they put another 120 kg of chandan over His body. On the Jyeshta Purnima, the next month they put another 120 kg of chandan over His body. Then on Ashadh Purnima they put another 120 kg of chandan. So if you come here after Ashadh Purnima you will see the Lord with 480 pounds of Chandan covering His body, and it remains like that until the next time on Akshay Tritiya when they uncover.


Great acaryas have come here throughout the centuries and worshipped this place, and they have revealed to us many of the secret, inner truths. At the time of Prahlada Maharaja, a murti of Mahalaxmi, Her name is Simhavali, Kayadhu, she is Sridevi herself, She was installed and considered the mother of all the devotees. And Nrsimhadeva is considered to be the father. And because the father is in such an angry mood that only mother can make Him cool for devotees worship. Mahalaxmi she is just over on this side facing toward Jiyad-Nrsimhadeva, and on the other side of the temple is the deity of Bhudevi, she was installed around the same time as Madhvacarya, and she is the Bhudevi expansion of the goddess of fortune.


The Vijay-Murti within the temple is known by the name of Govinda Raja Swamy. He is brought on this beautiful platform once a year for a ceremony. He is brought in a palanquin procession on regular basis. There is a pillar just in the front of the temple. It is very beautifully decorated. It is called Kapa-Stambha. The foundation stone was laid by King Pururava. When he re-erected the temple here, it was put at that very place, and it is said, great rishis, they put their special potency within that pillar which can fulfil the devotees sincere desires. And according to the tradition of the area couples who do not have babies, come here and embrace the pillar to pray the Lord to have children. This is what Rohinipriya Prabhu enlightened me with today. In the Caitanya-Mangal by Sri Locana Das Thakur as well as Caitanya Caritra by Murari Gupta, there is a story of how this deity got its name Jiyad Narasimha.


How this deity got its name Jiyad Narasimha


There was a very strong devotee, physically strong. He was also a farmer in this area. His name was Pundrya. He had a field where he grew many crops. And at night he used to guard the crops from being disturbed by various wild animals. One night he heard great sound of a boar creating great disturbance trying to make ground all uneven by ploughing the ground with his tusks and eating many of these crops. So he became very much disturbed. He started chasing after the boar. Then he took the bow and arrow and shot an arrow into the boar. Immediately the boar started loudly calling out the holy names of Lord Rama and ran into a cave. Farmer thought, “What kind of a boar, chants the names of Ram? This is not an ordinary boar. In fact this must be the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who has appeared as a boar to give me darshan, and I shot him with my arrow.” So the farmer ran to the cave. He couldn’t get in, but he was calling out who are you? Who are you? Please tell me. Who are you? I am such a sinful person, I am so fallen, and cruel that I shot You with my arrow. Please tell me who you are. The boar said, “I am the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but I am not hurt by your arrow. So don’t worry about it. Just go home.” But the farmer, he was so much feeling himself to have offended the Lord that he was crying in his heart. He was full of sorrow and repentance. He fasted for two full days and two full nights. The Lord again spoke to him from the cave and said, “Just go home. It’s not a problem.” The farmer said I will suffer through out my life for what I have done to You my Lord. And if I even suicide, that will not help me, because then I will have to face Yamaraj for my offense. The Lord said, no I forgive you, what benediction do you desire? He said if You really forgive me, I want to see You. Let me go and bring the king, and we will both come to see You. The Lord said yes, go and bring the king and come back to the cave.


Pundrya went to the palace of the king. He told one of the gatekeepers that I have a very auspicious story to tell the king. This king was a great devotee. He was willing to have personal interview even with the simple farmer. The farmer told him the story. The king said I believe what you say, I will go to the cave. Let’s go and see the Lord. I only wanted to see Lord. They came to the cave and the king with great humility offered his prostrated obeisances at the door of the cave. The Lord seeing how humble and devoted the king was, he spoke, “What benediction can I give you?” The king said I want to see and I want to serve You. The Lord said sprinkle water on the floor of this cave and keep sprinkling it. So the king and the farmer began to sprinkle water on the floor of the cave, and out from the cave, as the milk was being sprinkled the Lord started coming out of the ground. First the top of His head, then His head, then His neck, then His shoulder, chest, arms His waist His legs and He manifested once again the beautiful form of Varaha Narasimha. This was another time, and again a temple was constructed. One very wealthy merchant came with two ladies to visit the temple, and he was such a very, very great devotee that the Lord said I want to give you a benediction. What benediction can I give you? And the merchant said the only thing I desire is that You name Yourself after me. My mother gave me name Jiyar so you should be named Jiyad Narasimha. So the Lord said so be it and he accepted the name Jiyad Narasimha to this very day. What does this represent? How the Supreme Personality of Godhead is always subordinate to the will of His pure devotee. How the Lord, even the conqueror of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu is conquered by the love of his devotee. Lord Krishna’s name is Devakinandan, Yashoda nandan, Nandanandan, Radha Raman, He loves to be remembered in his relation with his devotees. One of the great names of Lord Caitanya is Vasudevamrita-pradha, because he delivered one of his devotee, Vasudev.


Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu cured Vasudev from his leprosy and gave him such pure devotion at Kurma Ksetra. So we have come here together to worship Jiyad Narasimha, who is very ferocious to the demons but who is conquered, and subordinate to the love of his devotee. When Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited this holy place He danced, He chanted. The whole town around came to the top of this mountain to sing and dance in the beautiful association of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu.

And by His causeless mercy, and the mercy of Srila Prabhupada we have all come here today to follow Lord Caitanya’s footsteps, to chant, and to dance, and to hear, the glories of the Lord in this holy place.
In 1930 Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakur, visited here on a pilgrimage with several of his devotees, and at that time he installed the footprints of Shri Caitanya Mahaprabhu to commemorate the Lord’s visit. In 1972 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada also came to Simhachalam with several of his devotees. Srila Prabhupada had darshan of Jiyad Narsimha. He prayed at the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimha dev. We can assume he prayed for the protection of all of his devotees for all generations to come, protection to his Guru Maharaj’s transcendental mission. In fact one story was told to Srila Prabhupada how the Lord is so angry due to the offenses of His devotees and He has to be covered with 480 kg’s of sandal wood chandan every year at all times. Srila Prabhupada commented, “Yes the Lord likes to be cool headed, sometimes as an offering of affection we put chandan on some one’s head to keep their head cool.”


So on this very, very special place of the special time, the same time of the year Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu came here, let us pray to Lord Nrsimhadeva to kindly remove the obstacles, the obstacles of lust, envy, anger, pride, greed and illusion within our hearts. It is not the external circumstances of the world that can block our progress in Krishna Consciousness, but it is Lust, envy, anger, pride, greed and illusion. The circumstances of this world, the only way they can harm us is, if they somehow or other aggregate and strengthen these anarthas within our heart. Let us pray to Lord Varaha Nrsimha to remove these obstacles, because that is our only hope. Not only from our own life, but to remove the obstacles from our god brother, god sisters, form all Vaishnava’s and ultimately from all living beings, so that everyone can make real progress, back home back to Godhead, and offenselessly chant holy names of the Lord - Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare | Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare ||.

Directions to reach Simhachalam:

Simhachalam is situated at a distance of 16km north of Vishakhapatnam. Simhachalam has a railway station on Southern Railway line. Transport is easily available from Vishakhapatnam to visit Simhachalam.

Useful Resources:

Sri Varaha-Nrsimha Swamy Temple Simhachalam (video in Telugu): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJSdghIiAZM
Sri Kurma Ksetra near Srikakulam: http://www.dandavats.com/?p=58592
Rajahmundry Yatra: www.dandavats.com/?p=12588
ISKCON Vishakhapatnam: http://www.iskconvizag.org/
Mayapur TV: http://Mayapur.tv / Vrindavana TV: http://Vrindavana.tv
Holy Pilgrimages: www.Holy-Pilgrimages.com / Facebook: www.facebook.com/HolyPilgrimages
Holy Dham: www.HolyDham.com