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Jul 15, 2013

A nice post from Ramanuja.ora

Narasimha Jayanti


Aho Viryam Aho Shouryam Aho Bahu Parakrama:
Narasimham Param Daivam Ahobilam Ahobalam.

Dear Bhaktas,

In this post, I am sharing a few thoughts belatedly for Sri Narasimha 
Jayanti. Bhagavan Narasimha, who is an extremely glorious incarnation of 
Lord Narayana, is the Aradhana Murthy of Sri Ahobila Matham. 
Sri Sudarshan has shared his thoughts on the Lord of Ahobilam from 
Swami Desikan's KamasikAshtakam. In this post, I shall focus on the 
important aspects of the Mantraraja Pada Stotram from the Ahirbudhnya 
Ssamhita, which is an important PancharAtra Agama text. The relevant 
salutations from Swami Desikan's tribute will also be pointed out.

Ahirbudhnyan is an incarnation of Shiva. He was an extremely great 
Bhagavata and performed great penance for Bhagavan Narasimha. Pleased 
with his Tapas, Bhagavan Narasimha blessed him in the form of 
JwAla Narasimhan. Swami Desikan eulogizes Ahirbudhnyan in the Rahasya 
Traya Sara as the "all knowing Ahirbudhnyan". In the Sudarshana 
Ashtakam, Swami Desikan uses the salutation "Bhajata Ahirbudhnya 
Lakshita" (Ahirbudhnya desires to see the glorious form of the 
Sudarshana Chakram). The rules for worship of the joint form of 
Sudarshana and Narasimhar is laid down in the Ahirbudhnya Samhita. 
The Mantraraja Pada Stotram is an Anubhavam of Ahirbudhnyan upon 
receiving the blessings of JwAla Narasimhar. The most comprehensive 
account of this Stotram by Sri. U.Ve. Mukkur Lakshmi Naraimhachariar 
Swamin is being published by Sri Nrsimhapriya in an ongoing series.

The opening salutation of the Mantrarajapada Stotram contains the 
extremely powerful Mantram for Bhagavan Narasimhar. Lord Narayana 
is glorified in the Vedas as Mantraroopi Maha Vishnu. Accordingly, 
Ahirbudhyna blesses us with the king of all Mantras in this 
Stotram and accordingly, terms his eulogy as the MantrarAja Pada 
Stotram. In it, Bhagavan Narasimhar has been has been glorified as 
the one who spells death for death itself. This eulogy 
"Mrutyu Mrutyum NamAmyaham" has been used in more than one salutation of 
the Mantrarajapada Stotram. The opening salutation of the 
Mantrarajapada Stotram is also reflective of the Rg Veda hymn 
"BhadramkaNe.....". This denotes the Bhadra or all encompassing 
protection of Lord Narasimhar. One who receives Bhagavan Narasimha's 
protection is freed from all fears. Swami Desikan refers to this aspect 
in the KamasikAshtakam salutation "Tvayi Rakshati Rakshakai: Kimanyai:"

The eyes of Bhagavan Narasimha are glorified in the second verse of 
Ahirbudhnyan's tribute. The eyes of Bhagavan Narasimhar are responsible 
for the "Adbhutam" of Bhagavan Narasimha, which is 
saluted in the Vishnu Sahasranamam verse "Narasimhavapu Sriman 
Keshava Purushottama". The opening salutation of Swami Desikan's 
KamasikAshtakam refers to the Adbutam aspect as well. The reason 
for Bhagavan Narasimhar's eyes contributing to the Adbhutam is 
due to the fact that they simulatneously raditated compassion 
for Prahlada and terror for HiraNyan. This is also indicative of 
the PidA Pariharam (for Bhaktas) and PidA Pradanam (for Dushtas) aspects 
of Bhagavan Narasimha. The Adbhutam of Bhagavan Narasimhar is also due 
to the fact that he had permeated himself in every atom surrounding  
HiraNyan's Sabha. 

The third verse of Ahirbudhnyan's eulogy pays glowing tribute to the 
back-to-back forms of Sudarshana Narasimha. The key salutation is 
"NakhAgrE ShakalI ChakrE Yastam vIram NamAmyaham". This establishes 
the inseparable nature of Sudarshana and Narasimhar. This line also 
explains the salutation "Kapata Kesari" in Swami Desikan's 
KamasikAshtakam.

In the fourth verse of his eulogy, Ahirbudhnyan glorifies Bhagavan 
Narasimhar as the ViRata Purusha. This is related to the Purusha 
Sooktam salutation "TripadUrdhva UdaIt Purusha:". The fourth verse 
of Ahirbudhnya's tribute also glorify the powerful shoulders of Bhagavan 
Narasimha (Bhuja PravishtAshta Disham Maha VishNum NamAmyaham). Swami 
Desikan. Swami Desikan extols the arms of Bhagavan Narasimha in the 
KamasikAshtakam and points out that the Lord's hands were in competition 
with each other to grace his Bhakta Prahlada and punish the evil 
HiraNyan.   

The fifth verse of Ahirbudhnya's tribute salutes the Narasimhar. 
In it Bhagavan Narasimhar is glorified as the fire at the end of 
time (Jwalantam-the Kala Anala). This mighty Jyothi is also denoted by 
the Sudarshana Chakram. Thus, this salutation provides further testimony 
in support of the worship of the back-to-back forms of 
Sudarshana and Narasimhar. 

In the sixth verse, Ahirbudhnya eulogizes Bhagavan Narasimha as 
the omniscient one who is in complete control of all the senses. 
An important salutation in this verse is  "SarvathOmukham". 
This tribute is also used in the VishNu Sahasranamam.

The seventh verse refers to the beautiful form of Bhagavan Narasimha
"Naravat Simhavaschaiva Roopam Yasya Mahatmana:". This again points to
the Adhbutam of Bhagavan Narasimha since the incarnation had to uphold 
all the conditions of Lord Brahma's boon to HiraNyan. In the Dashavatara 
Stotram Swami Desikan glorifies the Sthambam as the 
grandmother of Brahma since the Lord chose this as his Nivasa Sthanam.
The seventh verse of Ahirbudhnya's tribute also glorifies Bhagavan 
Narasimha's power as "Maha Satam Maha Damshtram Tam Nrusimham 
NamAmyaham". This reflects the message of the Narasimha Gayathri 
Mantrams contained in the Maha Narayana Upanishad and the Tapaneeya 
Upanishad. These are frequently used in the performance of Narasimha 
Homam. 

In verses 8-10, Ahirbudhnyan extols the benefits of taking refuge under 
Bhagavan Narasimha and receiving his protection. This is 
like a Phala Shruti upon beholding the glorious form of JwAla 
Narasimhar. Verse 8 states that uttering Bhagavan Narasimhar's name 
destroys fears of ghosts, vetalas and demons. The reference to demons 
(Rakshasa) is also reflective of the power of Bhagavan Narasimha to 
cure people from the affliction of the Brahma Rakshasa. Verse 8 also 
glorifies the Namam of Narasimhar  having the power to destroy all 
illness. This salutes the Pida Pariharam aspect of Bhagavan Narasimhar. 
Verse 9 salutes Bhagavan Narasimhar's constant association with his 
consort Sri. It also contains a refers to the Bhadram aspect 
of Lord Narasimhar. As a result of his association with his consort, 
the Lord of Ahobilam derives the name Malolan (beloved of Sri-the mother 
of the universe). Verse 10 salutes the temporal aspect of 
Bhagavan Narasimha. The spatio-temporal aspects from verse 5 and 10 
are also attributes shared by the Sudarshana Chakram. Verse 10 
proceeds to glorify Bhagavan Narasimhar as one who protects his 
Bhaktas from death and collection of enemies. The Lord is glorified 
again in this verse as "Mrutyu Mrutyum  NamAmyaham".  

Verses 1-10 are the prelude to the formal surrender (SharNagati) to 
Bhagavan Narasimhar contained in verses 11 and 12. In these verses 
Ahirbudhnyan establishes the concept of SharaNagati or Prapatti to the 
feet of Bhagavan Narasimhar. This seems to be the first Agamic 
reference to Prapatti-the corner stone of our Sampradayam. In 
verse 12, Ahirbudhyan offers tributes again upon surrendering to the 
feet of Bhagavan Narasimhar. The verses 
are self explanatory and hence, reproduced verbatim

11. NamaskArAtmakam Yasmai VidayAtma Nivedanam 
    Tyakta DhuKokilAn KAmAn AshNu Te Tam NamAmyaham

12. DasAbhuta Svata: SarvEhyAtmana: ParamAtmana: 
    Ato Ahamapi TE Dasa ItimatvA NamAmyaham

Thus, through the eulogy to Bhagavan Narasimhar, Ahirbudhnyan succinctly 
establishes Tatva (Narayana is the supreme Lord), Hita (performance of 
SharaNagati to his Lotus feet is the path to salvation) and PurushArtha 
(upon surrendering to the Lord, one is engaged in eternal Kaimkaryam to 
the Lord and his Bhagavatas) for 
Sri Vaishnavas. 

The last verse of Ahirbudhnyan's tribute refers to the benefit of 
constantly reciting this Stotram-an individual who recites this 
Stotram during Tri Sandhyam will be blessed with great knowledge,
undiminshing wealth and long life. 

The Mantrarajapada Stotram is also the origin of several Narasimha 
Gadyam salutations. In particular, the tributes BheeshaNa Bhadra Simha, 
KalAgni Roudra Simha, Vihvala Neta Simha, Veera Simha, Jaya Simha, Roopa 
Simha from the Gadyam are derived from this Stotram.

Everything correctly stated is entirely due to the grace of my 
Acharyan, H.H. Srimad Andavan Swamigal of Srimad Paundarikapuram 
Asramam. All errors and shortcomings are mine alone    

Namo Narayana,

Muralidhar Rangaswamy

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