More on Ahovalam


May 13, MARYLAND, USA (SUN) — One devotee thought the issue about Lord Narasimha's Appearance place is still unresolved. He wrote:

    "Unfortunately I don't think you have succeeded.

    Although you have presented some verses describing the appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva, and also the visits of Lord Rama and Lord Caitanya to Ahovalam, not one of them specifically states that Ahovalam is the place where Lord Nrsimha appeared and where Hiranyakasipu was killed. It says that Lord Rama worshipped the deity of Lord Nrsimha there, but it doesn't state that it was the place where the Lord appeared."

    On the other hand, SB states:

      SB 7.4.14

      "O Maharaja Yudhisthira, descendant of Pandu, by dint of his personal power, Hiranyakasipu, being situated on the throne of King Indra, controlled the inhabitants of all the other planets. The two Gandharvas Visvavasu and Tumburu, I myself and the Vidyadharas, Apsaras and sages all offered prayers to him again and again just to glorify him."

    In the above verse the words "mahendrasanam ojasa sthitam" -- situated by his personal power on the throne of Mahendra (Indra)-are significant. The throne of Indra is not on the planet earth.

    In the verses following this, the SB doesn't indicate that Hiranyakasipu changed his base nor does it say exactly where his killing took place. Thus when it describes his hitting the pillar in the assembly hall, one could be forgiven for assuming it is the same assembly hall which houses the mahendrasanam.

    Nevertheless, after the killing of Hiranyakasipu on the entrace to the assembly hall, Lord Nrsimhadeva then slaughters all his soldiers and SB 7.8.33 states:

      dyaus tat-satotksipta-vimana-sankula
      protsarpata ksma ca padabhipidita
      sailah samutpetur amusya ramhasa
      tat-tejasa kham kakubho na rejire

      dyauh -- outer space; tat-sata -- by His hair; utksipta -- thrown up; vimana-sankula -- filled with airplanes; protsarpata -- slipped out of place; ksma -- the planet earth; ca -- also; pada-abhipidita -- distressed due to the heavy weight of the lotus feet of the Lord; sailah -- the hills and mountains; samutpetuh -- sprang up; amusya -- of that one (the Lord); ramhasa -- due to the intolerable force; tat-tejasa -- by His effulgence; kham -- the sky; kakubhah -- the ten directions; na rejire -- did not shine.

      Airplanes were thrown into outer space and the upper planetary system by the hair on Nrsimhadeva's head. Because of the pressure of the Lord's lotus feet, the earth appeared to slip from its position, and all the hills and mountains sprang up due to His intolerable force. Because of the Lord's bodily effulgence, both the sky and all directions diminished in their natural illumination.

    As we see, here the word "ksma" is used as the place where the Lord's foot is pressing down, and Srila Prabhupada translates this as "the planet earth".

    So for me, the issue remains ambiguous.

My response is:

    Dear .......Prabhu

    Please accept my humble obeisances
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada

    You are asking for a quote that states Ahovalam is the place where Lord Narasimha appeared from the pillar. It is in the Brahmanda Purana, I have asked one devotee that knows Sanskrit to please look it up for me and translate it.

    Just some thoughts Kamsa, Indrajit and other defeated Indra. Kamsa defeating Indra is just mentioned in brief in the Srimad Bhagavatam but elaborated on in the Garga Samhita, spoken by Garga Muni (Kusakratha Prabhu translated lots of that book). Kamsa lived in Mathura and Indrajit in Sri Lanka even after defeating Indra. And there is no statement he lived in Indra loka, though he took Indra's position.

    Lord Caitanya accepted Ahovalam as the appearance place of Lord Narasimha as did Lord Rama. It may not be stated in the text, but it is understood. Otherwise why would they go there and worship Lord Narasimha setting the example for us?

    Is it a made up place as Romapada Swami was stating? Certainly not. Ramanujacarya established the temples of Lord Narasimha there. Some sastras state one can take the dirt there and use it for Tilaka, that is how powerful this place is. There are some links here with some ISKCON devotee's pictures, etc.:


    and Jada Bharat Prabhu has mentioned Ahovalam in his book:

    Ahovalam Guide

    Nandanandana Prabhu also has a beautiful website also showing Lord Narasimha's temples at Ahovalam I was not able to find the link however, I apologize for that

    The appearance of Lord Narasimha at Ahovalam is mentioned in this beautiful prayer:

    Sri Ahovalam (Nrisimha) Stotram
    (to the same metre as the Brahma-samhita)

    pakshindra-shaila-bhavanam bhava-nasham isham
    vande kripa-nidhim ahobala-narasimham

    adyanta-shunyam ajam avyayam aprameyam
    aditya-candra-shikhi-locanam adi-devam
    vande kripa-nidhim ahobala-narasimham

    keyura-hara-mani-kundala manditangam
    vande kripa-nidhim ahobala-narasimham

    varaha-vamana-nrisimha-subhagyam isham
    krida-vilola-hridayam vibhudendra-vandyam
    hamsatmakam paramahamsa-mano-viharam
    vande kripa-nidhim ahobala-narasimham

    vrndarakalaya-vinodanam ujjvalangam
    vande kripa-nidhim ahobala-narasimham

    dhatri ramabhi ramanam mahaniya-rupam
    vande kripa-nidhim ahobala-narasimham

    "I offer my obeisances to that ocean of mercy, Ahobala Nrisimha. He is a great swan swimming amongst the lotuses of Lakshmi's furtive glances. He is the Supreme Lord, who puts an end to material imprisonment and who appeared from the stone of the Garuda pillar. His body has lines of colour: both a creamy colour and the colour of rain clouds."

    "I offer my obeisances to that ocean of mercy, Ahobala Nrisimha. He has no beginning or end. He is unborn, everlasting, and immeasurable. He is the original God who gives brightness to the sun, moon, and to fire. He is like a honey bee intoxicated by his passionate desire for the lotus face of Lakshmi."

    "I offer my obeisances to that ocean of mercy, Ahobala Nrisimha. He looks splendid with his thick shiny mane tied back and with his body decorated with armlets, necklaces, and jewelled ear rings. His face is like the disc of the full moon, adorned with his crown."

    "I offer my obeisances to that ocean of mercy, Ahobala Nrisimha. He is the all-fortunate supreme Lord: Varaha, Vamana, and Nrisimha. His heart is frolicking with his own playful pastimes. The most intelligent persons pray to him, the Supreme soul, who fascinates the great sages."

    "I offer my obeisances to that ocean of mercy, Ahobala Nrisimha. His lotus feet are the source of the Ganges. His body is resplendent as he enjoys himself in his superexcellent abode, and his lotus feet are bedecked with Tulasi leaves and the flowers from the heavenly coral tree."

    "I offer my obeisances to that ocean of mercy, Ahobala Nrisimha. His most favourite thing is fresh dark Tulasi leaves. He exhibits a magnificent form as he enjoys with his female assistants, the goddesses of fortune. He breaks the pride of the demons by destroying Ravana, that master of magic spells."

    Your servant,
    Payonidhi das

Another devotee asked me about Ahovalam as the place of Lord Narasimhadeva's appearance:

    "As I heard, SP was asked about this and answered that Hiranyakashipu was killed in the heavenly planets and not at Ahovilam. What about the entire story in SB? Doesn't it mention that Hiranyakashipu drove the demigods out of their Kingdom and was ruling there?"

Prabhu I have searched through Srila Prabhupada books and letters and conversations, I see that nowhere. Please provide me with the date it was spoken if you can (no challenge, just a humble request), as it will be very important to me. Srila Prabhupada however stated that there is some controversy and no matter where the Lord appeared we worship Him no matter what.

Srila Prabhupada may have not given it much importance as our main worship is Mahaprabhu and Radha Krsna. Gaudiya Vaisnavas generally don't know so many things about Lord Narasimha as does the Sri Vaisnavas, as He is not the main Istadeva in our Sampradaya. If you are still in Sri Rangam please ask any Sri Vaisnava scholar or learned devotee. How many devotees even took the trouble to go to Ahovalam, so the glories of this place is a mystery to them.

Now saying Srila Prabhupada stated this, how would it be supported by scriptures? It seems indeed that Hiranyakasipu was driving out the demigods of their abodes, but there is no mention of him living in Indra loka. It seems the only person that defeated Indra that lived there was Bali Maharaja.

    SB 8.15.30: Therefore, waiting until the situation of your enemies is reversed, you should all leave this heavenly planet and go elsewhere, where you will not be seen.

    SB 8.15.31: Bali Maharaja has now become extremely powerful because of the benedictions given him by the brahmanas, but when he later insults the brahmanas, he will be vanquished, along with his friends and assistants.

    SB 8.15.32: Sukadeva Gosvami continued: The demigods, being thus advised by Brhaspati for their benefit, immediately accepted his words. Assuming forms according to their desire, they left the heavenly kingdom and scattered, without being observed by the demons.

    SB 8.15.33: When the demigods had disappeared, Bali Maharaja, the son of Virocana, entered the heavenly kingdom, and from there he brought the three worlds under his control.

Whereas if you read SB 10 canto we see that Kamsa was glorified by the asuras:

    SB 10.4.32: The demigods always fear the sound of your bowstring. They are constantly in anxiety, afraid of fighting. Therefore, what can they do by their endeavors to harm you?

    SB 10.4.33: While being pierced by your arrows, which you discharged on all sides, some of them, who were injured by the multitude of arrows but who desired to live, fled the battlefield, intent on escaping.

    SB 10.4.34: Defeated and bereft of all weapons, some of the demigods gave up fighting and praised you with folded hands, and some of them, appearing before you with loosened garments and hair, said, "O lord, we are very much afraid of you."

    SB 10.4.35: When the demigods are bereft of their chariots, when they forget how to use weapons, when they are fearful or attached to something other than fighting, or when their bows are broken and they have thus lost the ability to fight, Your Majesty does not kill them.

So the question is why do some demons choose to live in Indra loka and others not? Well it seems as said only Bali Maharaja resided there, because he is a great devotee and our worshipable superior Mahajana. The asuras don't seem to like the heavenly planets as it is in the mode of goodness:

    Yam na vrajanty adharmisthah
    Khala bhuta-druhah sathah
    Maninah kamino lubdha
    Ebhir hina vrajanti yat

    y?m - in the streets of the city; na - not; vrajanti - pass; adharmis?t?h?h? - irreligious persons; khal?h? - envious persons; bh?ta-druhah? - persons violent toward other living entities; ?at?h?h? - cheaters; m?ninah? - falsely prestigious; k?minah? - lusty; lubdh?h? - greedy; ebhih? - these; h?n?h? - completely devoid of; vrajanti - walk; yat - on the street.

    No one who was sinful, envious, violent toward other living entities, cunning, falsely proud, lusty or greedy could enter that city. The people who lived there were all devoid of these faults.

Now how could Hiranyakasipu and Kamsa live there if that place is so saturated with the mode of goodness? They would have no taste for even being there. How can a person that is not pious find happiness in the heavenly planets if he's mainly under the influence of raja and tama guna? Bala Maharaja might have resided there as He is a pure Vaisnava, but in general, "the place one is born seems like the heavenly planets" -- this is an illusion that is given to the Jiva. Once Srila Prabhupada told devotees that NY is a very hellish place, and Harikesa replied it was not that bad. Srila Prabhupada's response was: "Every hole one is born in one calls home".

From what we understood, the influence of Sattva Guna does not disappear from the heavenly planets just because demons conquer it, because Lord Visnu has created the planetary systems influenced by various modes of nature.

Bali Maharaja was so pious even the Demigods worshipped him when he surrendered to Lord Vamanadeva

    SB 8.20.18: Bali Maharaja the worshiper of Lord Vamanadeva, jubilantly washed the Lord's lotus feet and then took the water on his head, for that water delivers the entire universe.

    SB 8.20.19: At that time, the residents of the higher planetary system, namely the demigods, the Gandharvas, the Vidyadharas, the Siddhas and the Caranas, all being very pleased by Bali Maharaja's simple, nonduplicitous act, praised his qualities and showered upon him millions of flowers.

    SB 8.20.20: The Gandharvas, the Kimpurushas and the Kinnaras sounded thousands and thousands of kettledrums and trumpets again and again, and they sang in great jubilation, declaring, "How exalted a person is Bali Maharaja, and what a difficult task he has performed! Even though he knew that Lord Visnu was on the side of his enemies, he nonetheless gave the Lord the entire three worlds in charity."

Ahovalam is accepted by all Sri Vaisnavas and followers of Madhavacarya as the place of Lord Narasimhadeva's appearance, and as confirmed in the Brahmanda Purana (and I am sure many other places in sastra, I am working on finding them). Hari Vamsa Purana may also hold such sastric evidence, as Lord Rama went to worship Lord Narasimha there at the place of His appearance.

Your servant,
Payonidhi das


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