Nrsimhadev Shrines in Andhra Pradesh, Part 4
BY: SUN STAFF
Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami, Dharmapuri
Feb 25, CANADA (SUN) A tour of some of Lord Nrsimhadev's glorious abodes in Andhra Pradesh.
In yesterday's segment, we featured an image described as Lord Nrsimhadev on a Simha (lion) Vahana. The image was acquired from a Mangalagiri temple archive, and the representation of the Lord's lion vahana (carrier) jives with sastric descriptions of one of Nrsimhadeva's vahanas. However, one of our readers advises us that this image is not Lord Nrsimhadev, but rather a Durga expansion called Prathyangira devi, who is recognizable by garment and crescent. At the moment we are unable to confirm either opinion from sastric descriptions of form and iconography, but we call the question to our reader's attention. The contested image has been replaced in the feature article, but can be seen here.
Three of the most well-known shrines of Lord Narasimhadev in Andhra Pradesh are found in Ahobilam, Simhachalam, and Mangalagiri. Today we move on from our first three segments on Mangalagiri to the Karimnagar district, Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh. There, in the town of Dharmapuri is found the Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Devasthanam, in which Yoga Narasimha resides.
On average, more than 1,000 devotees each day visit Lord Narasimha at Dharmapuri. The holy dhama of Dharmapuri is the place where Ugra Narasimha went to cool his temper after killing the demon Hiranyakasipu. At Dharmapuri, the Lord went into a deep meditation with yoga mudra, thereby getting His name of Yoga Narasimha. The shrine was built in honor of the Lord's pastime by the King of Dharmapuri, Dharma Varma, who was a staunch devotee of Narasimhadev. King Dharma Varma is said to have performed meditation on Lord Brahma and Visnu, asking to be given a vision of Lord Narasimha in the Sowmya-roopam as opposed to the terrifying Ugra form. Lord Brahma bestowed this boon on the King.
Dharmapuri is well known for its rich culture and artistic community, which includes theatre, classical music and poetry. There are many temples in the town besides Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Mandir. One, the Shiva panchayatanam, is a miniature temple housing Deities of Lord Shiva, Goddess Parvati, Lord Ganesh, Nagaraja and Nandiswara.
Dharmapuri is located on the banks of the River Godavary, and is therefore called Dakshin Kashi. A Vedic school and Sanskrit college are located here. The dhama is also called Hari Hara Kshetra due to the presence of Lord Shiva in the form of Ramalingeshwara. Other Deities to be found here that are quite rare include Lord Brahma, Lord Yamadharmaraja, and Lord Shiva in a form other than his typical Lingakaram form. Also found here are Deities of Balarama and Murali Krsna, along with eight images of Hanuman.
Each day, a number of nitya-sevas are performed on the main altar of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Devastanam. These include suprabhata seva, abhishekam, nitya archana, nivedana and neerajana manthra pushpam, sarva darshanam and archana, sahasra namarchana, sarva darshanam and nitya kalyanam, maha nivedana and archana, srva darshanam and archana, and finally sashwata nidhi seva, Laxmi asthottaram, kumkumarchana and nivedana.
Sri Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy
Special pujas include Sri Laxmi Narasimha Swamy Nitya Abhisheka Saswata Nidhi, Sri Venkateswara Swamy Ksheerabhisheka Shaswata Nidhi, Narasimha Navaratra Sashata Nidhi Nitya Kalyanam, and Yoga Narasimha Swami Saswata Nidhi (Abhisekham, Seva, Kumkumarchana).
The Brahmotsavams, typically known as jatara in local dialect, are celebrated every year during the month of Phaluguna, which falls generally in February or March.
Source: Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Mandir