Lord Sri Krishna always protects His devotees from any danger in many ways. Like as, in chaturdashi tithi in the month of Baishakh, Lord Sri Krishna to protect His beloved devotee, Prahlad Maharaj, appeared with the special form as Narsimha. Thus, this very day is entitled as Narasimha Chaturdashi. The word “Nar” stands for man and “Simha” means the king of animals. He is neither a man nor a human, His form is half-human and half-lion. The person, practicing devotion service, always gets protected by this special incarnation of Lord Sri Krishna.
ISKCON Swamibag Temple along with other temples all around the world, celebrates the appearance day of Lord Narsimha so exquisitely. On that day, all the devotees do the congregational chanting of Holy Name, discuss the various pastimes of Narasimha Dev, and do other programs related to Him. On that occasion, the Deities of Lord Narsinhadeva is bathed with different paraphernalia including various fruit juices, and other valuable oils, following lamb is offered and finally anukalpa prasadams (remnants of non-grained food) are taken by all participants. Every year thousands of devotees come here to celebrate this auspicious festival and to have blessings from Lord Narasimha.
Significance of Narasimha Chaturdashi
Lord Narasimha Dev said to His devotee Prahlad in Brihanaradiya Purana-
“barṣē barṣē tu kartabyaṁ mama santuṣṭi kāraṇam.mahā guhyamidaṁ śrēṣṭhaṁ mānabairbhababhīrubhiḥ- observe this Chaturdashi for my pleasure. People who are scared of life and death, perform this most confidential and superior vow.”
We should observe His birth festival in worshiping Him. Lord Narasimha Dev announces that anybody who deny to observes the auspicious day, will suffer the punishment of hell till the sun and moon exist. This now is not only for the devotees but for everyone.
Prahlad said, “O Lord, O Narasimha Dev, O beloved Lord of all the gods, please accept my humble obeisance unto You. Please let me know, how can I develop my devotion towards You? How can I be your beloved devotee?” Lord Narasimha replied to Prahlad’s questions, “Oh! Intelligent Boy, in the past you were a Brahman but you did not acquire brahman qualities. You were Basudev and you were so much attracted to a prostitute. You had not done religious activities in your past life. You just did a fasting. And by dint of this fasting, you have become my devotee.” “Prahlad said, “O Narasimha, O infallible, what had I done to be your beloved despite being addicted to a prostitute? How did I observe this fasting? Please describe me in detail.” Lord Narasimha said that there was an ignorant brahman in Avantipur in the early years. The Name of that brahman is Basu Sharma and he was a very pious man and expert in Vedic studies. He lived with his wife as well as his four sons. His wife was so honest, chaste, and devoted towards her husband. His four sons were also virtuous, intellectual, and obedient to their father. However, among those four sons, the youngest was so rude, always attracted to a prostitute and wine. You were that youngest son. You used to live in a brothel. Once, you and your girlfriend were roaming in a forest to enjoy a special day. But you got conflicted with your girlfriend regarding her character. After that, both of you stayed separately in that forest. You both were just crying sitting alone all day and didn’t even drink water. Moreover, both of you didn’t sleep in a single moment. With an exhausted body and unhappy mind, you were just lying and were praying to God, “Oh my Lord, Sri Hari, how lovely are the people of this world! How great my parents were! How good my brothers were! My Brothers are so much devoted to Lord. But I’m low profiled. I’m a great stupid. I’m characterless, worse than the mad of a road. Oh! Lord, pious people take shelter unto You. I am so much peccant that I do not surrender to You anymore. I’m feeling so isolated. I request to You in a destitute situation, Oh! My Lord, please give a pure life.” You cried and cried. On the other side, your girlfriend was also feeling guilty herself and praying to the Lord sincerely. She was uttering in her mind that, “I am the worst human being in this society. The whole world is filled up with beautiful women except me. And I wasted my life just by doing sinful activities. We have become the burden of this society. What type of punishment is waiting for me? No one is looking at me in this civil society. It seems to me that there is no way to be normal in this world. Oh! Kind Lord, shower Your causeless mercy upon me, and please change my life.” Lord Narasimha Dev said, “O Prahlad, that was the place of my ancient temple where you stayed that day. Fortunately, you were there on my appearance day which was Sukla Chaturdashi Tithi of the holy month of Vaishakh. You didn’t take any grains & water, waking at night, regretting your previous sinful activities, and praying to God for your life. Therefore, without knowing about that auspicious day, you had observed this. As a result of this vow, you got rebirth as my beloved devotee. And your girlfriend got a happy harlot life in heaven.” O Prahlad, hear some other results of observing this vow, “This charturdashi vow of mine was performed by Brahma to obtain creative power, Lord Sivav made this vow to kill Tripurasur, the demigods had observed this vow in a previous life for heavenly delight. Even the prostitute had experienced good fortune as a result of the vow. People don’t come back to this material world for millions of years if this vow is observed. If a person observes this vow beget a son, he must receive a devotee son, the poor become wealthy, if anyone desires kingdom, will get the kingdom and also can obtain increased lifetime. I bestow the fruits of happiness and liberation to the men and women who observe this wonderful vow. The devils do not honor my vow, Prahlad. They are continually searching for sinful activities.”
What are the rules for a vow?
Lord Narasimha Dev said, “Those who observe this vow, will not talk to sinners, will abstain from woman, avoid false talk and gambling and always think of My beauty.” On fasting day, devotees should take birth in the holy water in the afternoon. Then they should come to the house and affix the pavilion with cow dunk and draw a lotus with eight petals. Above it, keep a copper bronze pitcher on it. And also put a vessel, full of paddy above the copper bronze pitcher. On the paddy, Narasimha Dev and Lakshmi must be placed. Alternatively, after bathing, the temple should be ornamented with the auspicious flower and Lakshmi-Narasimha is worshipped before worshiping Prahlada Maharaj. We must pray with dancing, singing, and chanting Holy Name, awakening the entire night with recitation, and hearing of Lord Narasimha’s pastimes. After sunset, people who are unable to fast can get some anukalpa Prasadam.
Updated: 1st January, 2022