Narasimha - From twilight to enlightenment
Shrimad akalanka paripurna shashikoti |
shridhara manohara satapatakanta ||
palaya kupalaya bhavambudhi nimagnam |
daityavarakala narasimha narasimha ||
Into the sea of black, the dark universe came to light. Brought by the death of Hiranyakashipu, the great demon slain by the Lord Narasimha Himself. Such was his form; fiery are his eyes, so terrific that the demon succumbed to Him in the twilight. There He immerses Himself into the Ocean of Knowledge, the ocean of destruction, the end of all evil.
Protector of the people, killer of the demons of the mind, Brahma reveals the power of Lord Narasimha in his Bija, in His mantra Kavacha. A kavacha that protects the body and the mind from evil. The pearls of wisdom locked in every word that falls in a garland of letters on every part of the body worshipped by the Bhakta.
"O Lord Nrisimha, the consort of Goddess Sri, the goddess of fortune. You are the death of the greatest demon. I am sinking into the ocean of birth and death, O Kripalaya, the treasurer of all mercy, please protect me.
You ripped apart the great demon with your nails. The blood that poured forth wet your heart turning it red like it was smeared with fresh Kumkum. O Lord Nrisimha, You are the shelter for all including Kamala, the goddess of fortune."
Within this wilderness of sound and sacred letters we hear yet another kind of mantra
Devah samastah khalu gopi mukhyaha |
gandharva vidyadhara kinnarash cha ||
yat pada-mulam satatam namanti |
tam narasimham sharanam gato shmi ||
"I have taken shelter of Lord Nrsimha unto whose lotus feet celestials, yogis, gandharvas, vidyadharas and kinnaras, are constantly offering their obeisances."
A part of 5 verses called the Panchamrita, it reflects the adoration of Lord Narasimha by attributing various names to him and by describing the various celestial beings who shower flowers and sing His praise.
This particular verse reflects the celestial beings like Gandharvas, vidhyadharas and kinnaras. The richness of our mythologies is reflected in dance, music, sculpture and literature. The depths of mythology are revealed in various forms of expression, those which will fit anybody's sense of aesthetics.
On the one end it clearly reflects the beauty of human emotion, the reflection of the soul, of Bhakti in the heart of the aspirant who sings in praise of the Lord Narasimha.
On the other hand, it makes me really wonder whether we are missing an entire section of reality purely based on our inadequacy to understand the "real world" around us. With such rich knowledge and explanation, such various forms of expression there was definitely a lot more to this sacred science.
There was a time when a prince waited for the sweet words of love to fall to him, to know his dear lady loved him well. And out of thin air appeared sweet pearls of love, inscribed in beetle leaf and touched his heart as an Apsara flew the skies above.