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Travels of a Narasimha Bhakta

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I read this article somewhere else and I felt that was worth of sharing it here. I know Dhruva from Mayapur and I hope that he continue in his journey and getting the mercy of Lord Narasimha Deva.


Travels of a Narasimha Bhakta

by Dhruva das


To all the assembled devotees and well-wishers,


Please accept my most humble obeisances and Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Narasimha Deva.


I want to thank all of you who have been offering prayers on my behalf for the last few days, and I would also like to apologize if I may have, unintentionally, caused grief in the minds of my good parents. If I may, let me explain.


Since coming to India again in August of last year, I wanted to search out 108 temples of Lord Narasimha Deva so that by His mercy I may be able to write a book on them. Having already seen so many unbelievable temples, I resumed my quest, leaving from Mamallapuram, where I had been staying with my brother Drdha for a few weeks, getting prepared.


I decided to start from Ahovilam, where it had all begun. Although I wasn’t certain where my journey would take me from there, I prayed to the Lord, "Please, show me the way."


Thinking like this, late one night, I had a dream. In it, the Lord, in His fierce Nrsimha form, spoke to me, assuring, "I will take you. Don’t worry. I will show you the way."


Excitedly, I woke the next morning, jumped out of bed, and went into the jungles of Ahobilam thinking, "OK, I’m ready. Where to?" As I wandered aimlessly through the forest, I was certain something amazing was going to happen.

It didn’t. "So much for big expectations, so much for dreams!" I thought.


However, that night the Lord again appeared in my dreams, and smilingly repeated, "Just let me take you. Don’t worry about anything."


So, feeling a sense of direction, I said goodbye to Ahobilam, and boarded a bus to Hyderabad. From there, incredible things began to happen. It was as if the Lord would guide me or send His devotees to help in so many ways. Like the time, early in my travels, I was suffering through a long bus ride, going to a temple, when suddenly a man sat down next to me. In perfect English, he asked me what I was doing. I was frankly surprised to find someone this far from civilization actually spoke my language.


I tried to explain to him how I was going to see Narasimha Deva. Listening with interest, he said, "Well, you just missed this amazing temple. It’s back the way you just came."


I knew I had to go back, so with urgency, we approached the driver, and my newfound friend spoke to him in Telugu, asking him to stop the bus immediately. While everyone either sitting, standing, huddled on the roof, or hanging out the doors stared at me in complete bewilderment, I got off, said thanks and Hare Krsna to all, and, standing in the middle of nowhere, waited for the next bus heading back.


I must say that wherever I traveled, I was probably the only person many villagers had ever seen with white skin and shaved head and wearing tilak, dhoti, and wooden shoes. Smiling, I would greet them with "Hare Krsna!" to which many would fold their hands together, loudly responding with the Holy Names. It was incredible how complete strangers would come up to me and start talking or how pujaris, impressed with what I was doing, would invite me to their homes to take prasad, telling me marvelous tales of the history of their particular Deity.


As the terrain grew more remote, the temples became more amazing. I saw Ugra, Jwala, Lakshmi Narashima, Yoga, Prahlada Narashima. How can I adequately describe the numerous, astonishing forms of the Lord that I encountered? Most of the Deities were Swayambhuv, which means self-manifesting.


It is hard to put into words what happened in these last three weeks, but I will try to offer you a glimpse into a few of my adventures. Once, I rented a jeep to go to Ketavaram, which is situated in dense jungles along the Krsna River. Half asleep, I was awakened by an abrupt stop, and I saw a thick snake lying across the road. It must have been over 15 feet long, as only one end of his body was visible, the rest obscured by the underbrush. The driver simply drove over it, and as we did, I could see it’s lifeless eyes. I was astonished to see it was a python. You rarely see them in India.


A short distance further, an even larger python also lay across the road. This one was dead, too. It was frightening to think of what this meant, if it was a good or bad omen. When I saw where the Diety was situated, I could understand why this might be a sign of danger. There I stood, at the base of a gigantic mountain, peering at the mouth of a cave that jutted from the edge of a cliff. Therein was my Lord.


Steeling myself, I somehow managed the difficult climb and stood inside the narrow entrance of the cave, realizing it was all worth it. There stood Jwala Narasimha, seeming ready to destroy the whole world. He was over eight feet tall, protruding mightily from the wall, with a massive head, mouth gaping wide. His ears stood erect, with tongue seeming to wag as if a dueling sword. His eyes blazed like fire.


Wow! I did not want to leave this place, but knew I had to continue, so I prayed to Jwala to let me return. As I turned to leave, something unbelievable happened. As I glanced back to get a last look at my Lord, He was engulfed by fire. As quickly as they appeared, the flames disappeared, and I wondered if it had been only my imagination. It was not until then that I realized, hearing noises from above, that I was not the only one there, as my flashlight illuminated thousands of tiny bats hanging from the walls and ceiling of the cave.


Another incident stands out in my mind. It was when I was preparing myself for another solitary trek, this one taking me untold miles through a hazardous forest to ultimately see an Ugra Narasimha temple. While I hunched over my backpack, a local pujari ran up and warned me not to go. In broken English, he said a tiger had only yesterday, jumped up on the roof of a pilgrims’ TataSumo, then, after jumping down, stood at the window, licking his lips and staring at the terrified passengers. Of course, they turned back.


Deciding to go anyway, I thought to myself; "The only tiger or lion out there is the Lord." At least, I hoped so. As I walked along, I heard this roar, and it was a little too close for comfort. I froze as I saw the bushes ahead shaking, and slowly pulled out the small knife I carried for protection. Well, in this case, it was not very comforting. I tried to decide what to do next, when the shaking stopped. I didn’t know if that was a good sign or not, so I wasn’t sure whether to continue or retreat.


Something told me to go on, so running like the wind, I made it to the temple, thank Krsna! With my heart pounding out of my chest, I spent extra time praying to the Deity, wishing I wasn’t so foolhardy. Then I made my way quickly back down and told the pujari what had happened.


He looked at me, incredulous, and smiling, he said, "May the Lord protect you on your journey."


All I know is that I wanted to see the Lord at every time, at every place, and in every circumstance, and being ever merciful, He fulfilled that desire. Sometimes I went days without eating or sleeping. Traveling for hours on hellish buses, the only way I kept my sanity was by listening to the MP3 set of Prabhupada’s lectures I had brought or by chanting, often up to 64 rounds. It was as if I were possessed or something, and so I forgot the outside world.


Despite the remote distances, I saw 27 temples of Nrsimha in only three weeks. Once, after a particularly difficult ascent to reach one temple, upon entering it I came face to face with an enormous king cobra....


Well, I think I’ll save that story for next time. So, stay tuned for more "Adventures of a Wild and Crazy Nrsimha Bhakta." I leave you with a taste of the adventures I plan to chronicle in my book and hope you hanker to hear more. Therefore, I beg for your forgiveness and blessings so that I may finish this wonderful aspiration of mine. I have now seen over 80 temples, by the Lord’s grace.


I welcome any and all comments, encouragement, criticisms (constructive, thanks) suggestions, feedback, donations (especially helpful!) or whatever.


And you can contact me at

Dhruva22@AOL.com or

my brother at Drdha108@hotmail.com.


Your servant,

Dhruva das

Dream only Narasimha Deva




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