By: Mahanidhi Swami
Every day in Puri, before taking darshana of Sri Jagannatha Deva, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu would stop at a small shrine dedicated to Lord Nrisimha within the temple complex. Then Mahaprabhu would offer obeisances and recite the following prayers again and again, prati dina prabhu namaskari ei shloka bara bara: (Cc. 3.16.51)
namas te nara simhaya, prahlad ahlada dayine
hiranyakashipor vakshah, shila tanka nakhalaye
Sri Gauranga said, “I offer obeisances unto You, Lord Narasimhadeva, the giver of bliss to Bhakta Prahlada. With Your chisel-like sharp fingernails, You bifurcated the rock- hard chest of Hiranyakashipu.”
ito nrisimhah parato nrisimho, yato yato yami tato nrisimhah
bahir nrisimho hrdaye nrisimho, nrisimham adim sharanam prapadye
“Nrisimhadeva is here, there, and wherever I go. Nrisimhadeva is outside and inside My heart as well. Thus I take shelter of and surrender unto that primeval Lord Nrisimha.”
When Mahaprabhu arrived in Visakhapatnam, He took darshana of the famous Thakuraji named Jiyada Nrsimha. After offering dandavats, Gaurangadeva became absorbed in prema, and started singing, dancing, and offering various prayers, dandavat pranati premaveshe bahu nrtya gita stuti, i.e.:
shri narasimha, jaya narasimha, jaya jaya narasimha
prahladesha jaya padma mukha padma bhringa
“All glories to Sri Narasimhadeva, all glories to Narasimhadeva, the Lord of Prahlada! All glories to You who are like a honeybee always hovering about the lotus face of Sri.” (Cc. 2.8.5)
Here we see Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu chanting prayers to Nrisimhadeva. In the Vedas, there are numerous accounts of Narasimhadeva’s protecting Vishnu’s bhaktas, removing their fear and destroying their sins. In Hari Bhakti Vilasa (11.272-273), the law book guiding Gaudiya Vaisnavas, Srila Sanatana Goswamipada recommends a couple of prayers from the Kurma Purana to petition the mercy of the powerful Lord of protection, Sri Narahari.
The first one, which was also recited by Mahaprabhu, should be chanted 21X to destroy sins, papa kshaya:
shri narasimha, jaya narasimha, jaya jaya narasimha!
The second prayer should be chanted 21X to stop or prevent great fear, maha bhaya nivarana:
shri narasimha jaya jaya narasimha!
Thus, according to the situation or one’s personal taste, a Gaudiya Vaisnava may regularly or occasionally sincerely pray to the all-powerful and all-merciful Narasimha Bhagavan. Some Gaudiyas, however, prefer to surround themselves with, and to be fully absorbed in the continuous chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.
Of course, this is the ultimate perfection and protection. Mahaprabhu Himself has assured us that all the energies, forms, and various descents of Bhagavan Sri Krishna are contained in this one most amazing, tantalizing and tasty mantra.
To establish the complete and unlimited position of Hari Nama, our Gaudiya Vaisnava rasa-acharya, Srila Rupa Goswamipada, states in Bhakti-rasamrta-sindhu (1.2.233):
nama chintamani krishnash, chaitanya rasa vigrahah
purnah shuddho nitya mukto, abhinna tvan nama naminoh
“Sri Krishna’s Holy Name fulfills all desires like a wish-satiation gem (chintamani). The Holy Name is the direct form of Bhagavan Sri Krishna, consciousness and divine raptures. Sri Krishna’s divine Holy Name is absolutely pure and eternally transcendental. There is no difference between the beautiful, sweet, charming and divine Supreme Person Sri Krishna and His Holy Name.”
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare
Sri Narasimha Bhagavan ki jai! Bhakta Sri Prahlada Maharaja ki jai!
Hare Krishna Maha Mantra ki jai!