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Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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(from a lecture of Swami Tirtha, May 2012, Sofia) 

(continues from the previous Monday) 

“Lord Shri Hari heard the words of His own servant Prahlada. Since He is present everywhere, He appeared in the pillar in His own wonderful form of Nrisimha to support the truth of His devotee’s statement. This frightening form – neither animal nor human – immediately started to kill all the demons. The Lord did not wish to compromise the words of Brahma, who is also a servant of Him, because Brahma promised that Hiranyakashipu will not be killed by any human being or animal, or by any other creature made by him, Brahma, not indoors, nor outdoors, nor by any weapon. The Lord also wanted to keep His own promise “Declare it boldly: My devotee is never lost!”[1] as well as to support the truth in Narada Muni’s words, who said that Prahlada was a devotee of Ananta and therefore could not be killed. For all these reasons Lord Nrisimha appeared.

Although He appeared from within the pillar, God is not any sort of a creature. Hiranyakashipu saw this very wonderful form, but he could not see God. For Him this was not God, but a fantastic type of living entity – half-man (nri) and half-lion (simha). To see something in its true light one has to possess the necessary qualities. Otherwise one will not be able to see, even if the object is right in front of his eyes. The Lord is fully perfect in Himself and is self-manifested. Just as it is possible to see the sun only through the power of the sun itself, seeing God is possible only by His mercy, and not otherwise. Only a devoted surrendered soul is able to see God, while non-surrendered foolish people will forever be unable to understand Him.

Shri Hari is the greatest and most powerful magician, He can assume any form. If He decides to kill someone, no one can oppose His unlimited power. However, despite seeing this amazing form of Nrisimha, Hiranyakashipu still believed himself to have some chance of defeating Him and brandishing his mace he rushed towards the Lord, roaring and thundering. Like a fly that falls into the fire, Hiranyakashipu disappeared into the glaring light emanating from the body of Lord Nrisimha. We should not doubt the validity of this description of the Bhagavatam, because the Supreme Lord is supremely powerful and can perform anything. At the beginning of creation God destroys the deep darkness by His own power. Therefore it is not surprising that the dark demon can easily disappear into the pure sattvic light of Shri Hari.

With great anger and violence Hiranyakashipu attacked Lord Nrisimha with his club, but the Lord responded with His own mace as easily as Garuda devours a large snake. A club or mace is a kind of heavy weapon usually made of iron. Fighting with clubs is indeed a dangerous duel. Among all the demigods Vishnu is the best fighter with a mace.

Vayu Purana explains the origin of the Lord’s club. Once there was a very fierce and dangerous demon named Gada, whose bones were harder and stronger than any weapon. He created a great disturbance for the demigods, so Brahma went to him and asked his bones from him in charity. Later on a mace was fashioned by Gada’s bones and offered to Vishnu. From this the Lord has got His name Gadadhara.”[2]

(to be continued)


[1] Bhagavad Gita 9.31

[2] From B.B.Tirtha Maharaj’s book The holy life of Prahlada



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