Throughout last year I was praying for the protection of Krishna. Naturally that led me to specifically pray for the continued protective blessings of Lord Nrsimhadeva, the form of the Lord who is particularly known for protecting His devotee Prahlada in a time of trouble.
If true prayer is reciprocated by intense feelings of actually being protected, then I suppose you could say my prayers were certainly answered.
My attraction for, and dependence on, this avatar of Krishna has not diminished, and I have been given great solace in reading about Him and chanting the verses sung by Sri Prahlada.
I was present in Mayapura, India, in 1977 when Srila Prabhupada gave a series of classes about Lord Nrsimha. He spoke of the apparent contradiction in the appearance of the Lord; that the palms of His hands are as soft as a pink lotus, yet His nails are as hard as a chisel. If my memory serves me correctly, as Srila Prabhupada was speaking he was raising his own hand.
I have been re-reading a book by Mukkur Lakshminarasimhacariyar Swami, a great devotee of the ‘Man-Lion God’ who dedicated the final twenty years of his life to the performance of 108 yajnas for the glorification of his Lord. His books are filled with verses, descriptions of lila, and revelations to great devotees, as well as glorification of the blessings to be obtained by worshipping Narasimha.
The English version which I have, named Ko Data, or ‘Who is the Giver?’ was a tirtha-mahatmya, a description of the place of Mattapalli, a Deity of the Lord who revealed Himself in a dream to a devotee. I found the book very devotional, and was sad to learn that the author had passed away in 2001, after performing 107 yajnas.
The temple at which he worshipped is inside a cave within a forest in Andhra Pradesh, and is one of several in the area. I have been to A.P. only once before, back in 1986.
Another famous temple in this area is Ahobila Mutt, the home of Malola, a beautiful Deity of the Lord with Lakshmi. This particular Deity was actually physically handed over to a great devotee during a vision. This devotee, Yathindra Shatakopan, is thus the acarya of the current line of gurus influential in this region, and the Deity of Malola is now the object of great devotion for the branch of the Sri Vaishnava community who serves Him. Part of the seva-puja is that He is taken on tour to various other temples and homes, and in this way gives great spiritual satisfaction to the devotees. You can see a recent video clip of Him being offered a ceremonial bath here.
I wish all my readers the full blessings and protection of Lord Nrsimha and urge you to ask Him to protect your spiritual journey by chanting the Nrsimha mantras every morning, along with your chanting of the Hare Krishna maha-mantra.