GOD’S ANGER – Reflections on the Installation of Lord Nrsimhadeva in New Vrindaban – June 1986

New Vrindaban ISKCON Nrsimhadeva Gadadhara


Reflections on the Installation of Lord Nrsimhadeva in New Vrindaban.

From the Brijabasi Spirit, June 1986.

by Gadadhara dasa

A million years ago, in a previous era, the universe was controlled by the terrible demon, Hiranyakasipu. His five year old son, Prahlada, was a great devotee of the Lord and was always instructing his classmates on the science of Krsna consciousness.

Hiranyakasipu couldn’t tolerate his saintly son, so he tried to kill him in so many ways, although failing again and again. Finally, Lord Krishna personally appeared as Nrsimhadeva, to protect His small devotee, Prahlada, and kill Hiranyakasipu by tearing him apart.

“I offer my obeisances to Lord Nrsimhadeva, who gives joy to Prahlada Maharaja, and whose nails are like chisels on the stone-like chest of the demon Hiranyakasipu.”

1986 began in a most auspicious way in New Vrindaban. Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half-man, half-lion incarnation of Lord Krishna, decided to appear at our annual New Year Sankirtan Festival, held the first week in January. By His causeless mercy, He appeared as a seven-foot tall, coal-black Deity, with piercing red eyes, accompanied by his five year old eternal associate, Prahlada Maharaja.

Prahlada is standing with folded hands in front of His Lord, who is seated on a magnificent golden throne. In one hand Nrsimhadeva has a conch and in another a chakra (discus). At the end of His powerful fingers are gleaming, golden fingernails. His black and gold mane, like an effulgence, frames His glowing red eyes and fierce snout,where two downward curving white fangs protrude. A jeweled helmet of gold adorns his head.

Thinking back to the first time I saw Lord Nrsimhadeva, I remember Him vividly in a painting on the wall of the Radha Krishna temple in New York, during my first visit there. It was a frightening scene to behold.

I could almost hear His thunderous roaring as He placed the demon-king Hiranyakasipu on His lap and disemboweled him. Blood was flying everywhere. Bhakta Prahlada was calmly looking on with tears of love and devotion in his eyes.

I stopped myself from gawking, pulling myself away to ask a nearby devotee what all this meant. His answer satis­fied me then and still satisfies me: “This is Lord Nrsimhadeva” he said. “He is God’s anger personified, and He’s proving to the world that the Lord protects His devotees.”

Soma das, New Vrindaban’s sculptor, had previously been requested to carve a Prahlada-Nrsimha murti. Soma became inspired with the project and soon carved out of clay a beautiful form. With the help of Kumara das and the mold shop crew, a mold was made and the casting went very smoothly.

“When Lord Nrsimhadeva wants to appear, no one can stop Him,”

Sampat Kumar Bhattacharya, a priest for the famous Tirupati temple of Balaji in South India, was consulted from beginning to end on many details of the Lord, and the Silpa Sastra and other Vedic texts were carefully refer­enced.

Most people can’t understand that the form of the Lord is not a concoction of anyone’s imagination; authorized descriptions can be found in the revealed scriptures. At the request of the Lord’s pure devotees, Krishna agrees to personally manifest as the arca-vigraha incarnation.

A golden altar and throne were cast in the mold shop and were placed to the right of Sri Sri Radha-Vrindaban Chandra’s altar. The Sankirtan Festival was ecstatic. Three days of chanting, dancing, feasting, plays, videos, initiations and other festivities pushed us all forward into new realms of transcendental bliss.

The ceremonies inaugurating the appearance of Lord Nrsimhadeva were organized and overseen by Gaura Kesava Prabhu, who previously installed the great Nrsimhadeva Deity in Germany. The festivities began with Gaura Kesava explaining the meaning behind all the rituals, followed by a fire yajna and a bathing ceremony. After the yajna, all the devotees had an opportunity to bathe the Lord and His devotee, Prahlada.

That evening, there was one of New Vrindaban’s memor­able three-hour kirtanas. The giant kirtana hall was packed with people. The lights were dimmed. Mounds of rice with candle wicks were placed on the floor, creating as aisle of ghee lamps. Young maidens carrying auspicious items were presented before the closed curtain.

Then at about 9:00 p.m., the curtains opened and Lord Nrsimhadeva, resplendent with garlands, a jeweled golden crown and golden ornaments, accompanied by Prahlada Maharaja, also fully decorated and effulgent, blessed us with His darsan.

The Lord’s beautiful red lotus eyes will bring great pleasure to the devotees and strike fear into the hearts of the demons.

“God’s personified anger…protecting His devotees…” I flashed back. Lord Nrsimha’s visage seemed peaceful and calm at this point. It seemed that Prahlada Maharaja, a five year old boy, alone was able to keep the Supreme Person­ality of Godhead from standing up and shaking the whole universe with His unearthly roar. I could appreciate Prahlada more than ever before, and how Krishna can be controlled only by the love of His devotee.

Now some time has passed since the New Year appear­ance of Lord Nrsimhadeva and Prahlada Maharaja. Our temple activities are more exciting and glorious than ever. The Gurukula boys perform all the morning arotiks to Lord Nrsimhadeva. It’s a great thrill to see young boys worshiping the most powerful personality in all of creation.

I’m looking forward to seeing the amazed look on the faces of the thousands of visitors this season when they first see the transcendental form of Lord Nrsimhadeva. I hope someone will ask me who He is. Then I will have the chance to tell them, “He is God’s anger personified.”

Information and Links

Join the fray by commenting, tracking what others have to say, or linking to it from your blog.

Reader Comments

Sorry, comments are closed.