IndianStore4All Narasimha Kavacha
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- Difficulties and serious challenges can come our way in life, and sometimes in overwhelming waves that causes us severe distress. At such times we feel utterly helpless, lose our centre, our peace of mind, our natural sleep patterns until we start to wail and shake or have a cosmic meltdown at the apparent unfairness of our miserable lives. Or we actually live in serious danger for our lives from dark forces around us. And of course we can forget that help is always at hand. Because it is.
- The wonderful incarnation of Sri Narasimhadev, (also known as Nrsimha or Nrsimhaya) is the personification of the powerful protective force of the Divine in Vaishnava tradition. He came in a flash, an impossible God who assumed the form of half man, half lion, at the junction point between day and night, emerging from a pillar to save his devotee Prahlada from destruction from the Asuric despot Hiranyakashipu.
- This was the only way that God could get round the protective boons that the Demon king had got for himself. Narasimha is therefore the "Bhairav" or fierce aspect of Vasudevaya, Lord Vishnu.
- His main centre of worship remains today the forested hills of a place called Ahobilam in India (there's an excellent DVD to search out made by a young and adventurous Hare Krishna devotee called Pilgrimage to Ahobilam that takes us round the various sites dedicated to Narasimhadev in the vicinity of Ahobilam that is well worth checking out).
- My favourite shrine in the DVD has the murti at the end of an underground, water-filled chamber which is populated by bats and has a squidgy floor of very questionable mud and grime... not for the faint-hearted!
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There are in fact two kavachas of Lord Nrsimha, but one is enough to recite if you need that sense of help and protection around you. It has been part of the prayers and shlokas I recite for many years now, a sort of secret joyful task that I turn to again and again to steel my life with courage and protection. Like many others, I live in a large city, in a relatively poor neighbourhood, and been over the years a victim of both robbery and street violence... if you do not live in a mansion you have to be careful in the challenging and tense urban environment. I've lived in places where the neighbours were extremely violent, where the practice of sadhana has been difficult in the face of noise, ugliness, and so forth. But the Nrsimha Kavach has always helped. It is this kavach, rather than the longer Devi Kavach (contained in the blog) which I recite. And Lord Nrsimhah has an honoured place on my own puja. One peculiarity about Lord Narasimhadev is the way the west in fact knows far more about him than most other deities, because the Isckon Hare Krishna movement wisely promoted His worship as it expanded in western cities. One Isckon murti of Nrsimha in fact was deliberately placed in West Germany at a time when Germany was divided and the might of the communist east with the attendant threat of nuclear annihilation was just across the border. We all know who won in the end! There was a time I used to chant this every lunchtime in a park in the middle of London, at a time when money was scarce and responsibilities onerous. The kavach was a sort of security blanket, a pledge of loyalty and a plea for support. I still wear the central mantra of the Kavach in an amulet hung around my neck.
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