South Indian Tour: Mangalagiri (Vijayawada)

Monday, 8 July 2019,
Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
Photographs courtesy of Sripad B.N. Sadhu Maharaj

 

 

pujya-sri-guru-varga-vandita-mahabhavanvitayah sada
paurvaparya-parampara-prachalita-prajya-pramurtakrteh
bhakter nirmala-nirjharasya nibhrtam samraksakam sadaram
vande sri-gurudevam anata-sira acharya-varyam nijam

"I bow my head in eternal obeisance to my Gurudev, the best of acharyas, Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj. He is the ever vigilant, stalwart guardian of the current of pure devotion whose highest form flows from our most worshippable Sri Rupanuga Guru-varga in their exclusive dedication to Mahabhav, Srimati Radharani."

vaisnavera pada-dhuli tahe mora snana-keli
tarpana mora vaisnavera nama
vaisnavera uchchhista tahe mora mano-nistha
vaisnavera namete ullasa

"The feet dust of the Vaishnavs is where I sport and take bath, Vaishnavs' name is the water oblation. My mind is intently fixed upon the remnants of Vaishnavs, and I am elated at the name of Vaishnavs."

gangara-parasa ha-ile paschate pavana
darsane pavitra kara—ei tomara guna

"If the Ganges touches someone, they are purified some time later; but one becomes purified just by seeing you, O Vaishnava Thakur. Such is your power."

gaura amara ye-saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se-saba sthana heriba ami
pranayi-bhakata-sange

"In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes."

 

 


A week-long bus tour includes Kurmaksetra (Srikakulam), Simhachalam, Kovvur (Godavari), Vijayawada (Pana Nrisinghadev and Laksmi Nrisinghadev temples), Srisailam, Ahobilam (Temple of Nava-Nrisingha), and Tirupati.

 


Main temples in Mangalagiri, near Vijayawada.

 


Devotees chanting the morning kirtans.

 


Arriving at Mangalagiri.

 


 


Sri Laksmi Nrisinghadev Temple.

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


On the way to the next destination.

 


 


 


The stairs leading to the temple of Sri Panakala Nrisinghadev.

 


 


Establish in 1930 by Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur, this place commemorates Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu's visit to Mangalgiri during the Lord's travel to South India.

 


krsna-krsna-krsna-krsna-krsna-nama-kirtanam
rama-rama-gana-ramya-divya chanda-nartanam
yatra-tatra-krsna-nama-dana-loka-nistaram
prema-dhama-devam eva naumi gaura-sundaram

"Later, the Supreme Lord travelled to the holy places of pilgrimage in South India with the clever intention of delivering the fallen souls. Appearing as a beautiful young renunciate, He distributed the sweet Names of the Lord, singing: "Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna Krishna he," as He strolled down the different pathways, entered temples, and visited homesteads during the sacred pilgrimage. Infused with an inconceivable type of divine inspiration, the Lord freely chanted "Rama Rama" and joyfully danced with the most charming gestures. Irrespective of time or personal qualification, the assembled bystanders were delivered by the Lord, who inspired them to chant Krishna's Holy Names. I offer my obeisances to that beautiful Golden Lord, Gaurangasundar, the divine form of Krishna prema."

 


 


 


 


One of the glories of the temple is the sweet jaggery water (panaka) traditionally and famously offered to Lord Nrisinghadev here: the priests offer it by pouring the panaka into Lord Nrisinghadev's mouth and only half of the offered water returns as His prasadam which is then distributed to the pilgrims.

 


Sri Hanuman Deity on the way up the hill.

 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 


[Spoken by His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj on 4 January 2019 during the first visit to Mangalagiri:]


 

We come to preach Krishna consciousness in South India because Gurudev wanted this preaching in South India.

We have visited some places here today, but actually we have no eyes—our eyes are full of dust. How can I see Lord Nrisingha, Pana Nrisingha or Laksmi Nrisingha? It comes through good association—when we visit these places with good association of devotees, then through those devotees we can realise how much devotion Prahlad Maharaj has. All the Vraja gopis of Vrindavan also said, "We do not have the kind of devotion to Krishna that Prahlad Maharaj has."

When Nrisinghadev appeared in this world showing His angry mood (appearing as Ugra Nrisingha), at that time all demigods, Laksmi Devi, Durga, Kali, Indra, everybody was afraid, but Prahlad Maharaj was not afraid. How much devotion he has that he was not afraid! He is a devotee of santa-rasa. How much chastity to the Lord he has.

We can learn another thing also from Prahlad Maharaj. His father gave him so much trouble, so many problems, he even wanted to kill him, but Pralad Maharaj was not angry with him—he did not say a single bad word to him. And you can understand how much devotion, how much love and affection Prahlad Maharaj has that the Lord Himself comes in this kind of form. What did Prahlad Maharaj teach us? When Nrisinghadev asked him, "What kind of boon do you want?" He first said, "My father has given You so much trouble (he did not say "to me"—he was thinking about the Lord!), he has even hit You, made so many offences to You. If You want to give me a boon, then please rescue him." Nrisinghadev said that his father had already got liberation, so He told him to ask for something else. What boon did Prahlad Maharaj finally ask Nrisinghadev for? He said, "Give me that kind of boon so that all asking mood, all desire mood is removed from my heart."

From this example, we can understand that we do not go to the Lord to ask Him for something—we only come to pay obeisance to our Lord. We must pay obeisance with devotion, with so much heart. We do not ask for anything material or even anything spiritual, not even liberation, nothing. We only pay dandavat to the Lord thinking, "I do not know anything. I only want to improve my devotion." It is necessary to be like this.

When Mahaprabhu came here, He would sing,

jaya nrsimha, sri nrsimha, jaya jaya nrsimha
prahladesa jaya padma-mukha-padma-bhrnga

ito nrsimha parato nrsimho
yato yato yami tato nrsimhah
bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho
nrsimham adim saranam prapadye

I want to explain the meaning of these two verses. The first verse says, "Bhakta-prabara Prahlad Maharaj ki jay. Suddha-bhakti-vighna-vinasankari Sri Laksmi Nrisinghadev ki jay. O Nrisingha! Glory to Nrisinghadev! Glory to Prahlad, a bee on the lotus feet of Laksmi Devi." The second verse means, "Here is Nrisingha, there is Nrisingha, wherever I go there is Nrisingha, outside is Nrisingha and within, in my heart, is Nrisingha. I take shelter of Nrisnigha, the original form." He also sang,

vag-isa yasya vadane laksmir yasya cha vaksasi
yasyaste hrdaye samvit tam nrsimham aham bhaje

"I serve Nrisingha in whose mouth resides Saraswati, on whose chest resides Laksmi and in whose heart resides Absolute Consciousness."

Here, Nrisinghadev always takes half of the water offered to Him and gives the other half to His followers, devotees. Also, this hill's name is Mangalgiri and it looks like an elephant. Sriman Mahaprabhu visited this place when He toured South India. After Mahaprabhu took darshan of Nrisinghadev, He sat here at this place—you can see here the footprints of Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur established this place.

We are very fortunate to have come here, to visit the place where Mahaprabhu went, in the company of devotees. We must also come again to this place. I have been here before, but for you this is the first time. You are fortunate to see this place of Lord Nrisinghadev. Now we are going down, to the temple of Laksmi Nrisinghadev.

Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur also said that the a holy place, a dham, is where devotees are. He would also often quote,

gaura amara ye-saba sthane
karala bhramana range
se-saba sthana heriba ami
pranayi-bhakata-sange

"In the company of loving devotees, I behold all the places my Gaurasundar roamed during His ecstatic Pastimes."

We too shall visit the places where Mahaprabhu went, with great sadhus, in good association.

We are paying our obeisance at this place and praying to Mahaprabhu for the devotion that He has to Nrisinghadev, for the devotion that He has for Krishna. We only want to serve His devotees, and actually we better like to have devotion to Mahaprabhu. We do not want to be a devotee of Krishna—we want to be a devotee of Srimati Radharani. Some people preach that they are Krishna-bhakta, but we say that it is better if you become Radharani-bhakta. This is the main thing.

Jay Srila Guru Maharaj ki jay!

 

 

 

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