Simhachalam Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha swami - Chandanotsavam
by Mantra & shlokas on Saturday, May 7, 2011 at 12:53pm
ri Lakshmi Nrusimha Mamdehi Karavalmbam!
Human body with lion's head forms the Sacred appearance of the Narismha Perumal who is Lord Sree Mahavishnu's fourth Incarnation. The major reason which led to this incarnation is vanquish evil tyrants and protect the pious beings. In order not to fail lord Brahma's words, Perumal out of His causeless mercy has incarnated in this unique form.
The story behind the Incarnation:
King Hiranyakashipu undergoes many years of great austerity and penance to Lord Brahma and attains a boon of becoming immune to death by any of the entities created by Brahma. Intoxicated by the boon, he starts to persecute people in all worlds (including earth and heavenly planets). As the sufferings became unbearable, the people from the three lokas (Bhu, suvar, pathala) approach Lord Vishnu and request Him to put an end to this cruelty.
To relieve the Lokas from the oppression of the demon Hiranyakashipu without crossing against the boons as given by Brahma, the Lord Maha Vishnu takes the form of Narasimha (Half Lion-Half Man).
Reason for the Sandalwood paste (Chandanam)
The Ferocious appearance of Perumal killed the demon Hiranyakashipu. The battle was so fierce that even after crushing the demon, perumal did not return to his pleasant form (santha swaroopam). His ferocious form is very frightening for all beings including lord Brahma. Various prayers from Brahma, all the gods and even the devotee Prahaladha could not help to calm down from the ugra swaroopam (Ferocious appearance) of the perumal. Then Lord Brahma remembers the Sacred tree Srichandana Vruska (Sandal wood tree) which has the ability to reduce ferocity, anger and heat and suggests Bhaktha Prahaladha to apply the sandalwood paste to perumal.
Prahaladha followed the instructions of Brahma and applied Srichandanam (sandal wood paste) to the Lord. The tender fragrance has made the ferocious perumal to attain His normal state (santha swaroopa).
Further, Prahaladha applies the chandana (Sandal wood paste) to Perumal along with his devotional prayers which made Perumal to completely remove his ugra swaroopam and accept the santha swaroopam. As a tribute to God’s kindness towards his Bhakthas, Prahaladha has set up the idols of Lord Narasimha and Lord Maha Vishnu at many places among which the temple at Simhagiri stands as the first to be setup(Prathishta) by Prahaladha which is now called as simhachalam (The Hill of Lion Lord).
Importance of Chandanotsavam: How it is performed?
Every year on Vaisakaha sudha Thadhiya, Narasimhar perumal is offered the sacred Chandanotsavam. Perumal is covered by chandanam (Sandal wood paste) throughout the year except this day. Chandanam is removed, and after removal we can see His nija roopam (True form) where the bhakthas are allowed to get the darshan for 12hours which stands as a highlight of the event.
The night before Vaisakha sudha Thadhiya the old Chandnam paste will be removed, and in the early hours of Vaisakha sudha Thadhiya perumal is offerd with Sahasra Ghatabhiskekam (Abhishekam from thousand sacred pots) and special aaradhanas followed by the sacred incense and the special lightings.
Bhaktha janas are then allowed to view the nija roopa of the perumal. Firstly Perumal gives first appearance to current descendant of Vijayanagara king (Pusapaati) and later on all the devotees are allowed for the darshan.
This Nijaroopa darshanam which is held only once in a year attracts many people from around the world. In spite of having the very hot climate, these eternal hurdles cannot stop the bhakthas to reach the Simhachalm and attain the Lord's darshanam.
To maintain kind pleasant form of the Lord, the idol is again covered by the chandanam in the evening. This entire process is referred to as Chandanotsavam. Correspondingly after the Vaisa:kha Thadhiya, Jye:shta, asha:da, sra:vana pournami days are marked to apply the Chandanam layers again to the perumal. Approximately 1200grm of Chandanam paste will be applied in each of the four months.
As per the sastras, Upon application of the chandana paste on Vaisakha sudha thadhiya, devotees become recipients of lord maha Vishnu's grace, this is the reason that though the Nrusimha Incarnation has originated on Vaiskha sudha chathurdhasi, chandanotsavam is performed on the Vaisakha Sudha Thadhiya.
For Chandanotsavam the Pure sandal paste is taken from best quality sandalwood, and special people are delegated for the task. The old Chandanam paste which is removed from the perumal will be offered to the Devotees as Prasadam which on applying would make them fulfill all their desires (kamithartham Money,health,prosperity..or Moksha).
Divine appearance of Lord at Simhachalam:
Though Deity at Simhachalam is Nrusimha perumal, the divine form is in the shape of Varaha avataram which is the reason why the perumal is called The “varaha Lakshmi Narasimha perumal”. Usually the Holy temples are faced towards east, where as this temple faces the west which marks another specialty of simhachalam. In Local tongue. perumal is called ‘Apanna’. The usual offerings to Lord Varaha Narasimha are a Young cow with her calf. Those young cows and calf are referred to as Appanna and will receive the special honours as gangireddu (The decorative form of bull usually seen at the time of sankranthi), They are also applied with chandhanam paste along with the Prayers.
Simhachalam therefore stands out as one of the unique pilgrimage spot to attain Lord Vishnu's Grace, and Chandanothsavam and Nijaroopa Darsanam are the best days to visit.