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New shrine for Lord Narasimhar

At Velachery, a new temple for Sri Malola Narasimha awaits Mahasamprokshanam. T. A. SRINIVASAN writes.


THE DEITY in the Ahobila Math is Sri Malola Narasimhar to whom the Jeeyars have been offering worship for many centuries. Many temples for the Lord have been built all over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, where the headquarters of the Ahobila Math is situated. Though an ancient temple for Sri Narasimha exists in Velachery, a suburb of Chennai, a new shrine for Sri Malola Narasimha has been constructed by the Narasimha Peetam of the Malola Narasimhaswamy Bhakta Jana Sabha Trust and it is to be consecrated on November 24.

At the Peetam, Narasimha homams are being performed on Swathi day every month as it is the birth star of the Lord and so far 112 homams have been conducted since 1994, when Sri Narasimha Dasar, founder-trustee of the Peetam, who received "Mantropadesam" from Sri Kumar Guruji of Sri Sukabrahma Ashram at Chennai, performed the first homam.

On divine order he undertook the construction of a shrine at the peetam. A new temple for Lord Malola Narasimha has thus emerged at Velachery, whose name in times of yore was, according to scholars, "Velvicheri" or a place where "Yagnas" were performed. According to some others its name was Vedasreni. It is in the fitness of things that more than 100 homams have been performed here by Sri Narasimha Dasar.

A seven-and-a-half-feet granite idol of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha has been kept under wrap after the "Balalayam" was set up on June 1 this year. The shrine is unique in that it will have two Moolavar idols, one the granite idol and the other a bronze idol of the Lord, to whom worship has been offered all these years. Besides these the shrine will also have Panchaloha idols of Sri Narasimha with Sridevi and Boodevi, Garudazhwar, Anjaneya and Prahlada and idols made out of Athi (fig) tree of Yoga Narasimhar, Kalyana Narasimhar and Anjaneya.

Narasimha Jayanthi is celebrated on a grand scale for four days on Swathi day in April-May, corresponding to the Tamil months of Chitirai-Vaikasi. On the first two days Laksharchanai is performed, while Maha Sudarsana Homam is conducted on the third day when the Lord is taken in procession in the evening. On the fourth day Thirukkalyanam is performed to the Lord. The service of Vedic Pandits is not enlisted for performing the Homam and the devotees themselves are roped in to recite the "Sudarsan Maha Mantram", 10,000 times. On every New Year Day Laksharchanai is offered to the Lord and the deity is taken in procession. Laksharchanai is also performed on the Karthigai Sundays, considered auspicious for Lord Narasimha as lakhs of devotees throng the hill temple at Chozha-simhapuram (Sholingur), one of the 108 Divyadesams sanctified by Azhwars' hymns. During the homam performed at the Ashramam, those who participate in it, irrespective of their caste or creed, recite the Narasimha Tharaka Manthram along with the Swamiji. The special Prasadam is the Homa Basmam (sacred ash taken from the fire pit). Annadanam follows the homam.

Apart from the religious activities, the Malola Narasimha Swami Bhakta Jana Sabha Trust, which looks after the affairs of the Narasimha Peetam, undertakes a wide range of activities — providing educational aid to needy students, Tirumangalyam to poor brides at the time of marriage, supply of homeopathy medicines to the ailing poor people and organising blood donation camps and identifying voluntary blood donors and seeking their help at times of emergency.

According to the Swamiji, there is also a plan to undertake the renovation of the 650-year-old temple of Lord Narasimha at Sri Narasimhapuram, near Perambakkam, 54 km from Chennai.

As the temple is in a highly dilapidated state and has to be almost entirely rebuilt, the work is expected to cost Rs. 40-50 lakhs. The Mahasamprokshanam of the Malola Narasimha Swami shrine at No. 6, Third Street, Sri Sakthi Vijayalakshmi Nagar, Velachery, Chennai-600042, (phone number 2442071), is to be performed at 10.15 a.m., on Sunday, November 24.

It will be preceded by Yagasalai Pooja and other preliminary rituals for three days. After the Samprokshanam, Mandalabisheka puja will start on November 25. Donations to the Malola Narasimha Swami Bhakta Jana Sabha Trust are exempt from income-tax under Section 80G.

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