- Lakshminarasimha Swamy Aalayam
"Run to Iakshmi
Naiasimhaswamy temple... offer prayers on Maghasuddha Eakadasi...
lie down with wet clothes in the temple chanting the Lord's name ...
sleep there for the night, sure you will see a tiny toddler,
crawling in your house in a year's time." Thus advises an
experienced old man to the barren couple, when they bemoan their
misfortune of not begetting children, although they had by then
undergone several ordeals of known vratas, like worshipping of pipal
tree, making pilgrimages to holy places, gifting of valuables to
Brahmins etc. The couple yearning for santanaprapti await that
subhadina and do so as advised. The Lord, if the couple deserve
baby, appears in their dream and gives fruits, flowers and toys as a
sign of their begetting a child. And for whom the sea of purakruta
dushkruta - sins of past life is unfordable, gives broom sticks
signifying that their inexorable curse can never be shaken off by
any means whatsoever.
This phenomenon is going on for over centuries now and people in
thousands are rushing on that auspicious day to Sri Lakshmi
Narasimhaswami temple situated on the bank of Vasishta Godavari, 18
km off Narasapur in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.
And it is connected by waterways, railways, roadways and airways
too. It is an island temple and one among the thirty two of the most
reputed Narasimha kshetras of Andhra Pradesh; and there are many
temples here like Nilakanteswara, Sri Rama, Anjaneya etc. This place
is also called Dhakshinakasi and has a glorious past, connected with
several august luminaries such as Brahma among celestials, Sri Rama
among the incarnated and Vasishta among maharshis. Surrounded by the
evergreen lovely colourful spectacles of Nature, its tourist appeal
is equally great and hence a visitation by a steady influx of
paryatakas and yatris throughout the year. As it has certain unique
features, such as falling of the Sun's rays on the chest of the
Archamurti every evening, blessing the barren couple with children;
and most importantly, the very place of killing of a dreadful demon
by name Raktavilochana; its legends are many and fame too high:
According to scriptures, once a wicked demon by name Raktavilochan
tortured the innocent sadhus mercilessly ruling from this place.
Lord Mahavishnu killed him at the earnest appeal of Vasishta. And
later Vasishta built his asram here and brought the water of
Godavari through a rivulet which is called after him - Vasishtapaya.
It is also the place, where Hiianyakasipu's corpse fell, when Lord
Narasimha threw him into the air- antarveedhi, which word, in course
of time became Antarvedi, Lord Narasimha meditated here, drawn by
its sequestered sublimity sitting in an ant-hill, till the beginning
of Kaliyuga, when a cow-herd by name Kesavadas dug out that
ant-hill, on account of the fact of one of his cows was standing on
it and milking to the Lord everyday. Finding an icon, he built a
befitting temple and installed it for regular worship.
The archamurti is facing west and he
is one of the nine august forms of Narasimha. Another rarity found
here is the installation of the icons of Mother Rajalakshmi,
Bhudevi, Santana Venugopalaswamy, Venkateswaraswamy, Kesavaswamy, in
the garbhagriha itself and they are receiving equal reverent
attention. The Kshetrapalaka of this temple is Neelakanteswaraswamy,
who was installed by Brahma after performing a grandiose yagna
lasting for 10) years in the Kritayuga. Maharshi Vasishta on
settlement here built temples for Lakshminarasimhaswamy and
Anjaneyaswamy, but the latter was submerged in the sea water. To the
right of the main shrine, there is Ramaalayam. Adjacent to this lies
the temple of Neelakanteswaraswamy. With many such spiritual
citadels, this place is luring people throughout the year. It lies
16 Km off Narasapur of East Godavari district of AP, accessible by
launch from it or by bus from Rajole, a nearby town.