Lord Nṛsiṁha is the fourth of the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. He is known as the protector of the devotees. Therefore, devotees always glorify Him with various glorification and prayers.

The Source of Nṛsiṁha Prayers

In scriptures, there are many prayers about Nṛsiṁha Bhagavan. While traveling through South India, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu went to a lot of Nṛsiṁha temples among which Ahobilam, Jiyad Nṛsiṁha, and Siṁhācalam were just a few of them.

He recited many prayers about Nṛsiṁha Bhagavan.From those, Srila Prabhupada picked only three verses.

Scriptural Reference

The Nṛsiṁha prayers comes from two separate sources.

The first two verses are from Nṛsiṁha Purāṇa, which are also stated in Chaitanya Charitamrita, Antya-lila 16.52-53.

namas te nara-siṁhāya, prahlādāhlāda-dāyine

hiraṇyakaśipor vakṣaḥ, śilā-ṭaṅka-nakhālaye ||

ito nṛsiṁhaḥ parato nṛsiṁho, yato yato yāmi tato nṛsiṁhaḥ

bahir nṛsiṁho hṛdaye nṛsiṁho, nṛsiṁhamādiṁ śaraṇaṁ prapadye||

Mahāprabhu used to every day recite the above first two verses while offering namaskār to Nṛsiṁha Bhagavān when He entered the Jagannath temple.

The third verse is from Daśāvatāra stotra of Jayedeva Gosvāmī.

tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-śṛṅgaṁ


keśava dhṛta-narahari-rūpa, jaya jagadīśa hare (repeated 3 times)||

Meaning of the above Three Verses

The first verse talks about the mood and mission of Lord Nṛsiṁha Bhagavān.

The second verse reveals His greatness (aishvarya bhava).

The third verse is about seeing sweetness (madhurya bhāva) in Nṛsiṁha Bhagavān’s form.

Why and When did ŚrīlaPrabhupāda introduce Nṛsiṁha prayers in ISKCON ?

After an incident in San Francisco in 1970, Śrīla Prabhupāda introduced Nṛsiṁha prayers in ISKCON. ŚrīlaPrabhupāda gave this mantra to his disciples for protection of the mission before the San Francisco RathaYātra. He also instructed individual disciples to chant these prayers for their protection.

For the first time in the Ratha Yātra of San Francisco, Nṛsiṁha prayers in the form of kīrtana was sung. Later Śrīla Prabhupāda introduced Nṛsiṁha arati, worship, along with the singing Nṛsiṁha prayers in all the temples for the protection of the movement.

Why we recite Nṛsiṁha prayers?

(1) to protect of the preaching mission

(2) to protect our devotion

(3) to get into Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa’s mādhurya līla

(4) to understand the purports of scriptures and live that way.

Functions of Nṛsiṁha Bhagavān

In the third verse sung by Jayadeva Gosvāmī, jaya jagadīśa hare is repeated three times to indicate three secret functions of Lord Nṛsiṁha. 

1. Nṛsiṁha Bhagavān is the controller of this world who makes everyone happy by purifying the sins of this world.

2. He takes away the troubles of His devotees.

3. He steal the minds of His sincere and advanced devotees and places them at the lotus feet of Rādhā-Mādhava.

Having heard about Lord Nrsimha, always honor and praise Lord Nṛsiṁha, the powerful and kind half-man, half-lion figure who protects and helps his devotees.

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