This world has been fortunate to be blessed with the incarnation of two majestic lions. The first was the Divine Lion – the half lion, half man – LAKSHMI NRISIMHA. The other was our VEDANTHACHARYA SVAMI DEISKAN know as KAVITHARKIIKA SIMHA.
The Divine Lion
The demon king HIRANYAKASHIPU conquered the three worlds and ruled over them with an iron hand and proclaimed that he was the lord of all the three worlds. He destroyed anyone who dared to worship any other God. BHAKTA PRAHLADA, HMANYAKASHIPU’s son refused to submit to his father’s will. The cruel king even tried to kill his own son but Lord SRIMAN NARAYANA protected PRAHLADA through all of HIRANYAKASHIPU ‘S torments. Finally HIRANYAKASHIPU, mad with anger, demanded “show me your lord in this pillar”. PRAHLADA calmly replied “He is there; I can see him”(drishyate). In that very moment the Lord appeared bursting out of the pillar in his fierce, terrible NRISIMHA form to prove that the word of his bhakta was the truth. The avatara established that the Lord SRIMAN NARAYANA pervades every object in the Universe. The SINGAPPIRAN appeared to protect his bkatha in conformity with all the boons the demon
king had received from BRAHMA.
Lion Amongst Poets and Logicians
The Acharya Simha SRI VEDANTA DESIKA made his avatara to demolish vainglorious poets and scholars who had sprouted all over our land and posed a threat to the VISISHTADVAITA SIDDHANTA. These scholars produced many works to spread their doctrine that there is no God, that even if he exists he is nirguna, that there exists only the body and there is no atma, that the entire world is only an illusion (maya) and that the veda-s are false. These scholars rampaged like mad elephants. SVAMI DESIKA single-handedly annihilated thegrave threat posed by all of them and composed magnificent, authoritative works like the TATTVAMUKTAKALAPA, ADHIKARANASARAVALI, PARAMATMHANGA, NYAYASIDDHANJANA, SATADOOSHANI and other rabasyagrantha-s to establish the truth which is the RAMANUJA SIDDHANTA.
The DIVINE LION that arose out of the pillar was the PARAMATMAs ung by the Veda-s. The ACHARYA SIMHA established the authority of VEDA-and VEDANTA and was crowned as VEDANTA DESIKA. Lord LAKSHMI NRISIMHA killed HIRANYAKAsShHowIPerUed, His grace on PRAHLADA and disappeared. The ACHARYA SIMHA lived a full hundred years to protect the siddbanta and continues to live in our hearts in such a way that vaishnava devotees pray, “VEDANTA DESIKANE innum oru nootraandirum”-“VEDANTAACHARYA! please live on for another hundred years.” Lord LAKSHMI NRISIMHA in union with SRI MAHALAKSHMI protects the entire Universe. SVAMI DESIKA with the special anugraha of SRI MAHALAKSHMI has enshrined the four Veda-s in his heart in tune with the maxim “saa hi sreeramritam sataam” (Vedic knowledge is indeed, the treasure of noble souls) and protects the VISISHTADVAITA SIDDHANTA and all its followers. KAVITARKIKA SIMHA, like LAKSHMI NRISIMHA resides in archa form in various diya desa-s and in all our hearts.
The Lord waits to receive the jiva-s who are wandering in the boundless desert of the samsara. The ACHARYA SIMHA preached the marga of saranagati (surrender) to provide succour to the jiva-s in distress. Lord LAKSHMI NRISIMHA crowned PRAHLADA as king after his father’s death. The ACHARYA SIMHA crowned all of us as the inheritors of the empire of Bhagavata, Bhagavat Kainkarya through his various upadesa-s. Lord SRI RAMA -along with LAKSHMANA, prayed in the cave temple at AHOBILAM and sang the PANCHAMRITA STOTRA in praise of AHOBILA NRISIMHA. Lord SRI RANGANATHA, the PERIYA PERUMAL himself sang the praise of our KAVITARKIKA SIMHA and hailed him as VEDANTACHARYA! SRI MAHALAKSHMI, with great joy embraced the beautiful Lord NRISIMHA and gives darshana in the same posture in archa form to all of us. She also showered Her grace on our TOOPUL DESIKA and praised him as “samatantra svatantra” i.e., the maestro of all branches of learning.
TIRUMANGAI AZHVAR (also known as KALIYAN) sang the praise of AHOBILA NRISIMHA with his nectar-like TIRUMOZHI in 10 verses beginning “Angan Gnaalamanja”. These verses of the azhvar are very dear to the Lord. SVAMI DESIKA’s stotra-s reverberate and echo the siddhanta Of TIRUMANGAI MANNAN. He is therefore praised as “Kaliyan Urai Kudi Konda Karuthudaiyan”. Thus both LAKSHMI NRISIMHA and the ACHARYA SIMHA treasure KALIYAN’S verses close to their hearts. LORD NRISIMHA in union with SRI MAHALAKSHMI is ever present everywhere. This union (mithunam) of the Lord and SRI is the means to our salvation. SVAMI DESIKA established this sampradaya in tune with the words of our poorvacharya-s and was the recipient of SRI MAHALAKSHMI’s bountiful grace- “Kanja Tirumangai Ugakka Vandon vazhiye.” May Lord LAKSHMI NRISIMHA and the ACHARYA SIMHA, SRI VEDANTA DESIKA shower their benign grace on all!
Sri Nrisimha Priya