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Narasimha: The Lost Temples
Narasimha , the Divine Protector, Volume I: The lost temples
A journey through the jungles of South India on the discovery of the mystical temples of the man-lion form of Vishnu known as Narasimhadeva
Lord Narasimha is known as the divine protector and remover of all spiritual obstacles. As explained in the foreword written by no other than Steven Rosen, He appeared in the form of a half-man/ half lion incarnation of Vishnu to protect and save His devotee Prahlad, who was only a young boy at the time. Prahlad’s father, Hiranyakashipu, was perhaps the most heinous demon-king that ever lived, and Narasimhadeva’s destruction of this demon speaks to the power of good over evil, or righteousness over iniquity. Narasimhadeva is respected by all Indic traditions equally, both in India and in other parts of Asia. As the divine protector and remover of obstacles, He is seen as Ganesh’s supreme counterpart. While Ganesh removes material obstacles, Narasimha can even remove spiritual ones.
For the past 18 years Dhruva has been traveling around India in search of the lost and unknown temples of Lord Narasimha. When he began his search, many told him that His temples were only located in one particular region of the subcontinent (Andhra Pradesh). While this initially seemed to be true, he gradually found out that He revealed Himself in many forms and temples throughout the country. From the Himalaya mountains to the deepest, dangerous jungles of South India and the deserts of Rajasthan — there He was in all His glory.
Some of the temples were difficult to find. But he was determined to not give up and always prayed to Him for direction. While on buses, trains, rickshaws, or walking on the road, he would follow any and every lead, however slight it might have been. Sometimes he would meet someone who spoke just enough English to tell him about a temple they knew, or they would take me to someone who they thought could help me. It was as if the Lord Himself was mapping out my path through all these wonderful, kind people that almost mystically came my way.
The idea for the book came about gradually. After finding the first 100 temples, Dhruva realized that this could be an important service to Lord Narasimhadeva. If he could find His most obscure temples, catalog and photograph them, get all the details and history from the locals and the temple priests, others might be able to re-trace his steps in the future, thus bringing them to the feet of the Lord. Photographing all the art, paintings, carvings, temples, deities, temple grounds, priests and just anything to do with Him, he knew this would be extremely valuable to my peer and future generations. Dhruva’s mission became clear: To write about these wonderlands of Narasimha and create a book of all His temples, His devotees, His ritual and His Art — a book about Narasimha culture. This book is largely a visual experience, even if it includes enough text to take the readers where they need to go. May Lord Narasimha protect us always.
|Dimensions||39 x 31.2 x 2.2 cm|
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