Lord Narasimha and the Hunter
This Sunday we have a story from Deivathin Kural(Voice of God). Let us go to the story right now.
Padmapada was one of the principle disciples of Adi Sankara. When he was in Kasi, he became Adi Sankara's disciple. At that time, he was not even 16 years old.
In the antecedents(பூர்வாச்ரமம்), he was known as Sanandha. He was from Chozha kingdom.
When he was in his town, he received Narasimha Mantra Upadesam (உபதேசம்)from a saint. He chanted this mantra several times daily as advised by the Saint. After some days, he wanted to get the Darshan of Lord Narasimha. So, he went in search of Lord Narasimha and started doing penance in a forest. At that time, a hunter asked him the reason for coming to the forest. Sanandha thought if he said that he is doing penance, then the hunter won't understand. So, he told that "I am looking for an animal that resembles human being below the hip and looks like a Lion on the top".
The hunter replied "I know all the animals in this forest but I haven't seen such an animal that you described. If there is an animal like that, I would bring it before you". Sanandha smiled
The hunter asked him the reason for his smile. Sanandha said "It is in this forest but you can't see it. You better go and do your work". The hunter replied with a courageous voice "I would bring the animal for you before the sun sets tomorrow. If I don't fulfill my vow, I would kill myself". Sanandha was silent.
The hunter started searching Lord Narasimha. He searched and searched. He didn't notice his hunger and tiredness and his complete focus was on finding the animal. The day was finished. The next day also he couldn't find the animal and it was the time for sunset.
He prepared and started making arrangements to kill himself. At that time, an animal appeared before him. It was none other than the animal that Sanandha had described and it was indeed Lord Narasimha. Since he was thinking of the form described by Sanandha for two days with full concentration and was ready to give his life to keep up his words, Lord Narasimha appeared before him.
He became very happy. He tied the animal and went to Sanandha. Sanandha couldn't see the animal. Sanandha thought if he is lying or it is the hunter's imagination(ப்ரமை). The Lord roared and Sanandha could only hear the sound. He started crying in shock "You showed your divine form to the hunter but not to me, why?".
Then he heard a divine voice which said "This hunter attained a stage that couldn't be attained even by the penance done for a crore years. He sacrificed his hunger, sleep and rest, and concentrated on my form throughout. Because of your association with the hunter, you are able to hear at least my roar. I would give you what you wanted when time comes".
From this story, we can understand about true devotion. The hunter who had his time fully devoted to the animal which is none other than Lord Narasimha. So, the hunter was more devoted than Sanandha and thats why he was able to get the darshan of Lord Narasimha. Later, when Sanandha became Padmapada (disciple of Adi Sankara), a Kapalika named Kirakshan came to take Adi Sankara's life for Shiva as offering. At that time, Narasimha came into Padmapada and killed Kirakshan and thus Narasimha fulfilled his promise given to Sanandha who later became Padmapada.