On a warm December morning last year, around 11:00 a.m., as I sought the association of the magnificent Lord and prayed to His dear most devotee Prahlada, I found myself involved in one of His temple lilas (pastimes), much to my astonishment
After offering my obeisances to the captivating Prahlada, who stands next to his beloved Lord with his hands folded and his small body decorated with fresh flowers and beautiful ornaments, I prayed, “My dear Prahlada, you are expert in receiving all kinds of blessings from Lord Nrsimhadev. You even received the blessings of forgiveness for you demoniac father, Hiranyakasipu. Please ask you Lord to bless this poor soul with the destruction of everything that stands in the way of her devotional service. Show me the way to real happiness.”
Then, as I stood meditating on the Lord’s beauty and mercy, I heard a very sweet, deep voice: “I want My eyes back!” At first, I ignored it and kept my mind in the mode of prayer. But the voice spoke a second time: “I want My eyes back!” Attempting again to disregard this clear message raised a burning and almost a painful sensation in my heart. I was dumbfounded. What was I to do? Then the voice continued: “Go to the pujari.” Okay, I thought, I have nothing to lose. If the pujaris think I am crazy, I will at most lose a bit of my false ego.
Praying to the Lord to give me the strength to carry out His order, I paid my obeisances and almost breathlessly headed for the pujari rooms. There I found Jananivas Prabhu reading the Srimad Bhagavatam. The atmosphere in the room was extremely serene and otherworldly. I stood there for several minutes and waited for him to notice me. Then, after I told him what happened, he asked me to go see his twin brother, Pankajanghri Prabhu, the actual pujari of Lord Nrsimhadev.
Somehow I felt that I didn’t have to do more at this point.”
The following day, as I approached the magnificent form of Lord Nrsimhadev, my mind buzzed with doubt. “What if that voice was just my mind, demanding the healing of my eyesight, which has been very poor and painful for the past six week?”Thinking in this way, I prayed for an answer. The voice spoke to me again, this time with a more serious and firm tone: “You will get your eyes back when I get mine!” His form always emanates a soft light, and my heart felt peaceful and warm. I felt overwhelmed with unusual confidence, as if my head were touching the sky.
The next morning, at 2:20 a.m., I woke up fully refreshed and wide-awake. It was unusually early for me, as I usually get up around six O’clock. A soft voice urged me to rise, bathe and attend mangala-arati (early morning worship)– which I did.
After the ceremony was over, the same voice urged me to follow Pankajanghri Prabhu from Lord Nrsimhadev’s altar into the pujari room. I felt very embarrassed and had tears in my eyes. I also felt a kind of unwillingness in my heart to reveal my mind to him.
As he was preparing the articles for the Lord’s abhisheka, I started to talk to him. Pankajanghri Prabhu listened attentively to my story. Then, without saying anything, he smiled and gave me maha sweets from Lord Nrsimhadev’s plate.
The following morning, when my daughter returned from the temple, she was shouting, “Mommy, they changed Nrsimhadev’s eyes! He has beautiful red eyes now.” And as the sweet deep voice had promised, my eyesight was miraculously cured–within three days.
All glories, all glories to the merciful Lord Nrsimhadev in Sri Mayapur.
[Editor’s note: Lord Nrsimhadev originally had red eyes. One day, a devotee came to Mayapur and offered two precious yellow stones for His eyes, and the pujaris reluctantly changed the eyes on the Deity. They felt happy when the Lord revealed that He wanted His original red eyes.]
Atmarati Dasi, who joined ISKCON in 1980, is from Greece, and she wrote this article for Mayapur journal in 1997
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