Sri . Thillasthanam Swamy Kainkarya Sabha , Bangalore

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  •  Ahobilam 
  • Ahobilam  is a place in Kurnool district of Andhra pradesh.The place is hilly and full of forests.The hill ranges extend both to north and south.The hills extending to north is called  "srisailam" and the hills extending to south is called "seshachalam" Thirupathy.The hill ranges around Ahobilam is also known as " Garudachalam" . Garuda , son of Kashyapa did penance here to get his position as vehicle of lord Vishnu. Another peak in this area is called " Vedachalam " . Here vedas did  penance for protection against Asuras.
  •  Ahobilam is considered as a sacred place with benevolence of Lord Narasimha. One of the peaks of this place is considered to be the place where the lord assumed Narasimhaavatara. Referring to the sanctity of the place, Brahmanda purana says " one day stay at Ahobilam is worth more than years of stay at other sacred places Feeding and Charities at Ahobilam is very highly beneficial'
  •  During 1291 to 1322,a king named 'Pratapa Rudra Deva' was ruling Telengana. He was a great devotee of Lord Siva. He would cast an image of Lord Siva in gold and would give it away as a charity everyday before taking his food. On one occasion, he was passing through Ahobilam and camped there . To his surprise,the gold casting took the form of Lord Lakshmi Narasimha. From Scholars,he learnt that Ahobilam is ''Narasimha kshetra' and everything is Narasimha at this place.Later,he also worshipped Lord Narasimha and arranged for the installation of golden  idol at the temple there. Even today,this idol is being worshipped by the Jeers of Ahobila mutt.
  •  When Lord Rama was passing through forests in search of Sita , it is said that he passed through Ahobilam , and  worshipped  Lord Narasimha through five hyms known as " Sri Nrisimha Pourchamrita Sostram ". Devas who witnessed this worship said " Raghavena Kritam Sostram Punchamritam " ( Sostras composed by Lord Rama is Panchamritam ).
  •  This holy place devoted to Lord Narasimha , has a number of temples for Lord Narasimha . The important ones are 

 

                              Prahalada Narasimha

                              Bhargava Narasimha

                              Chakravata Narasimha

                              Yoga Narasimha

                              Karanja Narasimha

                              Ahobila Narasimha

                              Varaha Narasimha

                              Malola Narasimha

                              Jwala Narasimha

  • This holy place where one can seek the benevolence of Lord Narasimha , would not have been available to Mankind but for Sri.Adivan Satagopa Maha Desikan. 

 

 Sri. Adivan  Satagopa Maha Desikan 

  • Melkote in Mandya district of Karnataka ,India is a great place of divinity .Sri.Cheluva Narayana Swamy is the main diety at the temple .It is believed that the Lord resides in Archa form at his own will as in Tirupathy or Srirangam, at this place.This place was very dear to Bhagawan Ramanuja , who expounded Sri Vishishtadvaitha philosophy or Srivaishnavism .Sri Ramanuja with a view to sustain and promote Vishishtadvaitha philosophy , created seventy four centres of excellence all over India , and Melkote was one such centre.He also appointed one of his disciples at each of these centres to perform Panchasamskara and also to organise study circles and lectures.Sri Krishna Pada was assigned Melkote .Subsequently , the decendents of Sri Krishna Pada continued these activities .Sri Keshavacharya, a great scholar and a decendent of Sri Krishna Pada was conducting this centre in the 14th century .In year 1378 , he got a son and he was named "Srinivasa".
  • Srinivasa showed great interest in vedic philosophy and started learning them from a very early age. His father himself performed " PanchaSamskara" for him and also gave him intensive training in Vedas , DivyaPrabhandam ,etc . Observing the great interest evinced by Srinivasa , Sri Keshavacharya sent him to Conjeevaram to study under Ghatika Satam Ammal , a famous scholar of those days .Under her tutelage Srinivasa developed himself as a profound scholar , acquiring a wide range of knowledge .Even at the age of eighteen , he became an unparalleled debator .A great scholar from Northern India came to Conjeevaram and challenged the scholars there for discussion .Srinivasa debated with him and finally won. This made the scholar to accept Srivaishnavism.
  • Srinivasa continued his studies at Conjeevaram. One day Lord Lakshmi Narasimha appeared to him in his dream and said " Oh ! Son ! Srinivasa ! come to Ahobilam. I will confer on you Sanyasa Ashrama , so that you can help people to understand and practice Srivaishnavism .The very next day , Srinivasa left for Ahobilam after taking his teacher's blessings
  • Srinivasa reached lower Ahobilam and after worshipping the Lord Prahlada Varada , proceeded to upper Ahobilam. Midway , he was suprised when the King of that Kingdom , Sri. Mukundadevaraya himself received him with full honours. The King and the temple priests later explained to Srinivasa that they had also had similar dreams and they were receiving him at the command of the Lord.
  • Srinivasa continued his stay at Ahobilam in the company of the King Mukundadevaraya , worshipping the Lord. One day an elderly sage suddenly appeared before him and asked him about his mission at Ahobilam .Srinivasa explained to the sage about his dream .Then the sage taught Srinivasa " Presha Mantra" and gave him "Tridandi" , symbols of Sanyasa Ashrama.The sage also named him " Satagopa" in token of his total surrender to the Lord ( Dhasya) and giving the emblem "Sudarshana" (Wheel) and " Panchajanya"( Conch) , the sage said - " These may be used you and your successors for performing Pancha Samskara . As they are blessed by the Lord , Sudarshana homam is not required." Then turning to the King Mukandadevaraya the sage said , " Help Satagopa in his mission to promote Srivaishnava philosophy and Saranagathi." Even as Satagopa and the King were prostrating before the sage , the sage had disappeared and both were left stunned. 
  • Satagopa commenced his programme of lectures and discussions at Ahobilam itself. People in the neighbourhood came to know about this and large number of people assembled at Ahobilam to listen to his discourses.The disciples also set up a mantapam for this purpose .This building can be seen even today. The number of disciples increased day by day and by year 1398 , it took the shape of an institution - namely Ahobila Mutt .
  • Satogopa subsequently travelled all over the country including North India . Apart from lectures , he set up units of Ahobilamutt , renovation of temples and large number of other activities .In the course of his travels , he performed several miracles , resulting in a number of kings becoming his devotees .The episode at Alwar Tirunagari is noteworthy. At this place , the Pandya king removed the idol of NamAlwar at Adinatha's temple and instead installed Rudra's idol . Satagopa through his divine vision , helped the king to avert dangers to his kingdom and gradually won over the king . Later the king himself installed the NamAlwar's idol at it's original place .The king also installed Vedanta Desika's idol at this temple. Both NamAlwar and Vedanta Desika were pleased with Satagopa , for the way he was promoting the cause of Srivaishnavism .they appeared before him and in appreciation gave him titles " Van " ( Able) and " Maha Desikan" .Thus , Satagopa became " Adivan Satagopa Maha Desikan ".
  • Thus Adivan Satagopa Maha Desikan , firmly established Ahobila Mutt to promote the traditions of Srivaishnava philosophy . Even after Adivan Satagopa Maha Desikan , devoted and learned scholars have adorned the seat of "Matadipathi " ( Chief of the Mutt ) until now and have followed the path shown by Sri. Adivan Satagopa MahaDesikan .

  • Ahobila Mutt has a seperate web page and interested readers are referred to www.ahobilamutt.org

 



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