Lord Nrisimhadeva removes obstacles on the path of pure devotion
A Krishna.com friend asked me how to observe Lord Nrisimhadeva's appearance day at home. Although the day has come, here are some suggestions that can be applied for any of the Lord's appearance days.
For today you can read about his lila in the Srimad Bhagavatam, or other books about him if you have them. (There are articles on Krishna.com from BTG ).
You can chant prayers to him from Vaishnava song books (available on Krishna.com), and others in scripture, and sing Hare Krishna kirtana and chant japa on beads.
Generally devotees increase their service to Krishna by cooking him a feast and other special services (you can make a flower garland for a picture of Nrisimha and clean your altar--or make one if you don't have one yet), and fast till dusk---he appeared at dusk, because one of Hiranyakasipu's benedictions from Brahma was that he couldn't be killed during day or night---so he was killed at dusk, which is in-between, and there was so many other benedictions which were honored by the Lord (he couldn't be killed either inside or outside---so he was killed in a doorway between the two; he couldn't be killed by man or beast, so he was killed by the Lord in a half man, half lion inconceivable form, etc).
The point is that no one can overcome death---even the most intelligent person. God is always more intelligent. For devotees of Krishna, we see him as Krishna, assuming this wonderful form to protect his devotees. He is dear to us for that reason, and often devotees pray to him when in danger.
In the writing of Bhaktivinode Thakur he recommends that we can pray to Lord Nrisimha to become free of offenses in chanting and contamination in our heart. Although this form is very frightening and ghastly for the materialists or those who don't see with the proper knowledge, for the devotees this form is very endearing, as he represents auspiciousness, mercy and kindness by the Lord for his pure devotees.
This Supreme Lord in this form can remove our anarthas (undesirable ways of thinking and acting) and offensive mentalities from our heart. He is the remover of obstacles from the path of devotion and awards attraction for chanting Hare Krishna.
Here is the vision that Bhaktivinode Thakur gives us in his "Navadvipa-bhava-taranga":
"In Navadvipa [the place of Lord Chaitanya's early pastimes], at the abode of Lord Nrisimha known as Nrisimha Puri or Devapalli, I will roll on the ground in ecstatic love, begging for unalloyed love of Krishna.
"In my heart reside duplicity, insincerity, the desire for fame, and the six enemies: lust,anger, greed, envy, illusion and madness (kama, krodha, lobha, matsarya, moha, mada). I will pray at the feet of Lord Nrisimha, therefore, to purify my heart and give me the desire to serve Krishna. Weeping, I will beg at the lotus feet of Nrisimha that I may worship Radha-Govinda [Radha and Krishna] in Navadvipa, free from all obstacles. When will that Lord Hari [Hari is a favorite name of Krishna which can mean among other things, "He who has stolen our heart"], who strikes fear in fear personified, be pleased and bestow his mercy on me? Although this form of the Lord is terrible for the evil, he is exceedingly auspicious for the devotees headed by Prahlada. When will Nrisimhadeva become pleased to mercifully speak to me, a worthless fool, and remove my fears?
"Lord Nrisimha will say, 'Dear child, stay here happily in Gauradhama [Lord Chaitanya's abode]. Worship Radha-Govinda and develop attraction for the holy name. By the mercy of my devotees all obstacles will be transcended. With a purified heart just worship Radha-Govinda---the abodes of sweet nectar'
"After speaking in this way, when will Lord Nrisimha joyfully place his feet upon my head? At that moment, by the Lord's mercy, I will exhibit symptoms of ecstatic love for Radha-Govinda, and roll on the ground before the door of his Temple."
Though we are just beginners on the path of pure devotion, we can read the sentiments of such great devotees and aspire to follow them by the mercy of the devotees. Let us take shelter of Lord Nrisimha on this day, praying for his mercy, his service, and the service of his devotees.
Lord Nrisimhadeva kijay!!