On 27 0ctober 2019 a group of eight of us from 7C Life RealiZation Centre embarked on a spiritual tour together with our HH SwamiGuru to Ahobilam, India.
Ahobilam a village situated in Andhrapradesh,Kurnool District is the abode of Sri Ahobilam Navanarasimha (Nine forms of Narasimha). There are number of places where god Vishnu in the form of Lord Narasimha is worshipped, but it is only at Ahobilam that all nine forms are worshipped. Hence, its uniqueness.
There were three parts to visiting all the temples during this journey – Lower Ahobilam,Upper Ahobilam and Ugra Sthambham. Lower Ahobilam is at the village of Ahobilam and Upper Ahobilam is a plateau 2800 feet above sea level. Further eight kilometres from the Upper Ahobilam is the Ugra Sthambam which is a cleft of mountain dividing into two visible part. Devotees firmly believe that Sri Narasimha manifested Himself in a natural cavern of the rock .
Our journey to the top of Ugra Sthambam was a five-hour mountain hike with the help of forest guide. For the faint-hearted, this hike could have been thought of as suffering and a struggle. For me, thought, it was an experience of being in the moment, cherishing the journey and the excitement of witnessing a place where Divine Avatar took place.
The journey was full of joy with the wonderful team and our SwamiGuru who’s presence together was a blessing. We learnt many lessons along the way. One of the most memorable one was the lesson of how beautiful life is in living the moments of surrender to Divine.
The lesson of surrender came to me in a different aspect through a forest guide. Initially, I was making the decision about where to step. This was difficult at times and I was scared. Once the guide asked me to allow him to guide me, every step became easy and my fear vanished. I was no longer scared I would take a wrong step or trip, and the journey became effortless.
This reminded me that our journey in life was often about letting go and surrendering to the guidance of the Divine. It can make us present in every moment in full flow without worries.
The peak of Ugra Sthambam (which is a base that is only a two feet foothill surrounded by mountains) was beautiful. There was such a feeling of joy at being able to touch the beautiful historical markings of Lord Narasimha’s presence. At that same a moment of fear creeped in. I will admit that, at the same time, my mind was silently asking God to take care of me so that I didn’t fall.
This fear which SwamiGuru beautifully explained was how we tend to seek God out of fear of failure just like the fear of falling. This fear is the reason we don’t achieve what we want in life. The moment we replace this fear with faith, we will be successful in our life. Add to this bhakti, the truth of which SwamiGuru said can only revealed when we love God unconditionally.
My trip to Ahobilam in the presence of my Guru was, in short, a trip witnessing the many forms of Narasimha. The memory I will forever hold dear is a picture of strength and courage, and faith and surrender.
Dr. Sharmila Surinarayanan is frequently at 7C Life RealiZation Centre and lives a life full of joy and