Among the several shrines of Bhagwan Laxmi Narasimha Swamy that flourished on the holy banks of the river Krishna, Vedadri is an important one. It is situated at 10 km from Chillakallu on the National Highway No.9 from Vijayawada to Hyderabad.
Here, Bhagwan exists in five different forms known as Pancha Narashima Moorthy, namely Jwala Narashima on vedasikara of the mountains, Saligrahma Narashima in the River Krishnaveni, Yogananda Narashima erected by sage Rishya Sring, as Lakshmi Narashima on his own peetam and Veera Narashima on garudadri situated at a distance of 5 km from east to Vedadri.
The temple structure is conventional, being brightly colored and ornamented with a variety of images. This temple is a testimonial for the architectural skills of Vishwakarma sculptors. A beautiful form of Narasimha Swami in yoga pose greets devotees on the outside of the temple.
There are murtis of Bhagwan Varaha, Laksmi Devi, Garuda and Hanuman in the temple. The utsava murtis are extraordinarily high and impressive, and the dwajasthamba (flag pole) of imposing height. In the waters of the Krishna River near to this temple, Bhagwan Narasimha can also be found in Saligram form.
Bramhanda Purana says that Somakasura, a demon of yore, stole the four Vedas from Bhagwan Bramha and hid himself in the ocean. Bhagwan Bramha then approached his father Bhagwan Vishnu and prayed for the restoration of Vedas. Bhagwan Vishnu in Matsyavathara (fish) entered the ocean, killed the demon Somakasura and brought back the Vedas intact.
The Vedas, in human form thanked Bhagwan for his kind gesture in saving them, prayed to stay with them on their heads. There upon, he munificently granted their prayer but said that he would do that only after killing another demon Hiranya Kashyap and saving his son Prahlada.
He also assured the Vedapurushas that he would stay with them as Panchamurti. He bid them till such time to remain in the river Krishnaveni as Saligrama Mountain. River Krishnaveni also prayed to allow her to worship him every day and he granted her the boon. According to the bid of Bhagwan Vishnu, the Vedapurushas remained in Krishnaveni river as Saligrama mountain.
Later he incarnated himself as ‘Narasimha’ and killed the mighty demon Hiranya Kashyap and saved Prahlada and ever since stayed as Jwala Narasimha on the mountain head at Vedadri in fulfilment of the desire of Vedapurushas. Then Bhagwan Bramha requested Jwala Narasimha to stay in Sathya Loka as Saligrama Narsimha. Bhagwan went to Sathya Loka as Saligrama Narasimha at the request of Bhagwan Bramha.
But even before Bramha offered his worship to Bhagwan in Sathya Loka, the Sathya Loka was consumed in flames. There upon Bhagwan Bramha personally brought Vishnu murti to the river Krishnaveni and erected the Saligrama murti on the Saligram Mountain (Saligram is a fossilized shell used as a symbol of Bhagwan Vishnu). Thus Bhagwan Laxmi Narasimha Swamy, the incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu fulfilled the desires of both Vedapurushas and the river Krishnaveni simultaneously.
Later on, he, at the request of Rishis like Rishya Srugna stayed in the middle of the mountain as Yogananda Narasimha Swamy. At the request of the Garuda, he stayed as Veera Narasimha. And as per the prayer of Vana Devatha, he assumed the avatar of Laxmi Narasimha Murthi on the mountain.
Thus, this holy place is sanctified by the presence of all devotees who descended from the heavens to worship him, who enriched the mountain with several holy spirits. Vedadri is a unique deity and the only place where Pancha Narasimha Murthis exist. He is present in the five forms different from each other called Pancha Narasimha murthis namely (Jwala, Saligrama, Veera, Yogananda and Laxmi Narasimha) in this holy shrine which is called Laxmi “VEDADRI”.
At the beginning of Kaliyuga, all the rishis approached Ved Vyas, lamented about the evil effects of Kali and prayed for a way out of it. Vyasa told them that the people of Kali are in a way fortunate because they need not perform any rituals like Yagnas or deep penances as in other Yugas. He said that simple chanting of the holy name of Bhagwan is sufficient, i.e., mere ‘smarana ‘which bestows salvation.
‘Kalav Smaranan mukthi’: It means in Kaliyuga mere smarana is enough for mukthi. The rishis having got the information from Ved Vyas began searching for a suitable place for their penance and at last they found Vedadri as the most suitable place, as Bhagwan is staying there in five forms (Panchamurthi).
Further, the rishis while searching, for a suitable place heard recitals in perfect swaras being emanated from the holy mountain which they named as ‘Vedadri’ the mountain of Vedas. The rishis were enchanted by the chanting of Vedas by the Mountain, especially the Sama Veda (music), the Gandharva Swara and its varied murchanas.
They have been immensely satisfied by the holy recitals and have settled there for penance. Then Bhagwan gave them darshan as Jwala Narasimha in the shape of fire, as Saligrama murti in the river, as Yogananda Narasimha (Laxmi Narasimha Murti), as Veera Narasimha murti in Garudachala. The rishis after visiting all the shrines came back to Vedadri and sat for Penance.
This mountain has been enriched in its spiritual splendor not only by the Pancha Murtis but also due to the Penance of several rishis. The boundary walls of the temple have been built by Reddi kings about eight or nine hundred years ago. They have maintained the holy shrine with all its purity and spiritual splendor. One can find the aura and the cosmic energy around this temple hill temple at Vedadri. Seekers of spirituality will get elevated to a higher level when they visit this temple.
How to reach Vedadri–
By road from Hyderabad- Vijayawada National Highway No. 9 at 200 Kms and from Vijayawada 80 Kms.
Nearest airport is Vijayawada. Nearest railway station Jaggayyapet 16 Kms.
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