Every year in May, the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple opens its doors to the public to celebrate Nrismhadeva’s Birthday. This event is a celebration of the story of Lord Krismhadeva, whom we believe to be an ancient incarnation of Krishna himself.
Lord Krismhadeva is a half-man, half-lion deity who appeared in this world to protect his beloved devotee, Prahlāda Mahārāja. On May 15 this year, we welcome everyone to join us at the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple as we pay tribute to this story through a series of Kirtan, followed by an illustrious feast of delicious vegetarian food.
If you would like to attend this special occasion, here is the story of Lord Nrismhadeva, so you have a better understanding behind the meaning of this day.
The Pure Faith of Prahlāda Mahārāja
Prahlāda Mahārāja was a young prince and son of the despotic king Hiranyakashipu. The king was filled with demons and was ruthless in eliminating all teachings of the Krishna consciousness during his reign.
However, even from a young age, Prahlāda developed a deep faith for Lord Krishna which he would preach about to his friends and teachers. Of course, this belief was considered blasphemous to Hiranyakashipu – who saw himself as God. As such, he would relentlessly punish Prahlāda as a way to extinguish his teachings.
Yet, no matter how hard he tried, the king could never break his son. Every time Prahlāda was faced with harm, he would chant Hare Krishna and the young devotee would make it through unscathed. And ultimately, it would be Prahlāda’s unwavering devotion that would end his father’s tyranny once and for all.
The Lord Nrismhadeva Reveals Himself
King Hiranyakashipu’s resentment for his son’s faith grew and grew. He continued to punish Prahlāda, but the boy kept on avoiding harm thanks to the grace of Lord Krishna.
One day, the king demanded Prahlāda to reveal where his God existed, to which Prahlāda replied that “God exists everywhere”. Confused, the king asked that if God was everywhere, was he also present in the pillars of the palace? Prahlāda replied that he was.
An enraged Hiranyakashipu then struck the palace pillars with his mace. As he smashed the pillar, Krishna revealed himself as the half-man, half-lion deity Lord Nrismhadeva. The God and king then fought each other, with Lord Nrismhadeva eventually ending the life of the evil Hiranyakashipu on the stroke of twilight.
Prahlāda and the world was now free from the oppressive reign of the king, meaning all were now able to devote themselves to Krishna once more.
Why We Celebrate Nrismhadeva’s Birthday
The story of Lord Nrismhadeva saving Prahlāda serves as a reminder of Krishna’s undying love for his devotees. However, even if you have not devoted yourself to the Krishna consciousness, the Hare Krishna Melbourne temple still invites you to celebrate this special day with us.
On Nrismhadeva’s Birthday, we all gather to chant, dance, and bathe the idol of Nrismhadeva, before enjoying a delicious feast together. This occasion is a celebration of community, peace, and the promise of a better life.
In 2022, this festival will be celebrated on Sunday May 15, with proceedings beginning at 4:30pm. For more information on this day, as well as all of our upcoming events, be sure to visit our temple festival calendar.
Join Us for Nrismhadeva’s Birthday
All are welcome to join us for the Nrismhadeva’s Birthday celebrations on May 15 at the Hare Krishna Melbourne Temple. The story of Lord Nrismhadeva continues to inspire us centuries later, and we would love for any who are able to celebrate this special day with us.
For those who can make it on the day, you will also be treated to a delicious vegetarian meal after the Kirtans. And for those who can’t make it but are still interested in immersing themselves in this event, be sure to watch the livestream of the service.