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Krishna Appears in Three Categories of Forms
Svayam-rupa, Tadekatma-rupa and Avesa-rup
a
7.49
svayam-rupa, tad-ekatma-rupa, avesa nama
prathamei tina-rupe rahena bhagavan
That Supreme Personality of Godhead. Krishna appears in His selfsame form as svayam-rupa, in His first expansion as tad-ekatma-rupa, and in His empowered manifestations, known as avesa. (Cc. Madhya 20.165)
The two Divisions of Svayam-rupa
7.50
‘svayam-rupa’ ‘svayam-prakasa’ dui rupe sphurti
svayam-rupe eka ‘krishna’ vraje gopa-murti
Krishna reveals Himself in two forms, as svayam-rupa, His own form) and svayam-prakasa (His own manifestation). Svayam-rupa is Krishna Himself in Vrndavana, in the figure of a cowherd boy. (Cc. Madhya 20.166)
Two Divisions of Svayam-rupa Prabhava and Vaibhava
7.51
‘prabhava-vaibhava’-rupe dvividha prakase
eka-vapu bahu rupa yaiche haila rase
An example of prabhava-prakasa is when the Lord accepts two or more identical forms for the sake of enjoying His pastimes, just as He accepted many identical forms during the rasa-lila. (Cc. Madhya 20.167)
Prabhava-vilasa Expanding Many Forms
to Marry Thousands of Queens
7.52
mahisi-vivahe haila bahu-vidha murti
‘prabhava prakasa’ ei sastra-parasiddhi
In order to marry 16,108 queens, Krishna accepted 16,108 forms. These forms are known as prabhava-vilasa, and the scriptures have declared they are all trancendentally perfect. (Cc. Madhya 20.168)
Vaibhava-prakasa
7.53
sei vapu, sei akrti prthak yadi bhase
bhavavesa-bhede nama ‘vaibhava-prakase’
If a form is differently manifested, according to different emotional features, it is called vaibhava-prakasa. (Cc. Madhya 20.171)
Examples of Vaibhava prakasa
7.54
vaibhava-prakasa krsnera shri-balarama
varna-matra-bheda, saba krsnera samana
vaibhava-prakasa yaiche devaki-tanuja
dvibhuja-svarupa kabhu, kabhu haya caturbhuja
The first manifestation of the vaibhava feature of Krishna, known as vaibhava-prakasa, is Shri Balarama. Balarama and Krishna have different bodily colors, otherwise Balarama is equal to Krishna in all respects. Another example of vaibhava-prakasa is the son of Devaki. He sometimes has two hands and sometimes has four hands. (Cc. Madhya 20.174,175)
The Four-handed Vasudeva is Prabhava-vilasa
7.55
ye-kale dvibhuja, nama vaibhava-prakasa
caturbhuja haile, nama prabhava-prakasa
svayam-rupera gopa-vesa, gopa-abhimana
vasudevera ksatriya-vesa, ‘ami ksatriya’-jnana
saundarya, aisvarya, madhurya, vaidagdhya-vilasa
vrajeodra-nandane iha adhika ullasa
When the Lord is two-handed, He is called vaibhava-prakasa, and when He is four-handed, He is called prabhava-prakasa. In His original form, the Lord dresses like a cowherd boy and thinks Himself one of them. When He appears as Vasudeva, the son of Vasudeva and Devaki, His dress and consciousness are those of a ksatriya. When one compares the beauty, opulence, sweetness, and intellectual pastimes of Vasudeva, the warrior, to that of Krishna, the cowherd son of Nanda Maharaja, one sees that Krishna’s attributes are more pleasant. (Cc. Madhya 20.176-178)
Tad-ekatma-rupa
7.56
sei vapu bhinnabhase kichu bhinnakara
bhavavesakrti-bhede ‘tad-ekatma’ nama taora
When the Lord’s form is a little differently manifest and its features a little different in transcendental emotion and form, it is called tad-ekatma-rupa. (Cc. Madhya 20.183)
Two Divisions of Tad-ekatma-rupa
7.57
tad-ekatma-rupe ‘vilasa’, ‘svamsa’ dui bheda
vilasa, svamsera bhede vividha vibheda
In the tad-ekatma-rupa there are two divisions pastime expansions (vilasa) and personal expansions (svamsa). According to pastime and personal expansion, there are various differences. (Cc. Madhya 20.184)
Two Divisions of Vilasa Prabhava and Vaibhava
7.58
prabhava-vilasa vasudeva, saokarsana
pradyumna, aniruddha, mukhya cari-jana
The chief quadruple expansions are named Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. These are called prabhava vilasa. (Cc. Madhya 20.186)
Balarama is a Vilasa Form
7.59
vraje gopa-bhava ramera, pure ksatriya-bhavana
varna-vesa-bheda, tate ‘vilasa’ taora nama
Balarama, who has the same original form as Krishna, is Himself a cowherd boy in Vrndavana. He also considers Himself to belong to the ksatriya race in Dvaraka. Thus His color and dress are different, and He is called a pastime (vilasa) form of Krishna. (Cc. Madhya 20.187)
Vaibhava-prakasa and Prabhava-vilasa Forms are
According to Different Moods and Pastimes
7.60
vaibhava-prakase ara prabhava-vilase
eka-i murtye baladeva bhava-bhede bhase
Lord Balarama is a vaibhava-prakasa manifestation of Krishna. He is also manifest in the original quadruple expansion of Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. These are prabhava-vilasa expansions with different emotions. (Cc. Madhya 20.188)
From That Prabhava-vilasa Comes the Catur-vyuhas,
Which are Vaibhava-vilasa Features of the Lord
7.61
adi-catur-vyuha iohara keha nahi sama
ananta caturvyuha-ganera prakatya-karana
The first expansion of the catur-vyuha is unique. There is nothing to compare with them. These quadruple forms are the source of unlimited quadruple forms. (Cc. Madhya 20.189)
The Original Catur-vyuha are the Lords in Mathura and Dvaraka
7.62
krsnera ei cari prabhava-vilasa
dvaraka-mathura-pure nitya iohara vasa
These four prabhava-vilasa pastime forms of Lord Krishna reside eternally in Dvaraka and Mathura. (Cc. Madhya 20.190)
The Twenty-four Principle Expansions From
the Original Catur-vyuha are Known as Vaibhava-vilasa
7.63
ei cari haite cabbisa murti parakasa
astra-bhede nama-bheda vaibhava-vilasa
From the original quadruple expansions, twenty-four forms are manifest. They differ according to the placement of weapons in Their four hands. They are called vaibhava-vilasa. (Cc. Madhya 20.191)
The Original Catur-vuyha Expands into Vaikuntha
7.64
punah krishna catur-vyuha lana purva-rupe
paravyoma-madhye vaise narayana-rupe
taoha haite punah catur-vyuha-parakasa
avarana-rupe cari-dike yaora vasa
Lord Krishna again expands, and within the spiritual sky, He is situated in fullness as the four-handed Narayana, accompanied by expansions of the original quadruple form. Thus, the original quadruple forms again manifest Themselves in a second quadruple expansion. The residences of these second quadruple expansions cover the four directions. (Cc. Madhya 20.192,193)
Further Expansions of the Second Quadruples
7.65
cari-janera punah prthak tina tina murti
kesavadi yata haite vilasera purti
Again these quadruple forms expand three times, beginning with Kesava. That is the fulfillment of the pastime forms. (Cc. Madhya 20.194)
Svamsa Expansions Appear in the Material World
7.66
saokarsana, matsyadika, dui bheda taora
saokarsana purusavatara, lilavatara ara
The first personal expansion is Saokarsana, and the others are incarnations like the fish incarnation. Saokarsana is an expansion of the Purusa, or Vishnu. The incarnations such as Matsya appear in different ages for specific pastimes, and are known as lila-avataras. (Cc. Madhya 20.244)
Six Kinds of Avataras
7.67
avatara haya krsnera sad-vidha prakara
purusavatara eka, lilavatara ara
gunavatara, ara manvantaravatara
yugavatara, ara saktyavesavatara
There are six types of avataras of Krishna: Incarnations of Vishnu (purusa-avataras), pastime incarnations (lila-avataras), incarnations that control the modes of nature (guna-avataras), incarnations as Manu (manvantara-avataras), incarnations in different milleniums (yuga-avataras), and saktyavesa-avataras. (Cc. Madhya 20.245,246)
Who is Called Svayam-Bhagavan
7.68
yaora bhagavatta haite anyera bhagavatta
‘svayam-bhagavan’-sabdera tahatei satta
Only the Personality of Godhead, the source of all other expansions is eligible to be described as svayam-bhagavan, or the primeval Lord. (Cc. Adi 2.88)
Avatari and the Different Avataras of the Lord
7.69
dipa haite yaiche bahu dipera jvalana
mula eka dipa taha kariye ganana
taiche saba avatarera krishna se karana
ara eka sloka suna, kuvyakhya-khandana
When from one candle many others are lit, I consider that one the original. In the same way, Krishna is the cause of all causes and the fountainhead of all avataras. (Cc. Adi 2.89,90)
The Distinction Between Avatara and Avatari
7.70
vasudevah saokarsanah pradyumno ‘niruddho ‘ham matsyah kurmo varahah nrsimho vamano ramo ramo ramah krsno buddhah kalkir aham iti
The Supreme Lord said, “I am Krishna. I appear as Vasudeva, Sankarsana, Pradyumna, and Aniruddha. I also appear as Baladeva, Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Nrsimha, Vamana, Rama, and Parasurama. I also appear as Buddha and Kalki. (Catur-Veda-Siksa)
The Avataras of the Lord are Divine
7.71
naivaite jayante naivaite mriyate naiyamavandho na muktih sarva eva hyete purna ajara amrtah paramananda iti
The avataras of Krishna do not take birth as ordinary living entities, who are all conditioned by the modes of nature. The avataras are never covered by ignorance or have to attain freedom from material illusion. They are complete in every way. They are never subject to old age. They are immortal and eternal. They are the supreme truth and They personify the highest bliss. (Catur-Veda-Siksa)

Ahobilam (Ahobalam) is the place where Supreme Personality of Godhead incarnated Himself as Lord Nrsimhadeva to killed the demon Hiranyakasipu and save His dear-most devotee Prahlada. Here at Ahobilam, Lord Nrsimhadeva emerged from the pillar of Hiranyakasipu’s palace, killed him after a fierce fight, simultaneously honouring the boons that Hiranyakasipu received from Lord Brahma. The pillar from where Lord Nrsimhadeva appeared, the ruins of the palace of Hiranyakasipu, the exact spot where Lord Nrsimhadeva killed Hiranyakasipu, the pond where Lord Nrsimhadeva washed His lotus hands after killing Hiranyakasipu and the school where Prahlada studied still exist at Ahobilam. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu visited Ahobilam during His south India pilgrimage as mentioned in Sri Caitanya Caritamrta Madhya-lila chapter 9 verses 16-17 and Madhya-lila chapter 1 verse 106. Lord Ramacandra also came here and sung five verses named “Narasimha Panchamritam”. Ahobilam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh amidst the majestic hills of the Eastern Ghats range. It is 256 km from Tirupati, 110 km from Cuddapah, 68 km from Nandyal and 24 km from Allagadda. To visit Ahobilam, the best is to travel from Tirupati. It is approximately 5 hours drive from Tirupati to Ahobilam (256 km).
 
Ahobilam - The Great Strength
Ahobalam means: “Aho Balam (what great strength!)”
When Lord Nrsimhadeva, the half-lion and half-man incarnation of Supreme Lord, emerged out of pillar in His fierce and effulgent form, all the devatas (demigods) exclaimed “Aho Balam (what great strength!)”. Sthala purana mentions this wonderful pastime an additional note to Lord Narasimha Lila mentioned in 7th canto of Srimad-Bhagavatam.
“aho viryam aho shauryam aho bahuparakramah
narasimham param daivam ahobilam aho balam”
 
On the plea of Prahlada, Lord Nrsimhadeva continues to reside at Ahobilam on the peak “Garudachala”. Since this place was contaminated by blood of Hiranyakasipu and his army, Lord invoked River Mandakini to clean it. Since the river cleansed the dirt (sins) that causes birth (bhava), she came to be called as River “Bhavanashini”. Laxmi Devi appeared and sat on the folded leg of the lord. The forest grove thus got their name as Laxmivan. Seeing this beautiful sight of Lord and her consort, all great sages assembled and sang praises and hymns from Vedas. The mountain from where they chanted came to be called as “Vedadri”. Ahobilam also got its name because of bila (cave). Long, long ago (even before Lord Nrsimhadeva’s appearance to kill Hiranyakasipu), Garuda once performed severe penance with a desire to see the darshan of Lord in Narasimha form. Pleased with him, Lord guided Garuda to see His Narasimha avatar form in a nearby huge cave. Garuda proceeded and was benedicted to see this beautiful form in this cave. Hence this area also got its name place of beautiful cave “Ahobilam”. The mountain on which Garuda performed austerities came to be known as Garudachala, Garudadri and Garudashailam.
 
It is very popularly known that the Nallamalai range of mountain (Eastern Ghats) is the manifestation of Sri Adi Sesha - the great serpent bed of Lord Vishnu. On His seven hoods lays Tirupati, on stomach Ahobilam and on the tail lays Sri Shailam. The Brahmanda Purana states that Ahobilam was the dwelling of the demon king Hiranyakasipu who was killed by the Lord. Mention of legends connected with Ahobalam can be found in Kurma Purana, Padma Purana and Vishnu Purana. This place is known by many names: Ahobalam, Nava Narasimha Kshetra, Singavel Kundram, Pancha krosa Kshetra, Garudachala and Vedachala.
 
Many great devotees like Sripad Ramanujacarya, Vedanta Desika also rendered services here and many of them composed beautiful prayers and songs at feet of Lord Nrsimhadeva. Ramanujacarya visited here in 11th Century A.D and Vedanta Desika in 1268-1379 A.D. The great king, Vikramaditya (1076-1106 A.D) of the western Chalukyas, also worshipped the main deity of the temple. “Sri Laxmi Nrsimha pancaratna stotra” and “Karaavalamba stotra” are two very famous hymns composed by Adi Sankaracharya when he came here. “Angan naalam” - was sung by the great Thirumanghai Alwar.