Lord Nrsimhadeva Comes to Mayapur

months. I returned to Mayapur. After four peaceful months in Mayapur, I decided to go to South India to buy the heavy brass paraphernalia required for Nrsimhadeva worship and then collect the Deity. The trip was well organized and trouble-free until I visited the sthapati. I explained to him that I had bought all the paraphernalia for the worship and had come to collect the Deity. He looked at me as if I’d lost my senses. “What Deity?” he exclaimed. “I haven’t even found the suitable stone!” I couldn’t believe my ears. “But you told me He would be ready in six months.” “I will keep my promise,” he said. “Six months after I find the stone, the Deity will be ready for installation,” His reply was emphatic, but I just could not understand or accept the delay. In frustration I challenged him, “There are big slabs of stone all over South India. What’s the problem?” He looked at me the way a teacher would view a slow student and said deliberately, “I’m not making a grinding mortar. I’m making a Deity. The scriptures tell us that only a stone that has life can be used to make a Visnu Deity. When you hit seven points of the stone slab and each makes the sound mentioned in the scriptures, then that stone may be suitable. But there is a second test to indicate whether the stone is living stone. There is a bug that eats granite. If it eats from one side of the stone to the other and leaves a complete trail visible behind it, then the second test of living stone has been passed. That stone is living stone, and expression can manifest from it. Only from such a slab can I carve your Nrsimhadeva. Such stone speaks poetry. All features of a Deity carved from such stone will be fully expressive and beautiful. Please be patient. I’ve been searching sincerely for your six-foot slab.” I was amazed and a little anxious. The devotees in Mayapur were expecting the arrival of the Deity soon. How was I going to explain the “living stone” search to them? Maybe they would decide to make Nrsimhadeva from marble. I turned to what I thought would be an easy subject: “Please forgive me, but I forgot to tell you last time I


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