Lord Nrsimhadeva Comes to Mayapur

came that we also want a deity of Prahlada. We want to worship Prahlada-Nrsimhadeva. What do you think?” “I don’t think that will be possible,” the sthapati replied matter-of- factly. I looked at him incredulously, not sure what to say. He smiled and continued. “You want everything done exactly according to the scriptures. Your Nrsimhadeva will be four feet high. Comparatively speaking, that will make Prahlada Maharaja the size of an amoeba.” “But we want Prahlada Maharaja one foot high,” I interrupted. “Fine,” the sthapati replied. “But that means your Nrsimhadeva will have to be about 120 feet high.” We began to argue about Prahlada Maharaja’s form. Finally, the sthapati sighed in resignation and agreed to make Prahlada Maharaja one foot tall. At least now I had something positive to report when I returned to Mayapur. After two months I returned to South India. There had been no developments. I shuttled back and forth between Mayapur and South India every thirty or forty days. Finally, our stone was found, and the sthapati became a transformed man. For more than a week he hardly spent any time at home. Hour after hour, day after day, he just sat staring at the slab. He had chalk in hand but didn’t draw anything. He refused to allow his laborers to do anything besides remove the excess stone to make the slab rectangular. The next time I visited him, he had made a sketch on the stone. That was all. I was worried. The Mayapur managers were becoming impatient. “Are you sure this Deity will be finished in six months?” I asked in desperation. “Don’t worry. The work will be done,” he replied. I returned to Mayapur, only to be sent back to South India to check on some details of the Deity. I found the sthapati carving the form with intense care and dedication. The stone had gone and the shape had come. The sthapati had just started on the armlets. He took two weeks to carve them. All the features were so refined and delicate. I was impressed and happy. The sthapati took a little more than twelve months to finish the Deity. When he completed the work, he didn’t inform me at


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