Sthalapuranam of Ahobilam
This sthalapuranam is related to the 4th Avathaar of Sri Vishnu - the Narasimha Avathaar. Once
there lived a king by named "Hiranyan". While knowing about this sthalapuranam, first we
should know the story of Hiranyan.
The Dhwarabalagas (the two soldiers) who are found as the persons found on the entrance of the
Paarkadal where Emperumaan is found, were very much proud that they are protecting the
perumal. But, this proud changed their mind and as a result they got the sabham from
Maharishis and this Sabham will be continued for 3 decades.
In the first decade, they were born as Jaya - Vijayan and in the second, they born as
Hiranyatshakan and Hiyanyakasibhu. They both did tapas towards Brahma devan and got the
varam that the world should be under the control of them. Hiranyatshakan took Bhooma devi
into the Badhala Lokam (below the Earth) and finally, Sriman Narayanan took the Avathaar as
"Varagha Moorthy", killed Hiranyatshakan and returned along with Bhooma devi.
At the same time, Hiranyakasibhu got a typical varam from Brahma devan. It is that he should
not be killed either by any devars (or) by humans (or) by any animals and even the creator, Brahma Devan. At the same time, he should not be killed by using any weapons and he should not be killed in the
morning (or) in night. He also added that he should not be killed inside the palace nor
outside it. And finally he said that, if he is killed and if even a drop of the blood comes
out of his body, it will be considered to be as effective as 1000 Hiranyakasibhu and they
has to emerge from it. Like this kind of Varam he asked from Brahma devan.
After getting this kind of Varam from Brahma devan, he started to explore his strength and
spread his victory on many countries. He ordered to the people from then, all should worship
him as the God and all poojas has to be dedicated to him. If anyone worshipped Sriman
Narayanan, he started to kill them. Like this, he became wild and was in opposition to Sriman
He had 4 boy children named Anukiladhan, Samakiladhan, Kiladhan and the last child,
Prahaladhan. He had on girl child by named Simaki. But, Hiranyakasibhu should his love
and affection to his last child, Prahaladhan.
But, Prahaladhan was gifted with the knowledge and had much affection towards the Emperumaan and
always said the Great slokam, the "Om Namo Narayana". On seeing this activity of his child,
Hiranyakasibhu got angry and gave severe punishment to him. But, it didn't affect him and still
continued to say the Sri Hari's name. Finally, he thought that there is one sakthi behind
him and he wanted it to come infront of him. As a result he asked his son that he is asked his
son that he is always telling the name of Sri Vishnu and asked where is he found ? For this,
Prahaladhan said that he is found in this mighty world as trees, rivers, mountains, etc.
He is also found everywhere, even in the heart of his father.
On hearing this, he almost came near to the entrance of his palace where a huge and broad
pillar was found. He asked whether his Narayanan is found in this pillar too. For this,
Prahaladhan answered that he is found in the pillar and also even in a small piece of iron. On hearing
this, Hiranyakasibhu got wild and strike the pillar using his leg. As soon as he striked
the pillar, Sriman Narayanan burst out from the pillar as Narasimhar.
As the varam got by him from Brahma devan, the Narasimhan killed Hiranyan by placing his body
in his lap using his nails. His varam was that he should not be killed in the earth nor in the sky.
Because of this, the Narasimham kept him on his lap. In his varam, he had asked that he
should not be killed by an animal nor by an ordinary human. Because of this, the perumal took
the Narasimha avathaar, as his head was the head of the lion and rest of the body as an
ordinary human. He was not killed inside the palace not outside, he was killed in the midst
of it and he was not killed using any harmful weapons instead he was killed by the Nails of
the Nrasimhar. He was not killed in the morning nor in the night instead, he was killed in
the evening, which is said to the lowering time of the day and emerging of dark. So, Sriman
Narayanan killed Hiranyakasibhu as in the varam, which he had asked. But, after being killed,
his blood flowed in the earth. The Narasimhar took the blood from the earth and draked it.
Because of this, as asked by Hiranyakasibhu, it had the effect of 1000 Hiranyakasibhus and
because of this, the perumal was bursting in anger and he could not be controlled. All the
Devars and Brahma devar was afraid to see this and seeked the help of Lord shivan. Finally,
Lord Shivan asked the right person who could reduce the anger of Narasimhar in Lakshmi devi
and finally she came and reduced the anger of Narasimhar.
Prahaladhan was given the seva as Ugraha Narasimhar.
This sthalam explains about the bhakti of Prahaladhan and it is clearly explained through the
Narasimha Avathaaram that he will come for his bhaktas. When Hiranyakasibhu was killed by
Narasimhan, the devars who were seeing this roared about the Balam (strength) of him and said
that how much Balam he has got. They roared as "Ahobilam" and "Ahobalam". This means that
praising of the strength of Narasimham. This, this divyadesam is finally called as "Ahobilam".
This kshetram is also called as "Veera Kshetram".
In the first 3 Avathaars (Matsya, Koorma and Varaham), the Perumal didn't give his seva to
Garudan. Because of this Garudan did a strong tapas towards Sriman Narayanan and finally, in
the 4th Avathaar, the Narasimhan he gave his seva to Garudan in this sthalam is also called as
Kashyabha Maharishi, father of Garudan advised him to do tapas in this sthalam towards the
Emperumaan. At that time, Indiran sent all the Apsaras (Deva loka Kannis) towards Garudan to
destroy his tapas. But, instead he is doing the tapas only to be dedicated for Narayanan
and not doing for any thrones. By saying this, he sent all the Apsaras. From this, we can
clearly understand the Bhakti of Garudan and he was given the Sthanam (position) of alwar
and from then he is said to be "Garudalwar".
Similarly, Prahaladhan who showed his bhakti to Sriman Narayanan is the Key person for
making Sri Vishnu to take the Narasimha Avathaar. So, he was also given the sthanam of Alwar
and he is also called as "Prahaladha Alwar".