Rāma, Narasiṁha and Varāha (03/27/10)
Yes, I was with Śrīla Prabhupāda in Delhi on Rāma-navamī in 1976 and we fasted until sunset.
No, I have never heard of such a Deity of Lord Rāma being worshipped in South India. In fact, I can’t think of any temple of Lord Rāma in South India, but then again I haven’t been looking. I have often thought it a little strange that in Caitanya-caritāmṛta it mentions that there were many devotees of Lord Rāma in South India, but I never came across any Rāma temples in my travels. But I did take note that in a number of places where the Deity was Viṣṇu that they referred to the Deity as Rāma. Even in Simhachalam where the Deity is called Narasiṁha, the actual Deity is Varahādeva. Again, a couple of times when I have been out looking for a Narasiṁhadeva temple, I have been directed to a particular temple and when arriving, the Deity was actually Varahādeva and not Narasiṁha. When I asked where is Narasiṁha they said, “This is Narasiṁha. Varāha and Narasiṁha are non-different.”
In the end, I just remember that Kṛṣṇa’s forms are one and the same. But rasa… that is a very different thing.
Hoping this meets you well.