Monday, 3 June 2013

Tirupati- Shri Venkateswaraswamy

        OM NAMO NARAYANAAYA” is the only hymn every one listens when stepped on any place of the entire city.  It is the Biggest and Famous of the temples in India, surrounded by thick forests and seven hills. It is Tirumala Tirupati –Shri Venkateswara Swamy Temple a sacred place which doesn’t need any introduction in entire world. It is located in the hill town of Tirumala, near tirupathi at chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. It is constructed in the Dravidian Architectural style around 5th century A.D. Pallavas , cholas and later Shri Krishna Devaraya from Vijayanagara Dynasty served this temple for its development.This temple has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore. It is declared in all Sastras and Puranas that in Kali Yuga, Mukti is attained only by worshipping Sri Srinivasa. This temple is more significant as it has the origins of Vaishnavism. It is one among the 108 sacred shrines of the shri vaishnava tradition. Jagadguru shri Adi shankaracharya placed the shri chakra at the feet of venkateswara.This temple draws millions of pilgrims and hence became the worlds busiest pilgrimage centre.

        Most of the pilgrims visit the temple by walking the seven hills- they are Seshadri( Hill of sesha), Neeladri( Hill of Neela Devi- It is believed that the hair offered by the devotees is accepted by Neela Devi. It is a boon given to her from Lord venkateswara), Garudadri(Hill of Garuda- Vaahana of Vishnu), Anjanadri( Hill of Lord Hanuma), Vrushabhadri( Hill of Nandi- Vahana of Lord Shiva),Narayanadri( Hill of Narayana- Srivari padalu located here) and Venkatadri( Hill of Lord Venkateswara). The seventh peak is the Temple of seven hills. It is believed that the celestial mount meru brought to the earth from vaikuntam by Garuda. The hills are the Manifestation of Adi sesha. Seven hills represent the seven hoods of Adi sesha.


                                                            GOLDEN TEMPLE

Sanskrit Meaning of Venkateswara : ‘vem’ = all the links with one’s own sins, ‘kata’=will be cut off in total to the one who surrenders to him, ‘Eswara’ = Supreme God.

Alvars, Vaishanavacharyas and Saints have praised the tirumala hill with great devotion. Ramanujacharya systemized the process of worship in accordance with the shri Vaishnava that continues to date. All the newly wed couples visit the married place of shri Venkateswara and padmavathi devi .

                                                                      Bhutat Alwar

                   Even In these days, many singers praise the lord of Kaliyuga with the Ancient Annamacharya Keerthanas all the time. They have a greater significance in the history and also in the current age.

Sthala Puranam:-

Sreenivasa Kalyanam

Once Upon a time there was a very angry saint Bhrigu. One day he visits to satyaloka to meet Lord Brahma and convey the message of the yagya performed at the banks of ganges. Where he doesn’t gains the notice of Lord Brahma, Yamadeva, Varuna deva and Agni deva etc., Saint decides Brahma to be unfit for worship and curses him that he will not to be worshipped in worlds. Then he makes his journey to Kailash when Lord Shiva is with Parvathi and doesn’t notices him. He curses him too and leaves to Vaikuntam. Lord Vishnu reposes on Adisesha with Shri Maha Lakshmi at his feet also doesn’t notice the Arrival of Bhrugu Maharshi. Saint becomes angry and kicks on the chest of the Lord Vishnu where Goddess Lakshmi resides.

Lord Immediately says “ Dear Saint, My chest is the hardest place. You might get hurt on kicking it. Let me please serve you” Lord holds the legs of rishi and squeezes the extra eye that was present in the Bhrigu’s foot. Therefore Maharshi looses his egotism and apologizes him. He also concludes that Lord Vishnu is the most supreme of Trimurti and tells everyone.

Shri Mahalakshmi becomes angry on the behavior of Lord Vishnu who apologized to Bhrigu who committed an offense and being unable to accept it she leaves Vaikuntam. Lord Shree Maha Vishnu becomes mad in searching Sree Maha Lakshmi in all the worlds. At last he comes to earth and sits below a tamarind tree beside a pushkarini on the venkata hill meditating for the return of his wife, without food and sleep. Brahma Maheswaras assume the forms of cow and its calf to serve him.

Surya the Sun god, informed Mahalakshmi of this and requested Her to assume the form of a cow herdess and sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country. The king of the Chola country bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed the Lord.

Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola Queen chastised the cowherd severely. To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cowherd followed the cow, hid himself behind a bush and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. Angered by the conduct of the cow, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. However, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When the cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock.

The cow returned to the Chola King, bellowing in fright and with blood stains all over her body. To find out the cause of the cow's terror, the King followed her to the scene of the incident. The King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. While he stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the King saying that he would become an Asura because of the fault of his servant. The King pleaded innocence, and the Lord blessed him by saying that he will be reborn as Akasa Raja and that the curse would end when the Lord will be adorned with a crown presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Padmavathi. With these words, the Lord turned into stone.

Thereafter, Lord Vishnu, also known by the name of Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha Kshetra and requested Sri Varahaswami to grant Him a site for His stay. His request being readily granted, Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to His shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and darshan of Sri Varahaswami and that pooja and naivedya should be offered to Sri Varaha swami first. Vishnu built a hermitage and lived there, attended to by Vakuladevi who looked after Him like a mother.

A while later, a King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race, came to rule over Thondamandalam. Akasa Raja had no heirs, and therefore, he wanted to perform a sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields when his plough turned up a lotus in the ground. On examining the lotus, the King found a female child in it. The king was happy to find a child even before he performed a sacrifice and carried it to his place and gave it to his Queen to tend to it. At that time he heard an aerial voice which said "O King, tend it as your child and fortune will befall you". As she was found in a lotus, the king named her Padmavati.She grew up as a princess into a beautiful maiden and was attended by a host of maids.

One day, Lord Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. In the elephant's pursuit, the Lord was led into a garden, where Princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers. The sight of the elephant frightened the Princess and her maids. But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest. Lord Srinivasa, who was following on horse back, saw the frightened maidens, but was repulsed with stones thrown at Him by the maids. He returned to the hills in haste, leaving His horse behind. The Lord informed Vakuladevi that unless He married Princess Padmavati, He would not be calmed.

Vakuladevi informs of the proposal of marriage from srinivasa to the king and takes his acceptance. After receiving the acceptance from the parents of Padmavathi lord sought a loan of one crore and 14 lakh coins of gold from Kubera and had viswakarma to create heavenly surroundings on the hill, Sage Vashista chanted the vedic mantras. The day on which marriage is held became a golden day in the mythology and still it is known as the best marriage ever happened on earth. Akasaraja Presents the golden crown to lord  and ends up his curse of becoming asura which is taken when lord is hit on head by the cowherd. After that Padmavathi and Lord srinivasa went to Venkatachala hill and lived happily.

Legend Of Temple:-

Once Rangadasa, a staunch devotee of Lord Vishnu joined Vaikhansa Gopinatha who was going to Tirumala to worship Lord Venkateswara. After Bathing in the swami Pushkarini, he beheld the lotus-eyed and blue bodied Vishnu resting beneath a tamarind tree. He lays exposed to sun, wind, rain and was being protected only by the wings of Garuda. Astounded Rangadasa raised a rough wall of stones around the diety, and started to supply flowers to Gopinatha for worshiping everyday. Lord blesses rangadasa that he would reborn as a ruler and would continue to serve him and would construct a beautiful temple with a vimana and high surrounding walls thereby earns eternal glory.

So Rangadasa reborn as Tondaman, son of ruler Suvira. One day on a hunt he sees Lord Vishnu under the same tamarind tree and remembers of building the temple and builds it with Prakaram and Dvara Gopuram.

Hair Tonsuring:-

        Many devotees Tonsure their hair as an offer. The real story behind it is when Lord is hit with an axe by the cow-herd man some portion of hair is lost when Neela Devi comes and removed her hair to replace the lost on Lords head. Lord Venkatesha(Vishnu) knowing that hair is one of the beautiful features of women, Lord Sri venkatesha promised that his devotees will shave Hair of their head (tonsure) and dedicate their hair to her. Neela Devi accepts the hair sacrificed by Devotees of Lord Venkatesha(Vishnu) and Lord blesses his devotees who sacrifice their hair for the sake of the Lord. This is the reason why Devotees tonsure or shave their head in Tirumala.There are also Spiritual reasons: Tonsure or Saving hair as offering for Lord represents a real sacrifice of material beauty and giving up false-ego in the way of shaving their hair as sacrifice to please Supreme Lord. Tirumala temple earns nearly 200 crore rupees in an year by auctioning the Tonsured hair.

Some Beautiful Images of Important places in Tirumala tirupati.


                                            GOVINDA RAJULA SWAMY WARI ALAYAM

                                                               KAPILA THEERTHAM


                                                               SHILA THORANAM




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