096. Tirupathi – Tirumala – Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple – Sri Balaji Mandir
About the temple:
After traveling through the hills, we will come towards the temple of Lord Srinivasa. The entrance of the temple is an unexplainable issue. We can see a large mountain as a chain and in front of it, the white Tower known as Gopuram is seen.
The Moolavar of this divyadesam is said to be Swayambhu (originated on its own but not sculpted by humans). The Moolavar, Sri Venkatachalapathy is in standing posture (Nindra thirukkolam) on the petals of the Lotus. One can see and admire the beauty the Diamond Crown known as Kreetam on the head of the Lord Sri Venkateswara perumal. On taking a closer look, we can see the smiling face of the perumal. His chin is covered with the smelly benzoine known as Pachchai Karpooram and for the Lord is with 4 hands The upper two arms holds the Conch (Sangu) and the Divine Wheel known as Chakkaram. The lower right hand is in Varadha hasta pose which is said to the pose where the perumal holds his hand with his palm facing the bhaktas and all of the fingers are pointed towards downwards (towards his divine feet). And his lower left hand is said to be in “Katya Valambitha” pose where the fingers of the hand rest on the left thigh of the perumal.
Sri Lakshmi piratti is on the right side of the Moolavar’s chest in sitting position. And on his left chest Sri Padmavathi thaayar is adorning. The perumal is with lots of precious ornaments on his arms, he is worn with a kind of ornament which is like the Aadhiseshan on his both the hands. He is also worn the Garland of Salagramam and His divine thiruvadi (Feet) is found on the Lotus flower.
Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi
Next to Moolavar is Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi is, who is similar as the Moolavar but the difference is the Sangu and the Chakkaram cant be removed (its fixed) and gives his seva as “Sangu Chakkra thaari”. It is said that he is the Lord Balaji who accepts all the dedications made His devotees and gives the varam.
In front of Moolavar is Ugraha Srinivasar is a Statue and is named as “Venkata Thuraivar” and the Vigraham represents that he is in the angry mood. Due to a fire accident, He is used only on 3 occasions (i.e.) during Uttanna Ekadasi, Mukkoti Dwadasi and Dwadasa Aradhana. It is said that the rays of the sun should not fall the idol as it might bring harm to the world. For this reason the Idol is brought back to the Sanctum Sanatorium known as Garbagriham.
The Utsavar is called as “Malai Kuniya Nindran Perumal”. He is in standing posture known as Nindra kolam and is worn with lots of precious ornaments like diamonds and gold. Along his sides are Sridevi and Bhoodevi.
On special days and of Utsavams like Kalyana Utsavam, Brahmotsavam, Teppa Utsavam, the Utsavar is decorated with a diamond ornament named as “Vajrangi” and a pearl ornament known as “Muthangi” next to ugra Narasimhar is Kolur Srinivasar is found. He is also named as “Dharbar Srinivasar”. He is brought up to the Thirumaamani mandapam and the perumal’s Kaanikkai are spread in front of Him and are counted and finally the collection amount is announced in His presence.
Sri Navaneedha Krishnan
Next to him is Sri Navaneedha Krishnan. He is in dancing position along with Rukmani Devi. During month of 15th December and 14th January in every year, which is known as Dhanur month Sanskrit and in Tamil Maargazhi, elaborative function known as Utsavam is done for this Lord Navaneetha Krishna..
Next is 4 idols of Sri Rama, Sita Devi, Lakshmana and sugreeva are found. Next to them is Chakarattalwar (Sudarsana chakkaram) who is taken out for procession before the utsavar taken out for Veedhi Purappaadu (Perumal is taken out through the streets). On Ratha Saptami, Chakkrattalwar is taken to Swami Pushkarani and spiritual bath is given to him.
Mangalasasanam Next to Sri Rangam divyadesam, only in this sthalam, Alwars have done more numbers of Mangalasasanam here.
Manavala Maamunigal has stayed in this sthalam for a long time and have praised and sung mangalasasanam on this perumal.
Vimaanam: One can see the beautiful and white temple Tower – Vimaanam, which is known as “Aananda Nilaya Vimaanam”. This Tirupathi temple is about 400 feet in length and 250 feet width. There are two Towers known as gopurams to this perumal. One is the outer Tower – Gopuram and another is InnerTower – Gopuram. For two Gopurams, there are two Pragharams. The worship done in between the two pragharams is referred to as “Sampangi Pradhakshanam”. The worship in between inner pragharam and Garbhagriham is referred to as “Vimana Pradhakshanam”.
Entering into the Temple: The outer entrance of the temple is called as “Mugha Dwaram” (entrance) and it is about 11 feet in width. Entering through this, we can see the Ranganayaki KuLa mandapam, which is on the left hand side. Next to it is the Pradhama mandapam known Main entrance.
On the North side of the Pradhama mandapam, lays a statue of King Krishnadevaraya, who is said to be a great Shiva bhaktan. He came to this Tirumala divyadesam in 16th century for about 7 times.
On the left side of Pradhama Mandapam, a big hall where Marriage Ceremony known as Kalyana utsavam for the Perumal is done in a very grand manner. A small sannadhi for Sri Ranganatha is found and it is said that during the invasion of the Mughals on Sri Rangam, this Vigraham (Idol) was taken from Sri Rangam and kept here in this sannadhi and proper poojas done for the perumal.
Next to this, is the Thirumalai Raja Mandapam. In this mandapam, there are three statues of Lala Khamanan, the Thodarmalla, with his mother and his wife.
As we have seen that two types of Pradhakshanams are said to be done in this temple, one can see the Sri Varadharajar sannadhi as we cross the inner Gopuram. Next to Varadharajar sannadhi is the Madapalli. (Kitchen of the temple) is found. There are called as “Poturooms” and the Neivedhya prasadhams are prepared inside these rooms. The incharge of the kitchen is none other than Sri Vakula maligai the mother of the perumal. An idol is also found in the entrance of the Kitchen and because of this, she is called as “Madapalli Naachiyaar”.
To the front of Madapalli, a well called as Bangarubavi (Golden well) and the water from this well is taken for cooking the prasadham, and for Thirumanjanam (spiritual bath given for the perumal).
After doing the Pradhakshanam, one can see the sannadhi of Sri Ramanuja, the Sri Vaishnava AchArya. In this sannadhi, the Holy Water known as theertham and Satari are offered for the bhaktas. There is no sannadhi for any Aacharyaas for any of the Alwars but this is the only sannadhi for the great Vaishnavite, Sri Ramanuja.
On the side of Sri Ramanujar sannadhi, a sannadhi for Yoga Narasimha Swamy He is giving his seva in Yoga position holding Sangu and Chakkaram on his hands which is lifted upwards.
And after worshipping all these, we will come across Thirumaamani mandapam, where ‘Garuda’ the Vehicle of Sri Mahavishnu is found. There is a small vimaanam found on top of Garudalwar Sannadhi.
To the west of Thirumaamani Mandapam, the Bangaru Vakili (the golden entrance) is found. And two Dwara Balagaas, jayan and Vijayan are on either side of the entrance. A custom by named “Thiruppaavadai” is done here during which large quantity of cooked rice are spread in this mandapam and Bhoga Srinivasamurthi is brought to this custom to accept it.
After crossing the Bangaru Vakili, we can enter into a mandapam by named Snapana mandapam. This mandapam is also called as “Thiruvilam Koil”, where Bhoga Srinivasa murthi is found.
After crossing the Snapana Mandapam, we can find Rama medai where statues of Hanuman, Angadhan and sugreev are found and to opposite of this medai, we can see statues of Anantham, Garudan and Vishwa karma made of five metals known as Panchalokam.
From Rama medai, one can enter the Sayana mandapam, where the perumal is put to sleep in night (Ekantha seva).
Behind the Sayana Mandapa is the Garbhagriham. (the moolavar sannadhi).
Emperumaan, Sriman Narayanan is found as Lord of the Seven Hills known as “Eazhumalayaan” stands in this temple all alone in Nindra thirukkolam and is giving the seva to lots and lots of Bhaktas. After the world has been created, Trethayugham, Dwaparayugam and Krithayugam all went and in all these yugam, as stated by Sriman Narayanan in Mahabharatham, he took Avathaar in some form to establish Dharma and fought and destroyed “Adharma” or evil.
After all these Yugams finished, Kali yugam started from then, all sorts of Evil things started to spread along throughout the world. Great Emporers lost their Empire and lots of Yogis and Rishis were killed and their wives were captured by Arakkas (Demon). At that Kaliyugam, a wild demon by named “kali” emerged in this yugam who made the earth loose its beauty and spread various evil aspects in the midst of the human minds.
In Kaliyugam, person who has money and body strength are respected and all the good things like human relationship, guru and his students relation, cheating others for money and lots of sinful action were performed.
Lord Brahma was so scared on seeing the Earth in this manner. Finally he thought, the right person to cure this is Sriman Narayanan and if his divine thiruvadi (feet) is touched on the lands of earth, it might regain its lost beauty and if at least a drop of his blood is shed on earth, the earth become pure and thereby all evil things might diminish. He said this to Narada Maharishi and he should take of this.
All the Maharishis had a meeting that a very big Sacrifice known as Yaagam must be done and how much amount credit should be given to which god? Narada told that it should be given to one among the 3 moorthies who stands as the structure of Dharma and Sathyam and he should be capable of withstanding all sorts of Adharmams. Finally, he ends by saying that Brighu Maharishi is the right person who can do this in finding among the 3 Moorthies who is person with the said Characters.
First, he went straight to Siva logam where Lord Shiva and Parasakthi are found closed to each other. It is one of the Universal truth that the union of Shivan and Sakthi is said to be the way made for the Dharma to come all its way. But, since Brighu Maharishi was so angry that his presence was not being noticed, and gave him the Curse that on the earth, Lord Shiva would be done pooja only in the form of Lingam but not in the form of Statues (or) Vigrahams (Idols). This is the reason that Shiva Lingams are found in all Shiva temples but not Idols,
After this, Brighu Maharishi went to Brahma devan’s Sathya logam. There also he was not greeted properly, he was not noticed. It was him, Brahma devan who asked Narada Maharishi for this to happen but it is fate that all this should happen. After being un-noticed by Brahma and Saraswathi, Brighu Maharishi got angry on him and like the same way, as he cursed Shiva, he gave Brahma devan a sabham that there should be no temple for Brahma in the Bhoologam and after this he went straight to Vaikundam.
After entering into Vaikundam, he saw Sriman Narayanan sleeping in Aadhiseshan. He could not be so calm since he was not greeted and taken care properly by Brahma devan and as a result he had given them the Sabham.
As a result, he burst out like Volcano and went straight towards Sriman Narayanan and kicked him on his Thirumaarbhu (divine chest). After being kicked, Sriman Narayanan woke up and asked Brighu Maharishi to sit and did Padha pooja for him. Brighu Maharishi is a person who has an eye on his feet. Because of this he was so angry and the perumal plucked the eye from his feet and as a result he lost all of his anger and finally thought that all of the Yoga credit must be given to Sriman Narayanan and came to the Yoga place.
As we can notice, it was Brahma devan that who started the process of finding to whom the yaga credit should be given but finally he got cursed that he should not be worshiped in the earth. Its all a pre-written one and it is left to destiny that these are the things that should happen. But, as Brighu Maharishi kicked the thirumaarbhu (divine chest) of Sriman Narayanan, Lakshmi piratti left him from Sri Vaikundam and came towards the earth. Because of this, Sri Vaikundam, the Moksham lost its grace and brightness and all of these are said to be only because of Kaliyugam.
After being alone in Vaikundam, Sri Vishnu could not be in Vaikundam and came towards the Bhoologam in search of Sri Mahalakshmi. Aadhiseshan turned as the mountain of Tirumala and the perumal roamed all along the earth without knowing what to do. He forgot all of his duties and he lost his conscious and sat like a person without having food, water and anything else.
On seeing this, Brahma devan and Shiva came down towards the Earth known as Bhoologam as a cow and calf and were finally handed over towards the Chozha king.
Once a cow-boy person took the cow and the calf for making them to eat. But in the land, the cow (Brahma devan) and the calf (Shiva) went towards the putru (ant-hill), where Sri Vishnu was found. The cow and the calf went towards the Ant-hill and gave Sriman Narayanan the milk. This happened daily. But the cow-boy could not understand why this particular cow is not giving milk while the other do. so, finally he made up in his mind that he should follow the cow and the calf and find the reason for not giving milk.
The next day he took all the cows for the gracing to the plains but his eyes was watching only the cow (Brahma) that’s not giving milk daily. As a daily practice, the spiritual cow went towards the Ant-hill and poured all of the milk inside the ant-hill, where Sriman Narayanan is found.
On seeing this, the cow-boy went to the Chozha King and told the reason why the cow is not yielding milk but dropping the milk only at a specific ant-hill. Then, the king sent some of his soldiers and asked them to destroy the ant-hill. On that time, the cow as usual went towards the ant hill and gave milk. During the same time, the cowboy tried to hit the cow with his axe, he threw the axe towards the cow. But, to help and save the cow, the perumal came out from the anthill and held the axe in his head. The axe directly struck the forehead of the perumal and made a deep cut and as a result, the blood came out and finally it fell on the earth thus, finally the earth was freed from all sorts of evil activities that’s being done by Kali.
As the Emperumaan divine feet was stamped on the Bhoologam, it got its purity and the perumal gave his seva first to the cowboy in spite of causing wound by throwing the axe on him. But, as said by the Lord in Bagavath Gita, “Do your duties, without expecting the return”. As said by the perumal, the cowboy did the right duty of stopping the cow which gave the milk to the perumal. He didn’t expected anything. Its his duty to take the cow out and get the milk from them. As a result, he was the first person to get the dharshan of the perumal.
Varaghar and Sri Srinivasar: After coming out from the ant hill, the perumal went towards Sri Varagha moorthy who helped out Bhoomipiratti from Hiranyatshakan, when the perumal took the Avathar as “Sri Varaghar”. The perumal asked for some place to stay in the hill. As Varaghar could easily feel that the perumal is feeling the absence of Lakshmi piratti, he offered the perumal some land on the hill and he asked for a boon – varam. It is that every bhaktas should worship Varagha swamy first then only they should worship the Sri Srinivasa perumal.
If they worship him directly with praying Varagha moorthy, the perumal should not give his blessing nor take their offerings. The perumal accepted it and promised him that the Prasadham and his darshan will be offered first to Varagha moorthy and then only it would be offered to the perumal in Tirupathi. Thus, the perumal got the place to stay on and this hill is the Venkatachala hill (Tirumala). Varagha moorthy also sent Vakula maligai along with the perumal to help him out in the house. Vakula maligai is none other than Yasodha the mother of Sri Krishnan in Sri Krishna Avatar. During that avatar, the perumal had promised her that in Kali Yuga that she will be given his seva and she will be seeing the perumal in Kalyana Vaibhavam, as Kalyana Moorthy.
Aksha Ganga theertham:
This is said to be one of the sacred pushkarani of this sthalam and is situated two miles away from the temple and it is believed that devas regard this theertham as “Amirtham” (nectar).
This theertham is found 3 miles away from the temple. As the name implies, if taken bath in this theertham, one can get rid from all of his/her sins.
Pandava theertham, Ramakrishna theertham, Jabali theertham, kapila theertham, Vaikunta theertham, Tumburu Punya theertham, Kumara dharma theertham are some of the theerthams found in this sthalam.
Festivals And worships (Utsavams and Dharshans):
The temple is opened all of the day but closed only for some hours of time. This implies how the perumal is giving his seva to his bhaktas.
In the morning, Suprabhadha dharshan is done, during which the Bhoga Srinivasar murthi is taken from the sayana mandapam to Garbagriham. Mangala Harathi and a mixture of cow’s milk, butter and sugar are mixed as offering to the perumal and this is given as Prasadham to the Bhaktas.
Sahasranama Archana is done during which the Thriunamam (names) of the perumal is said.
On Thursday a special pooja by name “Poolangi seva” is done. During this, the perumal is seen only in a dhoti and a uthriyam, without mere ornament and an garland. It is one of the special seva that all bhaktas should see.
Next on Friday, Arjitha seva is done Brahmotsavam and Ratha Sapthami are the two grand functions held for the perumal. The Brahmotsavam is also known as “Purattasi month Utsavam” and it is done during September and October.
During Brahmotsavam, the perumal (Utsava murthi) gives his seva on Various Vahanams. On the nights of the utsavam, he is found on Hamsa Vahanam, Peddha Vahanam, Muthyapupandri Vahanam, Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam, Garuda Vahanam, GajaVahanam, Chandraprabai Vahanam, Ashwa Vahanam. Likewise on the day, he is found on sesha Vahanam, Simha Vahanam, kalpavriksham Vahanam, Mohini Avathara Vahanam, Hanumantha Vahanam, Surya Prabhai Vahanam are done.
Garuda seva on the fifth day of the Brahmotsavam is one among the special Vahanam during which the special and precious Makara Kandigai is worn for the Utsava murthi.
On the 11th day, Theerthavari is done for the perumal is Swami Pushkarani. Theerthavari means the perumal is taken to the Swami Pushkarani and dipped in the theertham (ie) he is given bath in that pushkarani and after that all the bhaktas take bath there and finally all their sins are said to vanish.
Location: Tirucchanoor is 5 kms From Tirupati, Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh.
This sthalam is also called as “Alarmelmangapuram”. This is the separate sthalam for Thaayar.
The Moolavar Thaayar is Alarmelmangai thaayar and she is facing along East direction. The Thaayar is also named as “Padmavathi”. In Tirucchanoor, a very big pushkarani is there and it is said that only in this pushkarani, Mahalakshmi thaayar did tapas on sitting on a very big lotus flower.
Here Devi Padmavathi in all her bridal glory is worshipped. It is customary to worship the Goddess here after darshan of Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala.
The deity, Sri Padmavati Devi is seated in “Padmasana position”, holding a Lotus in both of her upper hands. Her lower hands are in poses of “Abhaya”, fearlessness, and “Varada”, benediction.
Separate sannadhis for Lord Krishna, Balarama, Sundararaja Swami, Surya Narayana Swami and Venkatachalapati are also found on the “Pragharams”.
Nearby, there is a Shiva temple dedicated to Sri Parasareswara.
Now let us see the other factors that gives more information and hitherto commonly unknown facts, that pulls crowd to this Holy Shrine of Tirumala Tirupati Kshetram.
The Astonishing Wonders of Tirupathi
There are lots of hitherto unknown secrets and more regular procedures, that is not noticed even by a regular visitor, in the Lord Sri Balaji’s temple and the Idol; here are some factors:
Silathoranam is a kind of Rock which is situated one Kilo meter distance from the Tirupati temple; the rocks are said to be 2500 million years old! Lord Sri Balaji’s Statue and the rocks from Silathoranam are of the same kind and are available only at Tirupati; no where on the earth one will find this specific sort of Rocks!! Even todate, the Idols of Sri Balaji are made from this specific rock and supplied to many other temples all over the world.
There is a special training center for the Sthapathis (sculptors) from where scores of sculptures trained (Sthapathi) with authentic Vedic type training is given to the Artists to chisel out each of the diety’s Idol.
Benzoine (Pachhakarpooram) is applied on the Chin of the Lord’s statue at Tirupathi on daily basis. If the same applied routinely on any other sort of rocks, the rock splits and breaks because of its chemical proposition; wherein, this specific rock from Silathoranam/Lord Sri Balaji’s statue never get affected despite applying the benzoine for centuries,
Any man made rock statues will have the sign of cizil marks at one or other place. Also, most man made statues of rough in nature. Where as the Statue at Tirupathi is with stunning shining and smoothness, as if the stone is polished; even the ornaments appearing in His Ears, arms and His Holy body seems to be naturally polished with smoothness.
The Lord’s statue always found to be hot and feels of 110 degree F. Despite the Abishekam in the early morning at 4.30 am daily, there is always sweating in His body! They wipe out the sweat with costly silk cloths. During every Thursday, when they remove the ornaments for Abhishekam, the jewellery items are felt too hot as if taken from an oven!
Tirupathi Templs, the prayer methods, Hundi collections and the Pooja methods all are an astonishing historical events, that is experienced till date.
The Kitchen of the temple is large in area. Pongal, Curd rice, Tamarind Rice, Chitrannam, Vada, Kesari etc. are cookd in a larger measure, every day.
Every day, the curd rice offering (thayir sadam) is provided in a new Mud Pot. Excepting this mud pot and curd rice, no other preparations are sent into the Garpagraham after the Kulasekarapadi (an entrance step). Even though, costlier than costliest vessels are available with the Temple, the Lord likes to have his meals in the Mud pot only. If a gifted soul gets the Mud pot and the remainder curd rice, he is the most luckiest person on the earth!
The Lord’s Dress weighs 6 Kilogram and 21 ft+ in length (21 muzham size) made of Silk SARI type peethambaram. One cannot buy this in any shop as the same specially made to the Temple through the temple’s weavers. One has to pay Rs.12,500 for this offering of Dress and need to wait for over three years! As only on a Friday they put this Mel-saththu Vastram, offering person has to wait after paying the funds and obtaining the receipt!
For the inner garment (Ulsaathu-vasthram) costs Rs.20,000/- per set. Every Friday, from fifteen devotees they collect and one has to wait for TEN full years to get this cloth offering
Born on Makara Uthiradam star, native of Mukkur and brought up in Ladavaram village near Arcot and now well settled in Mumbai for over five decades. Presently, at 70, trying to run this website without any commercial expectations or profit motive, just for the sake of our future generations to understand about Sanatana Dharma & Srivaishnavam sampradayam.Within my limited knowledge that I put it here, what I learnt from the world.