Tirupati Balaji Temple is widely known as Sri Venkateshwara temple . Venkateswara carries very deep meaning with itself . “ Vem “ means immorality , kata means “ bliss “ and “aishwaraya “ means supremeness .The Combination of whole words give the meaning of eternal bliss or supremeness .
This shrine of Sri Venkateswara is situated on Tirumala hills or the sacred mountains of Tirupati city , Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh and these hills have seven peaks . The Shrine is about an elevation of 2500 feet .There are many other higher peaks near the temple .
The highest of them is around 3622 feet in height . Lord Vishnu took the form of Venkateswara and this temple is also known as vaikunth of Kaliyuga .
The puranic story of the shrine
There are mainly two stories which are famous for Tirupati Balaji .
Hiranyaksha and Varah Avatar
According to Shrimad Bhagvatam , there was a demon named Hiranyaksha who once lived in Satya Yuga . He had disturbed the whole planet Earth from his unethical work and brought a situation in which the earth got drowned to the bottom of the Garbhodaka ocean .
The whole Devatas left with no other option except taking the help of Brahma and then Brahma prayed to Lord Vishnu requesting him to save the planet earth from the mischievous act of hiranyaksha .To Save the planet Earth, Lord Vishnu manifested himself in Varah avatar .
He killed the demon Hiranyaksha and then took out the planet Earth or Bhudevi from Garbhodaka ocean on his tusk . Bhudevi who is the manifestation of Goddess Lakshmi gets pleased after uniting with Lord Vishnu .Bhudevi requested Lord Vishnu to remain with her on bhooloka.
He accepted the request and ordered Garuda to bring down his favourite mountain from Vaikuntha on the planet earth and reside with Bhudevi on the mountain and this is how the Tirumala hills came on the earth .
Tirumala hills are part of the Seshachalam hills range .
Dispute between Adisesha and Vayudeva
During Dwapara Yuga , Vayu Deva reached Vaikuntha to pay his reverence to Lord Vishnu . At that time Lord Vishnu was accompanied by Goddess Lakshmi And Adishesha was guiding the doorway of vaikuntha . When Vayudeva tried to enter Vaikuntha , he was stopped by Adishesha and finally started a dispute between Adishesha and Vayu Deva about their Supremacy .
Lord Vishnu intervened and suggested Adishesha to encircle Ananda hill and then Vayudeva to blow as strong as he could to dislodge the holding of Adishesha from Ananda Hill .
This is how the contest went on and finally it became furious . World started to get shaken by this furious contest . Brahma and other divine beings including Indra wanted to stop this mess so they humbly requested Adishesha to dislodge his holding from Ananda hill for the Welfare of the planet Earth .
Adishesha accepted the request Of dislodging his holding . As a result, adishesha blew to the river bank of Swarnamukhi and he wasn’t happy with his defeat but then Brahma and other divine beings made him happy by saying to merge with Venkatadri hill where Lord Vishnu would reside .
This is a story of Adishesha conceding victory on Vayu Deva would appear to suggest the conquest or awakening of Kundalini through Pranayama or Vayu .That means the attainment of self realisation through Yoga .
The Kundalini Shakti is said to be lying dormant , coiled like a serpent at the base of the spinal column . Through Pranayama these shaktis can be awakened and go on up to the highest chakras of the human body . And finally when reach to the Sahasrara chakra , you can attain self illumination . This is how the combination of Adishesha and Vayu ( Pranayama ) got involved in the self realisation of the individual body.
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Main idol of the shrine (Sri Venkateshwara )
Sri Venkateswara is the embodiment of the absolute effulgence . The idol of Sri Venkateswara combines the Aspects of Shakti , Brahma ,Vishnu , Mahesh ( Lord Shiva ) .
In the Bhavishyottara Puranam Extract contained in the Venkatachalamahatyam , Lord Shiva expound to Parvati , Venkatesa Rahashyam , according to which Sri Venkateswara is the embodiment of the Turiya Brahman . Now let us discuss the physical appearance of the main idol .
- Sri Venkateswara has a dark complexion having beautiful curly hair which is believed to be his original hair .
- Sri Venkateswara has 4 hands. In the first hand he is holding Sudarshan Chakra while in the second hand he is holding the conch ( Panchajanya ) . This is the conch which he used to blow during the start of the biggest epic war ever happened on the planet Earth for the sake of Dharma . If adharma is not stopped by the politeness of words then there is a need to pick up the shastra ( weapons) to stop adharma .
- The other two hands of Sri Venkateswara are in downward direction . The right hand is in down direction having in the pose of Varada Hasta while the left hand is in the Pose of Katyavalambita .
- The most fascinating and integral part of the idol is the carving of Goddess Lakshmi on the right chest of Sri Venkateswara ( Lord Vishnu )in the sitting pose .
- The white U- shaped Tilak can be seen on the forehead of Lord Sri Venkateswara and wearing Dhoti . The temperature around the idol is maintained very low but surprisingly sweating can be seen on the idol of Sri Venkateswara . This is the most mysterious thing which is unknown to modern scientists even now .
Timing of Darshan and Seva
- The temple opens at 3 AM and closes at 1 AM .
- The entry fee is zero but there is a charge implemented for VIP Darshan and that is of 300 rs .
- The only traditional dress is allowed for visiting this temple .
- The general Darshan – 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Then again after 8 p.m. Darshan starts and continues until 1 a.m.
- On Wednesday and Friday the morning Darshan starts from 9 a.m. instead of 7:30 a.m. while on Thursday starts from 8 a.m. and the rest of the schedule goes on the same.
- Suprabhatam Seva- This Seva starts at 2:30 a.m. to wake up the Lord .
- Thomala Seva – Starts at 3:30 a. m. in which the idol is decorated with Tusli Garland and many flowers . This goes on Continuously for 30 minutes .
- Archana starts at 4:15 a.m.
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