|Legend of Tirumala|
Long long ago their was a quarrel between Adisesha (Cosmic 7 hooded serpent on which Lord Vishnu reclines) & Vayu (Air god). The argument was, who was more powerful among the two. So they finally decided to test it physically. Adisesha would encircle and hold Mount Meru (Sacred mountain) & Vayu would use his air power to shake it. If the mountain shakes, then Adisesha would loose the fight, else Adisesha wins. The fight began & Vayu used all his power and blew the air on the mountains. Adisesha opened his wide 7 hooded head and blocked the air effortlessly. This continued for very long time. Vayu then drew all the air from earth to push, and thus creating a breathless situation on earth. So Narada went near Adisesha and said, All know who is strong, now if You don’t let Vayu shake the mountain, all the living beings on earth will die. Adisesha then realized and felt that his Lord Narayana will not be pleased by his act and then slightly loosened the grip. Seizing the opportunity, Vayu blew the mountain which uprooted and made it fly over millions of miles.
While that mountain was been air lifted, some rock fell on the particular place on earth. That rocks are said to be as sacred as the Lord’s idol itself. Since Mount Meru is very sacred. That stones fell on the place which we now know as Tirumala. This laid the foundation for the most sacred place on earth. Miracles of that holy place, & sacredness of that place is mentioned in many puranas. Even King Dasharatha is said to have done tapasya on this hills to get a son on the suggestions of sage Vasista. The hills appeared as a Big jewel in the area, bright shining like a Trillion diamond studded hills.
Even the descending of Lord Vishnu on earth too has a vast background. Lord Vishnu took birth as a human being in Trethayuga as the son of King Dasharatha. We all know what happened & why Lord Rama was sent to Vanavasam. During their stay in Panchavati, Ravana wanted to kidnap Sita and planned a trick. When Mareechi took a form of a golden deer, Lord Rama went to bring it back. After a long time, painful voice of Lord Rama was heard from deep inside the forest. Sita Devi insisted Lakshmana to go and assist his elder brother. Lakshmana drew a line on the sand around the hermit chanting Agni Mantra. This line is what we know as Lakshmana Rekha. Unwanted devil or bad persons or animals that enters the line will burn to ashes. When Lakshmana left, Ravana appeared as sage and begged for food. Sita came near and to pour the fruits in his hand bag, but Ravana snatched Sita devi. A brilliant light and fire came in between, since Ravana was a great demon he could withstand the glaze. Ravana then kidnapped Sita Devi and took to his palace in SriLanka. But something quick happened in-between the brilliant glaze of fire. Agni- the fire god exchanged Vedavathi in place of Sita & took the real Sita to his home. Sita devi then stayed in Agni’s home like a Daughter in her native. Vedavathi who was look alike Sita was in Lanka bearing all the pain.
Lord Rama won the battle against Ravana & Vibhishana was made the King of Lanka. Vibhishana gave his first order as a king to Release mother Sita with full respect. For a shocker of life, Lord Rama said to arrange the Agni Pareeksha for Sita to prove her chaste. But infact Lord Rama knew about Sita staying in Agni’s home. But to show it to the World, Lord ordered the Fire test. When Sita (Vedavathi) jumped in a big fire, God Agni appeared with two Sita’s. All except Lord Rama were stunned. Agni said what happened to all, & requested Lord Rama to accept Vedavathi too as his Wife. Even Sita devi too agreed for this proposal of Agni. Lord Rama said, in his Life he will marry only once & promised Vedavathi that he will wed her in Kaliyuga.
This promise had to be kept & Lord descended on earth to Marry Padmavathi (Vedavathi), who was found born on a thousand petal lotus to King Akasharaja.
Bringing Lord on earth was not so easy. When the Dark age known as Kaliyuga began, people started to tell lies, steal money and used to indulge in more and more unfaithful and harmful ways of life. Lord Brahma knew only if Lord Vishnu makes a permanent adobe on Earth, nothing can help mankind from total distruction. So Brahma called upon his son Narada and said to make arrangement so that Lord Vishnu will stay on Earth till the end of Kaliyuga. Narada a unmarried sage who is known for his brilliant tricky talks and his unmatched devotion on Lord Vishnu, thought with Lord Vishnu’s Blessings he can accomplish this task. He first decided to go the best possible holy men residing place known as Naimisharanyam.
Here at a place few holy sages had gathered to perform a Sacrifice or Yagna to please the Gods & bless all the creatures on earth. The yagna was going on smoothly until Sage Narada appeared. Narada was welcomed and was made to sit on a higher platform than all the sages since he is a divine person. Narada with a pleasing smile said, “I am very happy to see such holy sages performing a great Sacrifice. I am really blessed to be here. But I am very curious to know to which god you are offering your sacrifice”. This stunned all the sages present and all were dumbstruck. Narada again broke the silence and said, I am sure you holy men know to which god to offer the fruits of yagna. But all decide and offer to only one god who can fulfill all your needs. Now you tell among the Trimurthis (Brahma, Vishnu & Maheshwara) to whom are you offering such great yagna phalam. If you all don’t have a common answer, then their is no point of continuing the yagna. Better to stop it here.
Some sages started to discuss among the seated near to them in low voice. Apparently some were getting angry on Narada for causing confusion in the middle. Some Sages made firm voice and said that Lord Brahma who created the entire universe should be the sole recipient of the Yagna Phalam. Some sages said, Its Lord Vishnu, because he is the one who sustains life, and sustaining life is more important than creating Life. Some sages pointed out, Lord Shiva is the best option since he removes the life from the ageing body, and without him the entire planet would be full of people. Rest of the sages were so confused that they didn’t speak at all. Narada who was listening to all said, why don’t you holy men find out who is the best among the Trimurthis to receive your offerings. For this you have to test the Gods. All the sages fell on Narada’s feet and begged not to push them in the fire. Testing Gods is not a simple task. All requested Narada to say a plan to find out who is the best among the Trimurthis.
Narada as usual smiling said, Holy men, don’t be disturbed by my Suggestion. You all have to test the Trimurthis. Infact you are doing such great sacrifice, you have all rights to test them. Now all go and request Brighu Maharishi to test the Gods. He is the only person on the Planet now who has the power to test them. Brighu was a very great personality. He was having a invisible Gyananetra ( Knowledge eyes) in his right feet. Brighu was also known for his high bad temper. Brighu was so powerful with his meditation or tapasya he could create a separate universe by himself. He was a normal sage but would get very angry for the slightest mistake. All the sages knew this and approached very cautiously. Brighu was briefed about the situation and suggestion of Narada.
Brighu was shocked and said, I respect your wish and honor the words of Narada. I know what I am going to be if I make a mistake. I am ready to sacrifice my life for you all. But know one thing, Testing Gods is like holding a live coal in hand to know how hot it is. I leave now towards the heavens and get you the answer.
Brighu left the earth and was thinking all his way, how can I test the Gods, or whom to approach first. Brighu felt to test Brahma who was the creator of the Universe. Sure he would be the best. Without the permission of Brahma no one could enter his adobe. Brighu came to the doors of BrahmaLoka and called upon Lord Brahma with folded hands and requested for the entry. Brahma who was having 4 heads was Meditating upon Lord Vishnu on one head, Listening to his consort Saraswathi Devi playing a musical instrument (Veena), on the third head was talking to all the Devathas present their and was ordering them certain works. And with his fourth head was indulged in writing fate of the humans. Infact he was totally occupied. But Brahma pretended that he didn’t hear Brighu calling. Brighu was standing and calling for days & months.
When 3 months was over, the temper inside Brighu sparked and Brighu shouted, Oh Lord Brahma You want to show your Kingly status to me. Your mind is full of Rajoguna. You don’t have the courtesy to atleast let me inside Brahma Loka. You should be punished for your act. Soon Brighu took some water from his Kamandala (small water container) and cursed Brahma that, on Earth you will not be seen or worshiped. Soon Brighu left the Brahma Loka & went to Kailasa which is the dwelling place of Lord Shiva.
Kailasa parvath or Mountains is said to be a icy hills which housed millions of shivagana which include, demigods, demons & humans (Sages). When Brighu went their, it was pin drop silence. No one was in the mountains except Lord Shiva and his consort Goddess Parvathi. Lord Shiva and Parvathi were indulged in enjoying their senses. Brighu waited for about 6 months. Still Lord Shiva didn’t see Brighu. Brighu entered the place and Shiva was so angry & shouted, you are a great sage, and you don’t have common sense not to enter the place where Husband and wife are alone. Brighu’s anger again reached its peak and Brighu shouted and cursed, you both being Father & Mother to me, and Children can come and go any time. But still you are keen on enjoying your senses rather than addressing the son standing and waiting for you. You are full of Thamoguna (being proud of what he is). Let only your genitals be worshipped hereafter.
Brighu left kailasam and went towards Vaikuntam. Brighu just controlled his anger and started to think. Out of 3 two are disqualified. So now its decided that its Lord Vishnu who is fit to receive the fruits of the Yagna. Brighu again thought to give the harsh test to Vishnu and make him get angry. But nothing of that kind of plan flashed in Brighu’s mind. He decided to go and check the situation in Vaikuntam and plan.
On arriving at the doors of Vaikuntam, Brighu didn’t ask permission, and entered. Brighu saw Lord Vishnu casually reclining and Goddess Lakshmi gently pressing Lord’s feet. Brighu without evening calling Lord just went and kicked hard on Lord Vishnu’s chest with his right leg. The Lords Chest which is known as the dwelling place of Goddess Lakshmi. And Lakshmi Devi is Lords very favorite. Lord woke up without angry on his face but just a usual mild smile.
Lord Vishnu said: Oh great sage, My body has become pure from the dust of your holy feet. Kindly forgive me for not noticing your arrival. You have given me the right punishment for not noticing. My hard body would have caused pain in your legs. Please command me what can I do as a apology to my mistake.
Brighu who in heart felt sorry for what he has done, still pretended to be angry and said in hard voice: Press my feet to relax the pain.
Lord who knew all these pressed the Right foot gently. When Brighu relaxed Lord Vishnu pressed and removed the Gyananetra from his right leg which was a blockage in Sages path from achieving much great position. After the pain of squeezing eyes was relaxed, Brighu fell on Lord’s feet and begged for his forgiveness. Brighu said he has done the greatest sin a living being can do. Lord Vishnu said: You have done nothing wrong. All the act you have done is for LokaKalyanam (Wellbeing of all). I have forgiven all your mistakes. Now go to Naimisharanyam where all are waiting for your arrival.
Brighu was very happy with the test results and went back to earth. Here in Vaikuntam it was a totally opposite scene. Lakshmi devi felt very embarrassed by the act of her husband who instead of cursing and burning that sage in to ashes, pressed his legs and blessed him. Lakshmi devi felt she must not stay in the place where she is not given respect. When Lord Vishnu asked why she was so upset, Lakshmi poured her anger on Lord. Lord with smile said: Dear, Brighu is our son, he didn’t mean to hurt or insult you. He came here on a mission he had accepted. All this is for LokaKalyanam. You being the mother of all creation must not feel bad for what the child does. Brighu kicked me like a baby kicks his father while playing.
Lakshmi devi didn’t listen to anything and said, I am leaving Vaikuntam and will not return. I cant stay where I was insulted. You and your son stay here. Immediately Lakshmi devi left Vaikuntam. She settled in a place called a Khollapuram ( Kollapur in Maharastra ). As soon as she left Vaikuntam, the entire charm and glitter of Vaikuntam faded. It looked like a barren place. Lord Vishnu couldn’t bear the separation from Lakshmi. He felt very dishearten and dull. Lord said, Where there is no Lakshmi in Vaikuntam, I too will not stay in Vaikuntam. I will go to earth and bring her back. With bare hands without any weapons and comfort clothing Lord descended on earth.
This is the moment when Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntam and descended on earth which Lord Brahma had suggested. All by the plans of great sage Narada. Legend says Lord Vishnu placed his first foot on earth on the hills of Narayanagiri in Tirumala. For the arrival of Lord the Nature had carved a Shila Thoranam or natural Stone arc which is about 2500 million years old as per the ASI dept. Nature has carved Shanka, Chakra, Garuda, Tirunamam & many similar images. The entire image is a masterpiece of natural architecture. We find many stone arch around the world. But nothing is much older or atleast to the age of these stones.
When Brighu arrived at Naimisharanyam and said what had happened in all the Three places, the present sages were overwhelmed with joy. They decided to offer all the future yagna phalam to Lord Vishnu only. So we even today after every Havana say “……Karomi yagnath sakalam purasmai Sriman Narayanayethi samarpayami”.
Lord when came on earth lost all his glamour and looked like a normal human being. Lord started experiencing thirst, pain, hunger & sleep. Lord roamed on the Tirumala hills for a long time and decided to take shelter under a anthill. Goddess Lakshmi who left Vaikuntam sat under a huge tree in Khollapuram and started to meditate. Seeing the condition of Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva decided to at least provide some food to the Lord. Both went to Lakshmi Devi and said the situation and explained their plan. Lord Shiva would become the Cow & Brahma would become the calf. Goddess Lakshmi would become a Cowherd women and sell them to the King of that area.
The divine cowherd women with the divine cow and calf came near the Queen to sell them. Lakshmi Devi advertized the good quality of the cow breed & said its milk is very tasty. Both will be like a moon among the stars in their cow shed. Queen was very attracted by their physic and appearance. Queen decided to buy but Lakshmi devi just said to give 2 pieces of raw turmeric sticks as the price. So the deal was done. Queen ordered the royal cowherd to take special care of the cow and calf and keep them in good condition and send the milk separately to her.
The royal cowherd was very happy with the divine cow’s inclusion. Everyday he used to take them to Venkatachala hills (Tirumala hills) for grazing. The divine cow would separate itself from the rest of the herd & sneak the way thru the thick forest and used to pour its entire milk on the opening in the anthill. Lord Vishnu would drink it to quench his thirst and hunger. This happened for many days. Queen who was expecting the milk from the divine cow didn’t receive any till date. She called the royal cowherd and said, he was drinking the divine cow’s milk by himself & cheating the Queen. Queen said, if tomorrow he fails, his head would be removed. The frightened cowherd decided to keep a tight vigil and watch its every movement the next day.
The divine cow as usual separated itself and went into the forest. Even the cowherd also went behind it. He was surprised to notice the miracle. He immediately went to the royal court and said. King & he both came to the place. Both were surprised to see the cow pouring the entire breastful of milk into the tiny opening of the anthill. King ordered to break the anthill, & the cowherd who had axe with him came forward to hit. The divine cow obstructed, the king said to kill the cow first for blocking the way. When the cowherd raised his axe to hit, just in nick of time, it disappeared & the falling axe broke the anthill & hit the Lord on his forehead. Immediately the King & the cowherd became ghosts. King for ordering to kill the cow & the cowherd for hitting Lord. Both begged for forgiveness. The ever pleasing Lord said, Once he gets married both will be released from the curse and go to heavens.
Bleeding Lord with huge pain went in search of some water and medication. A distance from their was a tiny temple of AdiVaraha Swami. Their was a holy old lady named Vakulamalika (Vakuladevi). Lord came near the Temple & Vrahaswami knew who was coming. So Vrahaswami instructed Vakula to take care of the person who is bleeding & treat him as her son. She took the Lord to her hut and medicated him for the wound and gave him fruits to eat. She also named Lord seeing the big mole on his right chest as Srinivasa.
Vakulamalika was Yashodha in her previous birth in Dwaparayuga. She was the care taking Mother of Lord Krishna. Yashodha was very fond of Krishna & in that period Lord Krishna married eight times. None of the Marriages were performed in front of her or she didn’t see any of Lord Krishna’s Marriage. During the Last moments of her life, Lord asked what is she wants, She didn’t see any of his marriage and that was the saddest part of her life. Lord promised that in next Yuga (Kaliyuga) she will be the sole in charge of his marriage & entire marriage arrangements would be made by her. To keep up that promise and to see the marriage of Lord Krishna in Kaliyuga Vakulamalika took birth.
Both mother and son, Vakula & Srinivasa were very happy with the wonderful surroundings & tasty food prepared by Vakula. Lord everyday would roam casually around the forest and come back before dark. One day Lord decided to go for hunting. Vakula at once refused but on insisting she agreed half heartedly. She decorated Srinivasa like a hunter man and sent him and said to watch around carefully for wild animals. Srinivasa while roaming reached near the Palace of King Akasharaja. Their he saw beautiful princess playing with her friends. Their immediately from nowhere a wild big tusker appeared and started to chase the playing princess. Princess was chased by the elephant and she screamed for help. Soon Lord came to her rescue & held the elephant by its talk and stopped it.
The elephant with pain bowed and went back running into the deep forest. Both Lord and Princess saw each other for the first time. Both fell in deep love on one another. Soon the playmates of Princess came to the scene. They noticed a dark tall hunter man looking at their friend princess without blinking the eyes. Even Princess too was in the same stage. One of the playmates shouted, who are you, why did you come here? Don’t you know this is a Royal area and you would be punished for coming here? Nothing went into Srinivasa’s ears. He was totally out of his mind seeing the Princess. Srinivasa with a soft tone asked, what is your name? to the Princess. With a cute smile Princess said, She is Padmavathi, the daughter of King Akasharaja.
The playmates said to leave the place at once to Srinivasa. Suddenly Lord Proposed Padmavathi for Marriage. All the playmates started to tease Srinivasa saying, You need a princess for marriage. You are just a hunter. But again Lord expressed his desire. Padmavathi was happy in her heart and mind but couldn’t express her feelings. The playmates then decided to chase the man out of the area and started throwing stones on him. The stones hurt Lord all around the body. This stone pelting on Lord was because, Lord in Dwaparayuga as Krishna had threw stones on Gopikas. They too were hurt. So in this life they took back the revenge. And the Princess Padmavathi is none other than Vedavathi in Trethayuga.
Lord Srinivasa returned to the hut, & Vakula was shocked to see the wounds on his body. Vakula asked did any animal trouble you, did you fall, please tell me what happened? Lord then said all the things which happened and said, without marrying Padmavathi he cannot be alrite. Vakula then promised that she would go to the palace with his marriage proposal very soon. Day by day the Srinivasa was restless and was not even eating or sleeping properly. Vakula thought in one or two days he will forget. But it started to deepen more and more. Even the scene in Akasharaja’s palace was similar. Here Padmavathi was too behaving the same. Both always were thinking of each other.
Finally Vakula decided to take the proposal of marriage to king. Lord knew it was not a easy task. So before Vakula reached the palace, Lord transformed himself as a sooth saying women & went near the Palace. She was immediately invited into the palace by the Queen to ask for the remedy for the sadness of the Princess. The soothsayer said, she is in love with a handsome tall dark young guy in the forest & she wish to marry him. His mother might anytime bring the proposal to the marriage. Queen said to stop the rubbish saying and ordered to leave the palace at once.
Even King Akasharaja too heard the soothsayer’s words. Akasharaja remembered: The just born baby was laying on the 1000 petal Lotus in Padma Sarovara. He had bought that child and adopted it. Narada had come to see the baby and made some predictions. Narada said to Akasharaja that, The child was very fortunate & the Lines in her hand look similar to the lines on the hands of Goddess Lakshmi in Vaikuntam. The padma Rekha was very strong and to name the child as Padmavathi. Narada also said that, She will marry Lord Vishnu. Narada also said to keep this information for himself.
King was pleased to feel that the divine moment of handing over the daughter’s hand in marriage to Lord Vishnu is approaching. He was knew who will become his Son in Law. As said by Narada he couldn’t say that to anyone else. Vakula reached the Palace gate and sent her message to meet the King. Vakula was thinking that she will be dishonored and sent back. But King sent command to bring her with full respect and honor. She was offered a seat and the King requested her purpose of visit. Vakula said: My adopted Son Srinivasa had seen your daughter in the royal gardens. From then he is willing to marry her.
King said: It’s a very nice proposal, but first my daughter has to agree. Only then the marriage is possible. Queen was shocked to see the act of the King. She immediately requested the King to come aside in the neighboring chamber and asked why he was giving the hands of the royal princess daughter to a hunter man. But King said, he knows what he is doing and said she will come to know what is the fact very soon.
Padmavathi was called on & she came in front of Vakula. King asked weather she had seen that hunter man & what about marrying him. Padmavathi with smile walked fast into her royal chamber. This was understood she is willing to be wedded with the Hunter man Srinivasa. The King was very happy and sent Vakula with Royal chariot to her hut. Lord who knew what all happened, pretended that he was eagerly waiting. He asked, Mother pleas tell me what happened? Did you see Padmavathi? Did the King agree for Marriage?
Vakula said what all happened and both were very happy. Vakula in few days received a formal marriage proposal from the bride side. The proposal also contained, Loads of jewels, cows, assistants, chariots, and much more. Vakula said to Lord, Dear son, we too should send something after accepting the proposal. We must not send back bear handed. Do some arrangements for money needed for marriage. Lord then decided to take loan from the King of riches called Kubera.
The agreement is written very nicely in Venkatachala Mahatyam.
RnagrAhi Srinivasa DhanadayE DhaneshwaraHa
AtmakAryam Nimithuntu kaLyAnArtha
KalauyugE VaisakhE shukLa
sapThamyAm VilanbE CaivavatsarE
Means: Lord Srinivasa is the Borrower
Kubera is the money lender
Borrowing for the Personal reasons of marriage in kaliyuga
on the seventh day of the bright fortnight of the month of Vaisakha, in the Vilambi nama Samvatsara.
NishkANAm RAmamudrANAm LakshAnica Caturdasa
Dravyam Datham DhanEsEna VriDhigrahaNakAraNAt
Samvridhi Diditsata Moolam SvEkrtam ChakrapANinA
Means: Lord of Riches Kubera gives 14 Lakh Niskas (Gold coins) minted with Ramamudra. Loan given by Kubera for earning interest & Lord Chakrapani having agreed to pay the Moolam (principal) & interest.
VivAhavarsha MAracya sahasrAntE Dhanam punaha
Datavyam YaksharajAya SrinivasEna sAngiNa
Means: After Marriage year & end of thousand years after marriage, Lord Srinivasa shall repay the loan amount to yaksharaja Kubera
Ekaha sAkshE caturvaktrO Dviteeyastu TrilOcanaha
triteeyO Saktyarajastu Vethi Sarvamidam Drudam
IdyEtaRnapatram tu SrinivasO Likhatsvayam
Means: First witness for the Loan is 4 faced Brahma, Second is 3 eyed Shiva & the third witness is King of Trees Ashwatha. The entire agreement was written by Lord himself under the Ashwatha tree near Swami Pushkarni.
……………… will add more