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Venkateswara
Venkateswara
(Sanskrit: वेङ्कटेश्वर, IAST: Veṅkaṭēśvara), also known as Śrīnivāsa, Bālājī, Veṅkaṭā, Venkata Ramana, Veṅkaṭācalapati and Govindha,[1] is a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. Venkateswara's most prominent temple is the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
located in Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh in Southern India.

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Origin of shrine 3 Legend 4 Venkateswara's debt to Kubera 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Etymology[edit] Venkateswara
Venkateswara
literally means "Lord of Venkata".[2][3] The word is a combination of the words Venkata (the name of a hill in Andhra Pradesh) and isvara ("Lord").[4] According to the Brahmanda and Bhavishyottara Puranas, the word "Venkata" means "destroyer of sins", deriving from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
words vem (sins) and kata (power of immunity).[5] Origin of shrine[edit] Thirumalai finds mention in Sangam literature, where Sangam landscape was classified into five categories, known as thinais, based on the mood, the season and the land. Tolkappiyam, mentions that each of these thinai had an associated deity and mentions Thirumaal as presiding in Mullai region- the forests.[6] The Tirumala
Tirumala
hill is located in the temple town of Tirumala, where Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
is located on this hill. The ancient Tamil texts describe its Venkata peak as the northernmost Tondaimandalam (Thondai Nadu) part of Tamilakam.[7][8] Legend[edit]

Lord Venkateswara
Venkateswara
with consorts Bhudevi
Bhudevi
and Padmavati.

Lord Sri Venkateswara
Venkateswara
at Parashakthi Temple
Parashakthi Temple
in Pontiac, Michigan, USA

Main article: Legend of Tirumala

This article uncritically uses texts from within a religion or faith system without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. Please help improve this article by adding references to reliable secondary sources, with multiple points of view. (February 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

According to the Tirumala
Tirumala
sthala Purana, the legend of Venkateswara
Venkateswara
is as follows: Once, sages headed by Kashyapa
Kashyapa
began to perform a fire sacrifice (homa) on the banks of the Ganges. Sage Narada
Narada
visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who is the patron deity of the sacrifice. Unable to answer, the sages approached Sage Bhrigu
Bhrigu
(who had an extra eye in the sole of his foot) to determine the worthy patron god among the Trimurti, the Hindu trinune gods. Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of the god Brahma. At Satyaloka, he found Brahma
Brahma
reciting the four Vedas
Vedas
in praise of Vishnu, with each of his four heads, and attended upon by his consort Saraswati. Brahma
Brahma
did not notice Bhrigu
Bhrigu
offering obeisance. The angry sage cursed Brahma
Brahma
and left Satyaloka. He then reached Kailash, the abode of the god Shiva. Bhrigu
Bhrigu
found Shiva
Shiva
deep in meditation with his wife Parvati
Parvati
by his side. Feeling ignored, Bhrigu
Bhrigu
cursed Shiva
Shiva
too and left for Vaikuntha, the abode of Vishnu. At Vaikuntha, Vishnu
Vishnu
was resting on the serpent Shesha
Shesha
with his consort Lakshmi
Lakshmi
in service at his feet. Bhrigu
Bhrigu
was infuriated and kicked Vishnu
Vishnu
on his chest, the place of Lakshmi
Lakshmi
in Vishnu's body. To pacify the sage, Vishnu
Vishnu
held his legs and pressed them gently. He squeezed the extra eye in Bhrigu's foot - the symbol of his egotism. The sage realized his folly and apologized to Vishnu. There upon, Bhrigu
Bhrigu
concluded that Vishnu
Vishnu
was supreme of the Trimurti
Trimurti
and informed the sages the same. Lakshmi
Lakshmi
was angered by Vishnu's action of placating Bhrigu
Bhrigu
who had kicked her place in Vishnu's body and thus insulted her. She abandoned her heavenly abode and resided in Karavirapur (Kolhapur) on earth. After her departure, a forlorn Vishnu
Vishnu
followed suit and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata hill, meditating for the return of Lakshmi, without food or sleep. Taking pity on Vishnu, Brahma
Brahma
and Shiva
Shiva
assumed the forms of a cow and its calf to serve him. Lakshmi
Lakshmi
in the form of a cowherdess sold the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country. The Chola king sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Vishnu
Vishnu
on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed him. Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola queen chastised the royal cow herder severely. To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cow herder followed the cow secretly and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill. Angered by the conduct of the cow, the cow herder flung his axe to harm the cow. However, Vishnu
Vishnu
rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When the cow herder saw Vishnu bleed by the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock. The cow returned to the 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 and found the cow herder lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. Vishnu
Vishnu
rose from the ant-hill and cursed the king to become an Rakshasa
Rakshasa
(demon) because of the fault of his servant. Upon the king pleading innocence, Vishnu
Vishnu
blessed him to be born as Akasa Raja and that the curse would end when Vishnu
Vishnu
will be adorned with a crown presented by Akasa Raja at the time of his marriage with Padmavati. Thereafter, Vishnu, as Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha
Varaha
Kshetra and requested Varaha
Varaha
(the boar avatar of Vishnu) to grant him a site for his stay. Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to his shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and the worship of Varaha
Varaha
before him. Vishnu
Vishnu
built a hermitage and lived there, attended to by Vakula Devi 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 Tondamandalam. The childless Akasa Raja performed a sacrifice to gain an heir. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields. The plough struck a lotus, which had an infant girl in it. Upon the advice of a divine voice that the girl would be a harbinger of fortune, the king adopted the girl and named her Padmavati, since she was found in a lotus (padma). The princess grew up into a beautiful maiden and was attended by a host of maids. One day, Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the Venkata hills. In the elephant's pursuit, he was led into a garden, where Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers. The wild elephant frightened the princess. But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted Srinivasa and disappeared into the forest. 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. Srinivasa informed Vakula Devi that unless he married Padmavati, he would not be calmed. Srinivasa then narrated the story of Padmavati’s previous birth as Vedavati
Vedavati
and his promise to marry her. After listening to Srinivasa's story, Vakula devi offered to go to Akasa Raja and his queen and arrange for the marriage. On the way, she met the maids of Padmavati and learnt from them that Padmavati was also pining for Srinivasa. Vakula Devi went along with the maid servants to the Queen. Meanwhile, Akasa Raja and his queen Dharanidevi were anxious about the health of their daughter Padmavati. They learnt about Padmavati's love for Srinivasa. Akasa Raja consulted Brihaspati, the guru of the gods, about the marriage and was informed that the marriage was in the best interest of both the parties. The god of wealth, Kubera
Kubera
lent money to Srinivasa to meet the expenses of the marriage. Srinivasa, along with Brahma
Brahma
and Shiva
Shiva
started the journey to the residence of Akasa Raja on his vahana Garuda. At the palace entrance, Srinivasa was received by Akasha Raja with full honours and was taken in procession on an elephant to the palace. In the presence of all the gods, Srinivasa married Padmavati, thus blessing Akasa Raja. Together, they lived for all eternity while Lakshmi
Lakshmi
chose to live in his heart forever. Venkateswara's chief temple is located at the top of the Seven hills in Tirumala, the location of the divine marriage. A kalyana utsavam celebrates the divine marriage. Even today, during the Brahmotsavam
Brahmotsavam
at the temple, turmeric, kumkum and a sari are sent from the temple to Alamelu
Alamelu
Mangapuram, the abode of Padmavati Devi. Venkateswara's debt to Kubera[edit] Every year, lakhs of devotees donate a large amount of wealth at the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.[9] Goddess Lakshmi, also referred as Sri, once had a fight with Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
and left Vaikunta. She came and settled on earth in disguise. Lord Vishnu soon arrived on earth searching for Goddess Lakshmi. But He failed to find her and instead settled on Tirumala
Tirumala
hills in the form of a forest gatherer and continued the search. During the search, Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
met a beautiful girl named Padmavati who was the daughter of the King of the seven hills in Tirumala. They both fell in love and decided to get married. The father of Padmavati asked for a huge bridal price and to pay the money Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
took a large loan from Kubera, the Hindu god who is the treasurer of wealth. Kubera
Kubera
gave the loan on the condition that Vishnu
Vishnu
cannot return to Vaikunta (heavenly abode) without paying off the debt.[citation needed] Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
resides at Tirumala
Tirumala
as Tirupati
Tirupati
Venkateswara
Venkateswara
without returning to Vaikunta until the payment is made. To help him repay his debt, devotees offer him wealth and in return Lord Vishnu
Vishnu
fulfills their prayers. In 2014, an RTI petition was filed by Narasimha Murti,[10] an RTI activist[10] belonging to Bangalore, seeking to know "how much Lord Venkateswara
Venkateswara
had received from Lord Kubera
Kubera
and how many more years it would take for the devotees to clear this debt".[10] See also[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Venkateswara.

Annamacharya Sri Venkateswara
Venkateswara
Mahatyam Sri Tirupati
Tirupati
Venkateswara
Venkateswara
Kalyanam Venkateswara
Venkateswara
Temple, Dwaraka Tirumala

References[edit]

^ Tourist Guide to Andhra Pradesh. Sura Books. 1992. p. 21.  ^ Daniel C. Maguire; Harold Coward (2000). Visions of a New Earth. SUNY Press. p. 115.  ^ William Schweiker (2008). The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics. John Wiley & Sons. p. 474.  ^ John Stratton Hawley and Vasudha Narayanan (2006). The Life of Hinduism. University of California Press. p. 233. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link) ^ Nanditha Krishna
Krishna
(2000). Balaji-Venkateshwara, Lord of Tirumala-Tirupati. Vakils, Feffer, and Simons. p. 49.  ^ Kanakasabhai & 10. ^ Kanakasabhai, V (1997). The Tamils Eighteen Hundred Years Ago. Asian Educational Services. p. 10. ISBN 8120601505.  ^ Abraham, Shinu (2003). "Chera, Chola, Pandya: using archaeological evidence to identify the Tamil kingdoms of early historic South India". Asian Perspectives. 42.  ^ "Why do we Hindus offer Gold and large amount of money at Tirupati Balaji Temple?". Hindu Blog. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2016.  ^ a b c Hemanth Kashyap (11 December 2014). "He Seeks Answers from the God of 'Big' Things". Bangalore
Bangalore
Mirror. Retrieved 20 October 2016. 

External links[edit]

Official Tirumala
Tirumala
Homepage

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Avatars of Vishnu

Dashavatara

Matsya Kurma Varaha Narasimha Vamana Parashurama Rama Balarama1 Krishna1 Buddha1 Kalki

Other avatars

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1 The list of ten avatars varies regionally. The two substitutions involve Balarama, Krishna
Krishna
and Buddha is considered the avatar of Vishnu. Krishna
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is almost always included; in exceptions, he is considered the source of all avatars.

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Venkateswara

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