Venkateswara (Sanskrit: वेङ्कटेश्वर, IAST:
Veṅkaṭēśvara), also known as Śrīnivāsa, Bālājī,
Veṅkaṭā, Venkata Ramana, Veṅkaṭācalapati and Govindha, is
a form of the Hindu god Vishnu. Venkateswara's most prominent temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple located in Tirupathi, Andhra
Pradesh in Southern India.
2 Origin of shrine
4 Venkateswara's debt to Kubera
5 See also
7 External links
Venkateswara literally means "Lord of Venkata". The word is a
combination of the words Venkata (the name of a hill in Andhra
Pradesh) and isvara ("Lord"). According to the Brahmanda and
Bhavishyottara Puranas, the word "Venkata" means "destroyer of sins",
deriving from the
Sanskrit words vem (sins) and kata (power of
Origin of shrine
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.
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.
Venkateswara with consorts
Bhudevi and Padmavati.
Parashakthi Temple in Pontiac, Michigan, USA
Main article: Legend of Tirumala
This article uncritically uses texts from within a religion or faith
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According to the
Tirumala sthala Purana, the legend of
Once, sages headed by
Kashyapa began to perform a fire sacrifice
(homa) on the banks of the Ganges. Sage
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 (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
Brahma reciting the four
Vedas in praise of Vishnu, with each of
his four heads, and attended upon by his consort Saraswati.
Bhrigu offering obeisance. The angry sage cursed
left Satyaloka. He then reached Kailash, the abode of the god Shiva.
Shiva deep in meditation with his wife
Parvati by his
side. Feeling ignored,
Shiva too and left for Vaikuntha,
the abode of Vishnu.
Vishnu was resting on the serpent
Shesha with his
Lakshmi in service at his feet.
Bhrigu was infuriated and
Vishnu on his chest, the place of
Lakshmi in Vishnu's body. To
pacify the sage,
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 concluded that
Vishnu was supreme of the
Trimurti and informed
the sages the same.
Lakshmi was angered by Vishnu's action of placating
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 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,
Shiva assumed the forms of a cow and
its calf to serve him.
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.
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 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 rose from the ant-hill and cursed the
king to become an
Rakshasa (demon) because of the fault of his
servant. Upon the king pleading innocence,
Vishnu blessed him to be
born as Akasa Raja and that the curse would end when
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 (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 before him.
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
Vakula Devi that unless he married Padmavati, he would not be
Srinivasa then narrated the story of Padmavati’s previous birth as
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 lent money to
Srinivasa to meet the expenses of the marriage. Srinivasa, along with
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 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
the temple, turmeric, kumkum and a sari are sent from the temple to
Alamelu Mangapuram, the abode of Padmavati Devi.
Venkateswara's debt to Kubera
Every year, lakhs of devotees donate a large amount of wealth at the
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple
Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Goddess
Lakshmi, also referred as Sri, once had a fight with Lord
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 hills in the form of a forest
gatherer and continued the search. During the search, Lord
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
The father of Padmavati asked for a huge bridal price and to pay the
Vishnu took a large loan from Kubera, the Hindu god who is
the treasurer of wealth.
Kubera gave the loan on the condition that
Vishnu cannot return to Vaikunta (heavenly abode) without paying off
the debt.
Vishnu resides at
returning to Vaikunta until the payment is made. To help him repay his
debt, devotees offer him wealth and in return Lord
their prayers. In 2014, an RTI petition was filed by Narasimha
Murti, an RTI activist belonging to Bangalore, seeking to know
"how much Lord
Venkateswara had received from Lord
Kubera and how many
more years it would take for the devotees to clear this debt".
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Venkateswara.
Venkateswara Temple, Dwaraka Tirumala
^ 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)
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
^ a b c Hemanth Kashyap (11 December 2014). "He Seeks Answers from the
God of 'Big' Things".
Bangalore Mirror. Retrieved 20 October
Avatars of Vishnu
1 The list of ten avatars varies regionally. The two
substitutions involve Balarama,
Krishna and Buddha is considered the
avatar of Vishnu.
Krishna is almost always included; in exceptions, he
is considered the source of all avatars.
Hindu deities and texts
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Venkateswara Temple, Tirumala
Malayappa swami (Consort Sridevi / Bhudevi)
Krishna (Consort Rukmini)
Chakram (celestial weapon)