Oct 15: The Lord of Tiruppati

15 Oct

Hemaji from Dallas spoke on the divine glories of Lord Venkateshwara of Tiruppati and the Divine Mother, on the occasion of the Pradishta Dinam of Sri Srinivasa Perumal of Tiruppati and at Premika Bhavanam in Chennai.

Before the advent of Kaliyuga, the Rishis headed by Kashyapa began to perform a sacrifice (yagnya) on the banks of Saraswati for the goodness of people in the Kaliyuga. Sage Narada and Sage Bhrigu visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who would be pleased by it. The Rishis were unable to come to a conclusion and hence it was agreed that Sage Bhrigu should undertake the difficult task of finding out who is the most supreme of the trinity. Sage Bhirgu went to Satyaloka to meet Lord Brahma. At Satyaloka, Bhrigu rishi found Brahma was reciting the four Vedas and he did not notice Sage Bhrigu offering his obeisance to him. Sage Bhirgu concluded that Brahma was unfit for worship so he proceeded to Kailasha from Brahmaloka. When Bhirgu rishi went to Kailasha, he found Lord Shiva with goddess Parvati and did not notice the Rishi Bhrigu and hence he turned to Vaikunta. In Vaikunta Lord Vishnu was reposing on the bed of the Adisesha and Goddess Lakshmi was respectfully nursing his feet. When Sage Bhrigu’s eyes caught sight of this, he was in a state of anguish because he thought that Lord Vishnu was not really sleeping, but only pretending to sleep just so to insult him.The sage was infuriated and he kicked to Lord Vishnu on his chest, the place where Mahalakshmi resides. At once the Lord Vishnu hastened to the agitated Sage Bhrigu and said “ Oh Revered Sage, my chest is the strongest thing in the world, akin to a mountain, and your feet are so soft. You might have got hurt while kicking me and so  please forgive me for that.” Listening to this word of Lord Vishnu, Sage Bhrigu became very calm and felt very guilty and he decided that Vishnu was the most supreme of the trinity and informed the Rishis the same.

Therefore all rishis decided that Sri Vishnu was the fruit of the Yaga and sacrifice was thus offered to Lord Vishnu. The apologetic action of Lord Vishnu put  Goddess Mahalakshmi  in a state of distress. Being tormented by this action of the Lord she left Vaikunta and came to dwell in Karavirapur. After the departure of Goddess Mahalakshmi a forlorn Lord Vishnu also left Vaikunta, and came down to Earth. His quest led him to the Seshadri hills and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata Hill. He started to meditate for the return of Lakshmi, without food or sleep.  Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva came to know about the separation of Vishnu and Lakshmi, and hence decided to intervene. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva thus disguised as cow and its calf and went to live at the place of a Chola king. The Sun god came to know about the plans of Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva and thus confided this to Goddess Mahalakshmi about their plans.  He requested her to sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country after disguising in the form of a  lady cowherd. The goddess acted accordingly and the chola king bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze in the Seshadri hills. On this hill, the cow would sneak away to visit the anthill where Vishnu was living without sustenance. Emptying her udder, the cow would then return to the palace. The queen was angry because cow never yielded any milk and chastised the cowherd. The cowherd thus decided to find out the reason for the lack of milk and followed the cow silently and saw the emptying her milk over the ant-hill. Incensed by the conduct of the cow, he aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. But Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow. When cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe she was very shocked.

The cow then returned bellowing in fright to the Chola king with blood stains over the body. The Chola king decided to find out the reason for the cow’s terror and thus followed her to the scene of the incident. The King found the cowherd lying dead near the ant-hill. He stood wondering how it had happened and in the meanwhile, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and convicted the Chola King that he was responsible for all this and thus cursed him that he will become an Asura for the fault of his servant. The Chola king entreated the Lord who pleaded innocent and then Lord Vishnu blessed him by saying that his curse would come to an end when he the Lord would be adorned with the crown presented by Akasha Raja at the time of His marriage with Sri Padmavati.

After giving benediction to the Chola king, Srinivasa decided to stay in the Varaha Kshetra. He hence requested Sri Varahaswami to grant him an hermitage for his stay. He readily agreed to the Lord’s request and lived there. Vakuladevi also lived with the Lorf and she attended to the needs of the Lord akin to a mother. In the realms of Varaha kshetra there was a king named King Akasha Raja and he did not have any children. He decided to perform a sacrifice for the same. One day while ploughing the fields, he found a beautiful baby girl sleeping on a golden lotus. The king was so happy to find a child and he gave it to his Queen.  The king christened her as Padmavathi. She grew up as a beautiful and accomplished girl. Padmavathy had earlier been granted a boon in her previous birth that she would be married to Lord Vishnu.

As years passed by Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and she was attended by a host of maids. One day while she was picking flowers with her maids in her garden, Sage Narada approached her. He assured her that he was her well-wisher, he asked her to show her palm to adumbrate her future. He foretold to the princess that she was destined to be the spouse of Lord Vishnu himself.

At the same time, Lord Srinivasa went for hunting in the forest and chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. During the pursuit of the elephant, he was led to the garden, where princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers. He was stunned and totally attracted by her beauty. Even the princess was drawn to Lord Srinivasa, but the angry attendants thought that he was a mere hunter and drove him away. Lord Srinivasa met with princess Padmavati and her maids and explained to them in detail about his birth and parentage. When he came to know that the princess was Padmavati, the foster daughter of Akasaraja, he decided to marry her and made advance to the princess but he was repulsed with stones by the maids.
Vakuladevi found him lying on his bed and she enquired the Lord for the cause of his sickness. The Lord confided in her that unless he secured Princess Padmavati, he would not be alright and he also told her all story of Padmavati’s previous birth and his promise to wed her. Vakuladevi thought that the Lord would not be happy unless he married Padmavati and so she offered to go to Akasha raja and his queen with the marriage proposal.

Meanwhile king Akasharaja and the queen became worried regarding the health of their daughter. They learnt about Padmavati’s love for Lord Srinivasa of Venkata Hill. Akasaraja went to consult Sage Brihaspati about the marriage and was informed that the marriage was in the best interests.

Kubera lent money to the Lord to do the arrangements for the marriage. On the day of the wedding, the Lord Lord Srinivasa was took bath in holy waters of Pushkarini tank and dressed in ornaments befitting a royal bride groom and then he set off in a procession to the court of Akasha Raja along with Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva.  In the palace of Akasha raja, a warm welcome was offered to the Lord and he was hailed with an arthi and led to the marriage hall. The queen and King washed the Lord’s feet while sage Vasishta chanted the Vedic mantras. Soon the wedding was over with all ritual and after that Padmavati and Srinivasa went to Venkatachala hill and lived there happily ever after.

The satsang ended with prayers and Nama Sankirtan.

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