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A Site Worth Visiting
A Trip to Sindh
Ami Ja Nuskha
An interview by V. Patil
As Old As The Hills
Balaji Sri Venkateswara
Bhakti Barve Inmadar
Dreams Can Come True
Food Fit For The Gods
Havans and Talismans
Heavenly Hills of Tirupati
How to Orient a Mandir
Kali Maa
My Stopover in Chicago
My Trip to the Americas
My Trip to Delhi
Peace Without War
Story of Ma Vaishno Devi
The Mystical No. 9
Trip to Bangalore
We Shall Overcome
We, The Sindhis


Balaji Sri Venkateswara

Lord Venkateswara's temple was built as per the principles of Vaastu. The temple faces east, the deity is placed in west, facing east .It is covered by mountains on all sides except northeast. A pond is located to the northeast of the temple. A waterfall is in the northern direction and the
water from it is used for the holy bath of the main deity every day. For those who believe in Vaastu, all this is one of the reasons why it is one of the richest and most popular places of worship in the world.

There are many other reasons.

I love Krishna but unlike Shivji He is a difficult God to please. Shivji is called Bhola (simple) because he is easily pleased with rituals and penance. Krishna on the other hand does not strike an easy bargain. He wants you to surrender totally. He requires your total love and attention. So I find Balaji approachable because it is only in this form, that Krishna (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) makes deals, as He owes money to Kubera which he has to repay. He will listen to your pleas if you help in relieving the debt that He owes. How did He get into such a financial crunch? You guessed it, because Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth had a misunderstanding with her husband and left him! Shocked?, well read on.

Last week I had promised to tell you how the Lord came to live upon Tirumala Hills. 

Once Sage Narada came to visit his father who is Brahma. Brahma was worried that man was falling prey to his animal instincts during Kaliyuga. So sage Narada met some sages who were commencing a great sacrifice to minimize the evil influence. Narada asked the sages who the presiding deity was to be. After much debate it was agreed that Sage Bhrigu undertake the difficult task of finding out who the most 'Satvic' (pure) in nature is amongst the Divine Trio, so that he could enjoy the honor of becoming the presiding deity.

Bhrigu Rishi  went to the court of Brahma first of all. The latter did not accord the respect that he should have to Bhrigu Rishi's visit. In fact Brahma got annoyed at the fact that Bhrigu Rishi had entered the palace without waiting for his permission. Bhrigu Rishi's next visit was to Shivji. The latter was peeved with Bhrigu for having come to his private chamber, at  an inappropriate time. Bhrigu Rishi had felt insulted by both Brahma's and Shivji's attitude. Next Bhrigurishi proceeded to the Ocean of Milk where Vishnu was reclining on His serpentine bed. Bhrigurishi angrily kicked upon the chest of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu apologised for hurting Bhrigu's feet as the latter had hit against the Lord's iron-like chest! Lord Vishnu's humility brought tears to Bhrigu Rishi's eyes. Bhrigu Rishi concluded that Lord Vishnu was undoubtedly  more Satvic (pure) than Brahma and Mahesh.

Lord Vishnu was lauded for His magnanimity. However Goddess Laxmi felt humiliated  and insulted, since Bhrigu Rishi had kicked Lord Vishnu on His chest and the chest of Vishnu is MahaLaxmi's abode. She left Vaikuntha (Heaven) and her Lord in dismay.

As soon as Goddess Laxmi left , all beauty departed with her. Lord Vishnu could not bear to live in Vaikuntha for a moment longer. He walked through half of the world without food or water. He finally  reached the serpentine hills of Sheshaadri (A hill in Tirumala). It felt like home. Lord Vishnu found an anthill. He entered a cave-like hole and sat there to meditate.

PADMAVATI (earlier life)

Padmavati is MahaLaxmi herself who appeared to a great Sage while he was uttering Vedic mantras. In her earlier life, she was called Vedavathi. The sage found through divine insight that only Lord Vishnu was fit enough to be her husband.

In her subsequent life, Vedavathi, as a baby, was found in a casket lying over a big lotus.

The priest solemnly proclaimed that the child was an incarnation of Mother Laxmi and she should be named 'Padmavathi' (The lotus born one).

Lord Vishnu (as Venkateshwara) met Padmavathi and was enamoured by her. He decided to marry her, but was short of funds for the wedding celebrations (as Laxmi was not with Him yet)
So he approached Kubera for a loan. Kubera agreed to give him the funds with the understanding that Lord Venkateshwara would pay the interest during Kaliyuga and the principle thereafter.

So the marriage was solemnised.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead make a deal with the Lord of the Hills. He fulfills your wish and you contribute to the payment of the interest that the Lord owes to Kubera for His marriage expense.

Oh how could I forget to tell you that Laxmi understood the 'Leela' (Drama) of the Lord and how this whole episode had come to pass so that the Lord may reside on Earth during Kaliyuga, and fulfill easily and quickly the devotees' wishes. So She returned to Him and She also dwells in Tirupati. 


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