Monday, March 28, 2016

***The Camphor Dot on Lord Venkateswara’s Chin***

***The Camphor Dot on Lord Venkateswara’s Chin***
***BHAKTA BATSAL GOD BALAJI LORD VENKATESWARA***
 Bhagavan bhaktiyuktena krtan ajnana samyutan
Dosan Sahati yasmatte priyas tasya mahatmanam
(God is not only pleased by the worship done by His steadfast devotee, but also by the innocent mistakes of the
devotee. He works to design the mistake into a pleasant gesture and glorify the honor of His devotee. )
The
story of ananthALvAn (Ananthaalvaan) , which took place during the 11th century CE (Common Era), depicts
the unique love and care of God towards His devotees.
In the olden days, there was a thick forest around the seven hills of Tirumala–Tirupati. Even the steps leading
to the hill were not at all good. Recently, they were set right and more convenient means are available. Earlier,
the priests used to go to the Temple on foot every morning. They used to return home at night. They used to
carry the deity’s ornaments with them and bring them back. Even the Naivedyam (food-offering ) was taken
from the foot of the hill daily. In those days, none used to stay on the hill.
Bhaghavath Ramanuja Acharya (1017-1137) ordained that a flower garden be raised on the hill and its flowers
to be used for decorating Sri Venkateswara Swami. Besides that, the Acharya made arrangements for the
priests to reside on the hill so that the Temple could be in a sanctified atmosphere with continual chanting of
Veda Mantras charged with spiritual power. From then onwards, it became very convenient for priests,
avoiding daily trips to and from their homes.
Bhaghavath Ramanuja Acharya had a disciple called ananthALvAn. ananthALvAn was highly reputed as a
kind hearted person (parama sAdhu). The Acharya ordained ananthALvAn to serve Lord Venkateswara
Swami. ALvAn said, “I will stay on the hill. I will raise a flower garden for the Alankara Seva (decoration
service)”. Everyone was happy.
ananthALvAn and his wife started to dig a tank for supplying water to the flower garden. He used to dig the
soil with a pick-axe and his wife used to remove the soil to throw it a little away. One day Sri Venkateswara
Swami came there in the disguise of a boy and said, “Sir! Let me also serve a little”. ALvAn said “Sorry! In
obedience to the Acharya’s order, only we two must do this work” and sent the boy away. Then the boy went
to the wife of ALvAn and asked her, “At least you give me a chance to serve.” She consented and said,
“Unseen by my husband, throw away the soil behind these trees.” She was in a stage of advanced pregnancy.
Whenever the boy took the basket full of soil, her pain reduced. ALvAn observed that the boy was carrying
the soil. He thought that he failed in performing his self-duty (Svadharma) and said angrily, “When I refused
to accept your service, you approached and convinced her” and struck the boy with the pick-axe in haste.
There was a bleeding injury on the boy’s chin. Astonished by this incident, aLvAn dropped the pick-axe and
approached the little boy. Before ALvAn could reach the little boy, he ran and entered into the Temple in
counter-clockwise direction (apradakshina mArgam). ALvAn was repenting for his cruel behaviour.
The next day, the priests were upset looking at the bleeding chin of the idol. Then they heard the oracle of God
(asherira vani), “I myself went to the flower garden. Do not worry. Ask anantALvAn to apply camphor
(KaRpUram) to this wound. The wound will heal but there will be a scar on me. As Srivatsam indicates the
place and presence of Sri Alamelumanga Devi, the camphor dot on my chin reminds ananthALvAn. This
incident happened with my influence (Maya).” Knowing this, ALvAn felt very sad and said, “Oh! I could not
recognise the Lord and injured Him.” Then he went into the Temple and applied camphor to the chin of Sri
Venkateswara Swami. The scar impression is developed on original Idol of Lord Venkateswara Swami. From
that time onwards, the scar on the chin of the Lord is decorated everyday with camphor. Thus the camphor
dot application gained elements of divinity and eternity. The pick-axe is preserved and displayed in the
Temple premises.
This kind of deeds earned God several titles as “Bhakta Vatsala”, “Bhagavatha Priya” etc. ananthALvAn
earned the grace of God through pure devotion. This incident fascinated poets of later age. Sriman Srishaila
Srirangaacharyar quoted this divine event in his composition, Sri Srinivasa Gadyam:
“… Arya dhurya anatharya pavithra kanithra paatha
paathrikruta nija chubuka vrana kina
vhibushana vahana suchita shritha jana vatsala atishayaha”
(Lord! You received a real bleeding injury when highly revered ananthALvAn struck you with sacred pickaxe
on your chin. You bore the pain of the injury with great patience. And you decorated the scar as an
ornament, indicating that you accepted the pain as a pleasant offering. You did this to bring reverence and
divine glory to your devotee. Just like a cow would care for her calf (Vathsa), you took care of your devotee’s
reputation.)
Sri Annamacharya (1408-1503), the first Vaggeyakara, analysed the stories of Sri Venkateswara Swami’s
devotees. Realising the abundance of grace the Lord bestowed on his devotees, he composed the famous
Sankeertanam, “koNDalalO…” (rAgam—hindOLam; tALam—Adi).
Pallavi: koNDalalO nelakonna kOnETi rAyaDu vADu
koNDalanta varamulu guppeDu vADu
Charanam1: kummara dAsuDaina kuruvarati nambi
immanna varamulella iccina vADu
dommulu cEsinayaTTi toNDamAn cakkuravarti
rammanna cOTiki vacci nammina vADu
Charanam 2: accapu vEDukatO anantALuvAriki
muccili veTTiki mannu mOcina vADu
maccika dolaka tirumala nambi tODuta
nicca nicca mATalADi naccina vADu
Charanam 3: kancilOna nuNDa tirukaccinambi mIda
karuNinci tanayeDaku rappincina vADu
enca yekkuDaina venkaTEsuDu manalaku
mancivADai karuNa pAlincina vADu
(You derived pleasure by deciding to volunteer yourself for ananthALvAn’s project. You carried soil and
earned an injury on your chin as a reward for your free service. This is your divine play and an example of
abundant grace showered on your devotee.)
Similarly, strange customs have crept in the services to the Lord. The food-offering made in earthen pot, the
flower garland, Camphor Arati, and Palanquin procession are some such customs practiced regularly in
Tirumala-Tirupati Temple. The Palanquin procession or ‘back-savAri” is done relating to counter-clockwise
path entrance into the Temple taken by Lord Venkateshwara Swami in the guise of the little boy. The British
rulers observed this custom and called it as “back-savAri.” The legacy of these customs is considered as God’s
boons to his devotees, as a result of their devotional worship.
(Compiled from book KathAsAgaram written by Sri Ganapathi SachchidAnanda Swamiji

Sunday, March 27, 2016

*****About Names of Lord Sri Venkatesha:******

*****About Names of Lord Sri Venkatesha:******

*****LORD VENKATESWARA*****

Lord Venkateswara is also known by other names like:  Sriman-Narayan, Srinivasa, Balaji, Govinda, Vishnu, VenkataNarayana, Perumal, Tirupati-Thimmappa, Venkatachalapati, Sri-Vaaru, Venkatakirshna and Venkataramana.
Meaning of “Venkatesha”“Venkatesha” means supreme Lord who removes sins, and blesses with Nector, Engery, Prosperity & wealth.  Details below clearly explains this:
Meaning of “Venkatesha”: Venkatesha means Lord who removes Sins. “Ven+Kat+Esha”, “Ven” means SIN, “Kata” means “BURNT”, “Esha” means Lord or controller.
Any Divine Name has two meanings: one is Arta-Shakti (Energy in meaning of the word) and Shabda-Shakti(Energy in the sound). According to Arta-Shakti (Energy in the meaning of the word) Venkatesha = Ven+Kat+Esha = Sin+ burn+ Supreme Lord. That is, Supreme Lord who burns away accumulated sins. According to Shabda-Shakti(Energy in the  sound) Venkatesha = Va+em+kata+Esha = Nectar(Amrit) + Energy(shakti)+ prosperity & wealth(aishwaryam) + Supreme Lord. That is supreme lord who bestows Nector, Engergy, prosperity & wealth.
From the above details, “VenkaTesha” means God who removes sins, & blesses with Nector, Engery, Prosperity & wealth. Any one who worships the Lord will gets removed of all their sins. Once the sins are removed then all problems and pains go away. Lord Venkateshwara is considered the “Kali-yuga varada”, that is ‘the boon-granting Lord of “Kali-yug” & remover of the sins. (Kali-Yug is the fourth age of the Hindu cycle of ages).

Monday, March 21, 2016

*****LORD VENKATESHWARA BALAJI*****

     *****LORD VENKATESHWARA (BALAJI*****

Salutations to Lord Vishnu, the sole master of the universe and His presence is ever serene. He reposes on the couch (of Adisesha, the divine serpent), sporting a lotus in His navel. He is the Lord of all Devas, protector of the worlds and all-pervading like the sky. His complexion is like that of the clouds with a very beautiful form. He is the consort of Sri Lakshmi and His eyes are like lotus petals and who is meditated upon by Yogis and is the Lord of the Cosmos
**************************************************************************************
Lord Venkateshwara is a form of Sri Vishnu and one of the Divine Trinity. The name Venkateshwara can be split into three parts in Sanskrit: Ven (sins), kata (destroyer), and ishwara (Supreme Lord). Using this etymology, Venkateshwara refers to the Supreme Lord who destroys sins. He is also known as Balaji, Srinivasa, Perumal, Venkatachalapathy and many other names. The Goddess Lakshmi (Vishnu's consort) resides on the chest of Venkateshwara, and thus He is also known by the epithet Srinivasa (the one in whom Sri resides). The deity is considered the Kali Yuga Varada that is “the boon-granting Lord of Kali Yuga” (the fourth and final age of the Hindu cycle of ages).
His right hand in the form of varada hastham fulfills devotees’ wishes. With His conch he creates the cosmic sound that destroys ignorance and with His Chakram He destroys evil. Lord Venkateswara's eyes are covered, because it is said, that His gaze is so intense, it would scorch the universe.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

***Vaikuntha Ekadasi at Tirupati Balaji Temple***

*****Vaikuntha Ekadasi at Tirupati Balaji Temple*****



Vaikuntha Ekadasi

 is observed at Tirupati BalajiTemple during the Shukla Paksha Ekadasi in Dhanurmasa – the eleventh day during the waxing phase of moon in December – January. In 2017, Vaikuntha Ekadasi at Tirupati Balaji Temple is on January 8. Vaikuntha Dwaram opening time is 4:30 AM on January 8, 2017. The most important ritual on the day is the witnessing of the opening of the door in the sanctum sanctorum of the temple also known as ‘Vaikuntha Dwaram’ or ‘Swargada Bagilu’ (the gate to the heaven). Devotees can pass through this door only on the Vaikuntha Ekadasi day.

Vaikuntha Dwaram as the name indicates is the door to Vaikuntha – abode of Srihari Vishnu. The door is opened only on this day.

The utsava murti of Balaji is taken around the Mada Street on Vahanas on this day along with Sridevi and Bhudevi.

The main ritual on this day is the passing through the Vaikuntha Dwaram. Apart from this devotees observe fast on the entire Ekadasi day.

Devotees consider it highly meritorious to have darshan of Lord Venkateswara on the day.

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