Heavenly Hills of Tirupati
reader has requested me to give some information on Tirupati
and Lord Venkateswara or shall we call Him Balaji as
most devotees lovingly call Him?
me start by giving you an interesting account on Tirumala
Hills where Tirupati is situated.
myself have walked up the hills, to Tirupati twice. It took me
many hours but I enjoyed every minute of the climb. As I stood
at the foot of the hill I wondered how I would do it. I
requested the priest of a temple to accompany me. He
courteously carried my water bottle for me. Soon a young
boy joined me who I thought was a relative of the priest. (He
was not, as I learned much later) They both were wonderful and
I thought to myself, that I had a Guru (priest) and
Krishna with me, to guide me. I asked the priest his name. He
told me. I enquired of him, how I should contact him if
I needed him to guide me again. He said: "Ask for me
in the temple, everyone knows me" When I went next,
to make my climb through the hills, I asked for the priest. No
one knew who I was talking about!
is 90 miles away from Madras (Chennai). How to describe to you
its beauty? Let the hills narrate you their own story. You see
Balaji with the eyes of your soul and watch your dreams come
true. So shall we start?
CONCISE ACCOUNT COMPILED FROM BRAHMANDA, VARAHA, VAMANA AND
the Lord asked Sage Narada for a suitable place on Earth where
He could abide during the difficult period of kaliyuga (The
Iron Age, when people of Earth would forget Spiritual values)
Sage Narada suggested a place, south of Bharat (India), by the
banks of River Svarnamukhi. The Lord was pleased. Since the
Lord was about to settle on Earth for the period that Kalyuga
was to last, a part of Heaven was to be brought down. Hence
Adhisesha decided to take the form of one of the 7 hills of
White Boar Incarnation of the Lord had saved the Earth from
the clutches of the demon Hiranyaaksha. Mother Earth was
pleased with Her Lord and begged Him to live with Her. The
Lord then asked Garuda, to bring down from Heaven a beautiful
Hill. This Hill is called Garuraadri. It is believed that the
Lord Varaha lives upon Tirumala upon the Western bank of Swami
Pushkaarini till today. It is called Varaaha Pushkaarini.
was a demon called Vrishabaasura, who had a very strange way
of doing penance. He would offer his head along with a flower
to the Lord. By God's Grace the severed head would join the
body after every day's ritual. When Vrishabha died he
requested the Lord that a hill be called by his name in
remembrance of the fact that he had lived and attained
salvation on that hill. The Lord granted his wish and the hill
is known as Vrishabaadri.
was an Asura King. He did penance for many years to obtain a
son who would be immortal. Lord Shiva appeared before him, and
said: "You are not fortunate enough to have an
immortal son, but your wish will be fulfilled through your
daughter". Kesari's daughter Anjani did penance for
many years and was blessed with Hanuman as a son. Hanuman is
an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hanuman received the boon of
immortality from Mother Mahalakshmi Herself. Brahma named the
hill after Anjani as Anjanaadri.
hill Seshaadri is the formation of Adhisesha himself.
Adhisesha is the cobra on which Lord Vishnu reclines. There
was an ego tussle for supremacy by Adhisesha and 'Vayu'
(Wind). Vayu felt that he was as omnipresent as the Lord. As
they both fought, Narada played some melodious notes.
Adhisesha raised one of his hoods. Vayu seized the
opportunity, and blew with such a force that Adhisesha fell
like a meteor upon the earth. Now Vayu was not elated about
his victory. He was in fact remorseful as he had deprived the
Lord of His couch. Vayu asked Adhisesha to forgive him and to
return to Heaven. The latter refused saying that whatever
transpires is the will of the Lord. The Lord agreed. He said
that Adhisesha would take the form of a hill, which would be
called Sheshaachala or Sheshaadri, in a place where He (The
Lord) was to reside till the end of the Age of kali (Kalyug).
hill Venkatadri got its name form 'Ven' which in Sanskrit
means 'sin'. And 'Kata' which means that which burns. So
Venkatadri means a place which will burn all sins. Madhava, a
sinner suffering from leprosy was cured as he joined pilgrims
going to Tirumala on a pilgrimage.
pilgrims were singing 'Govinda Govinda!' as they moved on
their way. These words were like magic to Madhava's soul. He
felt a burning sensation and he realised that the dreaded
disease had left him.
the Creator appeared before Madhava and said: "You are
the cause for the people to know that whoever steps upon this
hill with devotion, it will burn away all sins and
imperfections! henceforth this hill will be called Venkataadri
in your honour!"
hill is called Narayanaadri in honour of Narayanarishi.
names were given to these hills by various devotees. Thus it
may be called 'Gnanaadri' because it gives divine knowledge
or/and Chitaamani because it fulfills devotees' desires.
week I shall tell you about how the Lord came to live upon
Tirumala Hills. In the meantime may Lord Venkateswara
fulfill your fondest desires and call you to visit Him
soon...to Tirupati, I mean!