Tirupati – The Abode of Lord Venkateshwara

- February 22, 2022

By Srinidhi Murthy  Set in the peaceful hills of Tirumala, the temple of Lord Venkateshwara Balaji or Vishnu, is one of the holiest places in the country. The story of why the Tirupati temple is so special is a fascinating one.  Many years ago, a farmer heard a divine voice from an anthill. The farmer rushed to tell King Thondaiman about the voice. Upon investigation, King Thondaiman found an idol in the anthill and decided to build a temple to match its serenity and beauty. However, this story goes further back to the time when Lord Vishnu arrived on earth as Venkateshwara. Script: Aruna Balakrishna Singh, Illustrations: Sundara Moorthy The Departure of Lakshmi After the end of Vishnu’s Krishna Avatar, he returned to live in Vaikuntha. Many sages decided to perform a yagna under the guidance of Sage Kashyapa. Following the advice of Narada, Sage Bhrigu was chosen to decide who among Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma would accept the final offerings of the yagna. To make this decision, Bhrigu decided to pay a visit to the gods at their abodes. However, Bhrigu was dissatisfied with the reception he received from Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva. The sage expected more disrespect when he arrived at Vaikuntha. Hence, as soon as he reached, he struck Lord Vishnu on his chest. Vishnu, through his divine intuition, understood the anger of the sage and calmly washed his feet. As he did, he pinched the sole of Bhrigu’s foot, shutting the sage’s third eye which was located on his foot. This ended Bhrigu’s arrogance and he immediately realised his mistake. Humbled, Bhrigu requested Vishnu to accept the offerings of the yagna. However, when Bhrigu left, Vishnu realised that Lakshmi was upset. Upon asking her the cause of her distress, she told Vishnu that the sage had kicked his chest, that is, the place where Lakshmi resides. Hence, by letting Bhrigu kick his chest, Vishnu had allowed Lakshmi to be insulted. Not able to tolerate this insult, Lakshmi decided to leave Vaikuntha.  Script: Aruna Balakrishna Singh, Illustrations: Sundara Moorthy Vishnu and the Cowherd Lakshmi then descended to the earth and started living there. Unable to live without Lakshmi, Lord Vishnu came to earth in search...

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Prahlad drove his monstrous father to a murderous rage. He insisted on praising Lord Vishnu who was considered a sworn enemy by his father Hiranyakashipu. When he tried to punish his disobedient son, Hiranyakashipu's potent poisons turned to nectar while his lethal weapons fell harmlessly away. In this tale of bloodthirsty revenge, Prahlad's only defence is his devotion which dramatically puts an end to all evil.

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