The Lord of the seven hills is the Lord of the universe. The special significance of Lord Venkateswara temple at Tirumala lies in the fact that it is the oldest religious institutions in the world where unbroken religious worship is being carried on for over 1,500 years by revered Acharyas and millions of pilgrims reach the holy abode more than any other temple in the world .The temple is held in high veneration by many devotees..
The average number of pilgrims who seek Lord’s darshan ranges from 50,000 to 1,00,000 and more daily and on festivals double this .The emotional outpourings of the great Azhwars makes one rush to this sacred hills to have HIS darshan . Mere listening to the emotional compositions of his noblest and humblest devotees, like Annamacharya Tyagaraja and Purandara Dasa suffices. They combine the quintessence of the Vedas and the Upanishads.
Everything begins and ends or is reduced to sunyam (nothingness) before him, while the infinite world pens to the sincere seeker with an infinitesimal offering. This is because spiritual wealth through devotion is the basis of life .
VenkaTAdri samam sthAnam brahmANDe nAsti kinchana
venkateSa samo devo na bhUto na bhaviSyati!
There is no place in the entire universe that equals Venkatadri ,
the place where …
Lord resides ……..
.and there is no Lord,
either in the past nor in the future…….
who shall equal our Lord Venkateswara.
Tirumala is one of the seven Swayam Vyaktha Kshetrams .
Tradition has it, that hands of man did not work for the dhruva bera ( Main deity ) of Lord Venkateswara .
Lord out of His own will, and abundant mercy had appeared at TIRUMALA and continues to stay here for this age Kaliyuga
This ageless temple of Lord Venkateswara is located a top the Tirumala Hill at an elevation of 3,000 feet .
The abode of Lord Venkateshwara stands unique as an embodiment of man’s eternal quest for the divine and seeking His infinite grace.
A pilgrimage to the sacred Hills is a soul-stirring experience cherished by every devotee. Even atheists and rationalists admit a sense of humility and the presence of the Lord here .
As one approaches the inner sanctum , a strong pull towards LORD is experienced. The soul identifies its existence in this body and regrets its foolishness in remaining in several bodies for several births and ignoring HIS love for us.
Lord Venkateswara is glorified as Pratyaksha Daivam (manifest divinity) who helps all his devotees in distress .
The great saint Swamy Nammazhwar categorically relives his musings in a verse…
pOkinRa kaalangaL pOya kaalangaL* pOku kaalangaL,
* thaay thandhai uyi-raaginRaay*
unnai _naan adaindhEn viduvEnO,?
paaginRa tholpugaz moovulakukkum*
thaNdhuzaay virai_ naaRukaNNiyanE.
At all times past, present and future ……..
You are my mother, my father my very life itself
your holiness having reached you,
Will I ever let you go?
Oh lord of the three worlds …
Oh Supreme One!
With your eternal fame,
so far-reaching, with the fragrant cool garland of tulasi leaves …….
You grace the cool Venkata hill.
Few come out with rain of tears and a few feeling relived, and a few want more to just be there looking at HIM.. doing nothing more ……like an infant cuddling in the arms of his mother asking nothing ……………………………
All men irrespective of religion, status, caste, and creed make several trips in their lives to worship the LORD, as they are our divine parents for ever.
At Tirumala apart from having sarva darshanam , devotees participate in daily Arjitha sevas such as Suprabatha seva , Thomala seva, Archana Seva , Kalyanaotsavam, Arjitha brahmotsavam, dolotsavam, Sahasradeepalankarana seva , vasanthothsavam, Ekantha seva conducted at different times in a day .
Apart from the daily seva , weekly sevas that comprises of Vishesha pooja on Monday , Ashtadalapada padmaaradhana on Tuesday , Sahsrakalshabhishekam on Wednesday, Thiruppavada sevai on Thursday and Abhishekam ( Vastralankarana sevai ) on Friday conducted in a grand manner .
Among all the above darshanams ,the Vastralankara seva ( Abhishekam )/(Thirumanjanam) on Friday early hours is most cherished darshan for any devotee , as one has the great fortune to be in the temple inner sanctum for more than two hours having continuous uninteruppted darshan of the Supreme Lord amongst vedic chants and azhwars’s divya prabhanda sevakalam
For this wonderful darshan the devotee is supposed to report one day in advance on Thursday.
We had the great fortune to attend this wonderful darshan few years ago by Lord’s abundant mercy … Appended below is a brief submission for being selected few in having the darshan………
On Friday early hours around 2 AM, the ubhaydhaare reports at Vaikuntam queue complex for Arjitha seva ticket verification.
Hearing suprabhatam being recited inside the temple and silently chanting the same………
we walk in the queue………….
. ( the origin of the suprabhatam or wishing of an auspicious dawn was penned by His holiness sri P.B.Annan 600 years ago * the divine pastime is shared in the below appended post )
we are now passing Acharyar Thirumala Nambi’s sannidhi who was Swamy Ramanujar’s acharyar . Swamy Ramanuja had discourses on Srimad Ramayanam by Thirumala Nambi at Tirumala .
Swamy Thirumala Nambi had the privilege of being fondly addressed as “THATHA”(Grandfather) by Lord Srinivasar HIMSELF . Appended below the divine pastime
Recollecting the divine pastimes of Acharyar with Lord and seeking Acharyar’s blessings mentally we proceed further . Our attention is immediately drawn to the huge painting near Sahasradeepalankarana mandapam depicting the divine pastime of the Supreme Lord playing dice with the great devotee Sant Hathiram bhabha.
The appended post below describes the incident
Chanting the holy names of the Lord and seeking devotees blessings, we approach the Maha dwaram. Under Jagathacharyar’s able guidance, this Mahadwaram was constructed.
Thanking all the great devotees of LORD, offering obeisance’s to the two small deities of Sankha nidhi on the southern and Padma nidhi on the Northern side entrance the two guardian devotees we proceed with devotional fervor.
The divine crow bar hung on the right side of the wall reminds us of another great Acharyar Swamy AnanthAzhwan whose service to LORD was yeomen those days when there were no habitats around the sacred hills . The divine pastime is shared in the appended post below ..
Proceeding further, we look at the copper statues of King Venkatapathiraya and family along with stone images of the Emperor and Queen Achutarayamaharaya and Varadarajiamman. Those were the days when these Kings developed the temple when no proper approach to the holy shrine was possible. The dedication and unstinting service to Lordships by these kings is to be cherished. The outer pradakshinam for the temple (pradakshinam which lies in between the outer and inner gopuram) is known as Sempangi Pradakshinam.
It is said that this entire area was full of Sempangi trees, and hence this corridor came to be known as Sempangi Pradakshinam. Proceeding further we see Sri Ranganayakula mandapam.
Lord Namperumal stayed here during 14th century for almost 40 years. Seeking blessings from all the revered Acharyas who played a crucial role in safely bringing our Namperumal to Tirumala during the harsh times at Srirangam, we recollect those divine pastimes.
Heartfully thanking the various kings like Thondaman Chakravarthy, Krishnadeva raya and others who contributed their might to the construction of this temple, we pass through Thulabaaram where many devotees complete their vow of offering jaggery etc. to the equivalent weight , we cross the adjacent Krishnadevaraya mandapam which houses Lord’s vahanams.
In this mandapam, adhyayana utsavam is performed to the processional deities ” Malayappa Swamy” . Also, this mandapam houses an office where the donors are given prasadam. Adjoining to this mantapam is Tirumalaraya mantapam, where Kalyanautsavams are performed daily in a large scale…………………..
We reach the golden plated dwajasthambam (Flag pole).
Offering sashtaang dandaavats and seeking blessings from all the demigods residing in Dwajasthambam after recollecting the the Dwaja Arahonam (flag hoisting which is done a day prior to Brahmotsavam takes place here ) we move on and enter the temple premises through silver plated dwaaram .The silver door has a carving in which Lord’s advanced devotee Santh Hathiram Baba ( the replica of the painting outside the temple ) playing dice along with LORD and gets darshan of LORD with chaturbhujam .
Anxiously, we enter Vimana Pradakshina margam. The inner prakaram and this inner pradakshinam is known as Vimana pradakshinam.
On entering the Vimana Pradakshina corridor, we have a clear view of Ananda Nilaya Vimanam fully gold plated. Lord Ranganathar engraved on the front side of this vimanam gives darshan which makes us recollect Thirupaan azhwar’s Amalanadhi pasuram
“Mandhi Paai Vada Venkata Maamalai……”
It is known as Ananda Nilayam because it bestows Anandam or bliss to everyone.
The Puranas state that LORD ( Perumal) appeared here in this vimanam which is invisible to mortal eyes.
The early morning delight inside the temple along with pure devotional aroma enthuses the soul to seek his lotus feet .Offering obeisances to Lord Varadaraja Swamy we are ushered to a place besides parakamani mandapam (the place where counting of coins and offerings made by devotees is done) .
Remembering the great devotee Thondaman Chakravarthy, who constructed this temple and the great vimanam we chant the Holy names . This vimanam was gold plated many times by several kings and it is said TTD guilded the same during 1957 .The dazzling beauty of this vimanam cannot be described in words and one has to see to believe it.
We are asked to assemble in the mandapam . All the ubhayadhars are offered seat as per the Arjitha seva ticket serial number. The Priest honors the Ubhayadaar couple with Melchat Vastram and a blouse piece, amidst Vedic chants. It was told by a priest that this angavastram was previously adorned by the Lordships .The fragrance from the vastram which was adorned by the Lord puts us into divine trance.
Amidst the auspicious chants, H.H. Pedda Jeeyar (who was appointed by Swamy Ramanujar few hundred years back ) arrives accompanied by the Vedic Priests. In his absence, the activites are presided by Chinna Jeeyar of TTD.
For ensuring all religious formalities are performed as per the scriptures , Swamy Ramanujar appointed a sanyasi who is now known as Pedda Jeeyar and later on Manavala maamunigal appointed another jeeyar to assist Pedda Jeeyar who is honoured as Chinna Jeeyar.
All the ubhayadhars are handed over Divya Vastram kept on a silver/golden plate and the ladies are given a silver bowl containing powdered pachakarpuram, wet saffron paste , Sandal Wood paste, turmeric , musk pressed into a paste with a few drops of Civet oil etc.
All the auspicious Abhishekam paraphernalia are kept in gold and silver cups. His holiness Jeeyar along with vedic priests and Ubhayadaars accompanied by Mangala vadyam circumbulate the inner prakaram and the Dwajasthambam and reach the temple inner sanctum.
To hold the abhishekam items in our hands makes us feel blessed and tears pour down to experience Lord’s compassion!!
The soul now rejoices as we enter the THIRUMAMANI MANDAPAM. Offering obeisance’s mentally to the two huge bells located on the south-east corner ( rung while the offering is made ) we enter inside the Ananda Nilayam .
Offering obeisance’s to Garudazhwar who is facing LORD with Anjali Mudra we enter the divine abode “Bangaru Vaakili ( the doorway made of gold). This door has carvings of Lord’s five forms namely Para, Vyuha, Vibhava, Antaryami and Archa.
Offering obeisances to Jaya and Vijaya on either sides of Mahadwaaram we move ahead. The loud chants of the Holy name “GOVINDA GOVINDA” reverberates.
As only limited tickets are issued, the walk is peaceful .The Volunteers are kind to allow us to enter slowly. We await …..
We enter into the Ananda Nilayam and reach “Snapana Mandapam”. There are two small raised slabs on either sides which has deities of Sugrivar, Hanumar and Angadhan and on the opposite side, dieties of Ananta, Garuda and Viswaksenar gracing the devotees.
Proceeding further we reach Sayana Mandapam .This is the divine place where the processional deities Utsava murthi Sri Bhoga Srinivasar take rest during Ekantha Seva (Pavalimpu seva).
Beyond the Sayana mantapam is the Garbagriham, the sanctum sanctorum which houses our LORD. The golden plate containing the divya vastram and silver bowl are handed over to the Priests who receive them with benevolence. We were asked to take places as per the ticket serial number.
We have darshan of Kulasekara padi the stepping stone at the entrance between Sayana mantapam and Garbagriham ( named after the great devotee of Lord Kulasekara Azhwar ) who in his Perumal Thirumozhi expressed his desire to have eternal TIRUMALA sambandham by remaining as a stepping stone watching LORD for ever .
“PADIYAAYI KIDANDHU UNN PAVAZHA VAAI KAANBENEY”
In normal practice, due to heavy rush one invariably misses to see all the above holy spots. Adiyen’s mind raced through the divine outpourings of Azhwars pasurams
SEDIYAYA VALVINAIGAL THEERKUM THIRUMAALE
AGALAGILEN IRAIYEMENDRU… .
PATREL ONRDUM ILEN… .
Overjoyed, that am able to be very close to our LORD …….
we are eager to have LORD’S darshan.
We recollect Nammazhwar’s Thiruvaimozhi …
with tear filled eyes.
Lord Thiruvengadamudaiyan fulfills all the desires of His devotees-both material and spiritual. Lord’s intention is to save us from this dreadful Kaliyuga and grant us liberation.
Just uttering His holy name “GOVINDA” once and having His darshan for fraction of a second, we are in bliss. Perumal is so compassionate that He first grants the wishes of the devotees who seek material pleasure and then gradually turns them towards His feet and elevate them spiritually and finally grant moksham.
Elders advise us to have darshanam of the lotus feet of LORD first and we wait eagerly for immersing ourselves under those holy feet like Nammazhwar.
The lotus feet are covered with golden covering and fragrant flowers along with basil leaves are decorated .
However, One can have a nice darshan of the lotus feet on FRIDAYS during Thirumanjana seva.
May be, this made Annamayya burst into the song
“BRAHMA KADIGINA PAADAMU’’
Amidst the auspicious Nadaswaram notes and vedic chants the curtains are opened .
Akhila bhuvana janma sthema bhangAdi lIle
vinata vividha bhuta vrAta rakshaika dikshe |
Sruti Sirasi vidIpte brahmaNi SrInivAse
bhavatu mama parasmin Semushi bhakti rUpA ||
The meaning ….
May my intellect assume the form of Bhakti in Srinivasa, the highest reality, revealed in the Vedanta as the Lord who creates, protects and destroys the whole universe with sportive ease and who has taken a vow to protects all creatures who seek him………….
The divya darshan of LORD instills faith ……
Tears roll continuously ….
This day is very special for us , It was a prized darshan … distant dream come TRUE
Thanking LORD repeatedly for the mercy praying ardently hearing the vedic chants my eyes look at the divine beauty …
Am in a trance suddenly ……….the soul in me rejoices …..
Before us stood the great Lord of Lords in all his glory .
HE is like the sun which had just risen from the east.
The divine face was as cool as the moon. He is as dark as the rain bearing clouds … The eye vision magnified …and zoomed…. and …………….
HE grew taller and taller and filled up the whole world space ..
Now , the whole world was in HIM and several universes are in HIM ……..
He is limitless , Imperishable , Omniscient residing in the ocean of my heart , the cause of happiness of the universe , the supreme end of all striving ( manifesting HIMSELF) in the ether of the heart which craves for HIM alone ………………………..
Suddenly I realize I am in a body …..and watch through my eyes …………………
Lord is a majestically beautiful and his compassion is clearly manifested when the HE gives darshan draped in all his royal clothes and ornaments .Now, on this auspicious Abhishekam day when all those divine ornaments are removed, Lord’s full glory is revealed in all its pristine purity. HE attires a single white cloth-with no ornaments and only a Tulasi maala.!!!!
Our eyes are welled up with tears thinking of Lord’s mercy on these fallen souls who have committed innumerable sins.
The most arresting feature of the Lord is the permeating aura of an over powering sense of divinity, that is utterly compassionate and pours out love and desire to help all. His youthful facial expression with an eternal smile is extraordinarily tranquil reflecting a sense of complete love and serenity that envelopes on all living creatures in its benevolence.
The Lord’s ornaments are replaced with flowers on Thursday evening itself during evening Thomala Seva .This is known as “POOLANGI SEVA” Lord’s Thirunamam also is thinned and hence we can have NETRA DARSHANAM (Lord is adorned in a different attire as a preparatory for Fridays Abhishekam)
The flowers adorned to LORD were removed gently except the conch, discus and the Lakshmi Haaram. The Lord is adorned only with a white colored waist cloth.
The preparations for the Abhishekam is complete .
The grand ceremony starts at 4 AM sharp .
For the holy bath the Priests used to carry the Akasa ganga water ( Akasa Ganga is one of the tributaries of Ganges and is as holier as Viraja which was shown to the revered Acharyar Thirumalai Nambi who was lovingly addressed as “Thatha” by LORD himself few hundred years ago) on Elephants which used to be taken inside the temple .
Presently the holy water is fetched from a well which is inside the temple premises. (near Vakula maatha’s sanndihi ) known as” Bangaru bhaavi”. However, few silver/gold pots of water is brought from Akasa Ganga with temple honors as a customary ritual.
The Lord is richly adorned with flowing locks of curly hair resting on his majestic shoulders. The neck is smooth and conch like. Lord gives darshan with chaturbhujam the upper two holding the discus and the conch. The upper right arm holds the sudarsana chakra, the left arm holds the Panchajanya. These are not integral part of the moola murthi. Lord Srinivasar had earlier given away the conch and chakra to Thondaman Chakravarthy. Swamy Ramanujar restored them to the Lord by defeating the opponents quoting azhwars various pasurams and clearly established that the deity here was MahaVishnu now glorified as as Venkatachalapathy.
The lower right hand of the Lord is in the Varada Hasta pose, while the lower left hand is in the Katyavalambita pose. The lovely fingers of the left hand rest on the left thigh, with the thumb of the hand almost parallel to the waistline. The Lord’s thighs are like that of an elephants’. While LORD is not exactly standing in the tribhanga pose his divine body near and below the waist has taken a slight tilt to the left and the knee themselves seems to be majestically bent and open slightly outwards gracing the fallen souls . The Lord is youthful and one can feel the tenderness on the Lotus feet of the Lord.
He is definitely the father of Cupid (Manmadha Janaka.. ).
Obviously HIS beauty is unsurpassed.
Annamaya bursts into a wonderful composition …
Listen to the clip below
Emani pogaDavachchu nItani prabhAvamu
vEmaru nOpuNyulAla vinarO yIkatalu
anaMtasUryatEjuDaTa kAMti cheppaneMta
Oh pious people, how can we praise his glory?….
Listen to his stories again and again.
He is effulgent like the Sun.
We can’t imagine his radiance.
He is annihilator of demons.
How heroic he is!
He is the father of Manmadha.
How beautiful he is! He is Brahma’s father.
How great he is!.
Ganga river is born at his feet.
How pious he is!
He is the lord of Bhudevi.
How beautiful he Is!
He is the lord of Lakshmi.
How majestic he is!
He is the protector of all.
How wealthy he is!
He is the lord of Maya (Lakshmi).
How powerful he is!
He is all pervading Vishnu.
Where can be his abode !
He is the most benevolent Lord Venkateswara with thousand forms.
How magnificient he is!.
Mother Lakshmi rests on the right chest of Lord in the sitting pose and is an integral part of the Lordships. The yagnopaveetham and a set of four necklaces or ornaments of the neck can also be clearly seen. Lord’s arms have armlets. A Katibandham or waistband with the dasaavataram looks so attractive. The lotus feet of the Lord are beautiful and HIS pose is majestic and lion some. Both the knees are bent and open slightly outwards, giving the stately figure, charm and grace. The feet are models of perfection and have ornaments near the anklets. The Lord’s image has shoulders marks resembling ‘scars made by the constant wearing of the bow and pack of arrows.
The ritualistic Abhishekam of the LORDSHIPS consists of four parts
First is the Abhishekam of Dhruvamurti (Main deity)
Second is the application of ‘Punugu’ thailam to Dhruvamurti,
Third is abhishekam for vakshastala Lakshmi and
Fourth application of Thiru Namam to the Lord and adorning LORD with royal dress and ornaments ….
As the LORD stands majestically , the priest climbs on a supporting mobile wooden structure and carries out the Abhishekam amidst directions from His Holiness Tirumala Jeeyar . The Ekangee (Priest who is a bachelor) conducts the holy ritual with the assistance of other priests amidst chanting of Pancha Sooktham and Upanishads .
LORD is first bathed in holy water brought from the Akasaganga – tirtha (suddhodakam). Akasa Ganga is poured through a conch covered with gold. After holy water, LORD is given abhishekam with cow’s milk in large quantities , followed again by akasa ganga . Later , LORD is anointed with a mixture of chandana, saffron and refined camphor known as ‘Pulikapu’. The same is followed with a bath in holy turmeric water. which is collected in a silver vessel for later distributed to devotees. The priest then gives karpoora haarthi and particularly shows us the vaksha sthalam (heart ) to have thayar’s darshanam and then points out to the Holy feet by showing karpoora harathee to the Lotus Feet. The devotees are allowed to have darsanam of the Holy Feet which is the sole refuge for us to go back to Godhead.
The goddess on Lord’s chest is given abhishekam after the above proceedings. It is this bath with turmeric powder. Lakshmi Haaram which is adorned by the Lord is removed and given holy bath separately. To reduce the pangs of separation of Thayar from Perumal’s Thirumeni, Swamy Ramanujar instructed Nachiyar Thirumozhi to be recited during this abhishekam. The Thirumeni(holy body ) of the deity is dried with a cloth and Civet oil is lightly applied gently all over
Now, the curtains are closed.
In ekantam LORD is adorned with royal garments . An unusually long silk cloth, about fifteen meters long as per the priests, is wound around after the holy bath. This serves the role of a protective layer between the delicate self-manifested deity and the heavy man made golden kavachas for the entire body. A special santified cloth is used to cover the crown over which the (Diamond crown ) Vajra Kirita is placed.
Hence, this abhisheka seva is known as “Vastra Alankarana Seva”
Lord’s forehead is adorned with fresh Thiruman kaapu. Elders say the thirunamam is a mixture of Paccha Karpuram, kasturi musk and sripada renu and some amount of Civet oil. LORD is adorned with few ornaments only.
Then the curtain is drawn and mangala haarati offered so that the devotees have darshan of LORD after Thirumanjanam. Praying to the Lord that this seva may remain fresh in our minds forever, we reluctantly leave the place. This marks the end of Vastralankarana seva.
Later the devotees are allowed to have darshan of Perumal in HIS pristine form fully bedecked with various jewellery. The Lord is bedecked with various ornaments and silk clothes and jewellery which is a real feast to the devotees eyes . Lord is covered with a long silk cloth which is 12 yards in length and 2 yards in width as per the priests version . The upper cloth is gold laced (This cloth known as Sesha Vastram is later given to the dignatories as per the rules and norms framed by TTD. As this cloth is in contact with Perumal’s Thirumeni, it acquires divya parimalam. ) The Lord is later covered with a thin silk cloth so that the ornaments do not prick his tender body .
The Lord is adorned with various ornaments like gold yagnopaveetham, green emerald called “MERUPACCHA”, vajra kavacham (diamond studded kavacham), Lakshmi Haaram a big necklace with the images of Lakshmi carved out on each pathakam.
He is adorned with a tulasi necklace, a salagrama garland which contains salagrams encased in gold , a Sahasranama maala in which the thousand names of the Lord are engraved .(this chain is sported by Utsavar Malayappa Swamy on Garuda vahanam day during Brahmotsavam.). There are also various sets of ornaments which are worn by the Lord apart from the above. Near his knees, a vanghi like gold ornament, a pair of gold anklets, a nagabharanam just below His chest and more nagabharanams in His arms.
His Katyavalambita hasta (left hand) and Varada hasta have 2 covers- one made of gold and the other one studded with diamonds .He is adorned with a sword named“suryakatari/ Nandakam”.(It is believed that the great poet Annamacharya was the hamsam of this sword) On LORDs chest, He has two gold sculptured plaques, one of Sri Lakshmi and the other of Sri Padmavathy Thayar. His two upper hands are also well decorated with gold and diamond studded Sanghu and Chakram which are adorned …
LORD wears a gem studded golden crown, golden makara kundalams and various other ornaments. . His lower right hand is showing Varada Hastha with the palm facing the devotees all fingers of the hand pointing towards His Lotus feet, indicating that the Lord is giver of boons.
His front left hands seems to assure His devotees of protection and indicate that samsara sagara is only hip-deep if they seek His refuge.His ears are adorned with golden makara kundalams. The Kattibandham or waist band is around 2 inches thick. His both knees are bent and slight open upwards giving the stately majestic figure, a grace and a charm that words cannot be sufficient to describe. The Lord’s feet are models of perfection and have ornaments near the anklets. The Lord’s image on the shoulder has marks resembling scars made by constant wearing of the bow.
A darshan of the Lord instills in us a divine presence, a power and intangible etherial sensation that completely overshadows any troubled emotions. A darsan of the divya mangala moorthi during Thirumanjanam will leave the devotee totally transformed. Certain sense of fulfillment and indescribable indefinable elation of spirit, a certain peace of mind, absolute security on surrender of oneself to the greatest protector, a supreme sense of satisfaction and joy in short, a divine power and bliss envelopes the devotee.
Every Friday, during Thirumanjanam some sandal paste are kept on Perumal’s hastham,. Thirumaarbhu (whereThayar is seated) and on Perumal’s Thiruvadi.
The impression of the same gets imbibed on the sandal paste which is dried and later on given to devotees. This is considered to be very sacred. Every day, after Thomala seva, the ekangi (bachelor who alone has the right to touch Perumal) anoints Thiruvadi with punugu thailam (scented oil)and the ( Thiruvadis) lotus feet are covered with a silk cloth known as Sripada vastram. This is changed everyday and the old cloth after wiping Thiruvadigal are given to V.V.I.P. .
Daily ( Tilak ) Thirumankaapu is applied to LORDs forehead by applying thick refined camphor (Paccaikarpooram). This Thiruman kaapu screens the eyes of Perumal and Kasturi Tilakam is applied in between the two lines. The width of the Thirumankaapu and the gap between the lines are all applied as per the norms laid down by JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanujar. Every day, His chin is pressed with refined camphor as per Lord’s wish remembering his dear devotee Swamy Anathazhwan .
The Lord’s ornaments are replaced with flowers on Thursday itself one has darshan of Lord in flowers .Lord’s Thirunamam also is thinned and hence we can have NETRA DARSHANAM ( Lord is adorned in a different attireas a preparatory for Fridays Abhishekam )
It was mentioned by the Priests that prasadam consisting of cooked rice and curds (made up of cow’ milk) is the only cooked food which is taken very close to the LORD and offered everyday. Every morning, navaneetham (butter mixed with sugar) is also offered to LORD. Other prasadams which are prepared on a very large scale like Pulihora, Chakari Pongal, and Laddus etc are offered from Sayana Mandapam ….
Under LORD’s lotus feet, Bhoga Srinivasar an exact replica of the Moola virat graces us. Bhagasrinivasar majestically is in standing pose with chaturbhujam holding Sankhu and Chakram on the Upper arms which forms an integral part of the Thirumeni(body) unlike the moola virat . HE receives all the bhogams and upacharams in the temple and Abhishekam is done daily to Bhoga Srinivasar .
Bhoga Srinivasar was receiving the holy services from a Pallava queen since 10th century. A gold link and a silk cord are attached to the HIM whenever HE graces devotees outside the garbagriham for deputizing on behalf of the Moolavirat on special festive occasions and on Thursdays when Annakootam (during Thiruppavada seva).
During Ekantha seva, LORD takes rest in a golden cradle in the Sayana Mandapam and Thaalatu (lullaby) is sung and milk and fruits and dry fruits like cashew nuts, almonds etc are offered .
LORD’s darshan was elixir which cannot be expressed in mortal words ..
Vinaa vEnkatEsaam na nAThO na nATha
Sadhaa vEnkatEshaam smaraami smaraami
harE vEnkatEsha prasiddha prasiddha
priyam vEnkatEsha prayaccha prayaccha
There is no Lord for me other than Lord Venkatesa
I [utter] think of Lord Venkatesa all the time
May Lord Venkatesa be happy with my prayers
May Lord Venkatsa be pleased to bless us forever
Adiyen seek forgiveness for any flaws in describing the wonderful seva which was a divine boon to us …
Adiyen Ramanuja dasan
Pictures Credits : ISKCON ,Bangalore and Pics uploaded by several advanced devotees ( Google images )
videos : Courtesy : Bombay jayasree …..rajgru …..janaethan krishna rao …..creativeminds …..saigv