History Of Lord Balaji
What is Meaning of Venkateswara?
Lord Balaji is also famous as Govinda. Lord Balaji is very kind and helps anyone
who prays to Him for help. Lord Balaji at Tirupati has performed numerable miracles.
The surroundings of Tirumala awaken waves of bhakti of Lord Balaji and the name
Govinda appears on the tongues of devotees. Millions of people visit Lord Balaji
at Tirupati every year. The reason being that Lord Balaji is famous as the Lord
helps during one’s misfortune. The same Lord Venkateshwara has descended in
the city of mumbai in kandivali charkop area, and is attracting thousands of people
to His temple which has completed the first phase at sector 7, charkop, kandivali
west through the efforts of His loving devotees and patrons. In the following paragraphs
we will see how the Lord so mercifully descended in this world to live on the top
of Seshachalam, the mountain that is located at Tirumala. Venkateshwara means the
Lord, who frees us from all of our sins. Ven means sin,Kat
means one who delivers. We remain in this world, suffering, birth after birth, because
of our sinful reactions, now in this age of kali, it is an age of sin. It is an
ocean of faults.
Who is Supreme Person?
One time, in Naimisharanya, the sages inquired from Shrila Suta Gosvami, to tell
the story of the incarnation of the Lord, of the name Venkateshvara. He narrated
the following: that at one time Shri Narada Muni (Narada Muni) travelled to Brahma-loka.
Narada Muni being the self manifested son of Brahma, has that special power. narada
muni bajaile radhika-ramana naame. He is always playing his veena, and chanting
the holy names of Shri Radha-ramana, and he has the power to go anywhere and everywhere
according to his will. And he can travel faster than the speed of light. He can
go to Shvetadvipa, to Kailasa, to Brahmaloka, to Vaikuntha and come back to this
earth, all in a matter of minutes. That is the power of his mystical devotion. So,
he travelled to Satya-loka where Brahma was surrounded by many of the chief demigods.
And Brahma said to Narada that he was feeling a very deep concern in his heart.
Krishna says in the Gita that aham bija pradah pita - that He is the seed-giving
Father of all living beings. Within this universe, the secondary father is Lord
Brahma. So, he has love and concern for everyone in this universe, that he has created.
“People in this age of Kali are so much covered by material desires. There
will be such pollution and sin everywhere. What is their hope? We must call the
Lord down, we must call him down to preside somewhere on this earth planet.”
“So Narada Muni, I am giving you an assignment. Somehow or the other, by your
creative genius, devise a means of bringing Vishnu to earth.” What is guru-parampara?
It's about following the order of the previous acharyas. So, Narada Muni came to
the bank of the river Sarasvati, where there was an assembly of great sages who
were performing a sacrifice for the welfare of humanity. There were various sages
of various sects. They were all united together for this purpose. So, Narada Muni,
he challanged them, “If this sacrifice really going to be powerful, to satisfy
the Lord we must all be fixed in one goal together”. So Narada Muni challenged
“You are all worshipping in the sacrifice, the Lord. But which Lord are you
worshipping? We must all be unified 'Who is supreme?'” So, some of those sages
said, “Brahma is supreme.” Another said, “Shankar Bhagavan is
supreme.” Another said, “No, Vishnu is supreme.” There was some
disagreement. So Narada Muni said, “Let us resolve the disagreement by testing
the Tri-murtis, to see who is perfectly situated in pure goodness, and whoever is,
to the ultimate extent, then we will agree to worship only him.” So all the
sages agreed. So then they had to decide who is going the person who tests the greatest,
most powerful of all the gods. Vasistha Muni, Atri Muni and others said, “We
are not going to perform this service. To test these powerful Lords, is like testing
a red-hot coal by touching it. We'll be burnt. But we know who has the power to
do so. It is the son of Lord Brahma himself. - Bhrigu Muni (Bhrigu Muni)”.
Bhrigu Muni did not like this idea (devotees laugh). But everyone would appealing
to him, “Please! This is so important for the welfare of all the world.”
So Bhrigu Muni accepted.
Bhrigu Muni Testing Lord Brahma
Bhrigu Muni first went to Brahma's abode, Satyaloka. When Shri
Brahmaji saw him coming, oh! he was so happy. His own son has come to him... before
I forget, ther is two other very, very special guests that we must welcome - Rameshchandra
Gosvami and his son Susheel, who are chief pujaris in the temple of Nandagram, Krishna
and Balaram's eternal home in Shri Vraja Bhoomi. Let us welcome [Haribol! Haribol!
Haribol!]. That happens to be Lord Shiva's head(?), Brahma(?) happens to be Brahma's
forehead, Barsana. So, now we'll go back to Brahma-loka. (laughter) Bhrigu Muni
came came in and Brahma seeing his own son, oh! he was so happy. He got up to receive
Bhrigu Muni. Bm ignored his father. he didn't offer obeisances, he didn't offer
words of respect... this is a great offense. To not honor a senior person is low-class,
it is uncultured. Of course, in Kali-yuga it is quite common. But, what is etiquette
about? Etiquette is about offering respect to evry living entity., according to
our particular relationship with them, and to seniors, especially one's father like
Brahma. He's not only a father, he's guru. To offer prayers, to offer obeisances,
to offer services is mandatory. And the father wants to see the son growing up properly,
behaving right. So when Brahma saw that Bhrigu Muni did not acknowledge him at all,
ignored him, Brahma became angry. He became very angry, but somehow or the other
because Bhrigu Muni was his son, he controlled his anger and didn't say anything.
It is explained anger is like fire. Now, in the process of creation, first is fire,
and from fire water is created. The elements are created from the subtle to the
gross. First there is ego, then intelligence, then mind, then ether, then air, then
fire, then comes water. Water is created from fire. But to extinguish fire we use
water. So, Lord Brahma, somehow or the other with his good intelligence, he controlled
his anger. But, Bhrigu Muni saw that he was deeply affected. So, he left that place.(10:40)
Bhrigu Muni Testing Lord Shiva
Next he went to Mount kailasa where Lord Shiva (Lord Shiva) was
sitting with Paravati. And when Shiva saw his brother Bhrigu approaching, oh! he
was so happy! “My dear brother Bhrigu, you have come all the way to my abode!
Welcome! Welcome!” Lord Shiva came to embrace him and Bhrigu Munis face just
curled in disgust. He said, “Do not touch me! Your body is contaminated by
filthy ashes from the crematorium. You have snakes all over you, and you associate
with despicable demons in the mode of ignorance. Do not touch me. You'll make me
impure!” When Lord Shiva heard this, his heart exploded with anger. His eyes
became red. He picked up his trident and charged towards Bhrigu to punish him. But,
Paravati, who is also known as Tri-gunamayi, she pacified Lord Shiva, and Bhrigu
Muni left that place.
Bhrigu Muni Testing Lord Vishnu
Then he went to Shveta-dvipa, the abode of Lord Vishnu(Lord Vishnu),
where Vishnu is lying on a flower bed, Lakshmi devi was massaging His lotus feet.
As soon as Bhrigu came into the room, he just ran right into the room, and phh-
kicked Vishnu right in the chest with his foot. Lord Vishnu got up. He put Bhrigu
Muni on His bed, and spoke, “Oh today We are so fortunate, that a great sage,
a brahmana has come to Our home to sanctify Us. It is not a small fortune when a
great, great personality comes out of their causeless mercy to Our home. Not only
have you sanctified Shveta-dvipa by your lotus feet, but by putting your feet on
My chest, you have made My body a place of pilgrimage. But, I fear something...
that your feet are so soft like a rose, and My chest is so hard like a thunderbolt.
I think that I must have cused pain to your lotus foot, so let Me lovingly massage
your lotus feet”. And Vishnu massaged the lotus feet of Bhrigu Muni, extolling
the good fortune that He had received.
Three types of Offences
When Bhrigu Muni saw the tolerance and pure goodness of Vishnu's Love, he was overwhelmed.
He could not say a word. His voice was choked up, tears were streaming from his
eyes. He began to dance in ecstasy, extolling the glories of Lord Vishnu as the
Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are 3 (three) types of offenses. Offense of
the mind, offense of the word, and a corporal offense, offense of the body. Each
one is progressively more severe by nature. The least type of offense is the offense
of the mind. He committed an offense of the mind to Lord Brahma, and Brahma was
angry, and the next most severe offense is the offense of the words, speaking harsh,
impolite words to another. He did that to Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva became very
angry. But to Lord Vishnu he performed the greatest of all offenses- the offenses
to the body, by hardly kicking Him in the chest (kicked Him hard), but Lord Vishnu
lovingly forgave him, displaying His Supreme Greatness.
Mother Lakshmi Leaves Vaikunta
So Bhrigu Muni went back to the banks of the She is Sarasvati
and he told the whole story to all theetrnally sages, and they all unanimously agreed,
that Vishnu is the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and thus they performed their
sacrifice chanting his holy name [Hare Krishna hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare
Hare. Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama rama Hare Hare]. Everyone was very happy, except
Lakshmidevi(Lakshmidevi). She could not tolerate this insult to Her eternal Lord
and Master, Narayana. It was unbearable that she witnessed such a horrible sin of
a mortal man coming and kicking with his foot, in the chest of the Lord of Her life.
And the Lord is Shri-nivasa. That means He is the abode of Lakshmi.residing upon
His chest. She knows the sanctity. She worships the Lord there eternally. Lakshmi
considered that She had become so sinful by seeing this sin, it was so unbearable
for Her. She explained Her mind to Lord Narayana, but the Lord took it all very
light. Any offense to one's self- one should be forgiving. But offense to the Lord
or another devotee- we can become like fire. Yes. When Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
was insulted in so many ways, he just forgave. When Nityananda was beaten on the
head by Jagai and Madhai, he forgave, but Lord Chaitanya became like fire. We should
tolerate any injustice to one's self, but we should not tolerate the injustices
to the other devotees or the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So, yes, Lakshmidevi
was in this mood, 'My Lord, You may be forgiving and tolerant to the offense against
You, but My heart is burning with anguish, for what I had seen.' And then She proclaimed,
“I will leave Vaikuntha, and I will go down to the Bhu-loka, where I will
perform tapasya, to atone for the sin of seeing this offense.” Thus lakshmi
departed from Her abode, and wandered throughout this world, ultimately coming to
the holy place Kolhapura (Maharashtra state). She made that Her residence. It was
in the holy abode of Kolhapura, that Mahalakshmi(Mahalakshmi) sat to perform Tapasya,
in the ecstacy of Her love for The Supreme Lord
Lord Vishnu Feeling Separation From Mother Lakshmi
As time went on, the Lord Narayana was feeling immense separation from Lakshmidevi.
Even the Land of Shvetadvipa had no charm for him without Lakshmidevi. So, He decided
to come down to the earth to search for Her. And thus, perfectly according to Narada
Muni's plan, Lord descended to this world as Shrinivasa. This is an appropriate
name, because He is always the abode of Lakshmidevi, and now Lakshmi has left Him,
so He has come to search for Her, to bring Her back Home.
Why 7 Hills Called SHESHACHALA OR SHESHDRI HILLS
Lord Srinivasa walked throughout the world, through various forests, jungles and
villages and ultimately came here, where we are sitting today, to the Sheshachala.
Why is it called such? It is told that at one time, the great and powerful devata,
Vayudeva came to visit the Lord in Vaikuntha and Adi-shesha was at that time guarding,
and told Vayu that, “You have to wait and bow down your head before the Lord.”
But Vayu was not happy with this. He was eager. So a little argument took place.
So the Lord came and to alleviate the argument, He said, “Why don't you have
a contest to see who is stronger between the two of you?” Everything the Lord
does has a very, very eternal purpose. So, it was arranged that Adi-shesha put his
coils around one of the peaks of Mount Meru named Ananda Parvata, and the test was,
who was stronger? Whether Vayu could move that mountain out of the grasps of the
coils of Adi-shesha.
So, Vayu was sending the most massive winds, unbelievable winds. In this world we
have seen hurricanes and cyclones and tornadoes. These are just little, tiny ttth
tth tth... tth tth... tth th tth, but when Vayu, with all the force of all his power,
blowing, he could not even slightly even a molecular particle of Adi-shesha or the
mountain where they were holding. So he was blowing and blowing and blowing and
sending wind after wind after wind, and Adi-shesha was there just holding, holding,
holding and days and days went by, and meanwhile, all the air and all the wind,
at the disposal of Vayu - he was using just for this purpose, and the rest of the
univers was suffocating (laughter). Indra was calling out, “Please! You know
this... Adi-shesha... you may be winning the fight, but what about the rest of us?”
So Narada Muni appeared and started playing his veena and singing the sweet glories
of the Lord. Meanwhile Vayu was exhausted, so he stopped his winds, and at that
time Narada Muni was singing and playing, and Adi-shesha was so charmed by the Glories
of the Lord, that he lifted one of the hoods to listen carefully. As soon as he
did that, Vayu blew right under that hood, with all of his force, and Adi-Shesha
and the whole mountain peak of Ananda Parvata went flying, flying, flying and landed
right here on earth.. Haribol! [Haribol!] Then Vayudeva came down and begged apologies,
“Oh, I am sorry! What have I done? Please come back. Come back to Vaikuntha.”
And Adi-Shesha said, “It is the Lord's lila. It is His plan that I remain
here.” So, this is known as Shesha Parvata bcoz these seven mountains- they
consist the abode of Lord Venkateshvara. he is non-different than the body of Ananta-Shesha
and it is considered to be non-different than Vaikuntha. [Haribol!]
Lord Shrinivasa Tapasya
Shrinivasa (Shrinivasa) was travelling in this area, and He made His residence in
the hole in the center of a large iant-hill that was situated under a large tamarind
tree. There, he performed tapasya. No eating, no sleeping. Just meditation on Lakshmidevi
to bring Her back. Lord Brahma(Lord Brahma) saw the situation of the Lord The nature
of the Lord's love- that He has left the etrnal abode of Vaikuntha where there is
all opulence, and He is living as an ascetic under an ant-hill? Fasting! So Brahma
approached Shiva, and together they went to Lakshmidevi in Kolhapura, so that the
Lord could be fed. Lord Brahma became a cow, Shiva became a calf and Lakshmidevi
a cowherd girl. She, with a little stick led the cow and the calf, to a place called
Narayanapura, which was the capital of the kings of the Chola dynasty. She proclaimed
that, “I would like to see the king and queen, bcoz I have a very excellent
cow and acalf, that I want to sell them.” The king and the queen came and
saw that cow and calf. They were so special. They were willing to pay anything,
and Lakshmidevi, she charged a large price.
Just like as its said if we give away our books out for free, then people may take
Them very cheaply. They have to pay price, then they'll have some understanding
that 'this is valuable'. In 1966, in New York City, Shrila Prabhupada began the
Hare Krishna Movement. At that time, the devotees, the first large public programme
they ever made, they rented out an auditorium in Manhattan Island of New York City.
And they sent out flyers. They were passing about in the streets by the thousands.
And it was free admission, free prasada, free kirtana, free lecture by His Divine
Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, who was then called Swamiji. There was hundreds
and hundreds of seats in that auditorium. But only a few people came. The devotees
were terribly dissapointed. Then Shrila Prabhupada said, “Because you made
it free.” So therefore they think it is a cheap thing. If you make them pay,
then they'll think there's something valuable about it. Yes? Then they'll take it
seriously. He said, “Oh, but you didn't see?” Prabhupada spoke as if
there were thousands, millions of people there. He spoke with so much dynamic enthusiasm,
led kirtana. He said, “You did not see? Narada Muni was there. Brahma was
there.” Devotees said, “We didn't see.” Prabhupada saw. Prabhupada
was always preaching for the pleasure of the previous acharyas. Bhakti Siddhanta
Sarasvati Thakura said, “If nobody comes to your programmes, you preach with
full enthusiasm to the four walls.” Bcoz, we are not preaching simply for
material results. We are preaching... wahtever we do is for the satisfaction of
guru and the Vaishnavas. And the spiritual master and the previous acharyas are
pleased by our effort, not by our results. So, Lakshmidevi, she charged a high price.
And the king and queen bought this cow with the calf.
Story About how Lord gets Injured
There was a cowherd man who everyday took those cows out to the pastures, to graze
on the grasses, and in the evening the cows would come back and would be milked.
Many days went by, and there was no milk coming from this special cow. She just
had a calf. There is no reason for this! The queen went to the go-shaala. “Where?!
So many days! Where is the milk from this prized cow? We spent so much! Where is
the milk from this prized cow?” She went to the cowherd man. “Are you
drinking it? Are you stealing it?” He said, “No, no! I am not! Honest,
I am not!” “If tomorrow, there is no milk, then I know you are! Then
you will be punished with your life.” Now what happened is this. At a certain
time everyday, during the grazing of the cows, this cowherd man would take a nap.
He would go to sleep under a tree. And right when he went to sleep, that Brahma
cow would run to the ant-hill and stand right over the ant-hill with her udder and
then pour profusely nectarean, delicious, nutritious milk down, and Shrinivasa accepting
the loving offering of His devotee, would just look up, open His mouth and the milk
would come right into His mouth to feed Him for the day. This was going on everyday.
This cow was a very, very faithful devotee.
So, on this particular day, the cowherd man pretended to go to sleep. But slightly
kept one eye open to watch the cow. And he saw that cow running, running... He saw
that cow standing over an anthill, milk pouring down into the ground. Oh! He was
furious. This was unbelievable. He was about to be killed bcoz of this restless
cow. He lost all intelligence. Krishna tells in the Gita: When there is anger, one
loses one's intelligence and one falls down into abominable activities. So, this
cowherd man in arage of fury, picked up an axe, and attacked. He hurled the axe
to cut off the head of the cow. But as the axe was coming down, Shrinivasa leaped
up and blocked the razor-sharp edge of the axe with His own forehead. When the cowherd
man saw the most beautiful personality standing before him, bleeding profusely,
he fell down unconscious. And news came to the king of what had happened, and he
came running to the place. When he first saw his servant, the cowherd man laying
unconscious, he thought he was killed. He saw blood all around. He was about to
attack and chastise whoever that person was. But, when he looked closely at Him,
He was the embodiment of all opulence and beauty. he understood that He was a special
personality, and the king asked, “What has happened?” And Shrinivasa
explained exactly. The king begged forgiveness. namo brahmanya devaya go-brahmana
hitaya cha jagad-hitaya krishnaya govindaya namo 'namah. We cahnt this prayer. But
do we really acknowledge the significance of it? Krishna is very fond of giving
protection to the cows and the brahmanas. In the story of Bhrigu Muni, we see He
tolerated the injustice of being kicked in the chest and forgave a brahmana, and
here He is showing His love for the cow. To save a cow, He is willing to endure
the pain of an axe, penetrating His own head. So He walked into the forest and He
was bleeding and feeling much pain. This is the Lila of the Lord. And then Brihaspati,
the priest of the demigods, He approached. He asked Brihaspati, “Can you tell
me a herbal remedy to alleviate the pain and injury of my head?” Brihaspati
explained exactly the herbs that were required (42:30). So He was searching for
those herbs and at that time He came to Varaha Kshetra, where He met Lord Varahadeva(VD).
Significance of Varaha Kshetra
Previously in the Satya-yuga, Hiranyaksha with his demoniac power,
to please his elder brother Hiranyakashipu, created such chaos in this world, that
the earth planet, Bhu-loka was cast to the bottom of the Garbhodaka ocean. At that
time the sages and demigods, they were helpless. They did not know what to do. They
approached Lord Brahma. Lord Brahma prayed to the Supreme Lord Vishnu, and in the
course of his prayer, a very small, little boar creature came out of his nose- the
size of his thumb, Instantly It grew larger and larer and larger until It was like
a huge mountain. He had most exquisite lotus-like eyes, although He was a boar,
which is a wild pig, which is considered a very ugly animal. Sometimes we praise
people by comparing them to animals. 'Fearless like a lion,' 'fast like a tiger,'
'Graceful like a swan,' 'sings like a cuckoo.' But have you ever heard in your life
or read in any books, anybody being glorified by being compared to a pig? No. 'You
are sloppy like a pig!', 'You are ugly like a pig.' If someone calls you a swan,
you feel very nice. But if someone calls you a hog... “You are a pig!”
It's an insult. Very great insult. But when Lord Varaha, took the form of a boar-
a wild pig, He was the personification of all opulences. He possessed all the 6(six)
opulences. He was beautiful! He was hypnotizing people! Everyone, all the great
devotees were falling in love with Him. That is the greatness of the Lord's power.
How wonderful is our Lord! Achintya shakti- He can do anything. And how He does
everything. Anyone who does not have faith in these stories is the most unfortunate
dull-headed person in all the creation. The Lord is so amazing, that He can take
the form of the most abominable of all animals, and be all-attractive! So that people
are falling unconscious by the beauty of this Boar. People are offering prayers
with tears pouring out of their eyes, out of their love for this Boar. Shri Varaha
Bhagavan ki... [jaya!]. Why not? If Krishna wants to show His opulence, why not
take the most despicable, abominable, obnoxious of all animals and show His glories
and opulences and beauty, and enchant everyone's heart in that form. That is the
And, He lifted the earth with the tusks, Jayadeva Gosvami sings in Dasha-avatara
stotra. After He saved the earth and delivered Hiranyaksha, Bhu-devi, the presiding
deity of this planet, she prayed to Lord Varaha that please make me home on earth,
where I can be your consort, and live with you. Please make a home here. So, of
all places, Lord Varaha-deva shows what He considered the most beautiful place on
earth. The Tirumala Hills. On the top of these hills, Tirumala, it is called Varaha
Kshetra. Bhu-devi gave this land to Lord Varaha-deva, where they lived together
very happily. So Shrinivasa came, and He asked for a place to reside here. Please
listen carefully. Lord Varaha gave him a tract of land. Shrinivasa said, “If
I'm taking this land from you, I want to pay rent. But I don't have anything. But
the rent that I will pay is this: ”I will induce all My devotees, for all
the rest of the time in Kali-yuga, anyone who comes to see Me, in My temple, must
first come and offer their worship and honour to You, Lord Varaha-deva.” So
to follow this tradition, which very few people do, it would be very nice tomorrow
if, before going to see Lord Balaji, we offer our honour, worship and take blessings
from Shri Bhu-Varahadeva, who are residing on the banks of the Svami Pushkarini,
a beautiful, sacred lake non-different than the river Ganges (Ganga), which absolves
Lord Shrinivasa Meets his Mother Bakula Devi
Lord Varahadeva told Shrinivasa that, “YourLord eternal
mother is living with Me. She has been acting as a very faithful maidservant, waiting
for Your incarnation. Her name is Bakula mallika, or Bakula-devi. And she will take
care of You and she will put the herbs on Your forehead, and love You like her own
son. So Varahadeva called for Bakula-devi, and when she saw Shrinivasa, immediately
her motherly love erupted within her heart, and Shrinivasa's love for her awakened.
Bakula-devi embraced Him, and she gathered the various herbs and placed it with
camphor, and saffron and musk and very sacred ingredients, and she made a paste,
and put it on Balaji's forehead. And, to honour the love of Bakula-devi, and to
remember the Lord's willingness to sacrifice for the welfare of His devotee, to
this day,Venkateshvara is weraing that sacred mixture of paste upon His forehead.
So, bakula-devi, she showed such motherly affection.
Who is Bakula Devi? It is explained that previously Bakula-devi was Yashoda mayi.
Krishna lived in Vrindavana for approximately twelve and a half(12+1/2) years, and
it is the aspiration of every mother, to arrange for her childrens' marriage. But
Krishna left Vrindavana and it was in Dvaraka when He was under the care of Vasudeva
and Devaki, that He married eight(8) queens and sixteen thousand(16000) others.
So, Yashodamayi was deprived of the opportunity to participate in these marriage
ceremonies. But Krishna, knowing her heart, gave her the benediction, that “In
a future incarnation, you will be My mother, and you will make arrangements for
Lord Srinivasa Meets Padmavati
Time passed. They lived in the forest together.In that He was
often in His anthill doing tapasya.It garden It came to his notice that, in the
forest, on the topthere of the hill, there were some wild animals,was a many tigers,
lions, elephants. They were harrassing innocent people, sometimes even devouring
them. So Shrinivasa told Bakula that, “I want to go on a hunting excursion
to protect the innocent from these dangerous animals.” But as a mother she
said, “No, no! You cannot go out there. It is very dangerous, it is a very
strange place. You should not go.” But He was insisting, so finally she accepted.
So He put on the robes of a hunter, with a bow and an arrow, and a horse, and He
went out, and there He saw a gigantic wild elephant. The elephant was running, and
Shrinivasa was galloping on His horse after the elephant. The elephant came into
a garden.beautiful princess of the name Padmavati(Padmavati), along with her maid-servants.
The elephant lifted his trunk and offered praise to Padmavati devi, and then he
disappeared into the forest. Shrinivasa came right behind him, and when He saw Padmavati,
who was standing, stunned by the fear of the elephant, it just approached her. Shrinivasa
was Himself stunned with her beauty. He got off His horse. He said, “Who are
you? Have you descended from the heavenly worlds? In this earth planet, there is
no one so beautiful. Ther's no one so enchanting and so pure as yourself. Please
tell me who you are?” She said, “My name is Padmavati, and I am the
daughter of the king Aksharaja from the dynasty of the moon, and I am here in the
garden with all of my friends. Can You tell me good sir, who are You?” He
said, “I am also from a royal dynasty coming from the moon god. My father
is vasudeva and My name is Krishna. And, now My mother has taken the form of Bakula-devi,
and she is seraching to find a suitable wife for My marriage.”
And just then the maid-servants of the princess came. And she (they) saw this Hunter
talking with the princess. They were very offended by this. “Who is this...
Who are You? Who are You? What are You doing here?” And they started warning
Padmavati, “You are a girl of great royalty. You cannot be just speaking to
a hunter, a strange person alone in the forest. What is this?” Shrinivasa
smiled and said, “O young maid-servants, do not be alarmed. I am in love with
her, and she is in love with Me. And I am going to propose to marry her.”“
Haa?” (response of maid-servants). Padmavati was beginning to blush. She looked
down and said, “First You have to ask My parents their permission.”
And the maid-servants, they were very angry. “You are seducing the princess.
Get out from here! Get out from here!” They picked up stones, and hurled the
stones at Shrinivasa. Again and again, they were throwing stones and they were chasing
after Him, and He jumped on His horse and rode away. And they were chasing after
Him throwing stones. He was feeling great pain. He returned to the home of Bakula-devi.
She saw that He looked unhappy. “Why are You unhappy?” He said, “Bcoz
I am in love. but the girl that i love, i cannot go near. All her friends throw
stones at me!”(sobbing voice) [Laughter of devotees], and Bakula-mallika said,
“You are the Lord of the Universe. How could You be enchanted by a mere mortal
woman of this world? But still whatever You desire is my life. If you desire I will
go to that place to negotiate marriage with her parents.”
Who is Mother Padmavti?
Shrinivasa said, “You do not understand who this girl is.” And he explained
the story. There was a great sage who lived in the Treta-yuga. His name was Kushadhvaja.
He was performing a yajna. With great devotion he was cahnting vedic mantras. From
his mantra-chanting, the Goddess of Fortune took birth. She took birth from the
yajna of the chanting of the Vedic mantras. And, therefore Her father gave Her the
name Vedavati. When She grew up to marriagable age, She was so beautiful, an ocean
of good qualities. All great princes, kings wanted to marry Her, promising wealth,
riches, luxuries and immense pleasures. But She had no attraction to any of them.
Her heart was fixed exclusively on Lord Vishnu. From his divine vision Kushadhvaja
understood She is a Goddess of fortune. Only Lord Vishnu is suitable to be Her husband.
But it is not easy to attain Lord Vishnu. Kushadhvaj sent his daughter into the
Himalayan jungles, to live all alone to perform severe austerities, meditating on
the Lotus feet of Vishnu, to attract His mercy to accept Her as His wife. She remained
in Himalayas for thousands of years, fasting, subjected to cold, snowy winters,
to the hot, blazing summers, to the dangers of the snakes and animals and insects,
tolerating all difficulty. Such a great example. This is vyavasayatmika buddhir
ekeha kuru-nandana. Kings and princes and devatas were approaching to marry Her,
offering Her royal palaces, offering Her luxuries- jewels, fine garments, food,
and not only that, but they were most handsome, chivalrous and opulent in all respects.
She rejected them. For what? To live in the jungle, wearing a deerskin, doing tapasya
for thousands and thousands of years. This is devotional service.
We want Vishnu. We want devotional service to Krishna. He is our goal and ideal
in life. So many things may come to us. Yes, the cheap things of this world- we
may get money, we may get comforts, we may get fame, we may get so many things,
we may get all kinds of pleasures, but a devotee is willing to give it all up to
perform austerity and thus (?) all we have is austerity. A sadhana bhakta is a person
who gives up so many of the pleasures of this world... for what? We don't even have
Krishna. We're not tasting the love of Krishna. It is just tapasya. But that is
the price! If we really want Krishna, we have to be willing with an empty heart
of nothing, except tapasya, carry on even if it takes thousands and thousands and
millions and millions of births. That was Mukunda Datta's example. He was willing
to suffer in separation faithfully for ten million (10000000) births, if he knew
in the end, he would get even one glimpse of Lord Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. That
is devotion. Enthusiasm and patience. That is the example of Vedavati.
She gave up all the promises and hopes and opportunities of this world to do severe
austerity. And what did She get out of it? Just living in the forest. Thousands
of years passed. One day, the king of the Rakshasas, Raavana, was flying by in the
airways and he saw Vedavati. He was immediately enchanted by Her beauty. He came
down and looked closer. Oh, the exquisite elegance of Her form, covered only with
a crude deerskin, hair becoming matted. But yet She was effulgent with elegant charm.
Raavana could not control his senses. He approached, assuming the form with one
head and two arms, very... and we'll hear from the Sundara Kaanda, that when raavana
assumed this form, he was youthful and he was so magnificiently handsome, and strong.
He was a scholar as well. He was speaking lovely poetry to win the heart of this
girl. He was glorifying each limb of Her body, and the fragrance of Her form. “I
am Raavana. I am the King. I have defeated Indra and all the devatas. I wish for
You to be my wife. You come with me.” She said, “I have given My heart
to Vishnu.” How amazing! All this tapasya, thousands of years! And Vishnu
never even showed Himself to Her even for a second.
Vedavati - The Emblem of Chastity and Patience
Aslisya va pada-ratam pinastu mam adarsanan marma-hatam karotu va yatha tatha va
vidadhatu lampato mat-prana-nathas tu sa eva naparah
All this tapasya but Vishnu was not showing Himself and here is a chance to live
with the wealthiest man on earth, Hare Krishna, the most powerful conqueror of the
earth, the king of kings. She said, “Get out from here, I have given my heart
to Lord Vishnu and I can accept no one else.” Oh, when Ravana heard the name
Vishnu, that really excited his anger, then he said, “What is this Vishnu,
what is He doing for you? You are worshipping Him for all this time and He is just
leaving you alone with no companion in this jungle with nothing to eat. What is
He doing for you? Come with me, I will give you the robes and the jewels of a queen.
I will give you pleasures that even the most elevated damsels of the heaven cannot
dream of, you come with me!” She chastised him that “I have given my
heart to Vishnu, get out from here”. So Ravana went to take her by force,
he grabbed her by the hair, and Vedavati, by her mystic power, she took her hand
and pht and just cut that hair right off and Ravana fell back. Then Vedavati invoked
the presence of Agni Deva in the form of fire and then she spoke her final words
to Ravana, “Because you have touched my body, my body is forever impure and
therefore I must end it today. But I will take birth again and in my next birth
I will be the cause of your destruction and the extermination of your entire dynasty.”
And then her body was engulfed with flames.
Some time later, Suparnaka, the sister of Ravana, informed her brother about the
beauty of Sita, and just by hearing the description of Sita's qualities, Ravana's
heart was burning with desire. He induced Marica to take the form of a magnificent
deer and allure Ram and Luxman away. At that time, Ravana came to kidnap the consort
of Sri Ram. But it is not possible for a demon like Ravana to touch Sita Devi. Agni
Dev appeared and he replaced the original Sita with Vedavati. Vedavati looked identical
to Sita. The Kurma Purana calls her the Maya Sita, the false Sita. She is actually
an expansion of the Goddess of fortune but not the original Sita. So it was Ravana,
he thought he stole Sita, but in truth he stole Vedavati. And it was this Vedavati,
after thousands of years of tapasya, she still never even saw Ram. She came to the
world and was immediately kidnapped by Ravana and she was screaming in the air,
and she threw some jewels down to the monkeys, Sugriva and Hanuman, when she was
flying over Kindakshetra and ultimately she was a prisoner of Sri Lanka, captive
in the Ashoka groves of Ravana, where everyday she was tormented, she was emotionally
tortured, she was threatened in so many ways. Ravana was coming with the finest
perfumes, the most elegant gowns, with by his mystic powers making himself the most
handsome among men, well-groomed hair with scented oils, promising her jewels, and
gifts and pleasures and everything, just become my consort and she refused. He would
threaten her and scream at her and roar at her. And other raksasas were tormenting
her, and raksasis, ugly raksasis, horrible, demoniac beings were surrounding her
practically day and night, trying to emotionally break her down to submission. And
this went on for about 10 months. Vedavati performed all this tapasya and this is
all she was getting. She did it all as a service to Sita Devi. Ravana would curse
her; Ravana would threaten her, “If you do not submit to me I will chop your
body in fine pieces and I will drink your blood and eat your flesh as my morning
meal. These are your two alternatives; either live as the primary queen of all the
universe as my queen or die a miserable death and be eaten by me”. Those were
the two choices he gave. But Vedavati, so chaste, so absolutely pure, not even for
one second ever deviated her mind from the loving remembrance of Sri Ramachandra.
Lord Ram and Laxman crossed over the bridge to Sri Lanka with the soldiers of Sugriva
of the Vanara race; there was a great war, ultimately Vedavati's curse was fulfilled.
All the sons, all the relatives, all the soldiers of Ravana were destroyed and ultimately
Ravana fell to the ground dead. The raksasa race was exterminated of Ravana. Sita
was brought back to Rameshwaram, where we will be going in a few days. It was Vedavati
and after all this time, first time, Vedavati's actually seeing Sri Ram and He rejects
her. He says that, “How do I know you are perfectly chaste and pure? Living
with such a great person as Ravana for 10 months, if even for one tenth of a second
your mind went astray from thinking of Me then you are not pure, you're not chaste,
and I cannot have you. So you should be tested by fire”. He ordered Luxman
to get big logs, big logs of trees and start it on fire, it was a blazing fire,
and Vedavati, in the role of Sita, she had absolute confidence of her chastity and
her purity, she walked right into the fire. It was at that time according to Kurma
Purana that Agni Deva appeared with the original Sita, Whom he had taken away and
put in the care of Parvati for all of this time. And Agni Deva explained to Sri
Ram this is the original Sita, and this is Vedavati, the Maya Sita, who is taken
by Ravana. Lord Sri Ramachandra accepted the real Sita as His wife. And Sita, Sita
told Ram that, “Vedavati has performed such devotional service, such sacrifice
under the torments of the prisonership of Ravana for all this time she did all for
Me and You. Please accept her as Your wife; this is her only admission, her only
ideal”.And Lord Ram said that, “In this incarnation I have taken a vow
of only one wife, so I cannot accept her in this incarnation, however in a future....
incarnation I will fulfil her desire and marry her”. And Ram left with Sita.
Vedavati still was alone with her mind fixed on the promise of the Lord that was
in Treta yuga, the whole Dvarpa yuga passed, Krishna's lila was manifested on this
world and then it went to another universe. Vedavati was waiting a long time, through
Treta yuga, through Dvarpa yuga and in Kali yuga, she appeared, and it's a wonderful
story how she appeared. In the dynasty of the moon there was a great king of the
Chola family of the name Sudarma. Sudarma had two sons, Aksharaj and Thondaman.
He raised them and they were loving brothers. When they were of age to take the
responsibility of the kingdom, Sudarma accepted Vanaprastha, he wanted to divide
his kingdom in half before he left and give each of his two sons who were both worthy
of being kings half of his kingdom, but the two brothers they had such deep love
for each other, neither of them wanted half of the kingdom. “We will both
rule the same kingdom together; we don't want to be separated”. So that was
the arrangement. Sudarma went to the forest, never to return, Aksharaj and Thondaman
together ruled the kingdom as two kings, one kingdom, amazing example of brotherhood,
they weren't suing each other in courts, they were working together with total love
Aksharaj was the elder of the two. All of his desires were fulfilled in the way
he was ruling his citizens except one, he had no child, he longed for a child, he
approached the Brahmans, and they told him, “You should perform a yajna for
the purpose of having a child”. So as a part of the process of yajna the king
had to plough several times around the yajnashala, so as he was ploughing around
and around and around, his plough got caught in something in the ground and he pulled
it, and out from the ground came an effulgent, golden box, on its own the box opened,
revealing an exquisite golden lotus flower, in the whorl of the lotus flower was
an effulgent little baby girl, smiling and glancing mercifully upon everyone. Aksharaj
picked up the little child and showed her to the Brahmans and the Brahmans were
amazed, they said, “Just as Janak Maharaja was ploughing the fields around
the yajna and from the earth came Mahaluxmi, the Goddess of fortune, Sita, in the
same way the Goddess of fortune has come again, and because she has been found on
a lotus flower, her name will be Padmavati”. This Padmavati was Vedavati,
who had taken birth again in this world.
Aksharaj brought little Padmavati to his wife, Darini Devi, and they raised her
with great, great affection. When she came of marriageable age, it created a big
problem in the house. Who possibly is qualified to marry Padmavati? So many people
were coming and offering their proposals but Aksharaj did not see that anyone was
qualified. One day, Narada Muni took the form of a Brahman and while Padmavati was
sitting in the garden, he said, “Let me see your palms”. She showed
her palms, he saw beautiful lotus flowers in both palms, Narada Muni was ecstatic,
tears flowed from his eyes, “I understand who you are, you don't know but
I know, you are the Goddess of fortune, who has incarnated on this earth and Lord
Vishnu will soon be your husband.”
Lord Srinivas Marries Padmavati
Padmavati, she forgot what he said. So many so We Brahmans say
so many things in this world. Srinivas told Bakula Devi that this girl, Padmavati,
is none other than My consort, Vedavati, who has been performing tapasyas for several
yugas to gain Me as her husband. Bakula said, “I will go to negotiate the
marriage”. Bakula Malika went to a place called, Kapileshwar, the temple of
Lord Siva. There she found the maidservants of Padmavati offering very fervent prayers.
She asked, they told that, “Ever since our princess, Padmavati, left that
garden where she met a strange hunter, she has fallen deadly sick. She has high
fever and Aksharaj and Darini Devi, her mother and father, they have brought the
best doctors, every type of doctor, but nothing seems to work, she is dying and
nobody can understand the cause or the cure.Kapileshwar to please give mercy and
Bakula Devi said, “That is why I have come, too. Please bring me to her mother
They said, “Yes, we will bring. You will give them hope.”
Meanwhile, Srinivas, it was His desire to elaborate this pastime. He took the form
of a gypsy woman and had a mystical gypsy stick to put spells on people. And little
baby, and she was dressed just like a gypsy, very authentic. And She came into Narayan
puram, the capital of king, Aksharaj. And She was calling out that, “I am
a gypsy woman and I have great powers, I could cure the sick, I could read the future”.
So one of the maidservants of the queen, she ran and told Darini Devi, Padmavati's
mother that, “There is a gypsy woman, can I bring Her? She seems to know the
She said, “Yes, bring Her immediately”. So Srinivas came in.
She said, “Please tell, what is the problem with my daughter? What is the
future? What will happen to my daughter? Please tell me, oh gypsy woman!”
He said, “I will tell. I will access the Goddess of the mountain to speak
through Me but first you must bring me rice, kum kum, turmeric, silk saris and gold
And She set it all up very nicely, and started chanting mantras. She said, “Now
you must bring your daughter to Me”. Padmavati was brought in, Srinivas was
very happy. The queen saw this gypsy woman gazing very deeply upon her daughter.
She said, “Show Me your palms.”
She said, “I know what is her illness. She met a very great personality. She
has fallen in love with him. And due to separation, she is love sick”.
The queen was insulted by this, “What nonsense you're talking, my daughter
love sick?” She said, “Yes, this is what happened, I know. I could see
it. I could see the past, and I could see the future. In fact, this person is none
other than the Supreme Lord. The Supreme Lord, Who is living in the mountains of
Sheshachala. And He was hunting an elephant and He happened to see your daughter
and all her friends when they saw this elephant coming, they all ran away and left
your daughter alone, but this person was heroic. He came to rescue her. How do I
know all these things? The Goddess of the mountain is telling Me.”
The queen rejected what the gypsy woman said. She said, “The mother of this
great personality is coming very soon to negotiate marriage and you should accept
it.” And the gypsy woman left and Srinivas went back to His ant hill.
At the next moment, Bakula Devi arrived through another door but Bakula Devi, her
stature was awesome, she had such majestic good qualities, although she just lived
as a very simple woman with no possessions in the forest, she had such dignity that
Darini Devi immediately was very deeply impressed and gave her a respectable greeting.
And Bakula Devi offered her a plate made out of ivory that was covered with the
most precious, celestial jewels, and presented it to the queen. She said, “I
have come to ask your daughter's hand for the marriage of my Son, Who is the Supreme
Lord, living in the hills of Seshachalam”
The queen said, “What is this incarnation of God? I have not heard of any
incarnation of Vishnu. And if Vishnu, Who is full of all opulences, were to incarnate
in this world, what would He be doing living like a hermit in the jungles of the
mountains? Let me speak to my king about this.” Darini Devi repeated the proposal
to Aksharaj. Aksharaj consulted his ministers, who were Brahmins, they said, “We
don't know of any incarnation of God on these hills, but the great sage, Shuka,
he is living in those mountains. He is all-knowing, we should consult him.”
They all went to the hermitage of Shuka, and Shuka said, “Yes, the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, Narayan, is living in the hills of Seshachalam. And king
Aksharaj, you can never estimate your supreme good fortune that He wants to marry
your daughter. Why does He want to marry your daughter? She is a Goddess of fortune,
His eternal consort. You should immediately, as soon as possible, arrange for this
marriage.” Aksharaj, Shuka and the other family members came together and
selected the soonest, auspicious date, which was on the next ekadasi.
And they wrote, Aksharaj wrote a letter to Srinivas proclaiming that he is offering
the hand of his daughter in marriage. So Bakula Devi and the sage, Shuka, delivered
that letter to the ant hill, where Srinivas was residing. Srinivas was very happy,
very happy. But the marriage was very soon, it was just a matter of days and He
wanted to invite all the demigods. So He meditated in His mind and from His mind,
Garuda and Ananta Deva appeared. And He gave them the order, “Invite all the
principal demigods to come at once to My marriage” And soon they were coming,
Brahma, Siva, Indra, Vayu, Agni, Surya Yamaraj, very auspicious, every one was coming.
Lord Srinivas borrows from Kubera
And when Srinivas saw the large crowds of very, very highly respectable
people, He became unhappy. Brahma asked, “What is the problem? All arrangements
are being made. Why are You un happy?” He said, “How are we going to
feed all these people? I'm living in an anthill, I don't have anything, and we have
to make elegant... This should be a glorious marriage; this should be an elegant
marriage.We need to arrange all the decorations, and not only that we have to feed
everyone feasts of sumptuous Prasad, but I have nothing” So Brahma, he called
for Kuvera. And Kuvera stood before Lord Srinivas with folded palms, offering his
repeated dandavats, and said, “My Lord, whatever I have is Your property,
You are the proprietor of everything that exists.treasury of all the gods is ultimately
Yours, just tell me and we will utilize it all”. Lord Srinivas said, “No.
it is yours. I will not take anything from you but I will accept a loan.”
Kuvera wanted to give everything but the Lord insisted, “No, it must be a
loan, I must set the principle.” I guess it is the principle that for many
marriages you need loan. But also the dignity of this avatar, He did not want to
take His devotee's property. And then the Lord dictated the terms of the loan, He
said “You give Me 14 Lakhs of gold coins with interest, and until the end
of the Kali yuga whoever is really My devotee, when they come to see Me to take
darshan, they will give their valuables and their wealth to pay the interest of
the loan that I owe to you for My marriage”.
And it is because of this ingenious contract that the Balaji Tirupati temple is
the wealthiest temple in all the worlds. I have seen people put their wedding rings
in the hundi. Hare Krishna. People give so much valuables but it is the duty of
the devotees of Srinivas to keep the Lord's word. And He said, “Until the
end of Kali Yuga, whoever My devotee is when they come for my darshan they will
give substantial wealth to pay the interest, and then at the end of kali yuga then
I will give back the principal as well”. So this arrangement was made. And
all the very, very opulent arrangements of marriage were taking place, but Srinivas
again was looking sad, and He was asked why. Padmavati could understand and everyone
could understand. Padmavati was not there at the time, I am sorry, the Demigods
could understand. It was because Lakshmi Devi was still all alone in Kolapur performing
tapasya. He did not want to marry Padmavati without the presence of Laxmi Devi.
So Srinivas called for Surya, and told Surya, “Go to Laxmi Devi and tell Her
that I am sick, very sick, and She should come at once and then She will come”.
Surya was very afraid, “But You are not sick. You are not sick, how could
I tell Laxmi Devi a lie? What will happen to me if I tell my Supreme Mother a lie?
She will know, She knows everything.” And Srinivas said, “No, I will
cover Her by my Maya potency so she will believe you” So Surya went to Kolapur,
and told Laxmi Devi that, “Srinivas is living in the Venkatashala, the hills
that cure all sins, and He is very sick, very sick, and He is asking for You to
be by His side” So Laxmi Devi said, “I will go immediately.” When
She arrived, Srinivas fell to the ground pretending He was sick, and Her heart became
very soft, but then She saw so many guests in all directions, She was wondering,
“What's happening?”, “Why all these guests?” and then the
Lord opened the curtain of Maya, Yoga Maya, so that Laxmi could understand everything.
She looked at Her beloved Lord, Narayan, in the form of Srinivas, “I know
what's happening. You are fulfilling Your vow, at last, to marry Vedavati, who has
appeared in this world as Padmavati” The Lord said, “Yes.” Laxmi
said, “I am thrilled with joy that You will do this. It is My great happiness.
In fact, I will personally perform the bathing ceremony to consecrate You for Your
marriage” Everyone was joyful. Laxmi Devi consecrated the Lord with a holy
bath and then the Lord descended the mountain to Narayanpuram, where Aksharaj was
waiting with great opulence and this marriage ceremony lasted for several weeks
with great festivities and joy. In the end, Bakula Devi told Aksharaj “Now,
my son must return to His home” So Padmavati and Srinivas left the royal kingdom
of Narayanpuram, and went back up to the top of mountain Tirumala, where They decided
to reside in the ashram of Agasya Muni. In this way They lived happily together.
Some time passed, Padmavati noticed that there was a sadness in the heart of her
beloved. She said, “I know why You are sad. You are feeling separation from
Laxmi, bring Her back.”
Lord Srinivasa searching Lakshmi devi
Lord Srinivas said, “But will She come back? She is still performing tapasya
because of Brga Muni's kick on My chest, will She come back?” She said, “Of
course She will come back.” “But what about you?” Padmavati said,
“It will be the greatest honour and joy of my life to share My home with Laxmi.
Together We will serve You for all of eternity.” So Lord Srinivas went to
Kolapur to bring Laxmi back but Maha Laxmi knowing He was coming, She disappeared,
went to Patala loka, where She took shelter in the ashram of Kapila Deva, the avatar
of the Lord. The Lord could not find Her. It was at that time that the Lord was
told that He should perform tapasya to get Laxmi back.
Lord Starts Meditating on Lakshmi devi
On these Tirumala hills, He was to dig with His own hands a kund. He dug the kund
and then He had Varuna fill it with ambrosial waters of sacred rivers and then He
was to install a magnificent, golden lotus flower. And He was to sit in the whorl
of the lotus flower and meditate on Laxmi Devi. He sat on the lotus flower, the
power of His meditation, the power of His love in separation created a heat that
was filling the entire universe, and ultimately it reached the heart of Laxmi. And
She consulted Kapila Muni, “What should I do?” Kapila Muni told Her
that, “Your Lord, Your beloved keeps feeling deep separation from You, He
is performing tapasya to get You back, You should go to Him, it is Your heartfelt
desire. Why are you taking so seriously this offence of Brga Muni? After all, it
was the Lord's plan. Even if Brga Muni committed an offence by kicking Him in the
chest, what is the result? NOW THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS WITHOUT EXCEPTION OF DOUBT
THAT LORD NARAYAN IS THE SUPREME PERSONALITY OF GODHEAD, THE KING OF ALL KINGS,
AND THE GREATEST OBJECT OF EVERYONE'S WORSHIP. Brga Muni, he has established that
fact beyond doubt. So even if he committed some offence, the end justifies the means.
He did a great thing. You should go back, You should forgive Brga Muni and You should
give pleasure to Lord Srinivas.” That was just what Laxmi Devi wanted to hear.
With a blissful heart She travelled through the stem of that lotus flower, and in
a most miraculous, astounding way through the lotus stem She just appeared on the
whorl of the golden lotus at the side of Srinivas, effulgent like millions of suns.
Srinivas and Luxmi Devi gazed upon each other. They were united again. Sri Venkateshwara
Dev Ki Jai !!!
Bhrugu Muni Begs Forgiveness from Mother Lakshmi
Brga Muni came to that lotus flower as did the Devatas, and the rishis, and the
sages and the devotees. Brga Muni was just offering full obeisances, again and again
and again, with tears of repentance in his eyes and begged forgiveness from Luxmi
Devi for what he had done. Luxmi smiled, She said, “You are forgiven, you
have done nothing wrong, this was all the lila of My Beloved Lord and you are just
an instrument of this lila.”
History Behind How Tirupathi Temple Comes
On the Tirumala Mountain, Lord Srinivas lived with Bakula, Luxmi and Padmavati for
many years. The King, Aksharaj, meditating on Srinivas left this world. At that
time, difficulty came upon the kingdom. After Aksharaj had departed, his son, Vasudan,
he considered that he was the rightful king. But there was a problem because Aksharaj
shared the kingdom with his brother, Thondaman, for all those years. Thondaman said
that, “It was our agreement. Originally, Sudarma, our father, wanted to divide
the kingdom in half for both of us, but due to our love for one another we wanted
to rule together, so we have been doing this so now I should rule with you”.
But Vasudan said, “Is it in writing? Where is it in writing? How can you prove
it?” It wasn't in writing. So Vasudan declared that his uncle was lying and
that he would be the sole king. So there was a disagreement. The disagreement escalated,
different people of the kingdom were taking either person's side and soon it came
to the point where it was going to be a fratricidal war.
On the battle there was Thondaman's army, and Vasudan, the son of Aksharaj's army.
How sad? This is the age of Kali. If you don't put things in writing, nobody knows
what is truth. And we see this happening even amongst devotees today, people make
agreements, people make policies, and then as years go by, different people have
different versions of what was agreed on. And then there is fighting with battles,
and brothers become enemies and god brothers become hateful, and everything is finished.
In Gaudiya math. when Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur was present, it was
the most powerful, united preaching team, nothing could stop it. It had the capacity
of just spreading Krishna Consciousness, pure love of God, throughout the world.
But after Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur departed, and even just before
he departed, there was conflict over who would get different properties? Over who
would get different positions? Over who would get different facilities? And after
he left, there was battles in the courts, and even battles with fists. And everyone
believed they were right. It was just different interpretations and miscommunication.
And the Gaudiya math was splintered into dozens of different branches, and Srila
Prabhupada tried in every possible way to unite, to unite his god brothers again,
and when he saw that it was not possible, he took the mission of his guru maharaja
to spread Krishna consciousness all over the world, he himself at the age of seventy
with nothing and he did it. Srila Prabhupada Ki Jai!!
So yes, here is a loving uncle and a loving son fighting over property and position.
So they both wanted Srinivas on their side. So Srinivas went to Padmavati, He said
“Who's side should I be on?” She said, she was so sad about this war,
so sad, but she said still, “Vasudan is my brother, he is closest to me. You
cannot go against him”. So Srinivas gave His conch shell and His Sudarshan
chakra to Thondaman. And He said He would be on the side of Vasudan. So the fight
was raging but there was a problem. Thondaman saw that because Srinivas was on the
other side none of his soldiers would fight enthusiastically, because they all loved
Him. How can you fight against the ultimate object of your love? So his army was
being destroyed, he was losing the battle simply because no-one wanted to fight
against Srinivas. So he got so mad, he got so angry. Some say it was Thondaman,
some say it was the son of Thondaman, that he took the chakra, the Sudarshan chakra
that Srinivas gave them, and threw the chakra, threw Vishnu's chakra at Vishnu.
And it hit Him, and Vishnu fell to the ground. It was His Lila, and He appeared
lifeless. And everyone stopped fighting then, and they all gathered around and they
were all crying and praying, “Please come back, come back, come back Srinivas,
come back”. And at that point Thondaman and Vasudan was thinking, “What
nonsense are we doing fighting? Look what the result of the fight is? That Srinivas
is injured, He may be killed”.
They were all crying and weeping and the news came to Agasya Muni's ashram, and
Padmavati ran to the scene with Agasya rishi. And she was weeping and crying, and
seeing that everyone's hearts were melting and then Srinivas came back into consciousness.
And they both said, everyone said, “Whatever You say Srinivas, we will do
”. So Srinivas said, “We will divide the kingdom in two parts, and Vasudan,
you be the king here and Thondaman, you be the king here, and forever you'll live
in harmony with each other.” And that took place. After some days, Srinivas
approached Thondaman, who was a very, very great and dear devotee. And said, “In
the place that Lord Varahadeva gave me, on the top of the mountain of Tirumala,
build a glorious temple for Me, that is where I will reside”. Thondaman, with
great efforts, built the original temple of Tirumala. Srinivas, Lord Narayan, resided
in that temple with Luxmi Devi and Padmavati. And at one time, very historical event,
Srinivas said to Thondaman and the great rishis and sages that were gathered that,
“As of now, I have speaking freely with human beings, acting as one of you,
but the age of kali is progressing; I will no longer speak to just anyone. I will
manifest My body as a deity, and whoever comes to worship Me with sincere devotion,
I will deliver them from their sins and I will elevate them to Vaikuntha”.
Then Srinivas stepping on the altar of the temple manifested the vigraha of Sri
Venkateshwara. Sri Venkateshwara Bhagavan Ki Jai!! Much louder please. Sri Balaji
Maharaj Ki Jai!!!
Acharyas Tells Greatness About Tirupati Temple
The greatest of the acharyas climbed this mountain with their own feet, as we are
going to do tomorrow, eager for the darshan of Sri Venkateshwara. Shankaracharya
came here to worship, and later on the great Vaisnava Acharaya, Ramanujam. Ramanujam
declared according to the sastras that these seven hills are Vaikuntha on earth.
Ramanujacarya was living in Sri Rangam but singing the songs and the hymns of the
Alvars, always put him in a trance of ecstatic love. And one time while reading
the glories of Tirumala and the Lord, Sri Venkateshwara, he told his devotees “We
will go there”. He came to the foot of the hill, and performed his bhajan,
giving lectures on the Absolute Truth. One of his disciple, Anantacharya, he was
living up there on the Lord's order, taking care of a garden, knowing that his guru
was down at the bottom of the mountain, he came down and asked him “Please
come up, please come up”. But Ramanujacarya said, “How can I put my
feet on that mountain, it is non-different than Ananta Sesha, it is Ananta Sesha's
body. It is Vaikuntha, the spiritual world. I cannot go”. But he said, “Ramanujam,
my gurudeva, if you do not go then nobody will go. Even the pujaris, if you, the
most holy and saintly and pure of all beings, are not willing to put your feet on
the mountain then what is our position? The pujaris will come down; no pilgrims
will go up there. Balaji will be up there all alone. You must come, please.”
So on the persuasion of the devotees, Sri Ramanujacarya climbed. As he was climbing,
one of his spiritual masters, Sri Shaila Purna, came with garlands and Prasad, to
greet Ramanujam, when he was just close to the top of the mountain. Ramanujacarya
said to his senior, elder guru, he said “Why did you come with all this load
of Prasad and garland yourself? Why didn't you just send a junior devotee to do
this? You are very old and it's very difficult for you.” Sri Shaila Purna
responded that, “Yes, it is the proper etiquette for me to send a junior devotee,
but I looked in all directions, and I could not find a single soul junior to myself.
I am the junior most; I am the most neophyte of everyone so I had to do the chore
This is what a guru of Ramanujacarya was speaking. Sri Ramanujacarya's heart melted
with the humility of a true Vaisnava. He stayed on the top of the hill for three
days, having the darshan of Sri Balaji in great ecstasy. It is explained that over
a period of time Balaji has four hands, over a period of time, the Vaisnavas worship
Him as Vishnu, but the Shivaites worship Him as Lord Shiva. The followers of Shankaracharya
consider that Balaji is Shiva. And the followers of Ramanujam and others consider
Him Vishnu. So should we put the drum of Shiva and the trident in his arms, in His
hands? Or should we put the conch shell and the disc? There was a dispute and you
know how religious people can be when there is a dispute over theological issues.
It was a heated debate. Ramanujacarya proposed a solution, he said that, “All
followers of Shankar, you put Shiva's drum and Shiva's trident before the deity
and I will put the conch shell and Sudarshan chakra before the deity, and then we
will all leave the deity room and lock the doors so no one has any possibility of
coming in. And in the morning we will open the door and see which symbols the Lord
is holding”. Can you imagine the intensity of that night? I didn't read this
but I don't think anyone slept that night, because this was in South India, this
was like the ultimate deity. Is it Shiva or Vishnu? In the morning, the doors were
opened and Sri Venkateshwara was holding the symbols offered by Sri Ramanujacarya
of the conch shell and Sudarshan chakra. Venkateshwara Bhagavan Ki Jai!!!
Sri Ramanujacarya descended from the hill, he was about to depart for Sri Rangam,
Sri Shaila Purna offered to teach Ramanujacarya Valmiki Muni's Ramayana for one
full year in Tirupati. Ramanujacarya remained here in Tirupati for that year studying
Sri Ramayana. Sripad Madhavacharya came here to Venkateshwara's mandir, resided
for some time and worshipped Sri Balaji with great love and devotion with his disciples.
Sripad Vallabhacharya came here and worshipped Sri Balaji with his disciples. In
Sri Chaitanya Bhagavat we find Nityananada Prabhu's pilgrimage, He came to Tirumala
to worship Sri Venkateshwara with great love and devotion. And in Sri Chaitanya
Charitamrita, Lord Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, He walked up the same path we will
be going tomorrow and in the presence of Sri Venkateshwara, in ecstatic love, He
offered His prayers, He danced with His arms raised inducing every one around to
chant the Holy Name. HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA KRISHNA KRISHNA HARE HARE HARE RAMA
HARE RAMA RAMA RAMA HARE HARE
So many of our beloved acharyas worship this place, Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur,
if we are fortunate we will see the lotus footprints of Lord Chaitanya that He installed
here. And Srila Prabhupada, himself, came here. It is written about it in his biographies
to take the darshan of Sri Balaji and he was very, very deeply impressed, in fact
he told devotees that we should learn how to manage a temple very nicely and worship
the deities so beautifully from Venkateshwara temple.
Today, after lunch Prasad, which will be served if I ever end this long lecture,
we will be visiting the temple of Padmavati. Tomorrow, for those with the strength,
providing there's no cyclone rains, by Yoga Maya's potency, Christmas is such an
immensely crowded place, time for Tirupati. More people come here on pilgrimage
than any other temple in the entire world. Even though it is so difficult to get
to. And Christmas time is a time where people all around have holidays. So this
place should be swarming with hundreds and thousands of people, millions of people.
However, because there are cyclones in Andhra Pradesh the vast majority of people
are afraid to come. So the last few days I've been living on the top of the Tirumala
Mountains and there's hardly anyone there, it's a great benediction. I mean, whoever
suffering from the cyclone we definitely offer our prayers and our sympathies and
pray for the Lord's compassion upon them, but at the same time there is some, some
good that we can. So tomorrow those who are fit, we will leave at 4'o clock in the
morning, and the meeting place will be announced. And we will, following in the
footsteps of Sri Shankaracharya, Ramanujacarya, Nityananada Prabhu, Lord Chaitanya,
Prabhupada drove off, so those who drive will be following in the footsteps of Prabhupada.
And tomorrow, we will be having the darshan of Sri Venkateshwara Balaji. And the
darshan is very fast, it is not like Radha Govinda temple, where you can stand all
day long and chant prayers. In Venkateshwara temple you only get a few seconds and
you are, “chalo chalo”, you are pushed forward. But it's amazing. Sometimes
people stand in line for 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours, just stand in line for all
these hours, they have to bring tiffins and just eating while standing in line,
sleep at night where they are in line, just to get a three-second darshan, “chalo,
chalo”. And in certain ways, in some people they shave their heads. There
is a certain hall where they shave heads, hundreds and hundreds of people a day,
men, women, everyone. As a traditional offering amongst the devotees of Balaji,
an offering of surrender. Sometimes, when things are too easy to achieve we take
it cheaply or as they say, for granted, but things that are very hard to achieve
we meditate on its value more deeply. So this is one of the wonderful experiences
about Venkateshwara, so much trouble to come here and then to get up the hill and
then to stand in line and then just a second or two and then you are whisked away,
but for that second or two, just offering the deepest, heartfelt prayers, praying
for mercy, and beholding the form of the Lord, with much intensity, that is what
we should do. Factually, that is how we should behold the deity all the time. When
Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu was in Jagannath Puri, standing and gazing upon Lord Jagannath
there will be tears pouring from His eyes, His limbs trembling, and however much
time He was standing before Jagannath it was never enough, that is love. What should
we pray? Na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye mama janmani
janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi. In the line of Lord Chaitanya and
the six Goswamis, our prayer is for eternal service, our prayer is for pure, unalloyed
love, we want nothing else. My Lord, if You want to embrace me, or trample on me,
or make me brokenhearted by not being present before me, as You like, I am Your
servant, unconditionally. Many business people have become wealthy by praying to
Balaji, by offering gifts to Balaji, many sick people have become healthy by offering
their hearts to Balaji, but we do not want Karma-mishra bhakti, we do not want liberation,
the desire of the jnana-mishra bhaktas, we want suddha-bhakta, we want pure devotion.
What is pure devotion? Samsaddhir Hari tosanam, my Lord, how may I please You? Let
me just be Your servant, unconditionally. That is my ultimate ideal, my ultimate
aspiration, and even in the footsteps of Vedavati, if I have to suffer for yugas,
I will never give up the hope of the shelter of Your lotus feet, in this spirit,
let us worship the Lord and chant His holy names.
|| OM VENKATESHWARAYA NAMAH ||
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