Here is my forty first entry for BettyLouise’s, IdahoBlueBird50 Mysteries Blog, Animal of the Day (AOTD) challenge. Here is the link to BettyLouise’s blog https://idahobluebird50.com/2019/10/26/aotd-antelope-october-26-2019/
Venkateswara is also known as Śrīnivāsa, Bālājī, Vēṅkaṭa, Venkata Ramana, Vēṅkaṭāchalapati, Tirupati Timmappa and Govindha, is a form of the Hindu god Maha Vishnu. Venkateswara is the presiding deity of the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple located in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh in India. Venkateswara literally means “Lord of Venkata”. The word is a combination of the words Venkata (the name of a hill in Andhra Pradesh) and isvara(“Lord”). According to the Brahmanda and Bhavishyottara Puranas, the word “Venkata” means “destroyer of sins”, deriving from the Sanskrit words vem (sins) and kata (power of immunity).
Every year, lakhs of devotees donate a large amount of wealth at the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. There is a great legend behind this incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Once, there was a ritual to be conducted. The sages and pontiffs for the Yagna were in a dilemma about which God is the ritual to be done for.
The sages called for Sage Bhrigu, one of the Saptarishis to ask for which God should be the ritual done. To test the ideal God, Bhrigu did a test. He first went to King of God’s, Indra. Indra did not at all recognize Bhrigu’s presence and was busy in watching the mesmerizing dance of Apsaras in the heaven. Bhrigu cursed Indra that he would be only be referred as an egoistic soul all over the universe.
He next visited Brahma. Brahma was busy with his four heads in chanting the Vedas, doing meditation, creating the world and spending his time with his consort, Saraswati. Bhrigu cursed him that he would be not worshipped by any of the creatures on the earth anymore for not obeying him.
Next he visited Lord Shiva. Shiva was busy in his Rudradhyanam and his consort, Mother Parvati was worshipping Shiva’s feet. Bhrigu cursed Shiva that he would be worshipped only as a stone called Lingam.
At last, Bhrigu went to Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu was sleeping on the bed of serpents and Lakshmi was at his feet. When Bhrigu arrived, he first saw Vishnu’s feet and felt too humiliated. He thus kicked Vishnu on his chest and awakened him.
Vishnu started massaging Bhrigu’s feet and served him great hospitality. Bhrigu was pleased and ordered the sages to perform the rites for Vishnu. Goddess Lakshmi, also referred as Sri, had a fight with Lord Vishnu as she felt that Bhrigu insulted her indirectly by hitting Vishnu on his chest where Sri lived and thus left Vaikunta.
She came and settled on earth in disguise in the ancient city of Karvir (Kolhapur) and meditated on Vishnu where today the Mahalaxmi temple is found. Lord Vishnu soon arrived on earth searching for Goddess Lakshmi. But He failed to find her and instead settled on Seshachalam hills inside an anthill.
The whole earth became gloomy. On the request of Parvati and Saraswati, Lord Shiva and Lord Brahma incarnated as a cow and a calf respectively in the Chola kingdom. This cow and calf were being grazed daily by a shepherd of Chola kingdom in the Seshachalam hills. The cow and calf, everyday used to deposit their milk in the anthill to lessen the thirst of Vishnu. Due to daily programme, the cow and calf became pale and unhealthy. The Chola king and shepherd noticed this and felt something suspicious. The next day the shepherd took the animals for grazing and like everyday,the cow and calf deposited their milk in the anthill. The Chola king saw this act and launched his arrow towards the cow and calf. But in order to protect them, Vishnu arose from the anthill and the arrow hit Vishnu’s leg. The Chola king was sorry for his mistake and surrendered at Lord’s feet.
Lord presented him a boon that he would marry his daughter in his next birth. In his next birth, Vishnu incarnated as Srinivasa to a woman named Vakula Devi. It is said that in Dwapara Yuga, Krishna presented Yashoda a boon that Krishna will be again born to Yashoda in Kali Yuga. Vakula Devi was reincarnation of Yashoda. Meanwhile, Goddess Lakshmi of Karvir took birth at the palace of Aakasha Raja, the next birth of the previous Chola king. Srinivasa was a forest dweller. During the search, Lord Srinivasa met the beautiful girl named Padmavati. They both fell in love and decided to get married as per the boon of Vishnu to Chola king in previous birth.
The father of Padmavati asked for a huge bridal price and to pay the money Lord Vishnu took a large loan from Lord Kubera, the Hindu god who is the treasurer of wealth. Kubera gave the loan on the condition that Vishnu cannot return to Vaikunta his heavenly abode without paying off the debt. After the marriage Saint Agasthya gave feast to the couple. They lived in the cloister (ASHRAM) for six months as his guests.
Saint Narada told Lakshmi Devi about the marriage. She stopped her penance at Kollapuram and reached the cloister of Aghastya. There she asked Srinivasa for Justice.
In the Ramayana Maya Sita went to Agni, Lord of Fire, instead of Sita. Maya Sita was Padmavathy. Vishnu was RAMA and LAKSHMIDEVI was Sita. Sita asked Rama to marry Maya Sita for the Sacrifice she had done. But Rama Refused it because He wanted to be monogamous. Rama said in the next birth He would born as Srinivasa and marry Padmavathy. Srinivasa asked Lakshmi Devi to remember these things. Having remembered the past her mind changed and became very calm.
Lord Vishnu resides at Tirumala, that is the Seshachalam hills as Tirupati Venkateswara without returning to Vaikunta until the payment is made. To help him repay his debt, devotees offer him everything, including hair and wealth and in return Lord Vishnu fulfills their prayers. In 2014, an RTI petition was filed by Narasimha Murti, an RTI activist living in Bangalore, seeking to know “how much Lord Venkateswara had received from Lord Kubera and how many more years it would take for the devotees to clear this debt”.