About Tirupati Balaji
“Tirumala, in all its right, is heaven. Its powers are indescribable.The Vedas have taken the form of rocks and appeared on Tirumala. Holiness has taken the form of water and is flowing as streams on Tirumala. Its holy peaks are Brahmaloka and other lokas. Srinivasa lives on Seshadri.” — Sri Tallapaka Annamacharya, 15th Century A.D.
Being a city in Chittoor of Andhra Pradesh, Tirupati the one of the major devotional and holi abodes of India and the richest temple in the whole world. The grace, the beauty and the majesty of the Deity are palpably felt during the darshan of Sri Balaji. One may drink in the form of the Lord with a thousand eyes, yet remain unsatiated. If the devotee looks upon the Lord with the ideas of Saguna (form, qualities and attributes) He appears so. For one with an advaitic outlook the experience is ranscendent.
Tourism is the major industry in Tirupati. The temple is visited by about 30 to 40 million people annually on average and the figure goes up to 500,000 during special occassions.
In Tamil, “Tiru” means divine or holy and “Pathi” means husband or lord. It is speculated that Lord Rama resided in this place along with Sita and Lakhsmana after they returned from Lankapuri (now Sri Lanka). In the 5th century A.D., aishnavism was the primary practiced religion here. Tirupati Balaji or Lord Venkateswara, also called Venkatachalapathy or Srinivasa, is a Hindu God believed to be a form of the Hindu Deity Lord Vishnu. Lord Venkateshwara means “ven+kata+eshwara= sins+destroyer+supremegod”, so the supreme god who destroys the sins of the people in this material world.
It is believed that Earth was rescued by Sri Maha Vishnu in a situation where it was completely dominated by Hiranyaksha to Patala Loka (underworld) in the form of Adi Varaha – a white boar with tusks. Sri Mahavishnu fought a ruthless duel with Hiranyaksha and after Hiranyaksha’s demise, he held the whole Earth in his tusks. Here the Vedic mantras have their own significance. The Devas, Brahma and the sages celebrated Adi Varaha’s virtues by chanting the Vedic Mantras. Earth needed to be re-established as they prayed to Him. Adi Varaha called Brahma to recreate the Earth. His desire was to reside on the Earth with the faith that He can protect human beings from the attacks in Kaliyuga. He got Garuda (his vehicle) to bring in Kridachala to Vaikuntam. Kridachala is a range of hills with lofty peaks and studded with gold, silver and precious jewels. It was deposited on a sacred area to the east of Swami Pushkarini. Brahma along with others requested Adi Varaha to change his fearsome look to a look which is more acceptable to the people residing on Earth. Adi Varaha then took the look which was more tranquil, composed and pleasant containing four arms and a white face. He was accompanied by Bhu Devi and adorned with precious jewels. His sole aim was to protect the people of the Earth as well as fulfil the mission of people who were failing to attain salvation, get the realization and reach Adi Varaha by the means of Yoga (Karma, Bhakti and Dhyan Yogas.). He resided at Venkatadri, under a divya vimana to fulfil his mission.
He appeared in this kali yuga for saving the people who are fallen deeply. He is Lord Vishnu, who is trancendental to the material energy, Lord Vishnu dont have direct contact with material people, that’s why yogis meditate severly to get his lotus feet, but in this kali yuga people are most fallen such that they even lost themselves due to ignorance in bodily conscoiusness. Lord Vishnu out of love towards his devotees incarnated as Lord Venkateshwara. Lord Vishnu mixed with Maya devi(Narayani also called as Durga Devi) and became Lord Venkateshwara, now he can have direct contact with material energy. Since durge devi has the direct contact with matter, she is called as superindent of this material world. Now Lord Venkateshwara can directly deal with his devotees even in kali yuga, where ignorance prevails most.
Adi Sankaracharya came to tirumala and placed sri chakra at the lotus feet of Lord Venkateshwara and sung the famous song “Bhaja Govindam”. So Lord venkateshwara is the supreme god of this kali yuga.
Venkatadri Samasthanam Bramhandey Naasthi kinchana Venkatesa samo devo na bhuto na bhavishyati” – There is no place in the Universe that is as great as “Venkatadri”. There is no god as great as Lord venkateshwara in past or future.
Tirupati survived throughout ages, even during Musli and British invasions as well as the Pallavas, Cholas to name a few. In fact, it was regularly upgraded by various kingdoms. The majority of the inscriptions found inside the temple are in Tamil language. In 1932 Tirupati Venkateswara Temple was handed over to TTD Act (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams). TTD is an independent trust which manages all the temples of Tirupati, as named below and all over the world. The entire economy of Tirupati depends mainly on the TTD. Other temples in the locality include Sri Padmavathi Temple (Tiruchanur), Sr Govindaraja Swamy Temple (Tirupati), Kapila Theertam and Thathayyagunta Gangamma Temple. Tourist safety is deeply taken care of by the Urban Police District. It was deployed with 100 commandos of the Organisation For Counter Terrorist Operations who have been intensively trained for in house intervention, hostage rescue and Israeli combat technique. Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel is the first 24-hour Telugu devotional channel dedicated to the broadcast of Hindu devotional programmes and live telecasts of poojas performed at Tirumala Venkateswara Temple.