Tirumala, heaven on earth…

Tirumala, the temple town on the pinnacle of the seventh hill of Venkatadiri is “Vaikuntam” or heaven on earth. The abode of the Lord Venkateshwara has inspired me over the years and I have visited his abode many times and shall continue to do so for as long as I am around. When I intuitively know it is time to be rejuvenated it is not a spa or a beach resort that I yearn for but his abode. I was in Tirumala last week, traveling from Bangalore by road. It takes around five hours to reach the city of Tirupati with a few short breaks in between. Tirupati is the pilgrimage town in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh. From Tirupati ( at the base of Tirumala ) I prefer walking up to Tirumala. The path winding through two of the seven hills is approximately twelve kilometers long and it takes another four hours to reach Tirumala with not too many stops in between. The foot trail commences at Allipri.

Walking up to Tirumala has given me more joy than anything else in this world. The four hours quite literally fly and I have always been fascinated with my ever surging energy levels. My energy levels are nowhere this high on other steep walks I have attempted and which last a fraction of the time too. The first hour and a half of the climb is quite difficult as the gradient is very steep and approximately a little over thousand steps in rapid succession are to be traversed before one reaches “Namala Konda “. After which, the  stretch is no more a knee breaker and there is a good ten meters between each step. There is approximately a two kilometer walk along the ghats road in between and which is relatively easy. The last stretch of steps which takes us to the “Galligopuram” is again a knee breaker. The footpath was the only means to reach Tirumala long before the ghats roads were constructed. This remains the stairway to heaven where great saints like Ramanajucharya and Annamaya once traversed and wearing footwear would be sacrilegious on this holy route.

Faith – What is “faith”? What faith does one have to follow an arduous path to the Lord and not take the easy road to him ?Observing the faith in those who take this path to the Lord is fascinating. There is but utmost devotion in them. There are some who apply turmeric , sandalwood and vermillion paste on every step along the way. There are some who light camphor on every step, there are some who carry children and walk, while there are some who walk on their knees. I just walk and I enjoy watching everything around me. I enjoy watching the aged walk so effortlessly. Where does this ninety year old man get the strength from? His younger family members cling to him for support. Breathlessly this man walks in utmost veneration.

I saturate my senses with the sight of the crimson skies and the emerald flora, I listen to the rustling leaves, I bask in the wisps of the evening cold fog setting in, I watch the most lovable pair of eyes that peer at me through the fences of the deer park, I hear the munching of carrots that the velvet patched deers feast on, I listen to vendors selling hot chilli “bajjis”, I listen to trickling water through the facade of a cliff by the path, I hear the shouting of ” Govinda Govinda” by the pilgrims, I notice the stone statues of the “Alvars” who dedicated their lives to the service of the Lord,I hear the chanting of the Vishnu Sahasranama being uttered by the angelic MS Subbalakshmi  ( being played in the loud speakers all along the twelve kilometer stretch), I think of MS and I remain fascinated with MS’s love for her Lord, widely extolled and which reverberates through the seven hills, I visit Lord Hanuman’s many temples along the way, One of the hills named after his beloved Mother Anjana Devi, I utter the chalisa, I know I am close to heaven.

On reaching Tirumala what more would an ardent devotee want other than seeing the Lord in the sanctum sanctorum of the Ananda Nilayam.  A fleeting glimpse of him is all that it takes to will the weakest to conquer the greatest of heights.Amongst the chanting of millions of voices I know he listens to my voice too. He always has. In times of my greatest trials and tribulations, he has been there. For no words would do justice to express my love for the Lord of the seven hills. Splendid and bedazzling in his diamonds, rubies and emeralds, he watches and he listens. No offering is too big or too small, he accepts them all and from all. From Krishna Deva Raya to Vijay Mallya to Mukesh Ambani to the poor unknown cobbler to the countless nameless and the faceless, each offering a token of devotion. Tirumala remains the richest temple in the world. The love for the Lord vibrates through the temple complex, the Lord’s love electrifies Tirumala and beyond. For no one can explain the miracles of the Lord and it would be inappropriate even for me to share some of my own personal experiences on a public space.

I share an article on the Lord, a personal favorite of mine by M Raghu Ram

The unique idol of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, the most popular and bounteous pilgrimage center in the country, is believed to be the first image of any god or goddess that manifested spontaneously and is the source of Archa or idol worship so common in India today

Tirupati>The rich imagination of Brahmanical literature describes him as the Lord of numerous universes: the root of the phenomena of Creation, Life, Living, Events, Change et al as the Preserver of the Hindu Trinity. Sri Venkateswara Swami, or Tirupati Balaji, is the presiding deity of the famous and bounteousTirumala temple.

Over the millennia, the Tirumala temple, near Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh, has continued to draw countless devotees who contribute billions of rupees to its kitty. Its mind boggling reserves of pure gold, if unloaded, can crush the world bullion market. Even the Vatican and Mecca cannot match the temple’s popularity nor can the new pilgrimage destinations of India, such as Sabarimalai, Vaishno Devi and Shirdi.

Pilgrims come for fleeting glimpses of the fascinating life-size idol ofBalaji, after inching in long queues for hours and days. Many undertake the pilgrimage asking for favors to mark various transitions in life or simply to offer their hair, tiny silver or gold bits or images of the deity. The shrine is an integral part of life and culture especially in the three southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The devotees, however, cut across all barriers of region or religion. For the Dutch Peter who recently converted to Vedic Hinduism through the TM (transmeditation) route, the deity represents pure consciousness. The miracle of survival amidst recurring destitution and godsent jobs to the family of Fathima, a Muslim devotee, is a moving story. Dr Loy Camoens, a devout Latin Catholic and a physician in New Citi Hopsital, Secunderabad, India, requests for the laddu prasad or offerings, from Tirupati and accepts it reverentially. A Jain woman in New Delhi, India, pines for this deity. They are all moved by a spontaneous feeling and urge.

Some leftists, known staunch atheists, have also been drawn to Balaji. The moving force for Sri Sri, an acclaimed Indian poet and Telugu revolutionary, was the maddening jealousy of his fellow litterateurs. Communist leader late C. Rajeswara Rao’s red salute to the deity some years ago had also sparked a controversy.

UNUSUAL ICON

Venkateswara is not a name but a title. Vem-kata means one who cuts or washes away one’s sins.

The unique idol in Tirumala is a riddle to unravel. 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 and action in theism.

There are millions of gods in Hinduism but there is ultimately only one God. All God’s attributes are to be found in Vishnu, in yoganidra (yogic sleep) or Sri Ranganathaswami (Lord of the creation) who chose to descend on the earth as Yoga Murti (idol), Balaji. Thus, Balaji is not an avatar of Vishnubut Vishnu himself.

The deity also represents the God of Justice, according to V.G. Pragasam, Advocate-on-Record, Supreme Court of India. He is blindfolded by the Namam or forehead mark; the scales of justice are his two wives on either side of his chest with the sword of justice hanging in between. With his slim and black figure, the deity is said to represent Shani (Saturn). He subjects one to the trying period ofShanidasa and metes out the package of rewards and punishments in the material and spiritual spheres.

Interestingly, the image in the temple is most unlike the portrait in the ubiquitous pictures, admits M. Srinivasa Bhattacharyulu, an adviser to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD), which manages the affairs of the temple. In the portraits, the deity’s chubbiness, facial appearance and sword visibly dangling below his chest are all misleading. The Dhruva Beram (the standing idol of the deity) has aSrivatsa mark in the middle of the chest instead of the left breast which encloses a half-inch Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth and divine consort of Lord Vishnu) sculpture.

When installed and consecrated in a temple, any form of Vishnu is said to create peace, nourishment and happiness for devotees. Balaji is one of the eight Swayam Vyakta Sthalas(spontaneous image locations) in India and Nepal, Bhattacharyulu elaborates.

TirupatiYou don’t need to go to Tirumala to fathom the Lord’s mystique or greatness. Mere listening to the wondrous compositions of his noblest and humblest devotees, like Annamacharya or Tyagaraja, Alvars Pasurama and Purandara Dasa, suffices. They combine the quintessence of the Vedasand the Upanishads.

There is a controversy about the deity representing Shakti ( divine consort of Lord Shiva as well as Goddess representing female power) and Shiva as some rituals and traditions signify. The first three Alvars describe him as a combination of Vishnu and Shiva. Dr Medasani Mohan, director, Bhagavatha Project, TTD, attests to the idol having jatas (locks of hair) of Shiva and chiselled out bosom of Shakti when observed from close quarters during the prolonged Abhishekam Seva (holy bath) when the idol is undressed.

But Bhattacharyulu contradicts this theory. Normally the lions atop the Vimanam (roof) are taken as proof of its being a Shakti temple. But he says they are mere guards as in Badrinath and other Vaishnavite shrines.

A DAY IN THE DEITY’S LIFE

His day begins with the Melu Kolupu Paata (awakening song) sung by the descendants of Annamacharya, followed by Sri Venkateswara Suprabhatam.

A traditional cowherd or Yadava is given the first darsan or holy sight of the idol, of the day. The recitation of the deity’s 1,008 names is begun in the name of Hathiram Bavaji, a 15th century seeker from North India. The Muthyala (pearls) Harathi at night and Pavalimpu Seva (putting the deity to sleep) is done in the name of Tarikonda Venku Mamba, a rebel, writer and staunch woman devotee.

The Lord is said to go down the hills to neighbouring Tiruchanur to see his consort, Sri Padmavathy, by using the large shoes made as an offering by a Madiga “untouchable” and returns early for the morning sevas or services.

Sri Ramanujacharya, the 12th century reformer and Vaisnavite saint, laid down a comprehensive system of organization, management and worship, which survives to this day in Tirumala. The daily worship was institutionalized by 1200 AD. It represents a notable exception to the casteist and dominant Brahmanism even in the early part of the millennium, mainly due to Ramanuja’s towering stature.

AN ENDURING PHENOMENON

The geography of the central hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats of India, is compared by the puranas or ancient texts, to a huge recumbent cobra or Adisesha. The Jyotirlinga of Sri Mallikarjuna Swami in Srisailam temple is located on its tail, Sri Narasimha Swami Temple in Ahobilam on its back, Sri Venkateswara temple atop its hood like the dancing Krishna (though the temple is noted for its location in the low of the last hill rather than the peak) and Sri Kalahasti temple of Shiva at the opening of its mouth.

Surprisingly, despite the hill’s topography suiting military operations, which were frequent in the region, the Balaji temple remained miraculously untouched, even by the infamous iconoclast Aurangzeb’s (the last of the Great Mughal Emperors) plundering and pillaging army.

Ancient references to the deity and the purifying hill even before the advent of the deity are many. They go back to the Rig-Veda. Some described only the purifying hill, others mentioned the Lord who absolves sins and presides over the hill, but not any temple. The puranas refer to the Tirumala hill as Venkatadri or Venkatachala.

According to the Hindu epic Ramayana, Lord Rama, one of Lord Vishnu’s incarnations, and hisVanara (monkeys) army marching to Lanka for war with Ravana halted here on the request of Anjana Devi, the mother of Hanuman. The Mahabharata, the longest epic in the world, describes thetransformation of the departed spirit of Sri Krishna, after it entered the solar disc, into a lifeless four-armed image, which was to descend to Earth. An ethereal voice told the assembled devas or gods that it was to be worshipped in Kaliyuga, the present era of darkness and ignorance, as an easy means for seeking personal salvation. This is believed to be the Tirupati deity. The eighth century Tamil classic Silappadikaram quotes a pilgrim’s description of the deity.

tirupatiWHY IDOL WORSHIP

Idol worship is not animism practised by the so-called primitive peoples and cultures, as colonialist anthropology would have us believe. Faith in it opens up many gates of spirituality. A recent book on the first encounter of medieval Arabian Muslims with idol worship in India reveals their curiosity and respect for this path to God-realization instead of intolerant iconoclasm they became infamous for.

Esoteric Brahmanism which evolved a complex system of Archa or image worship is rooted in Balaji’s idol. The deity is the first image of any god or goddess that manifested spontaneously.

Bhakti (devotion) path has nothing to do with sandhya, vandana, japa and other rituals, which are all means of worship and are all right, but worship of divine images is accorded primacy in bhakti or devotion. Attachment to the deity’s image detaches the devotee fromsamsara, this world, and enables him to realize the supreme being as Narayana.

It is worth noting that Balaji’s right hand is pointing downward towards his feet just above the knee, indicating that worshipping him will liberate one from kneedeep illusions of worldly existence.

Thus, not only is the main idol in Tirumala believed to be of divine origin, it is also connected with divine sanction for Archa worship. The earlier yugas or eras, offered a tough yogic path of penance, mental concentration and meditation. Archa is to enable all in Kaliyuga, the present era of darkness, to achieve God realization through less tedious means of intense love and devotion.

Lord Venkateswara is also known as Pratyaksha Daivam (manifest divinity) who helps his devotees in distress even if they do not or cannot help themselves, thus contradicting a simplistic adage. This is, of course, linked to one’s yogam or spiritual entitlement.

Advertisements

48 Responses to “Tirumala, heaven on earth…”

  1. Anand Khare Says:

    Very informative.Good article. Dil mange more.

    Anand

  2. Felt like a darshan…I am moved beyond words…

    Thank you, Sharmila…the post was worth the wait…

    Aish.

  3. Sharmila,

    Thank you for the post on Tirumala Tirupathi.

    Tirupathi is one of the few places in India that I am yet to visit.

    I have seen Kashi, Dwarka, Mathura, Benaras, Hardwar, Hrishikesh, Badri, Kedar, Kathmandu and many others in the North. As also, some from Hasan, Belur, Halebid in Karnataka to the Vivekanada smarak in Kanya Kumari.

    Somehow, Tirupathi has eluded me or vice versa. Your post is the closest I have ever got to.

    ===

    I do not see anything irrational in admitting a universal divinity. Duh… that is neither theistic nor a-theistic.

    In the entire history of human religions and philosophy, although there has been no instance of divinity being called a ‘limited, empirical’ hypostasis, it has certainly been recognized as an omniscient quality of life.

    I find that divinity in Honesty, Strength, Simplicity, Integrity, Rationality and Independence.

    I feel the lack of that divinity in many values and pursuits of people I know. I do not care to preach or reform.

    As much as I respect the teachings of Radhakrishnan, Tagore, Buddha, Plato, Aristotle et al… I also respect my learning from Nietzche, Ayn Rand, Victor Hugo and others. I have never seen conflicts in their philosophies although they appear diverse at first sight.

    Those that I have read, considered and rejected because of the values that they seem to advocate are Immanual Kant, Mahavir and Jesus Christ.

    Some day, if I get an opportunity, I shall publish my views in detail.

    Till then… I’ll blog… 🙂

    • Reader – That is absolutely right, neither do I see any irrationality in admitting to a higher intellect and you have clearly earmarked “divinity” with those attributes you describe. If one has these attributes they have already realized divinity, for divinity is also attributes without a physical form in this metaphysical plane.

  4. Lakshmi Jag Says:

    Very informative and having walked the hills several times, can vouch for how faith carries us forward specially climbing the “Nakshatra Parvatham”. It gets the name, they say jokingly because one starts to see stars by the time one finishes climbing this hill. I remember as a child being able to stand for at least 15 minutes in front of the deity to where one is pushed aside within half a second. But as you say, that half a second glimpse of the deity is enough to send one into a rapture. Having experienced the quiet, laid back Tirumala, the present commercialized Tirumala conveys that Kaliyuga is truly in place. As you said, faith, belief and hope is what we need in the present times and Lord Venkateswara helps us to keep them

    • Lakshmi – Thank you and happy to get your views. I intuitively knew you would be a regular visitor and hence was looking forward to your thoughts. Enjoyed reading about your memories. It would be a blessing to get a 15 minute darshan, probably reserved now only for the VVVVIP.

      • Lakshmi Jag Says:

        In those days long darshans were pretty common not just reserved for VIP s. BTW I had the opportunity to listen to one of the people you quoted Medasani Mohan. He does Ashtavadanam…simultaneously recite from eight different works of literature such as Bhagavatham, Mahabaratham etc. Simply amazing to watch

  5. Sharmila,

    There is a general consensus among both believers and atheists that denial and refusal to accept a standard is a valid argument.

    A recurring event, as in a perpetual state, is on an infinite time-line – in other words there is no end.

    A metaphysical value or a conceptual determination is grounded in reality.

    It is like the term Zero or Infinity in mathematics.

    Infinity, like a nullity (zero), describes a quantity that cannot be established.

    Infinity does not exist, exactly in the same manner as a zero does not exist.

    ‘Non-existence’ is not qualitative. Hence virtual, ethical or metaphysical infinities do not exist.

    A philosophical infinity is a contradiction in terms. There is no such thing as a philosophy of ‘non-existence’.

    This is where I feel consciousness and divinity become dis-similar. Consciousness subsumes ‘non-existents’, divinity does not. Consciousness is a state of the mind, divinity is not.

  6. Muraliraja Says:

    Sharmila,
    I love temples. But I avoid crowd ones. Tirumala was never in my “must visit” list. To get out from a depressing situation, to keep friend company, to enjoy a road trip, most of all a lucrative offer: Darshan within minutes! I agreed to accompany my friend to Tirumala.
    Ended up shaving my head!
    The vibe, the energy level is unbelievable.
    Very few shrines has the ability to make us feel heaven for a brief moment. And Tirumala does it everyday for thousands of devotees. Not only to devotees but also to people like me!

  7. Sharmila, Reader, Aishwarya, Anand, Monalisa, Saurabh and all other members of Sharmila’s EF…

    Hi all! I have missed this medium over the past few days or has it been weeks??? I hope I have been missed too 🙂 Too many things have been happening simultaneously and my multitasking skills are being put to some very tough levels of testing. I haven’t read the post yet, so I shall comment on it after I have done justice to it! Good Bye till then!

    Shubha

  8. Lakshmi – Should see if I can get a video of this.thanks for the info.

  9. Just to clarify the second half of the article which starts with ” The unique idol of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala, the most popular and bounteous pilgrimage center in the country, is believed to be the first image of any god or goddess that manifested spontaneously and is the source of Archa or idol worship so common in India today” is not my contribution, it belongs to Raghu Ram.

  10. Anand Khare Says:

    I am fortunate to been to this one of the most visited pilgrimage two times in my life. Never went on foot as done by Sharmila.It is worth a try.Never knew all these information that changed my perspective reasonably.I am sure I would notice all this in next darshan.

    Once I went to the temple with my naniji, who was in her eighties that time. Obviously, she was on a wheel chair. I was the one supporting her to ambulate. The time was 4 AM in the morning and the waiting time was about 45 minutes in the queue.

    When we reached the temple, one of the senior pujaris noticed her.He came to me and asked from where we were coming. I replied that we came from New Delhi to Chennai yesterday and travelled in night to reach Tirupati at 10PM. He asked me to follow him through their service entry. In five minutes the darshn was over.Due to my Nani, I had the easiest Venkateshwar darchan ever. But my Nani always gives credit to me .She always remembers and says that because of you I had darshan. She thinks that it was pre-arranged with the mandir authorities.

    Reagrds,

    Anand

    • Thanks Anand for sharing your experience and looking forward to hearing from you after your next visit to Tirumala. I am happy that your Naniji did not have to wait for long.

  11. Jothish Nair Says:

    good one! felt like i was been there!

  12. Awesome post. Thanks a lot.

    Best Regards
    Rupam

  13. Sharmila,

    Away day… well, almost….

    On Faith and Devotion

    After some considerable deliberation, I have come to a firm conclusion that Devotion and Faith are two mutually exclusive mind-sets.

    In Sanskrit, Faith is called Shraddha and Devotion is called Bhakti.

    The two are epistemologically and metaphysically different.

    This thought was first triggered by Narada’s Bhakti Sutra and it was justified by Valmiki’s Yoga Vasishtha and Vasishtha’s Dharmasutra.

    But let me begin at the beginning.

    I believe, and with good reason, that the way a person lives his life is always the cause of his death. Both are inevitable.

    Take Vasishtha, for example.

    His advaiyta philosophy (and subsequently the Dhramasutra) that brought Shri Rama into action and converted an entire citizenry into devotees also lead to Vasishtha’s eventual death.

    Vasishtha was a Brahmarishi. Along with him were Maharishi Vishwamitra and Parshurama. Shri Rama was in his fourteenth year. They took him away from Dashratha. Vasishha was his Dharma guru. Vishwamitra taught him the Yadnyas and Parshurama provided him the armoury.

    The cult of Vaishnavaites began thus. All the intellectuals moved away from the adivasi Shivaliks. All the subsequent generations of Brahmins are Vaishnavites. Thus the appearance of Vishnu in the later Upanishads and Brahmanas.

    Shiva is the first Adivasi, the God of the Shivaliks. His supremacy was unmatched. His followers are driven by Shraddha, Faith.

    Vasishtha’s advaiyta philosophy (this world and that world; an illusory noumenal world against a real post-death heaven!) created a devotional following and thus the Vishnav dharma became the intellectual’s pursuit.. the pursuit of Bhakti, devotion. (This was in 5013 BC. Not Immanuel Kant)

    His elder brother, Agasthya, had forewarned him of the consequences. The two brothers were daggers drawn on the issue.

    Finally, Vasishtha crossed Saraswati in order to escape an army that was looking for him. However, that gave him only a few additional years. He was traced by Agasthya’s people. Before they were able to reach him, Vasishtha killed himself out of sheer fright.

    Devotion (Bhakti): Devotion is a form of admiration. It does not seek. It renounces.

    Faith (Shraddha): Faith is a form of trust. It is an attachment. It strives and achieves.

    A secular achiever has faith in every religion in this world. It enhances his efforts. He achieves more. He need not be devoted to anything. He does not renounce life. It’s all he has got to make sense of his achievement.

    There is no such thiing as a secular devotee!

    Disclaimer : All the words above and the thoughts they express are mine. Please don’t blame those who are mentioned by name. They were extra-ordinary, great people – given their abilities and achievements.

  14. Lakshmi Jag Says:

    Reader…I am a bit confused on this. How can one have Bhakti without being attached to it?

    Lakshmi

    • Reader – If I do renounce my materialistic world, I can strive and achieve and have the utmost veneration. I am still not clear on the difference between bhakthi and shradha.

  15. Sharmila, Lakshmi,

    Good Morning.

    Let me give examples:

    The ultimate Bhakta, Devotee is Narada. Also, there are others, though less favored, like Pralhad, Hanuman, Meera, Raghvendra Swami etc who are devotees of Vishnu or his Avataar.

    In Narada’s Bhakti Sutra, Narada shows how complete bhakti leads to complete renunciation. The Bhakta has nothing, needs nothing, wants nothing – not even the subject of his Bhakti!

    ===

    Faith is shraddha

    Examples are: Scientists, Prophets, Leaders, celebrities etc.

    • Why are the rest less favored as compared to Narada? But was Hanuman not the ultimate bakth of Shri Ram?

      • Rama was an avtaar of Vishnu. Hanuman is a Raam Bhakta.

        Narada is Vishnu’s own bhakt and resides with him at par with Laxmi.

        Meera, Raghvendra and others were Krishna Bhakta another Vishnu’s Avtaar.

        One interesting aspect to note is that Bhakti is an exclusively Vaishnavite custom.

        Shiva bestows boons on Faith. That is why he is called “Bhola Shankar” Innocent Shiva!

      • Sharmila,

        Let me add lest it sounds like a conflict between Vaishnavites and Shivaliks. There is none.

        I am a Vaishnav. Yet all my pooja begin with invocation to Shri Ganesha, who is Shiva’s son.

  16. Sharmila, Lakshmi,

    Lakshmi, bhakti is not attached. Let me give you an example, Paramhans was praying so hard that the divinty once appeared in form and asked him what he wished. This happened thrice in succession. All the three times he was dumbfounded. He wanted nothing. Bhakti is non-attachment. Total Bhakti is total non-attachment.

    Sharmila,

    Renouncing material world for a spiritual one is a deal, a trade-off. It is not renunciation. You will achieve spiritual wealth and still remain in the binds of Faith.

    Bhakti does not deal. Bhakti surrenders. Gives up. There is nothing to achieve.

    That is why Krishna says he is not afraid of the universe and it’s workings because he is yogeshwara. But he bows and submits to Bhakti and offers all he has. A true bhakta takes nothing!

    • Example of one who has renounced the material world and yet bound by Faith is a Priest in a temple. His dedication and services do not let him renounce completely.

      Pure bhakti cannot be restrained by functions.

    • Sharmila, Lakshmi,

      Devotion has devotees and Faith has followers just as knowledge has believers.

  17. Lakshmi Jag Says:

    Reader…thanks for the clarification.

    Lakshmi

  18. Sharmila,

    Is it my imagination or is it really snowing on the blog??

    Cool (brrrr…)…l like it…festive, wintry and very pretty!

    🙂

    Aish.

  19. Sharmila,

    These small white flakes that are falling across the screen are either a new effect of the theme, a bug or a blessing from Tirumala.

    But it looks odd when it falls on Mr. Nandy’s smooth pate on the next page. It does not bounce off, just slips down like a drop of dew on a glass pane…

  20. Very informative. I had been to Tirupathi/ Tirumala once with family in 2001. As they say, you need to be invited to reach. Glad got once. I am averse to crowd, so contemplative to make the next visit. (U never know). Even Shirdi has become maddening crowd to dare visiting.

    Thanks
    Karthik
    Bangalore.

  21. Gurunath Rajan Says:

    Dear Prakash,
    Thanks a LOT.Very informative,I go to Tirumala with my family every year to take his blessings as Lord Balaji invites his devotees(belief).

    Devotion has devotees & Faith has followers,Just as knowledge has believers,

    Hari Sarvothama,
    Vayu Jeevothama

    GOVINDA GOOVINDAA!

    say HARE SRINIVASA!

  22. Gurunath Rajan Says:

    Dear Prakash,
    Thank you very much for sending me this article.

    say HARI SRINIVASA!

  23. One of the most pleasing and enchating blog posts i’ve ever. Took me on a mind’s eye trip to tirumala with some vividly beautiful description. The post goes a long way in showing that faith and bhakti are the pillars of success and survival in this kali yuga.

  24. bhojpuri video songs…

    […]Tirumala, heaven on earth… « Sharmila says…[…]…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: