Lord venkateswara: God Vishnu’s Incarnation (Tirupati balaji)
Lord Venkateswara is an incarnated form of Lord Vishnu. The word Venkateswara is derived from two words ‘Venkata’ and ‘Ishvara.’ In South India, Venkata is the name of a hill, and Ishvara is a Sanskrit name of God. The most famous temple of Lord Venkateswara is located in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. If Hindu scripture is to be believed, the creator Lord Vishnu pleased by the love and devotion of his worshippers incarnated as Lord Venkateswara. The main motive behind the incarnation of the Creator God on this earth was the salvation of the human soul. In the Kali yuga, Lord Venkateswara is considered as the most revered form of Lord Vishnu. Other names of the God are Tirupati Balaji, Srinivasa, or Tirumal Devar.
Lord Venkateshwara is depicted as a four-handed god. In the upper two hands, he holds a conch shell and a discus. The conch shell symbolises the existence of the living beings on earth and the discus is a symbol of power. The lower hands of the God are extended downward with which he asks the devotees to surrender themselves completely.
The Famous Tirupati Temple:
The temple dedicated to Lord Venkateswara is Venkateshwara Swamy Temple situated at Tirumala. This temple is also famous by many other names based on the popular legends. Since Lord Vishnu incarnated himself as Lord Venkateshwara for the higher purposes of saving the mankind, hence the temple is also famous by the name of Kaliyuga Vaikuntham. Tirupati Balaji and Tirumala are the other names of the temple. The sacred temple of Venkateshwara is situated above twenty-eight hundred feet above the sea level. The scenic beauty of the temple sight never fails to surprise the devotees. Tirumala hills form a part of the Eastern Ghats. The natural placement of the hills of Eastern Ghats along with their height, curve and fall resemble the mythological characters associated with the God such as Serpent Adisesha, etc. If legends are to be believed, the Tirupati temple has remained one of the most sacred places in all the four yugas. In Krithyuga, it was famous by the name of Vrishabhachala. In treta yuga, it was popular by the name of Anjanachala, Dwaparyuga knows it by the name of Seshachala, and in the present Kaliyuga, it is famous by the name of Venkatachala.
Legends about Lord Venkateshwara
According to Hindu mythological stories, Goddess Lakshmi left Vaikuntha and came to earth after indulging into a fight with Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu also arrived on earth during the journey of search of his consort. Lord Vishnu failed in his innumerable attempts to find the Goddess Lakshmi. In the hills of Tirumala, he settled down as a forest gatherer. His search for Devi Lakshmi continued. In this process, Lord Vishnu came across Padmavati, daughter of the King of Tirumala hills. On Vishnu’s proposal to marry Padmavati, the king asked for a huge price. It was almost impossible for the forest dweller to arrange such a huge sum; hence, he took a loan from Kubera to fulfil his wish of marrying Padmavati. Kubera gave the loan to Vishnu on the condition that he can only leave the earth after paying off his debts. It is believed that Lord Vishnu wasn’t able to pay off his monetary obligations, and hence, he resided as Lord Venkateswara in the hills of Tirumala.