Balaji Sri Venkateswara

Balaji Sri Venkateswara

Lord Venkateswara’s temple was built as per the principles of Vaastu. The temple faces east, the deity is placed in west, facing east. It is covered by mountains on all sides except northeast. A pond is located to the northeast of the temple. A waterfall is in the northern direction and the water from it is used for the holy bath of the main deity every day. For those who believe in Vaastu, all this is one of the reasons why it is one of the richest and most popular places of worship in the world.

There are many other reasons.

I love Krishna but unlike Shivji He is a difficult God to please. Shivji is called Bhola (simple) because he is easily pleased with rituals and penance. Krishna on the other hand does not strike an easy bargain. He wants you to surrender totally. He requires your total love and attention. So I find Balaji approachable because it is only in this form, that Krishna (Incarnation of Lord Vishnu) makes deals, as He owes money to Kubera which he has to repay. He will listen to your pleas if you help in relieving the debt that He owes. How did He get into such a financial crunch? You guessed it, because Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth had a misunderstanding with her husband and left him! Shocked?, well read on.

Last week I had promised to tell you how the Lord came to live upon Tirumala Hills. 

Once Sage Narada came to visit his father who is Brahma. Brahma was worried that man was falling prey to his animal instincts during Kaliyuga. So sage Narada met some sages who were commencing a great sacrifice to minimize the evil influence. Narada asked the sages who the presiding deity was to be. After much debate it was agreed that Sage Bhrigu undertake the difficult task of finding out who the most ‘Satvic’ (pure) in nature is amongst the Divine Trio, so that he could enjoy the honor of becoming the presiding deity.

Bhrigu Rishi  went to the court of Brahma first of all. The latter did not accord the respect that he should have to Bhrigu Rishi’s visit. In fact Brahma got annoyed at the fact that Bhrigu Rishi had entered the palace without waiting for his permission. Bhrigu Rishi’s next visit was to Shivji. The latter was peeved with Bhrigu for having come to his private chamber, at  an inappropriate time. Bhrigu Rishi had felt insulted by both Brahma’s and Shivji’s attitude. Next Bhrigurishi proceeded to the Ocean of Milk where Vishnu was reclining on His serpentine bed. Bhrigurishi angrily kicked upon the chest of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu apologised for hurting Bhrigu’s feet as the latter had hit against the Lord’s iron-like chest! Lord Vishnu’s humility brought tears to Bhrigu Rishi’s eyes. Bhrigu Rishi concluded that Lord Vishnu was undoubtedly  more Satvic (pure) than Brahma and Mahesh.

Lord Vishnu was lauded for His magnanimity. However Goddess Laxmi felt humiliated  and insulted, since Bhrigu Rishi had kicked Lord Vishnu on His chest and the chest of Vishnu is MahaLaxmi’s abode. She left Vaikuntha (Heaven) and her Lord in dismay.

As soon as Goddess Laxmi left, all beauty departed with her. Lord Vishnu could not bear to live in Vaikuntha for a moment longer. He walked through half of the world without food or water. He finally  reached the serpentine hills of Sheshaadri (A hill in Tirumala). It felt like home. Lord Vishnu found an anthill. He entered a cave-like hole and sat there to meditate.

PADMAVATI (earlier life)

Padmavati is MahaLaxmi herself who appeared to a great Sage while he was uttering Vedic mantras. In her earlier life, she was called Vedavathi. The sage found through divine insight that only Lord Vishnu was fit enough to be her husband.

In her subsequent life, Vedavathi, as a baby, was found in a casket lying over a big lotus.

The priest solemnly proclaimed that the child was an incarnation of Mother Laxmi and she should be named ‘Padmavathi’ (The lotus born one).

Lord Vishnu (as Venkateshwara) met Padmavathi and was enamoured by her. He decided to marry her, but was short of funds for the wedding celebrations (as Laxmi was not with Him yet)
So he approached Kubera for a loan. Kubera agreed to give him the funds with the understanding that Lord Venkateshwara would pay the interest during Kaliyuga and the principle thereafter.

So the marriage was solemnised.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead make a deal with the Lord of the Hills. He fulfills your wish and you contribute to the payment of the interest that the Lord owes to Kubera for His marriage expense.

Oh how could I forget to tell you that Laxmi understood the ‘Leela’ (Drama) of the Lord and how this whole episode had come to pass so that the Lord may reside on Earth during Kaliyuga, and fulfill easily and quickly the devotees’ wishes. So She returned to Him and She also dwells in Tirupati. 

Reader’s Response
From Adinarayana Guduru (
Dear Mrs. Kimatrai,

This article is full of knowledge. You have captured the story of Lord Venkatesha in best shortest form, with the simplest English. Even a vernacular student (like me) is able understand the Leela (the divine mystic plan) of Lord Venkateshwara.

Some doubts I have & I hope to get some clarifications from you. And, please pardon me, if I am wrong as I am in no position to put question to your Vast Knowledge, (I’m like a candle before the sun of knowledge).

In the article, you mentioned that Sage Bhrigu was appointed for examining the Divine Trio for the Satvic nature. But as my father used to tell me the story (when I was a kid) that Sage Durvasa, was the one appointed for the task. As he was very short tempered (because of an eye he had in the sole of his one leg).

When sage Durvasa angrily kicked upon the chest of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu apologized for hurting Durvasa’s feet as the latter had hit against the Lord’s iron-like chest and proceeded to massage his feet. And doing so he reached to his feet and plucked the eye from the sage’s sole. As soon as the eye of anger & dignity was plucked from the feet of the sage, he bowed before Lord Vishnu and apologized for his misbehaviour. Then Rishi Durvasa concluded that Lord Vishnu was undoubtedly more Satvic (pure) than Brahma and Mahesh.

You wrote that Goddess Padmavati, in her earlier life, was Vedavati. But again as per my father, in her earlier life she was Satyabhama, Lord Krishna’s second wife. Therefore, the sage with his divine insight learnt that only Lord Vishnu was fit enough to be her husband.

Again pardon me for any ignorance.
Reply by Shakun:
Dear Adi,

I am so pleased that you are enjoying reading my articles… I must tell you that I read so many complicated versions about Balaji before I simplified it and placed it on my website….
There are so many varied versions to our Scriptures… which is understandable… I allow my readers to make their own belief and conclusions…

Much love,
An addition… Comment :                                                                                        A small addition to the story. As far as I can remember reading Amar Chitra Katha and also my grandmothers stories. The sage was appointed and when he first approached Brahma, the sage was ignored since Brahma was busy with saraswati and hence he cursed brahma that in kali yuga he will never be worshiped which is why you rarely see a brahma temple. Then Again when he went to shiva’s chamber, Shiva was with parvati, the sage cursed shiva that because he was so preoccupied with parvati that he did not notice the sage and hencehe said that in the kali yuga no one will worship shiva as an idol but only as a linga (the male organ, phallus), and then the vishnu story followed. The marriage of padmavati took place because in her previous birth vishnnu (then Rama) could not marry vedavati. In olden times, Lakshmi, in the form of Vedavati, was staying in an ashram in the forests. At that time, Ravana, the lord of Lanka tried to tempt her. In anger, Vedavati cursed him saying that she would bring about his death. To show how true her words were, Vedavati walked into the fire, but Agni, the Fire God rescued her. He took Vedavati to his house and entrusted her to his wife’s care. When Ravana was about to carry away Sita from Panchavati, in the absence of Rama and Lakshmana, Agni appeared and offered Vedavati to Ravana as the real Sita who was kept with him by Rama to evade Ravana. Ravana was tricked into thinking that Vedavati was the real Sita. Ravana took Vedavati to Lanka thinking she was the real Sita, while Agni took Sita to his house and asked his wife Swahadevi to look after her. After the destruction of Ravana, Vedavati entered the fire when rejected by Rama. Then, Agni, offered the real Sita to Rama. Rama then questioned her as to who the other lady by her side was, Sita informed Rama that the lady was Vedavati who endured Ravana’s torture for ten months in Lanka for her sake. Sita requested Rama to accept Vedavati also as his spouse. But Rama declined her request saying that he believed in having only one wife during his life time. However, He promised to wed her in her next birth as Padmavati, born as the daughter of Akasa Raja, when Rama himself would take the form of Srinivasa. So thats the story..