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Greatness of Srinivasa

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CHENNAI: Lord Srinivasa of Tirumala is mentioned in 10 Puranas, said Velukkudi Krishnan. Lord Srinivasa is known as the Lord of the Seven Hills, and there is a story behind each sacred Hill. Lord Srinivasa Himself stands on the hill known as Venkatadri. The Venkatadri hill is the hood of Adi Sesha. The story goes that there was a contest between Adisesha and Vayu. Narada came to the scene of the contest and played his veena. Distracted, Adisesha lifted his head for a fraction of a second, and his head broke off to become the Venkatadri hill. Adisesha's body became Ahobilam, and his tail Srisailam. There is no place equal to Tirumala, which is referred to as Venkatam in the Tamil verses of the Azhvars. Thirumangai Azhvar has written moving verses on the Lord of Tirumala. Kulasekhara Azhvar went to the extent of saying that he would rather be a fish in the ponds in Tirumala than a king with all the attendant luxuries.

One of the Seven Hills is known as Anjanadri, for this is where Anjana Devi performed penance, and was blessed with Anjaneya as her son.

Although it is Lord Srinivasa, who is known as the Lord of the Seven Hills, long before Srinivasa took up His abode here, the Lord in the form of Varaha had already taken up residence here. After rescuing the Earth, Varaha asked Garuda to bring a hill called Kridachala from Vaikuntam, and appeared before the celestials in all His glory. The Adi Varaha shrine on the banks of the Swami Pushkarini is the one that devotees visit first even today, before they proceed to the main temple, to offer worship to Lord Srinivasa. In the Kali yuga, Lord Srinivasa married Padmavathi, the daughter of Akasaraja, who was the king of the Tondaimandala region.

Describing Lord Srinivasa's mercy, the Vaishnavite Acharya Vedanta Desika says the Lord is like sugarcane and his mercy (daya) is like the juice of the sugarcane. It appears to the Acharya as if this juice had solidified into the Tirumala Hill. Thus, the Hill itself is worthy of veneration, for it is the crystallisation of the Lord's mercy. Among all the auspicious qualities of the Lord, His quality of mercy stands out, for we are all in need of His mercy.

( Courtesy: The Hindu )

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