SrI: SrImathE SatakOpAya nama: SrImathE rAmAnujAya nama: SrImath varavaramunayE nama:
alarmElmangai uRaimArbhan thiruvadigaLE Saranam
alarmElmangaith thAyAr, Sri Srinivasan, AzhwArs, Sri bhAshyakArar and Sri MaNavAla mAmunigaL – thiruvEnkatam
Sri SrinivAsa, who has creation, sustenance and deluge of the universe as his sport, resides atop the sacred hills of thiruvEnkatam also known as thirumalai thiruppathi. In SrivaishNava sampradhAya, three dhivyadhESams are hailed as kOyil, thirumalai and perumAL kOyil respectively. Among these, kOyil refers to SrIrangam , perumAL KOyil refers to SrI varadharAja swAmi temple – kAnchIpuram and thirumalai refers to the sacred hill shrine atop which Srinivasan resides with SrI (mahAlakshmi). Sriman nArAyaNa, has descended along with periya pirAtti, out of his unconditional mercy on chEthanas (sentient beings), to show his pUvArkazhalgal (His lotus feet is referred thus in this dhivyadhESam) to us and resides here in thirumalai along the banks of thirukkonEri – swAmi pushkariNI (the sacred pond or primary thIrtha of this dhivyadhESam). Innumerable devotees surrender unto his lotus feet in thirumalai hailing him as their sole refuge, as declared in “kalau vEnkatanAyaka:”. The Sruthi, smruthi, ithihAsas and purANas hail SrI SrInivAsa, his sacred hill thirumalai and the nature of this dhivyadhESam to a very great detail. Among these, the compilation of the glories of thirumalai , as explained in the purANAs , is called as Sri VEnkatAchala mAhAthmyam . vEdha vyAsa, composed these for the benefit of all of the humanity.
The sanskrit word purANa can be explained as “purA api navam” ,“purA bhavam” , “purA AkathanAkathanau anathi kathayathi” and “purA nIyathe”. Literally, these explanations indicate that the purANas , show us the correct direction of our present by presenting the happenings of very distant past. The purANas are of two types viz., mahA purANas (simply denoted as purANas henceforth) and upa purANas . purAnas and upapurANas are 18 each in number. 10 among them hail thirumalai in great detail. These are :
- varAha purANam (purANam)
- pAdhma purANAm (purANam)
- garuda purANam (purANam)
bramhANda purANam (purANam)
mArkaNdEya purANam (purANam)
vAmana purANam (purANam)
bramha purANam (purANam)
skAndha purANam (purANam)
Adithya purANam (purANam)
bhavishyOththara purANam (purANam)
Along with these, harivamSa , which is also called as the 19th parva of mahAbhAratha, also glorifies the greatness of Thirumalai.
Greatly desirous of having the chEthanas surrendered to him, Sriman NArAyana, left his eternal and ever blissful abode – SrI vaikuNta and descended to thirumalai which is dear to him. Though, it is not possible for anyone to completely sing or praise or comprehend or listen to the greatness of SrI Srinivasa , his auspicious qualities and his sacred hill’s greatness, knowing Sri vEnkatAchala mAhAthmyam (which is a compilation of conversations between maharishIs) will give us a fair idea of these. The following are the broad topics covered in SrI vEnkatAchala mAhAthmyam : 1) SrI varAha swami’s vaibhavam ; 2) the arrival of SrInivAsa to thiruvEnkatam ; 3) the divine marriage of SrInivAsa and padhmAvathith thAyAr ; 4) the glories of swAmi pushkariNI ; 5) the glories of other thIrthas in thirumalai and finally, 6) the qualities and greatness of vaishNavas .
In addition to these, emperumAnAr has cited various SlOkas from these texts during the time of establishing that the deity atop thiruvEnkatam is SrInivAsa and during the times of systematizing the ritualistic practices of the worship atop the holy hill. It is therefore, beyond doubt, that those who are devoted unto the lotus feet of Sri bhAshyakAra will relish these SlOkas.
By the grace of AchArya, let us enjoy the greatness of thirumalai through SrI vEnkatAchala mAhAthmyam in the upcoming posts.
May all auspiciousness be unto Sri SrinivAsan !
May all auspiciousness be unto Sri bhAshyakArar !
May Lord vEnkatESa be pleased !
adiyen rAmAnuja dasan,
echchUr R SrInivasan
We express our gratitude to SrimAn. KrishNa TEja MV for extending his help in understanding the telugu translation of this Sri vEnkatAchala mAhAthmyam.
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