This most shocking and spine chilling incident,that occurred more than six hundred years ago on the sacred Tirumala hills,later brought a revolutionary change in almost all the rituals that are ever since being conducted in the Tirumala Temple everyday..
Although this incident was a fearsome experience for all those who witnessed it that day,it was however only through this ghastly incident that the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara could speak all by Himself by taking into His possession a humble devotee and thus revealing through him the biggest ever secret hidden in the history of Tirumala Temple..
But What Was That Incident And What Was That Secret..??
On an auspicious evening in the year approximately 1339 A.D,as part of the Tirumala Brahmotsavams,a processional Eka Murthy (single deity) of Lord Sri Venkateswara was being taken around the Temple streets of the Tirumala hills in a grand procession..
And during those most sacred moments on the earth..
When all the Gods and Goddesses were marching invisible alongside the Golden Chariot of the Holy Lord..When all the Celestial Sages were blessing incognito the holy event..When all the five elements of Nature were rejoicing the wonderful moments of the evening..When all the Ashta Dikpalakas (rulers of the eight corners of the world),with their heads down,paying their obeisance to the Supreme Commander of the Cosmic Forces..
When all the kings of every South Indian kingdom were pulling the ropes of the Golden Chariot through the ‘Mada’ streets of the Temple town..When all the holy priests of the Tirumala Temple were chanting the sacred Vedic hymns..When all the temple servants were showing light carrying huge torches..When all the musicians of the Temple were playing traditional musical instruments..
When all the Temple Elephants were majestically saluting their Holy Lord..When all the Natya Saanis (female dancers) from the courts of various kingdoms were performing traditional dances..When all the officials of the Tirumala Temple were following the procession…And when forgetting everything in their life,hundreds of devotees in a devotional frenzy mood were chanting the sacred names of Holy Lord Venkateswara..
During those most sacred moments on the Earth..
An unholy event occurred on the Tirumala Hills and occurred all so suddenly terrifying every living being that was there on the Tirumala hill shrine,that moment..
Starting as a small piece of fire and later attaining gigantic proportions,a huge ball of fire first appeared in one small corner of the streets of the Tirumala Temple..Later,gathering a very quick momentum,this huge fire,within no time had started spreading all over the Temple street and also started moving rapidly further ahead..
Before anyone could realize what exactly was happening in front of them and before anyone could move and take guard of the situation,this huge fire did considerable damage to a few properties that were there in the ‘Mada’ street those days..The Kings,the priests,the temple staff,the court dancers,the musicians and all the devotees stood there shocked in stoic silence..
All the invisible Gods and Goddesses and also all the holy Sages who all have the powers to foresee every small movement in this universe were left speechless,that moment,with the sudden unforeseen outbreak of fire in front of them on the holy hills..
They were all much surprised that how come they could not foresee the fire accident and how come any cosmic force in this vast universe can prevent them from seeing such a hazard much before in advance..After some quick analysis,they all have come to a conclusion that their Supreme Commander,Lord Sri Venkateswara – the most powerful Cosmic force in this Universe – is upset with something in the Brahmotsavams and is now showing His dissent this way..
On the other hand the temple authorities too,after due consultations with the priests,have found that there’s something wrong in the procedure they have adopted for that evening which is why the Holy Lord is showing His anger this way..
In the meantime the temple guards swung into immediate action and with the support of the residents,started sprinkling water on the huge fire..The terrified devotees who too have by then realized that the fire is nothing but an outburst of the anger of the holy Lord have started shouting “Govindaa..Govindaa” in a loud voice..
The entire atmosphere on the Tirumala hill shrine,which,until a few moments before that was serene,is now suddenly and completely cacophonous with the loud weeping of terrified female devotees and all the children present there..The entire scene there around the Tirumala Temple area that time was not only ghastly but was also gruesome..
Requesting the Holy Lord to control His anger and offering Him their loud prayers all the Temple priests turned towards the Sanctum Sanctorum of the main Temple and pleaded with Him to please forgive them for any ‘Dosha’ (error) in their performance of the rituals in the Brahmotsavams..
“.Listen to me..”
Suddenly and suddenly indeed a male voice that was heavier than the huge bronze bells of the Tirumala Temple and much louder than all the cacophonous atmosphere there,emerged from a devotee standing all alone in front of the Maha Dwaram of the holy Tirumala Temple..
It was not the loudness in the voice of the devotee but the command in it that terrified and shocked everyone there..With both his legs wide spread and with both his hands resting majestically on his waist,the devotee was looking at everyone around him..
Suddenly shifting their complete attention on to the devotee,all the Kings,priests and temple authorities who could by then feel the presence of Lord Sri Venkateswara Himself in the midst of them have quickly gathered around him..While the Kings and the temple authorities stood around him shivering,the Temple priests kowtowed before him with folded hands..Looking at them with great command in his eyes,the devotee said,
“..Everyone of you here pay your entire attention to Me and listen carefully to what I say..Am absolutely not happy with the way you are all taking my Eka Murthy in procession during the Brahmotsavams..Don’t you all know that am a Grihastha and my Consorts need to accompany me and be by My side when such holy rituals are taking place on My hills..??
“..Don’t you all know that this Eka Murthy is meant to remain unmoved in the Garbha Griha and not to be liberally brought out like this as a processional deity..And if you don’t know that and don’t follow what I say now such fire accidents occur and occur again on the Tirumala hills..Hereafter never ever dare to bring out this Eka Murthy from the Garbha Griha again..It should remain in the Garbha Griha and receive daily rituals along with My main deity..”
Warning them so,Lord Sri Venkateswara shocked them furthermore,by revealing through the devotee,the following big secret..
“Now let me tell you all about something that you do not know all theses days..There are three idols of Mine and My Consorts Sri Devi and Bhudevi hidden beneath a stone on the Anjanadri hill..Go there and find them out and hereafter use only those idols of Mine and My Consorts in all the rituals..”
Lord Sri Venkateswara then revealed the exact details of the place,on the Anjanadri hill,where the said divine Idols were hidden beneath a stone..Declaring so the Holy Lord withdrew from the devotee..Surprisingly after that,the huge fire too that emerged on the Tirumala hills subsided on it’s own..
The Tirumala Temple authorities have conducted a search operation at the place,on the Anjanadri hill,where the Holy Lord Sri Venkateswara had said the “the divine idols were hidden”..To their utter shock and dismay the authorities have found there three amazing Idols of Lord Sri Venkateswara and His Consorts Sri Devi and Bhudevi hidden under a stone..These holy Idols were then brought carefully to the Tirumala Temple..
Thereupon,it is only these Idols that are being used by the Temple priests during all major festivals like Kalyanotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Sahasra Deepalankara Seva,Vahana Seva and Pushpa Yagam and also during the annual Brahmotsavams..
Ever since,the Eka Murthy that was thus far used in all the festivals celebrated on the Tirumala Hills,remained confined to the Garbha Griha and is known today as Ugra Srinivasa Murthy (Ugra in Sanshrit means Anger)..It is named so because it was this Eka Murthy while carrying which an angry Lord Sri Venkateswara breathed fire on the Tirumala Hills; spoke through a devotee and revealed the secret of the three Idols..
Although in the initial days this divine Idol of Lord Sri Venkateswara that was found in the Anjanadri hill was called “Malai Kuniya Ninra Perumal” it’s however more popularly known today as “Sri Devi Bhudevi Sametha Sri Malayappa Swamy”..
Sri PVRK Prasad,IAS.is undoubtedly the most successful Executive Officer in the history of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthnams board..He is a also a very great devotee of Sri Varu and had done and is still doing an enormous study and extensive research on every aspect related to Lord Sri Venkateswara and the holy Tirumala Temple..Honestly,there cannot be a more authentic work on this topic than the number of books he had so far written..
I read about the above incident in one of his Telugu books titled “Sri Tirumala Charitamritham”..It was a small half page incident he narrated in the book..However,I tried to visualize the whole episode with my creative eye and present it for the convenience of my beloved readers.. I hope am successful in conveying the message of the Holy Lord to His devotees the way it’s meant to be conveyed..
“Kalyanadbhutha Gaathraaya Kaamitaartha Prathayine..Srimadhvenkata Naathaayaa Sreenivaasaaya Mangalam”
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