This truly shocking and the most unbelievable miracle occurred,almost three and half decades ago,in the Garbha Griha of the sacred Tirumala Temple that houses the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara,Who by all and by all means is unequivocally considered the richest Hindu God in the world..
This miracle,even today still after thirty six years of it’s occurrence,is a mystery to millions of devotees all over the world and shall remain one forever to many so called atheists of our modern world..It clearly and emphatically endorses the divine existence of Lord Sri Venkateswara in the midst of us today and substantiates our faith in Him..
But Where Is Tirumala Temple And Who Is Lord Sri Venkateswara.. ??
Located on a hilltop,853 meters above the main sea level in the Southern part of India,Tirumala (Tiru means holy and Mala means hill) is a major pilgrimage center near the Tirupati town in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh,India...
Spread over an area of 10.33 square miles,the sacred Tirumala hill shrine consists of seven hills namely Seshadri, Neeladri, Garudadri, Anjanadri, Vrishabhadri, Narayanadri and Venkatadri…It is only for this reason that this Temple is also called the Temple of Seven Hills..The main temple of Tirumala Tirupati lies on the seventh hill of Venkatadri..
This truly amazing miracle occurred, in the holy temple of Tirumala, on the mid night of 7th November, 1979..At that time, right from a street urchin to the holy Lord, the whole of Tirumala hill shrine was in a deep sleep.
All the busy streets of the temple town were wearing a vacant look..Except an occasional sound here and there,the whole of Tirumala hills were filled with a serene silence..And exactly during that dark hour and breaking all that silence,this miracle occurred and occurred quite suddenly taking the entire hill shrine of Tirumala with shock and surprise..
The huge Bronze bells,that were hanging in front of the principal deity of Lord Sri Venkatewsara,in the holy Bangaru Vaakili (Sanctum Sanctorum) of the Tirumala Tirupati temple,started ringing on their own – without anyone either ringing them or touching them – sending waves of heavy metal sound across the whole of the Tirumala hill shrine.
The security staff,the police,the pilgrims,the officials,the temple staff,the Archakas and the Purohits,who were shocked by the huge sound of the Bronze bells,woke up startled from their sleep and came running to the main Temple.
They all stood there,outside the temple,watching in utter shock and disbelief, unable to know “..how the huge bronze bells – hanging in the heavily guarded and fully locked up Bangaru Vaakili (Sanctum Sanctorum) – could ring on their own,without any one touching them..??..”
Shocking them further,the bells rang in that fashion for a few more minutes and later stopped on their own..
Mysterious..Miraculous..And absolutely fantastic..
It was a dream state for all those gathered there; an unbelievably true state..The entire Temple staff,that was there that moment,knows pretty well that all the doors of the main temple,including those of the Sanctum Sanctorum,will be locked up from outside after the Ekanta Seva (Final pooja performed in the temple every night) and will only be opened,the next morning,for the Suprabhata Seva (First pooja offered to Lord Sri Venkateswara at 3 a. m everyday)…
Which means there’s no way any one can enter the main Temple,until again those doors are opened the next morning by the authorized Temple staff,for the Suprabhatha seva..
Then how is that the bells rang on their own,without anyone touching them,and if that is so who is there inside the Sanctum Sanctorum except the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara Himself..??
Several questions were raised,several doubts were discussed and several more inferences were drawn, but none of those gathered there could come out with a logical explanation…
Finally,they all came to a conclusion that some pilgrim,by mistake,was locked up inside the main temple and he must have banged those Bronze bells just to draw the attention of the temple staff.
Well…This theory seems quite logical…At least from a human point of view..But if that is the case why is that we are calling it a miracle today and where’s the need for me to write about it,now,after thirty six years of it’s occurrence.. ????
Why did that miracle occur.. ??..And what was its significance…???
To know that,it’s important for us to go back in time and know a few things about a series of crisis ridden incidents that took place on the Tirumala hill shrine just a few weeks prior to the occurrence of this miracle.
The holy temple town of Tirumala,in those days,was witnessing a never seen before water crisis that forced the TTD staff to impose sanctions on the daily consumption of water on the hill shrine…
As a result,the supply of water to all the employees’ quarters and also to all the pilgrim’s cottages was restricted.. However,that could only regulate the water supply to a certain extent but could not offer any solid solution..
But in spite of that,the water levels in the Gogarbham reservoir and the Alwar tank on the hill shrine were drastically receding…A few more drinking water wells that were there on the Tirumala hill shrine too were drying out (The current Papa Naasanam reservoir was still under construction those days)
An Emergency Meeting Of The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board
Greatly disturbed by the acute water crisis,P V R K Prasad,the Executive Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board,those days,called for an emergency meeting of his executive staff to discuss about the immediate measures that are needed to be taken to combat the on going water crisis on the holy Tirumala hils…
Prasad had a marathon discussion with all his water board engineers…They have not only pleaded their complete helplessness but had also warned their Executive Officer,saying,”Sir,our tanks and reservoirs on the Tirumala hill shrine are left with very little water reserves now..They can only be served for a few days and not any more…So what shall we do..???..”
At length they discussed about various other options to withstand the water crisis at least for a few more days..Every one suggested.. “..more sanctions be imposed on the consumption of water on the holy hill shrine..”
In those days,in addition to the twenty five thousand visitors per day,the holy Tirumala temple town had about six thousand population living there..Water sanctions were already being imposed to the brim and any further sanctions will only paralyze the human life there…So no further sanctions…
Then,what to do..???
Someone suggested to put a restriction on the number of daily pilgrims visiting the Tirumala hill shrine …At that point,Prasad intervened and said..”most of the pilgrims who visit Tirumala hills, plan their visit months in advance..It would be cruel on our part to stop them now..”
“..Secondly,there is no such legislation in TTD books to prevent any devotee of Lord Sri Venkateswara from visiting His holy hill shrine,for whatever reason…Even otherwise,we are here to serve His devotees but not to put restrictions on their visits..”…
With that firm statement Prasad concluded the meeting…Problem came back to square one as the water crisis started deepening with every passing day.
The Crucial Meeting With A Noble Saint
As an ardent devotee of Lord Sri Venkateswara and as also the official head of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board,the Executive Officer Prasad decided to find a solution to the whole water crisis on his own…
He has great faith in the sacred scriptures of the Vedas and Upanishads and also knows pretty well that only “..they can offer a definite solution to every human problem..”
“But who is the competent person to offer me guidance on the Vedas and Upanishads and who will now give proper direction to the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board on this aspect..???..” …That was the million dollar question tormenting Prasad’s mind,that moment..
After due consultations with eminent personalities in the field of spirituality,Prasad had finally decided to seek guidance from Sri.Uppuluri Ganapati Sastry,a saintly personality and an authentic authority on all the topics related to the Vedas, Dharmas, Dharma Sastras and the Upanishads.
Sri.Ganapati Sastry was a noble 82-year old man and was an adviser,at that time,to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board.. Sri Satsry had spent forty eight years of his precious life in learning Vedas and Upanishads..
His followers and disciples reverentially consider Sri.Sastry as the reincarnation of Goddess Saraswati… Apart from attaining complete mastery over the Vedas,Sri Sastry had also attained greater command over the Vedangas (Sub Branches of Vedas) namely Vyakarana, Tarka, Meemansa, Nyaya, Nirukta and a few other branches of the Vedas…
By far he is the only Indian spiritual master who can be attributed with complete mastery on the Vedas, the Upanishads and all the other Dharma sastras…He was also the recipient of the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award presented by the honorable government of India..
PVRK Prasad met Sri.Uppuluri Ganapati Sastry at his Secunderabad residence and explained him in detail about the water crisis on the Tirumala hills. .After listening to all the woes narrated by Prasad,Sri Sastry smiled and said..
“Dear Prasad,without keeping it’s solution ready God will never give us a problem..We only need to adopt a little wisdom to identify that solution..Indeed there’s a solution,to every human problem,found in the Vedas and in fact people in olden days depended entirely on the Vedas and Vedic rituals for their problems.. ”
“..With utmost reverence and with complete faith in those holy Vedas our ancient people have followed all the scriptures laid down in them and found solutions to many of their problems.”..Prasad was noting down everything..
Sri Uppuluri Ganapati Sastry continued..
“Even during famine and acute water crisis,people in olden times have performed Varuna (God of Rain) Japam and enjoyed the benefits of rain…But in these modern days of sin filled world,please tell me dear Prasad,who has faith in Vedas and who will perform Varuna Japam,that too,with so much of discipline and faith required to perform it..??..”
“Dear Prasad,if you are ready to do that,with all the spiritual discipline required,then I am here to guide you and give you the Rithviks (Brahmins or the officiating acharyas who perform holy religious activities on behalf of their spiritual master) who can perform the holy Varuna Japam on Tirumala hills…When it has given positive results those days then why not now..??..”
Commencement Of The Holy Varuna Japam
After noting down every point mentioned by Sri Sastry,Prasad had finally decided to perform the sacred Varuna Japam (A divine and holy ritual performed to appease the Rain God of Varuna) on the Tirumala hills,in accordance with all the scriptures laid down in the Vedas…
He was determined,come what may,to follow all the holy instructions given by Sri.Satry…PVRK Prasad finally took blessings from the holy noble saint and left for Tirumala.
Later things followed in quick succession…
In view of his old age,Sri.Ganapati Sastry excused himself from personal attendance but he had however promised to offer all the necessary help to Prasad to successfully complete the Varuna Japam..Later Sri Sastry identified a few suitable Rithviks and instructed them to go to Tirumala and perform the Varuna Japam.
After doing all the astrological calculations,Prasad had decided to conduct the Varuna Japam on the 1st of November,1979…But unfortunately the Rithviks,who were to conduct the Varuna Japam,could not come on time to Tirumala..
As a result..
The Varuna Japam was indefinitely postponed
A couple of days have passed…In the mean time the water crisis,on the holy Tirumala hill,had deepened further..Pleading total helplessness,the engineers of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams board almost came running to Prasad and told him,
“Sir…it would be impossible for us to supply water to the pilgrims for more than a week now ..”…”And if that happens sir..”,they warned…
“The holy temple town of Tirumala Tirupati should be indefinitely closed down..”
And in such case of an indefinite close down then Prasad,as the official head of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam board,would go down in the history of TTD as it’s most unpopular Executive Officer…
With a blazing Sun rocking the holy temple town of Tirumala and with no signs of any clouds anywhere nearby,Prasad was a much disturbed man..
“What to do..??”..
Several questions were battling in his mind..Without wasting any more time,he immediately called every member of his executive staff for an emergency meeting in his chambers…His message to all of them was very loud and clear..
“I want the Varuna Japam to be performed at the earliest..”…The firmness in their boss’s voice conveyed his mind to them..
Finally,they discussed about a few more problems and a few more hurdles.however,Prasad made his stand very clear to them and said “..come what may,we have to perform the Varuna Japam on the 8th of this month (November,1979)..”
Later, Prasad also personally spoke to all the Rithviks,over the phone,and briefed them about the grave situation on the Tirumala hills…Finally,after every member of his staff left his chambers,a lonely PVRK Prasad stood up in his place and silently offered prayers to Lord Sri Venkateswara..
“..Swamy Sri Venkateswara,as Your humble servant I have always done my best for You and also for Your devotees..Then why these hurdles for me and what is this ordeal..??..I now need Your guidance and approval immediately..Please offer it to me at the earliest,Swamy..”
Will the Lord Sri Venkateswara offer His approval..?? If so how..??
Although every employee of the TTD board had swung into an immediate action there were still doubts in their minds..The date set for the Japam too was fast approaching..An anxiety filled Prasad was eagerly waiting for an appropriate approval from the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara..
And it was then,during that thick dark hour on the mid night of 7th of November,1979..Just a few hours before the commencement of the holy Varuna Japam..
The heavy Bronze bells,hanging in front of the principle deity of Lord Sri Venkateswara, started ringing on their own..
Thus signalling the holy Lord Venkateswara’s much awaited permission and HIS most wanted approval for the Varuna Japam..That was an amazingly mind blowing miracle of the Lord very difficult for the human mind to understand..PVRK Prasad was just speechless..
Later,for three full days,amid chanting of the Vedic hymns,the Varuna Japam was performed strictly according to the Vedas and strictly according to the instructions given by Sri Uppuluri Ganapati Sastry..
After that,once all the rituals of the Varuna Japam were complete on the third day,it was supposed to rain immediately..
However,there were still no signs of any rain from any corner of the sky..
After the final rituals,carrying the Processional Deities in their hands,all the Rithviks were returning to the main temple..PVRK Prasad,the special invitees,the engineers,the board officials,the visitors,all the pilgrims,the security staff,members from the press were also silently following them..
There was an utter disappointment in everyone’s face..”Except tear drops in our eyes,there’s not a drop of rain seen anywhere nearby..” someone from the press commented..
And then it happened..
Perhaps the biggest miracle ever..All those who were quietly walking back towards the main temple were still hundred paces away from the actual destination; and before they could realize and before they could run for their shelter..
Making a huge thunderous noise…
The skies opened up…
And it started raining heavily..Very heavily indeed..An unbelievable sight…Seen to be believed..None of them was carrying an umbrella and before they could all run into the main temple for shelter,they were fully drenched in rain..
Joy.. Ecstasy.. Surprise.. Disbelief..
It’s very difficult to describe the mood there..And in that glorious and spectacular fashion,that heavy rain lashed the whole of Tirumala hill shrine for many hours..
Later,when PVRK Prasad was monitoring the overall situation in his office chambers,a fully excited TTD water works engineer came running into the chambers and informed Prasad…
“Sir,the Gogarbham reservoir is over flowing..”
> An emotionally ecstatic P V R K Prasad,with his eyes filled with tears of devotion,immediately got up from his chair and turned towards the main temple of Tirumala and offered his thanks,in an all joyous silence,to Lord Sri Venkateswara..
> After that amazing miracle of ringing bells that night,the doors of the main temple were opened up for the Suprabtham Seva the next morning (8th, November, 1979)..Without leaving an inch,the temple staff went around searching every corner of the Sanctum Sanctorum,but to their utter shock and disbelief, they did not find anything suspicious there except the ever smiling deity of the Lord Sri Venkateswara.
> Tirupati,Renigunta,Sri Kalahasti,Railway Koduru are a few other important places very close to Tirumala…However,none of those places reported any rain fall at that time when it was heavily pouring down in Tirumala.. A true miracle again.
> PVRK Prasad was an honest IAS officer and was also adviser to the former Indian Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao..He was also responsible for many decisions taken by the prime minister those days..He was responsible for many of the economic reforms that later changed the financial scenario of India..At the age of 74 today,Prasad is leading a saintly life in Hyderabad..
> Sadly,there is little information available on the web about the great Indian noble saint Sri.Uppuluri Ganapati Sastry…If any one of you have any info about this great Indian,please mail it to me..I had the honor of meeting this noble saint,once,personally in 1991 and was fortunate enough to be blessed by him..HONOR.
Finally, a few words from me please..
I have read about this amazing incident,almost ten years ago,in a Telugu book titled “Sarva Sambhavam” written by Sri.P V R K Prasad..In this book,he shared quite a few amazing experiences,he had,during his tenure as the Executive Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Board..
Sri Prasad is undoubtedly the most successful Executive Officer in the history of TTD board and brought many radical changes on the Tirumala Hills which we are all enjoying today.. I have actually written this story a couple of years ago and posted it on my personal blog.. Many have read it and shared it too and many illustrious personalities,including Sri PVRK Prasad himself,had complimented me for my writing of this story.. HONORED
Whenever am low in moods and face any tough situation in life,I would either read the above book or at least read this story and find some quick solace..I,therefore,strongly believe that there’s a great miracle in this story itself from which I wish all the readers too draw blessings..
Miracles are not contrary to Nature,but are only contrary to what we know about Nature.. It’s almost impossible to exaggerate the proneness of the human mind to take miracles as evidence,and to seek for miracles as evidence..
In the earlier religions the spirit of the time was expressed through the individual and confirmed by miracles..In modern religions the spirit is expressed through the many and confirmed by reason…
“Sarvaloka Nivaasaaya Sreenivaasaaya Mangalam”
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