Tirupati Balaji Temple
India, the holy land of temples is believed to have a sense of divine presence. Among the numerous temples in India, which are also architectural marvels, the hill shrine of Tirupati Balaji is recognized as the the most visited temple in India and the world. Located on the picturesque Seshachalam Hill Ranges, this temple is one of the holiest places and has a great history dating 1900 years back.
Religious significance of Tirupati Balaji Temple
Venkateshwara, also known as the Lord of the seven hills has acquired unique sanctity in Indian religious lore.The Sastras, Puranas, Sthala Mahatyams and Alwar hymns unequivocally state that in Kalyug, one can attain salvation only by worshipping Sri Venkateswara. The temple has its origins in Vaishnavism, an ancient sect of Hinduism, which preaches the principles of equality and love, and is strictly against animal sacrifice.
The temple is one of the eight Sywayambhu Kshetras of Lord Vishnu, where the presiding deity is said to have manifested on their own. The seven other temples are Srirangam Ranganat has wamy temple, Bhuvarahas wamy temple, Vanamamalai temple in south India and Saligrama, Naimisaranya, Pushkar and Badrinath temple in North India.
The legend of this temple is made out of references from a range of ancient scriptures such as VarahaPurana, Padma Purana, Garuda Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Markandeya Purana, Harivamsa Purana, Vamana Purana, Brahma Purana, Brahmottara Purana, Aditya Purana, Skanda Purana and Bhavishyottara Purana. These extracts describe the sanctity and antiquity of the deity, temple and the hills around Tirumala besides the numerous theerthams, streams and springs that abound them.
The legends taken from the Venkatachala Mahatmya and the Varaha Purana describe the manifestation of the Lord at Tirumala. According to the Varaha Purana, Adi Varaha manifested himself on the western bank of the Swami Pushkarini (temple tank), while Vishnu in the form of Venkateswara came in to reside on the southern bank of Swami Pushkarini.
The temple is highly valued in Nalayira Divya Prabandham, the 7th–9th century Vaishnava canon, by Azhwars. The Azhwars have sung praise on the different forms of Perumal. The temple is classified as a Divyadesam, one of the 108 Vishnu temples that are mentioned in these books. Many spiritual saints have also written songs on the various forms of God in this Temple. The benefits acquired by a pilgrimage to Venkatachala are mentioned in the Rig Veda and Asthadasa Puranas.
Tirupati Balaji temple is one of the sacred temples in India and there are many other temples in India which have an equally revered status. To know more about such temples, download the Hindu calendar app on your Android and iOS devices.
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