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Book Review: On Philosophising, Philosophers, Philosophy and New Vistas in Applied Philosophy, by Dr. Sharmila Jayant Virkar

A little bit of context before you begin reading this book review. I have recently enrolled for an MA in Philosophy at the University of Mumbai. Philosophy is something I have been getting interested in, over the past few years, as those of you who have been reading my blogs and Instagram posts would know. During the pandemic, I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do next, and this is what I eventually came up with. It has been a challenge, getting back into academics as a student at this age, especially in a subject I have no academic background in. However, it has also been very exciting, especially thanks to my wonderful classmates (who, surprisingly, are of all age-groups, including some quite near my own) and my teachers, who have been very supportive and understanding. How well I will do is something that remains to be seen, but so far, I am enjoying this new journey and look forward to where it leads. Now that you know the background , you probably get an idea of how

The Legend of Sri Venkateswara Part 6 - The Temple today

This is the final instalment of the story of Lord Venkateswara. Please read the earlier portions before reading further...

Part 1 - The Lord descends on Earth


Part 2 - The Lord finds a mother... and also a wife...


Part 3 - The story of Padmavati


Part 4 - A marriage is fixed.. and the finance too...

 Part 5 - The marriage.. and after....

It is believed that the lord remained in the temple in person for a long time in the early part of Kali Yuga. It was only when the age progressed, and the real dark nature of the age started progressing that he decided to transform himself into the statue which is seen today. It is believed that He has shown himself to some of his dearest devotees since then.

It is also believed that Padmavati remains in her hometown at Tiruchanur, while she remains symbolically in the heart of the Lord on the hill. Hence, it is customary to visit her at Tiruchanur after visiting the lord. Also, since it is believed that Mahalakshmi remains in Kolhapur, at the same time occupying the other half of the heart of the lord, it is also believed by some that one should make a trip to Kolhapur after visiting the lord at Tirupati!

Govindaraja Perumal, whom I have mentioned in my earlier post, is considered his elder brother. In some legends, he is said to be Vakula Devi’s so. It is he who keeps records of the amount due to Kubera, and takes care of the repayment. Hence, it is considered respectful to visit him before the lord.

Vakula Devi also has a shrine right outside the shrine of Srinivasa. After seeing the lord, we first see her and then proceed to make our offerings. Right opposite the hundi in which we make our offerings is an image of Mahalakshmi on one of the pillars. It is considered auspicious to pray to her after making our offerings.

Here is a summary of the order in which we are supposed to visit these deities
1. Govindaraja Perumal – on the foothills
2. Varaha Swamy – just outside the temple of Srinivasa
3. Lord Srinivasa
4. Vakula Devi
5. Offerings – Mahalakshmi
6. Padmavati – Tiruchanur
7. Mahalakshmi – Kolhapur

There have been various other legends about Tirumala. In Hindu mythology, there are also allusions to the deity actually being an image of Shiva, and also other stories suggesting that it is really a Devi temple. While it was Sri Ramanujar who settled a dispute among the Shaivites and Vaishnavites, by giving the lord his choice of arms, there are also other stories which hint of Buddhist influence on the temple too. Here, however, we enter into uncharted waters, and I shall refrain from giving opinions. Today, the temple is most popular among all sections of Indian society, and a mention of the temple brings to mind only the HUGE crowd, unparalleled at any other temple! At times, it can be a terrible experience, but I have been lucky enough to have some memorable experiences, which have been good enough to make me forget the no-so-good ones….. Here’s hoping I get more good experiences to communicate with all of you!


Comments

  1. The way you have presented this story is really great !! Thanks for such a wonderful piece of info.

    Regards,
    Parag

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome, Parag. Glad to have been of some use!

      Delete
  2. A very clear and concise explanation of the story behind the temple. To be frank, the story before reading this post was never quite clear to me.

    Regards
    Kannan

    ReplyDelete
  3. A very clear explanation which cleared all my doubts..great work..I shared this story with my family..Thanks a lot..

    Sathya

    ReplyDelete

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