Lord Balaji Murthi '' IDOL ''Features

Lord Balaji
The Balaji murti is worshipped as a form of Vishnu and the Sri Vaishnavas, who are the predominate sampradaya of Vaishnavas in this area, say that Balaji is the Kali Yuga avatara, the specific form of Vishnu who incarnates on earth during the current age. In the Bhagavad Gita it is said that in different ages, God incarnates on earth to establish true religious teachings and to give protections to His devotees and to destroy the sinful. Balaji is said to be the current avatara for this age. Another name for Balaji is Srinivasa which literally means the abode of Lakshmidevi. Lakshmi is the consort or wife of Balaji and for many Shri Vaishnavas, Lakshmidevi holds particular importance. The main feature for Balaji, for which he is most famous, is his sacred bath, abhisheka. All most every major city in America now has a Balaji temple or image in their region and every Saturday morning you can attend one of these sacred bathing ceremonies. During these ceremonies Balaji is liberally bathed in milk, butter milk, honey, sugar-water, fruit juices and other substances. It is a wonderful sight to see.

HE has long hair, which falls on HIS shoulders. HE has a perfect nose, which is not long or short. HIS mouth is also perfect. HE has beautiful cheeks and ears. If we are allowed to measure HIS chest, we could find it would be between 36 inches and 40 inches and waist in between 24 inches and 27 inches. HE has neck that simulates a conch, and waist, which is like a lion's waist. Both are good qualities, which shows the person's handsome and great personality. HE has four hands. Two are in upward direction. These two hands hold Golden Discus (Sudharshan) and Conch. Actually these two are not formed with the idol of the Supreme Lord. But later were molded with Gold, by HIS devotees. The other two hands are in downward direction. In those the left one (in Katyavalambita Mudra), Kati Hasta, rests on the left thigh with the thumb in upward angular direction. HIS right hand (in Varada Hasta Mudra), Abhaya Hasta, shows the downward direction. This is the specialty of HIM. One will not find in any other God's Murti that the right hand showing downward. HE is the supreme and HE gives all pleasure or any thing we want that we beg HIM which is not harmful to others. This hand has so many meanings. One, it is showing the Vaikuntam. Second, HE is giving all the support in all the ways and clearing our requests. Third, HE is telling that everyone should fall on HIS lotus feet. Fourth, HE is the supreme of all, Master of Universe, everything is below HIM, and no one is above HIM, i.e. HE is Alpha and Omega of the Universe.

On the right side of HIS chest, there lies the impression of HIS consort, Goddess Sri Maha Lakshmi and is known as SriVatsam. That impression is there as if SHE is sitting there. There are Impressions showing that HE has sacred thread (Yajgnopavitam), four golden chains falling from HIS neck and BujaKirti's (The ornaments on the shoulders). These are clearly visible. HIS chest is bare and HE has also impression of a two inches wide thread, below HIS waist. HE also has impressions formed from Bow and Arrows Pouch on HIS shoulders. It is clearly showing that HE wore them for a long time. Which is true, HE had them (Kothandam and arrows) constantly on his shoulders in His Sri Rama Avatar. Lord Brahma referred these impressions on both the shoulders extending to the arm pit are due to the constant wearing of bow-string (Vinti Nari) and arrow pouch (Ammula podi). So the Idol of Srinivasa has those. HE has strong legs and lotus feet, with ornaments on HIS ankles. All these are impressions, which are formed on HIS Murti which are clearly visible.

Sri Venkateswara has another scar, which is not formed with the original Idol, but developed later. This has a story, which happened in 11th Century. Sri Ramanujarcharya ordained one of his strong followers Ananthalwar to do flower service (Poolangi seva) daily to the Lord. So Ananthalwar decided to grow a Garden atop of Tirumala Hills near the temple. He took a vow that the entire work would be done by him and his family. So he started working and found that the garden requires a water tank. He started digging the earth for the tank. His wife was helping him by removing the earth and carrying it off in a basket. She was in a stage of advanced pregnancy and was facing the trouble in removing the earth. So watching this service which they are doing in a clear-devoted mind, Lord decided to help her in the work of clearing the earth. He appeared as a servant boy and took the basket from her head and throwed the earth at a far place. After sometime Ananthalwar noticed that the removing of earth was going at a rapid pace, which was impossible for a pregnant lady. Sooner he noticed the servant boy, he got angry, because of his vow that only his family would do the entire work and no one should help them. In that anger he threw the crowbar on the boy. The crowbar hit the boy at his chin and blood oozed and dripped off from his chin. In the evening Ananthalwar went to the Temple to offer worship. He noticed that the Lord's chin got hurt and blood dropping from it. So he realized immediately that the servant boy was none but the Supreme God. So he immediately took a flower and applied on the wound and the bleeding stopped. The Lord was pleased for his devotion and service and said "Ananthalwar, the wound caused by your crowbar will heal, but it will leave a scar on my chin, like SriVatsam, and to remember this incident pure camphor should be applied daily. And also let the crowbar be displayed at the entrance of the Temple at a height to be seen by all. So pure camphor is pressed on the God's chin every day. We can notice this along with the crowbar, which is displayed at the northern wall near the entrance.

HE is paramapadam, the ultimate, HE is none but Parabrahma who came down to earth to bestow Moksha on us.

The Supreme Lord SrimanNarayana is giving darshan and continuously showing HIS grace in abundance on the devotees as Sri Venkateswara. HE is the Deity of Kaliyuga who is pouring all the pleasures for the devotees. Once we say Narayana with clean mind and soul filled with devotion, HE responds immediately. HE is Bhaktha Sulabha, means responds easily to HIS devotees.

'Narayana' means one who is embodiment of all things and who is in everything. Nara - Atma, Soul which has no birth or death. Ayana - abode in all beings. Sri Ramanuja propounded that the constant chanting of Narayana Ashtakshara Mantram (Om Namo Narayanaya) will lead one to the Paramapadam.

Lord Narayana and Lord Shiva or not different. Both are one and the same. To make us realize this, Sri Venkateswara’s murti has markings of Cobra on the body and head, Bhujanga Valayam, the girdle of the serpent on the arms. The worship of Him with Bilva leaves during Dhanurmasam as prescribed by Adi Sankaracharya strongly proves that HE is none but Lord Shiva too. HE is also Shakti Rupa, because HE has Simhalalatam in the image, which is the common symbolic in Shakti images. Narayani is one of the names of Shakti. HE manifests HIMSELF to the particular form in which the devotees choose to offer Archa, Meditation. HE is the Ambrosia of Vedas. The Upanishads recognize only one Spirit - Almighty, Infinite, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Attributeless, Formless, Eternal, Incomprehensible, Self-Existent, the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer of the of the Universe. HE is 'Ananta Rupa' means having multiple images and is also 'Satchidanada Rupa' means image of Existence, Consiousness and Bliss (A mix of Sat, Chit and Ananda).

"I am the ultimate goal and the means", in Bhagavat Gita, Lord said to mankind (Arjuna). Let us fall on HIS lotus feet and get HIS abhayam to cross the Samsara Sagaram (the ocean of Transmigration) and enjoy Ananda Sagaram (the ocean of Bliss). HE is Daya Sagar (the ocean of Mercy). HE gives Moksha (liberation from constantly being born in the form of different living beings - depending upon the Karma phala acquired in previous births, or nothing but mingling with the God), once if we chant one of HIS names or Narayana Mantram (Om Namo Narayanaya/Om Namo Venkatesaya/Om Namo Srinivasaya/Om Namah Sivaya).

The birth as a human being is very rare and precious. Hence one should utilize it by falling on HIS lotus feet and surrender to HIM, hence gaining the realisation of Supreme God.

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