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Lord Tirupati Balaji - Richest God of Kalyuga

Tirupati Balaji, also known as Venkateswara is one of the holiest temples in the world. The temple is known as the abode of Lord Vishnu who resides there for the liberation of his devotees in Kaliyuga. The temple is visited by more than one lakh devotees every day and is the richest temple in the world. The presiding deity is Lord Venkateswara/Srinivasa who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The temple is where Lord Venkateswara married Princess Padmavathi (Incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi). For marriage, Lord Venkateswara had taken a loan from Lord Kubera and till today it is believed that devotees are paying off that loan to Kubera by offering their hair and other personal belongings. Now let us understand from the very beginning how this story was formed. At the start of Kaliyuga (Age of Evil and Doubt) the sages decided to test who is the most powerful among Brahma Vishnu and Shiva. Sage Bhrigu was asked to visit the three Gods personally and decide who was the biggest deity. This is when Bhrigu visits Vishnu in Vaikunta Lok (Vishnu’s Planet). When Vishnu forgets to acknowledge the sage, Bhrigu gets very angry and kicks Vishnu on his chest. Instead of being angry Lord Vishnu apologizes to Bhrigu. Goddess Lakshmi however feels insulted due to this incident and leaves Vaikunta Lok and descends on Earth (near Kolhapur). Engulfed with grief Vishnu also decides to leave his planet and descends on Earth. He arrived on Tirumala hills and sat meditating in search of Goddess Lakshmi. Lord Brahma and Lord Shiva were unhappy to see Lord Vishnu is such a state. Both the Lords decide to descend on earth as a cow and a calf that belonged to a Chola King who ruled the Tirumala hills. The cow would provide milk to Vishnu every day while it was taken for grazing. One day the cowherd saw this and tried to beat the cow as she was pouring milk to a stranger. Lord Vishnu saved the cow and got injured during the process. Lord the cursed the Chola king who had told the cowherd to beat the cow. He cursed that he will turn into a demon. The king pleaded the Lord and Lord told the king that he shall marry his daughter to Vishnu in his next life and that is when the curse will fade away. In his next birth Vishnu incarnated as Srinivasa was born to Vakuli Devi (Yashoda in previous birth). Meanwhile the Chola king was born as king Akasharaja and he gave birth to princess Padmavathi. Lord Srinivasa and Padmavathi happen to meet in the forest and fall in love with each other. They both decide to get married as per the boon given by Vishnu in the previous birth. King Ashakaraja asked for a huge bridal price and Lord Srinivasa took a huge loan from Kubera (Hindu God of treasure and Wealth) to get married to the princess. Lord Vishnu as Srinivasa decided to stay there henceforth for the liberation of his devotees after this. Art Credit: Unknown

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