Top Secret Facts of Lord Venkateswara Swamy
(Tirumala Dhruva Bera) at Tirumala Hills
Tirumala Dhruva Bera is the name given to the idol of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. Dhruva Bera is the official terminology used for the main deity of a temple with the exact translation being The Immobile image and as the name suggests, the idol is stationary and other idols are used for pujas, sevas that requires the deity’s presence outside the garbha griham (sanctum sanctorum). Other terms used for Dhruva Bera include Moolavar or Moola Virat (Main Deity), Achala (Main).
Tirumala Dhruva Bera is considered to be Swayambhu – self-manifested and not created by human. According to Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam, Lord Venkateswara came to reside in this sacred spot to provide blessings to devotees in the Kali Yuga. The idol does not conform to the agamas (rules) for making a deity, thus furthering the belief that the temple’s idol is Swayambhu.
The dhruva bera stands approximately ten feet tall and stands a platform of about 18 inches. The platform follows a simple lotus design and the details of the any inscription on the platform is unknown to anyone except the temple’s archakas (priests). The platform is usually covered in tulsi leaves except on Thursday afternoon and during Friday abhishekam.
The face of the idol has exquisite features, with the nose neither flat nor prominent. The eyes are prominent and has the outline of ‘namam’ though it is not projected out of the idol. The eyes are partially covered with the namam made of pachakarpuram (raw camphor). The size, shape and details of the namam are governed by strict rules laid by the Vaikhanasa agamam. The idol has a self manifested crown up to the forehead and jatajuta (curly hair) resting on the shoulder. The chest is estimated to be between 36 to 40 inches in width and the waist would be between 24 to 27 inches, though there has never been a formal measurement of these statistics. Since the upper body is bare, features of the chest are prominently seen with the main feature being the image of a sitting Sridevi carved on the right side of the chest. The image of lakshmi is integral to the idol. The idol has 4 arms. The upper arms in the position to hold his weapons though the Chakram and Conch are not integral to the idol. The removable Sudarshana chakram is placed on the upper right arm while the Panchajanya – Vishnu’s conch is placed on the upper left arm. The lower right arm is in the Varada Hasta pose – palms facing outward towards the onlooker to signal boon giving nature of the lord. The lower left arm is in the Katyavalambita pose – palm facing the lord with the thumb nearly parallel to the waist. The idol is seen with a dhoti worn waist downwards. Both the knees are slightly bent forward to indicate that the Lord is willing to come to the devotee’s rescue. The shoulder of the lord has marks resembling scars made by constant wearing of bow and pack of arrows though the idol is not in the Tribhanga pose (unlike Tirumala Rama Idol)
Interesting Facts of Tirumala Temple
- At the entrance of the main door, to the right side, a stick which was used by Ananthaalvar to hit Venkateshwara Swamy is present. When this stick was used to hit the ‘small boy’ Venkateshwara, his chin was hurt. Since then, the practice and tradition of applying Sandalwood paste on Swamy’s chin began.
- There is real hair on the main idol of Venkateshwara Swamy. They say that this hair never tangles and is silky smooth always.
- There is a village, approximately 23 Kms from the temple in Tirumala. The entry to this village is only for the villagers. The people are said to be living with strict practices and tradition. It is from this village, that all the flowers, milk, ghee, butter are sourced for the God.
- Venkateshwara Swamy appears to be standing in the middle of the garba gudi. Actually, Swamy stands at the right side corner of the garba gudi. This can be noticed from standing outside.
- Every day a new & sacred dhoti (bottom) and saree (top) are used to decorate Swamy. Blessing newly married Couples who perform a spl seva are given this.
- All the flowers used in the garba gudi are in no condition brought out. There is a waterfall behind Swamy’s behind. All flowers are thrown in this water fall.
- No matter how many times, the back of Swamy is dried, it remains wet always. If you carefully keep your ear and listen against Swamy’s back, sound of an ocean is heard.
- Lakshmi Devi is on the heart of Swamy. On Thursdays, during Nija Roopa Darshanam, Swamy is decorated with white wood paste. When this decoration is taken out, the imprint on Lakshmi Devi remains. This imprint is sold by the temple authorities.
- When someone dies how one does not see behind and lights the fire, similarly, the flowers removed from Swamy are thrown at the back of Swamy. It is said that the pujaris do not look at the back of the Swamy that entire day. All these flowers can be seen coming out at a place called Verpedu, 20 kms from Tirupati (on way to Kalahaasti).
- The lights (deepa) lighted in front of the Swamy is said to be lit since thousands of years. And no one exactly knows since when these lights are lit.
- In 1800, the temple was said to be closed for 12 years. One King is said to have punished 12 people (who committed some crime) by killing them and hanging them on the walls of the temple.