Sunday, March 26, 2006

Visting places - Let the FORCE be with me.

I leave for Tirupati on Monday morning.
Tirupati is is one of the holiest places in Hinduism and my family believes that before I head to a distant foregin land, I need to take the blessings from God.Besides that,my little nephew,plans to have his mundan there.Mundan is the first tonsure of a child and is an important rite in Hinduism.The li'l boy's hair has grown so long that he looks like a pretty girl now.:).My younger sis made a quick plan and plans to fly down from Kolkata just to see the li'l kid in his "new look" :).We also plan to visit the Kalahasti temple,a famous Siva temple near Tirupati.
From Tirupati,I travel to Hyderabad.I plan to catch up with a few friends,complete some pending work and most importantly visit the Visa Temple.Yeah, you heard it right.Itz the visa temple. For all those who don't know -It is widely prevalent among devotees that 'Chilkuru Balaji' is 'Visa Venkanna' for He is the giver of visa, a passport to go abroad.That is the reason why you will find many youngsters and youth making rounds and rounds the temple all along, all through the week.

The procedure is like this:
Whoever wants to go abroad for higher studies, employment, etc. has to first go to Chilkur and pay obeissance to the Lord and take a vow to pay His dakshina. Then take eleven (11) pradakshinas(rounds the temple) and put forth the desire to go abroad. The Lord is prayed during pradakshinas to grant the devotee with a Visa.The devotees, during eleven pradakshinas, vow to take 108 pradakshinas once the Visa is granted.When the Visa paving way to fly abroad is received, the devotee pays his obeissance with the vowed 108 pradakshinas .

Now, that I have got the visa, it is my turn to pay obeissance to the lord and complete the 108 rounds.

I'll be out for a week. So,there will not be any updates on my blog for a week.
Catch you all after some time.Till then,Have a great week ahead.


BTW,Here is some interesting trivia on the temples taht I am visiting:

Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati
a.The official website is here, the site is maintained by Tata Consultancy Services, India's No 1 Software services company.

b.The temple is dedicated to Vishnu the second deity of the Hindu Holy Trinity who assumes the role of preserver of the cosmos.

c.Tirupati is the second richest religious institution after the Vatican City and is one of the most revered Hindu temples in India.

d.Tirupati is also the most visited temple in the world. It is estimated that more that 50,000 people visit the temple everyday; this makes it almost 19 million people in a year, almost double the estimated number of people visiting Vatican City

e.In the holy shrine of Tirumala, lot of devotees offer their hair as sacrifice against their fulfilled wish. They also drop their offerings in the form of money, gold, silver or anything they wish in the holy hundi(a box to collect the offerings). According to Hindu mythology, all the offerings to Lord Venkateswara count to repay the loan taken by him from Kubera for his marriage expenses which will be repaid completely by the end of Kaliyuga.

f.The deity has also over 1000 kg of gold and diamond jewellery, making it one of the richest temple treasures.

Chilkur Balaji/Visa Temple
a.One important feature of this Temple is that there is no Hundi.

b.It is widely prevalent among devotees that 'Chilkuru Balaji' is 'Visa Venkanna' for He is the giver of visa, a passport to go abroad

Kalahasti Temple
a.This temple is famous for the Rahu Ketu Sarpa Dosha Nivarana pooja. Astrology regards Rahu and Ketu as the only two planets which has varying degrees of malefic ( some benefic effect is also present) effects on ALL human beings.

b.It is rumored that the then India Captian Saurav Ganguly visited the temple in the company of a film actress Nagma(original name-Namrata Sadhana) days before the series against Australia.!

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oh yeah the visa temple. my wife took me there so that i get thru ISB. ISB didnt happen but presto I was in the US within a span of a few months. call it a miracle or unsolicited intervention. :-). I love those grenade sized laddoos they give at Tirupati.

 
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