Shri Shrinivasa


     'Ven' means sin, 'Kata' means to destroy, and 'Isa' means lord. Venkatesh means 'the lord who destroys the sin'. He is considered the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He first appeared on the mountains of Tirumalai in Andhra Pradesh in the form of light. The story goes that due to the conflict created by Bhrigu between Vishnu and Lakshmi, Lakshmi left Vaikuntam to live on earth. Shrinivasa followed her. Finally he decided to stay on earth to fulfill the wishes os his devotee. He took seven steps backward and turned himself into a stone idol. Further, he asked Lakshmi to confer wealth on men of the earth, who would come to serve lots of money where by He could pay back the money with interest to Kubera, who loaned it to His marriage. Also He is said to confer the blessings of salvation on all who saw it. He holds Chakra in his upper right hand which represents the highest heavens. The Shanku (conchshell) in his upper left hand represents the lowest ocean depths. His influence is to prevail the area between heaven and lowest ocean. He chose Venkatagiri mountain to incarnate since it is situated halfway between heaven and earth. With his Abhaya hastam of the lower right hand, he beckons 'come unto me', while his kati hastam of lower left hand indicates that those who obey his gracious invitation, the Lord promises that the sea of samsara will forever be no more than hip-deep. His mother Vakula devi is adorned around his neck as Tulasi garland. Sridevi and Bhudevi adorned his chest (Vakshsthala). Armlet with snakes indicates that he also has the power of Shiva. He is probably the only God worshipped by devotees of both Shiva nad Vishnu. It is believed that the Urdhvapundra is made broad to cover the third eye. This image said to be an Udbhavamurthi (spontaneously manifested).