BY: SUN STAFF
Nov 23, CANADA (SUN) The marriage of Lord Sri Venkateswara (Lord Srinivasa) with Goddess Padmavathi.
The rishis headed by Kasyapa began to perform a sacrifice on the banks of the Ganges. Sage Narada visited them and asked them why they were performing the sacrifice and who would be pleased by it. Not being able to answer the question, the rishis approached Sage Bhrigu. To reach a solution after a direct ascertainment of reality, Sage Bhrigu first went to Satyaloka, the abode of Lord Brahma.
At Satyaloka, he found Lord Brahma, reciting the four Vedas in praise of Lord Narayana, with each of his four heads, and attended upon by Saraswati. Lord Brahma did not take notice of Bhrigu offering obeisance. Concluding that Lord Brahma was unfit for worship, Bhrigu left Satyaloka for Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva.
At Kailasa, Bhrigu found Lord Siva spending his time pleasantly with Parvati and not noticing his presence. Parvati drew the attention of Siva to the presence of the sage. Lord Siva was furious at Bhrigu's intrusion and tried to destroy him. The sage cursed Lord Siva and left for Vaikuntam.
At Vaikuntam, Lord Vishnu (also called Srimannarayana) was reposing on Adisesha with Sri Mahalakshmi in service at His feet. Finding that Srimannarayana also did not notice him, the sage was infuriated and he kicked the Lord on His chest, the place where Mahalakshmi resides.
At once, Lord Vishnu hastened to apologise to the angry sage and pressed his feet to allay the pain caused to Bhrigu's leg. In doing so the Lord removed the eye in the foot of the sage, which gave Bhrigu power as to defy the Devas. Thereupon, the sage decided that Lord Vishnu was the most supreme of the trimurthis and told the rishis the same. Thereupon, they decided that Lord Vishnu was the fruit of the yaga.
Sri Mahalakshmi was angered by the action of her Lord in apologising to Bhrigu who committed an offence. She, therefore, left Vaikuntam without heeding the entreaties of the Lord.
At the commencement of the current Sveta Varaha Kalpa, the whole universe was filled with water and the Earth was immersed in it. Lord Vishnu assumed the form of a white boar (Sri Varaha) and dived into the water to lift the Earth. He slew the demon Hiranyaksha who was obstructing Him and rescued the Earth.
Brahma and the other Devas praised Sri Varaha for saving the Earth by chanting the Vedas and showering flowers on Him. Lord Vishnu decided to stay on Earth in the form of Sri Varaha for some time, to punish the wicked and protect the virtuous. The place then came to be known as Varaha Kshetra and the vVaraha Kalpa commenced.
After the departure of Mahalakshmi, a forlorn Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntam and took abode in an ant-hill under a tamarind tree, beside a pushkarini on the Venkata Hill.
Taking pity on Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Maheshwara decided to assume the forms of a cow and its calf to serve Him.
Surya, the Sun God informed Mahalakshmi of this and requested her to assume the form of a cowherdess and sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country.
The king of the Chola country bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze on the Venkata Hill along with his herd of cattle. Discovering Lord Vishnu on the ant-hill, the cow provided its milk, and thus fed the Lord.
Meanwhile, at the palace, the cow was not yielding any milk, for which the Chola Queen chastised the cowherd severely.
To find out the cause of lack of milk, the cowherd followed the cow, hid himself behind a bush and discovered the cow emptying her udder over the ant-hill.
Incensed over the conduct of the cow, the cowherd aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. However, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive the blow and save the cow.
When the cowherd saw the Lord bleed at the blow of his axe, he fell down and died of shock.
On the death of the cowherd, the cow returned, bellowing in fright and with blood stains all over her body, to the Chola King. To find out the cause of the cow's terror, the King followed her to the scene of the incident.
The King found the cowherd lying dead on the ground near the ant-hill. While he stood wondering how it had happened, Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill and cursed the King saying that he would become an asura because of the fault of his servant. The King pleaded innocence, and the Lord blessed him by saying that the curse would end when the Lord was adorned with a kireetam presented by Akasa Raja at the time of His marriage with Sri Padmavati.
Thereafter, Lord Vishnu or Srinivasa, decided to stay in Varaha Kshetra, and requested Sri Varahaswami to grant Him a site for His stay. His request being readily granted, Srinivasa ordained that a pilgrimage to His shrine would not be complete unless it is preceded by a bath in the Pushkarini and darshan of Sri Varahaswami, and that puja and naivedyam should be offered to Sri Varahaswami first.
Yasoda brought up Sri Krishna, the son of Devaki, in his early years. However, Yasoda was not blessed to witness the marriage of Sri Krishna with Rukmini and she felt very sad. Sri Krishna promised to fulfill her desire in her next birth as Vakuladevi in his next avatara as Srinivasa. In Rukmini's next birth as Vakuladevi, she was serving Lord Varahaswami when He sent her to serve Srinivasa.
Sometime later, a King named Akasa Raja who belonged to the Lunar race was ruling over Thondamandalam. He had a brother named Thondaman. Akasa Raja had no heirs, and therefore, he wanted to perform a sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice, he was ploughing the fields when his plough turned up a lotus in the ground. On examining the lotus, the King found a female child in it.
Akasa Raja was happy to find the child. He carried it to his palace and gave it to his Queen. At that time he heard a voice from above which said, "Oh! King, tend to it as your child and fortune will befall you." As the child was found in a lotus, the king named her Padmavati.
In course of time, Princess Padmavati grew up into a beautiful maiden and was attended to by a host of maids. One day, while she was spending her time in a garden picking flowers with her maids, Sage Narada approached her. Assuring her that he was her well-wisher, he asked her to show him her palm to read her future. He foretold that she was destined to be the spouse of Lord Vishnu himself.
At this time, Lord Srinivasa, who was hunting, chased a wild elephant in the forests surrounding the hills. In the elephant's pursuit, the Lord was led into a garden, where Princess Padmavati and her maids were picking flowers. The sight of the elephant frightened the Princess and her maids.
But the elephant immediately turned around, saluted the Lord and disappeared into the forest.
Srinivasa Kalyanam, the story of Sri Krsna Venkateswara, will conclude in tomorrow's edition of the Sun.