Azhagiyasingar the “Acharyar” and Azhagiyasingar .. Lord LakshmiNrsimha deva


Blissful are the experiences of our Poorvacharyas and Peetathipathis .The mystic experiences shared by the great souls instill confidence in a devotee in his spiritual advancements.

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Appearing out of a pillar neither man nor an a animal and yet both man and lion HIS avatara bespeaks of LORD’s supremacy and transcendence .

Lord appeared from this place because  the   devotee child prahalada wanted him to appear  ….

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Thirumangai Azhwar visualised Lord Lakshmi Narasimhar in Ahobila Kshetra as the Lord who had thousand shoulders and sang several pasurams glorifying this holy place and the Lordships  .

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On his journey to Ahobilam he  sang few pasurams which  speaks about the tough conditions prevailing those days to seek Lords darshan  ….

Sri Jwala Narasimhar - Ahobilam

Senru kandarku Ariya koil

A temple where one cannot go with ease and offer worship to Lord

Deiva mallal sella vonna

Except for devas no one can attempt to seek darshan here

soorai kaatru kattu theeyai akasam varaiyil kondu sllugirathu

The devilish whirl wind blew with such force that the flames of the forest fire in that hill almost reached the sky

kanaitha theeum kallum atta villudai vedarumai

the blazing fire and the cracking noise of the dry heat is resounding in the hills.

Thinai thanayum sella onna

It is very difficult to go near this holy place even for few minutes..

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All the above said , Lord  Narasingha deva out of abundant mercy   to uplift the jivas decided to make himself available for darshan by  commanding  the the first Pontiff His holiness Sri  Sri Adivan Satakopa Yateendra Mahadesika Jeeyar during the period 1400 to take him to places and instruct  jivas  in the Ashtaksharam , Dwayam and the charama sloka and  guide them in spiritual insights for salvation ….

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The presiding deity Sri Lakshmi Narasimhar glorified as Malola  ( The lord who is always fond of his consort Mahalakshmi  as the meaning conveys ) .

To prove this point the LORD is seen with HIS left hand wound around the divine mothers slender waist  .

HIS  glance overlooks our faults  . 

Lord Malola  wears a paduka indicating his divine will to grace us by traveling places

Azhagiya Singar in tamil means beautiful Lion and has been used from time immemorial to glorify Lord Narasingha deva and in recent centuries  as a mark of  respect to  presiding Pontiff of Sri Ahobila Matam …..

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A divine incident reveals the greatness of the Lordships and Acharyar both of whom are lovingly called as Azhagiya Singar

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During a    journey few hundred years ago ,  Lordships was traveling  along with the    His holiness Sri Sri Athipattu Azhagiya singar 34th jeeyar and  disciples along with  entire paraphernalia .

A  local  affluent devotee  approached his holiness and offered ingredients to prepare  Ksheerannam as bhoga  for the Lordships .

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Accordingly the sweet preparations was made and several huge vessels of the nectarine dish covered  to the brim  with  ghee and milk and pieces of cashew nuts , dried grapes , diamond sugar  floating over  the offerings were placed before Lord Malola as naivedyam and  the curtains were drawn.

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The bells were  rung  along with the auspicious  drumming  and cymbals being played with devotion .

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 The Jeeyar with a beatific look folded hands and gleeful heart entreating the LORDSHIPS to have a morsel of bhoga .  The divine chants of glorifying the Lordships begun …..

  A morsel from  Acharyar  Azhagiyasingar’s hand , the LORD would certainly have with great relish .

BUT …. ..Today ??

No ..Nothing of that kind  happened ………………

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 Lord Malola a did not stir from his royal seat .

The Jeeyars importunity , prayer and beseechment did not invoke  any response  from the LORD …………..

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He implored the Lord to give him some reason in rejecting the offering  ..

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At last the LORD spoke .

Swamin …

This food contains few strands of human hair ..and hence we would not have this …….

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With tears Jeeyar sought repeated  forgiveness ,  and rushed to the devotees and advised them to immediately prepare  a  fresh offering  to the Lordships . The kainkaryaparas were informed about the grave mistake committed  . At his instance Pongal was prepared quickly and offered to Lord with all reverence  .

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However the cooks who prepared the Ksheerannam possessed of curiosity , began to examine the contents of the several vessels . The count went on …the first vessel ..the second …the third …..fourth,   fifth ……sixth …..

Nothing was discovered …

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One of the cooks even expressed  a derisive laughter as only two more vessels  remained  to be checked   .

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The last vessel was being cleared now ..

And to the astonishment from under its depth…………. strands of hair stuck out !!

The cooks were dumbfounded…

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They realised that the Jeeyar was indeed having a dialogue  with Lord daily..

Unable to contain their awe and reverence like a fallen staff all of them prostrated at the lotus feet of Jeeyar seeking pardon …

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.Such  was the greatness of both…….

the Azhagiyasingars ..the Acharyar

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Azhagiyasingar  Lord Lakshminarasimha deva  ..

Let us glorify our LORD …

Ugram  Viram   Maha Vishnum    Jvalantam      Sarvato Mukham

Nirisimham     Bhishanam      Bhadram    Mrutyur Mrutyum       Namamy Aham..

Ugram – the ferocious one

Viram – The most courageous

Mahavishnum – The all-pervasive one (Lord Maha Vishnu)

Jvalantam – the effulgence of fire

Sarvato Mukham – Having his face everywhere (manifested throughout the universe)

Nrisimham – The Lion-man form

Bhishanam – The terrific

Bhadram – The auspicious

Mrutyur Mrutym – death of death

Namamy Aham – I bow down and revere

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Courtesy Google images uploaded by several advanced devotees

At Tirumala !! When the screens opened by themselves……


 Innumerable  Emperors , Kings ,  Rich  , poor ,   people following different religions  have worshiped  Lord  Venkateshwara  at Tirumala  from times immemorial and have been blessed  with prosperity .  There is never  any person who had  darshan only once .The thirst to seek HIS mercy takes one to the Holy abodes several times . The Glory of  of the Lord of Seven Hills is vast and is beyond words to describe Every devotee will have a experience to share .

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The unique status of those blessed to have His darsanam at Tirumala is hinted by Kulasekhara Azhwar in one of the verses of  Mukunda Mala ……

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  For him , who had the darsana sowbhagyam of  Lord Venkateshwara   , this wide earth is a small speck , the rolling oceans a water drop , the raging fires a mere spark , the shoreless winds a mere breath , the vast sky a pin hole….

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O Lord! May Your unbounded Majesty excel !! ”

Azhwars advise in their pasurams, the purpose of this Life is  to seek HIS lotus feet in this birth without wasting time 

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It was during the year  1839  the great devotee of Lord Rama   Sri Thyagaraja visited Tirupati,  on a piligrimage . A staunch Lord Rama’s devotee trekked the holy hills in the mood of seeking Lord’s darshan . Always absorbed in the divine pastimes of Lord Rama ,absorbing Lord’s kalyana gunas the devotee used to emotionally outpour the krithis which have become a prayer book to all of us . 

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The trek was long as those days there was no proper roads and one had to cross  the jungles and stay over night en route.  . Thyagaraja was eager to seek Lord’s darshan  .He was told by several devotees about Lord’s magnificent appearance and the speciality of Tirumala . 

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It took almost 1 full day to reach the holy shrine  and happened to be Friday. Thyagrajar walked uptil Swamy Pushkarani the holy tank besides the temple  and took a  dip .  He  quickly  walked  towards   Sri Varahaswamy temple and had darshan .

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Overjoyed he proceeded towards Ananda Nilayam . The eagerness to have darshan of Lord was at its peak . Being Friday , Lord after having his ceremonial holy bath was being adorned with Royal clothes by the temple priests and hence the  screen  was put  .There were several pilgrims eagerly awaiting Lord’s darshan near the entrance  .

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 For a moment Thyagaya was sad as he had to wait for Lord’s darshan . His eagerness to have Lords darshan was suddenly stopped by the  screen . He was always in the mood of Lord Rama’s glories …..

He mentally prayed  …Oh Lord Venkatesha … Every one says ,You are the Supreme LORD  gracing every one who surrender to you .

Oh Lord !!! I cannot  wait further without seeing your majestic form ..

He  emotionally bursts out with a  melodious kirtana which was specially sung for Lord !!!

“Teratiyagaraadaa” whose meaning is

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Oh  Lord !!   Tirupati Venkataramana! Could you not remove the screen,

the screen of anger,  delusion ,arrogance and jealousy, which is  taking a firm stand within me,

Oh Lord ! that screen which  keeps me out of the reach of dharma and other  four Purusharthas Dharma ,Artha, Kama and  Moksha? 

Oh Lord !!! This screen which  effectively hides  me  from vision, the immaculate light of the lamp, Jnana.  And…………………

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My Lord !!! by the existence of this screen,  this  mind gets caught by evil, just as ignorant beasts are got into the Hunter’s net…….

Oh Lord !!!  I have been following you faithfully…….

Oh Lord   I pray sincerely ….. please please  remove the screen and allow me to have your darshan………..

The kirtan was so melodious and Lord was listening ..

It was the time LORD wished to see his devotee  .

Suddenly !!the screens fell  without any one attempting , much to the astonishment of all the devotees . 

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Lord’s darshan to saint Thyyagaraja was just one to one .Thyagayya was shell shocked . With copious tears he addressed Lord with choked voice ..

Oh ! My Lord Venkataramana …. My saviour !!! What a magnificent darshan 

!! Oh Lord !! am blessed to see this wonderful form , I am immersed in that deep nectarine experience ……..

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On that divine  forehead , I see the bright  Urdhva Pundram . The Peetambaram , the sahsranamamala  ,the nandakam , the lotus hand that is pointing your Lotus feet .My Lord  !!!  Your two lips shine in their redness like the ripe bhimbha fruit  and those lips sport a gentle smile arising out of Your  abundant  grace on me …


Oh Lord !!  May that beautiful face with such beauty marks  appear before my mind always ! ! Am blessed ..truly blessed to have this darshan …

and the great devotee of Lord Rama emotionally  sings ……………………………

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“Venkatesha ninu sevimpa”………….. in his happiness on seeing the Lord.

Oh Lord!! To have this darshan !!! these two eyes are insufficient … I need few  more thousands of eyes my Lord !!

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Oh Lord! Pankajaksha …. What’s my eligibility to have your wonderful darshan ..

Its your kindness and  mercy on me .. Else which mortal can be  here ….

Saint Thyagaraja had a unique combination of the  devotion of Prahlada, the music of Narada . The Pancharatna Kritis are the most representative of Saint Thyagaraja’s art as a composer. The Divyanama and Utsava Samprathaya Kritis composed  are melodies. The vanity of wealth or the pomp of power never tempted the great saint .Thyagaraja was constantly repeating the Rama Shadakshari mantra for  over 21 years and  had  completed almost  96 crores of Rama Nama. It is believed  Lord Rama appeared before him  in his dream and assured him salvation.

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pics : Courtesy Google Images

Video credits :  i dream music/

 Sri Shenkottai  bhagavathar for the Abhang  uploaded by Sri Parag Guptha

 

ALI.PIRI…THE GATEWAY TO TIRUMALA


It was during 1783-84 ,  a time when the atrocities of the  foreigners  were unbearable .

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Their  hatred for idol worship made the locals  tremble, not in fear for their lives,

but in fear of the possible damages that the age old  holy idols in their ancient temples would suffer. Drastic measures were made to save the deities  from disrespect.  However the demons used to destroy them and if that was not possible, deface them. The smaller utsavar idols made of the expensive Panchaloha were carried off in large heaps to Delhi, to be melted into new ornaments.

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The priests did their very best to cover the sanctum with bricks and send the smaller idols for safekeeping with trusted families. The forces however, kept driving further  in conquest. People mourned the deaths of their near and dear in the struggle . 

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The invaders were ruthlessly  attacking the temples and looting the jewellery .It was a dark period for the Hindus  .

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Hyder Ali  thus  invaded the Chandragiri Fort and marched in the surrounding areas to loot the temples . The ones who opposed were punished and were exiled.

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 It was a bright sunny day . The green meadows and the hilly terrain was a treat to the eyes .Galloping on the horses they reached the foot of the Tirumala hills .

The magnificent Hills were a feast to watch . The aroma from the trees the water falls around  tempted the general to march ahead . All of them looked closely  around .

The magnificent mountains and the seven peaks were looking stunningly beautiful with the glowing sun .

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The news about the ruthless invaders reached the  temple priests  at Tirumala .

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They  were very scared to face the enemy .

The news that they were looting other temples  was already known to them,but they never imagined that they would reach Tirupaty.

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The Annual Brahmotsavam festival was in all glitters …

All of them assembled at the temple premises and chalked out a plan . The Senior Priest announced ,  My dear Swamin ! There is no escape now . We will be finished in no time the moment the evil  forces reach here .Let us attempt to save our Lordships by carrying him along with us .

A old devotee replied , How are we going to leave the Hills ? Why not face the enemy bravely and sacrifice our lives than being cowards running away  .

This is VarahaKshetra and Lord Venkateshwara  has his own  plans . Let us seek his lotus feet and then decide . The suggestion was well taken …

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All the devotees rushed to the temple sanctorum , offered a mangala haarathi and pleaded LORD for his mercy .  Oh Lord !Our Savior ….

We are in utter confusion ..

We will sacrifice our lives but will not allow the enemy to enter the temple .

Please save us from this agony. Its your DIVINE WILL that’s final . 

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The Elder Priest announced , Look  children  ! Its our turn .Let us face them bravely .

When HE is there why worry ?  LORD will never leave us …

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All of them decided to sacrifice their lives than remaining as a  mute spectator . This was the last darshan .


With copious tears each went up near the LORD  had the last darshan feast fully  and left the temple . They  descended the Hills with anguish imagining that was their last darshan . The sun was radiating severe heat .

Passing the terrains and the hillocks the priests along with the devotees marched fearing sudden attack . They managed to reach   some where  near  to the foot  of the Hills  .The commotion was pathetic as the families also joined them fearing death and few escaping into the jungles calmly .


They reached  the last hillock and to their shock they saw a battalion  of armed forces on their horses looking all around .They had  weapons and looked ferocious . It seemed they had travelled from Chandragiri Fort  . The courage and enthusiasm to face the army suddenly vanished .

All of them were trembling with fear .

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There was a shout from the battalion .  A stout man looked like the General  screamed …Hey !!! All of you come here ….He was looking dreadful ..

. He was speaking in  Urdu  . He screamed again …

UUPAR  KAUN HAIN ?  ( WHAT IS THERE OVER THERE ?)

Once again he yelled ….

Hey Bomman ……………… Uupar kyaa hain ?

( What is there over there )

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The Priests were calm . All of a sudden they heard a  sweet voice among them .

All turned around . They saw a small boy  glowing with divine aura smiling and bravely walking before the army chief .

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The voice was clear and gracious and  in the same language . For a minute the Army Chief Hyder Ali was bewildered . The Priests  were shocked to see the new entrant  .

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Who is this boy ? He was not seen when we descended .Did he join us enroute ? Many questions were being whispered among them .

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The boy bravely walked before Hyder Ali and replied .

Haan    …. Iss jagah pavitra hain …………Varah kshetra hai …

( This place is holy and is  resting place of  Varaha )

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Aadhi Varaha Kshetra kahatey hain

Hyder Ali is stuck with the boys beauty .

Naturally even a stone hearted person also will get intoxicated with HIS looks ….

 He said …….. Yeh bolo . …… Varaha matlab kyaa  hain ?

( What do you mean by Varaha  ? ) 

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The moment he asked this question ,suddenly there was a loud noise from the hillocks . To the surprise of the devotees ,  Hundreds of wild boars in herds rushed in lightening speed making the army tremble and run for their lives .The whole battalion vanished in no time looking at the huge  boars chasing them .

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The place this divine leela happened was Adi Padi (  foot path in tamil )  and over a period of time got corrupted as Alipiri came from Ali-Phiri (Ali- returned). …( May be as Ali ..Hyder Ali  left ).

The Priests understood  the divine  boy was LORD himself who appeared to save them …

They chanted the holy names of LORD and ascended the HILLS with vigour and joy …



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Pilgrims take a vow to go on foot from  this place  Alipiri the gateway to  to Tirumala to have darshan of LORD .

There are two footways. 1) Alipiri footway and  2) Srivari mettu foot way  from the other side of the Hillocks near to Sri Kalyana Venkateshwara swamy Temple at Tirupathi.

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 Alipiri ,  most used footway by piligrims is  9 km trek  . Enroute a pilgrim finds solace in the holy hills trekking watching hundreds of devotees chanting the HOLY NAME .


The pathway is  laid  with comfortable steps and shelters. There are  around 3500 steps and  it  takes approximately 3 – 4 hrs to climb as per once health and age Pilgrims can keep their luggage at Alipiri luggage center and can proceed to Tirumala. TTD runs two free buses from the Tirupati Railway station to Alipiri, with a frequency of 30 minutes. Pilgrims who intend to walk up the hills to Tirumala can use these buses.


Apart from buses there are many auto rickshaws to Alipiri from Bus stand, Railway station. Elders advise one to have a holy dip at Azhwar Theertham

( DETAILS OF AZHWAR THEERTHAM  IS APPENDED IN THE BELOW POST 

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/azhwar-theertham-at-tirupati/

( Presently called as Kapila Theertham ) and proceed to trek the Hills.

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Adapted from a  discourse shared by Elders

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

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Pictures : credits Google Images uploaded by several Hari Bhaktas

Videos: Thanks to  Go Tirupaty web site , SaiGV  and Sri Hare Srinivas ( Tirumala Tirupati ) 

Azhwar Theertham at Tirupati


” TIRUMALA is most holy shrine and Lord Vaikuntanathan out of abundant mercy has appeared as Lord Venkateshwara in this yuga for our upliftment .

The sacred TIRUMALA Hills consists of seven peaks considered to be seven-hooded Adhisesha

 . Before  seeking to  have  darsanam of LORD ,  the devotees  are  supposed to shed  the    inherent tamasic  qualities and approach with  sattva gunam for  HIS darshanam .

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 Elders advise us to  reach the foot of the  Tirumala Hills and have a holy dip at Azhwar Theertham presently called as Kapila Theertham  before ascending the Hills.

This divine place is located enroute to Tirumala .  Out of the   1008 theerthams  located in and around  TIRUMALA  HILLS , Azhwar  Theertham ( Kapila Theertham)   is the only  natural spring  located  at the foot of the Hills.

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On the shores of Alwar theertham is  enshrined Sri Lakshmi Narayana Perumal gracing the devotees . Lord  is gracing with goddess  Sri maha Lakshmi . On the other side we can  have darshan of  Lord Venugopala Swamy..

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It is believed that this holy water  springs source is   from  Lord’s  lotus feet and hence is considered to be very sacred.

Near the water falls  of  Azhwar Theertham  there is a  small temple of  Swamy Nammazhwar .

Further ahead we see a small cave. Many years back,  this region was ruled by Emperor Thondaiman, who  used to visit Tirumala daily.

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Since it was difficult to cross all the Seven hills in the normal way, it is believed that  the Lord had shown him a shorter route  to reach him via this  cave!

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It is  said  that there was a  temple  for Lord Sri Narasimha inside the cave .

Presently ,  the Azhwar Theertham is known as Kapila Theertham .This place is glorified for the Paramasiva temple  installed by  Kapila Rishi  and hence the name  Kapileswara.


This wonderful temple is  one and half miles from Tirupati.

It is also said ,during  the ‘Kartika’ month  on the ‘Purnima’ (full moon) day,  many locals assemble to have darshan of Azhwars and Paramasivan

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In the Tamil DivyaPrabhandam sree sookthee Azhwars have sung  around 202 divine pasurams on LORDSHIPS   .
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By  having a holy dip in Azhwar Theertham,  the devotee  gets purified physically

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  This is similar to our journey to Sri Vaikuntam. It is explained in detail  about  the journey in the Archaradhi gadhi, that enroute the  jiva atma  has a purificatory dip in Viraja Nadhi .

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 As Tirumala is  Bhooloka  Vaikuntam,  Alwar Theertham is like Viraja river  and so it would be appropriate to take a holy dip  here before we have darshan  of LORD up hills!

By doing so, the soul sheds the  Tamo and Rajo  gunam and proceeds to Alipiri, the foot of the Hills.

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Trekking  up the holy  hills  is considered to be very sacred.

Recalling the inner meanings of the Azhwars divya prabhandam and Acharyars  who have glorified the Holy Hills in their outpourings one  treks with reverence to have LORD’s darshan ..

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 All animate and inanimate beings on the Hills are  worship able on this sacred Hills  .

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A view of the sacred  hill from the   footpath at Alipiri is seen to be believed.

As the summit opens into a spacious, charming valley, the range of the  splendour breaks through several outlets like fantastically shaped rocks in the form of serpentine roads.

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The flora and fauna on  the Holy Hills  provide an example of a perfect ecological balance by nature.

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  The imposing chain of seven hills extending in curves with its intermediate ranges and ridges  resembles the divine serpent, Adisesha.

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It is mentioned in Sri Venkatesa Suprabhatam, the range of 7 hills are  celebrated   as Seshalam, Garudachalam, Venkatadri, Narayanadri, Vrishabhadri, Anjanadri, Neeladri  and represents the great serpent bed  

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 As per Upanishads ,  in brief  the Jeevatma passes through five stages in its spiritual evolution , namely, Annamayya  kosa , Pranamaya kosa , Manomaya kosa  Vignanamaya  and Anandamaya kosams.

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The  devotee  sheds Annamaya kosa at this holy place Azhwar Theetham .


After a  holy dip  and blessings  of Swamy Nammazhwar  he   ascends the holy hills  in the  Pranamaya stage on  to the Hills.
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Once he  reaches the Mokaala Parvatham (the knee breaking ascent )  with abundant mercy  he moves  into Manaomaya kosam and  with serious quest to seek LORD from  heart and the mind he approaches JagathAcharyar Swamy Ramanujar  shrine . ( The appended post describes about this ancient temple )

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/07/17/the-temple-of-swamy-ramanuja-on-tirumala-hills-mambazha-emperumanar-throva-bhashyakar/

The darshan enlightens  him with knowledge  of the  real relationship between prakruti,  jeevatma and Paramatma  .  

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With the  blessings of Swamy Ramanuja he   reaches the  sacred hills .

He is advised to take a dip in Swami Pushkarini near the temple. From here he gets inspiration and seeks the lotus feet of Lord Varaha  ( Gnana Piran) (Sri Bhoovaraha Swami ) and gets  further enlightened  thus the  the Vignanamaya kosa is activated .


The final stage is reached when he  seeks union with the supreme  Lord  our  Lord  Venkateshwara  in the Aananda nilaya vimanam.

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 When Anandam( bliss )  takes possession of the soul, there is no further need for  any desire other than reaching his lotus feet permanently ……

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The great devotee Annamaya submits to the LORD in this appended kirtana a jivas struggle to reach HIS lotus feet … Check the meanings too in this clip
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7beQYyXk4M

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Adiyen Ramanuja dasan

Pics : Google images  

Videos credits : Ramyagiri