by G. V. Tagare | 1950 | 2,545,880 words
This page describes The Glory of Shri Venkateshvara which is chapter 18 of the English translation of the Skanda Purana, the largest of the eighteen Mahapuranas, preserving the ancient Indian society and Hindu traditions in an encyclopedic format, detailling on topics such as dharma (virtous lifestyle), cosmogony (creation of the universe), mythology (itihasa), genealogy (vamsha) etc. This is the eighteenth chapter of the Venkatacala-mahatmya of the Vaishnava-khanda of the Skanda Purana.
Śrī Sūta said:
1. Now I shall recount the greatness of Veṅkaṭeśvara, on hearing which one becomes liberated from all sins. There is no doubt about it.
3-4. The merit that is acquired in the course of ten years in Kṛtayuga, is achieved by men in Tretā in a single year, in Dvāpara in five months and in Kaliyuga in a single day. The benefit thereof to men is increased by crores moment after moment.
6-7. All Devas, sages and Manes are present there.
Those who remember the great Lord, the bestower of liberation, Lord Śrīnivāsa, once, twice or thrice a day or always, or those who glorify him, O Brāhmaṇas, are liberated from the cage of sins.
9-11. Merely by remembering him no torture by Yama will take place.
If men worship, even once, the great Lord Śrīnivāsa, of what avail are charitable gifts, holy rites, penances and sacrifices.
If a person does not contemplate upon the great Lord Veṅkaṭeśa even for a moment, he is ignorant; he is a sinner; he is dumb and deaf; he should be known as sluggish and blind. He will always have vulnerable points.
13-16. After obtaining the rare human birth, if men on the earth visit or worship the great Lord Veṅkaṭeśa, their birth has become fruitful; they alone are blessed and not others. If Veṅkaṭeśa, the great Lord, is visited or worshipped, of what avail are Śaṃbhu, Brahmā, Śakra or all the Immortal Ones? Those men who are endowed with devotion to Veṅkaṭeśa, the great Lord, although they bow down, remember or worship those mentioned previously, do not experience miseries; they do not go to the abode of Yama.
17. Thousands of the sins of Brāhmaṇa-slaughter and ten thousands of the sins of drinking liquor dissolve entirely, if Lord Nārāyaṇa is seen.
18. If people wish for perpetual happiness and kingdom in heaven, let them joyously bow down at least once to the Lord residing on Veṅkaṭādri.
19. Whatever may be the sins committed in the course of crores of births, all of them perish by visiting Veṅkaṭeśvara.
20. If anyone remembers Veṅkaṭeśa, the great Lord, on account of his association with other people, or out of curiosity, or due to covetousness or on account of fear, he shall not be miserable here or hereafter.
22. Just as a well-kindled fire reduces firewood to ash in a moment, so also a visit to Veṅkaṭeśa destroys all sins.
23-27a. Devotion to Lord Veṅkaṭeśvara is said to be of eight types:
- Tenderness towards those people who are devotees of Veṅkaṭeśvara;
- Complete satisfaction (on witnessing) the worship of Veṅkaṭeśvara;
- Devoutly worshipping the Lord oneself;
- Physical activity for the sake of the Lord;
- Desire and respectful eagerness to listen to stories of the greatness of the Lord;
- Excessive emotional excitement manifested in tone, eyes and all parts of the body;
- Continuous recollection of Lord Śrīnivāsa;
- and Maintenance of oneself solely depending upon that Lord, the resident of Veṅkaṭādri.
O Brāhmaṇas, that very salvation can be acquired solely through visiting Lord Veṅkaṭeśvara by the people of all castes and stages in life without the knowledge arising through listening to the Upaniṣads, without being in the stage of anchorite and without even detachment (from worldly life).
30-34. Ere long one will have the salvation that bestows exemption from rebirth.
By the favour of Śrīnivāsa worms, insects, Devas, sages and ascetics are all equal (of the same status) on the prominent mountain of Veṅkaṭa.
Do not be afraid, thinking ‘Many sins have been committed by me.’ Let no one be proud, saying ‘Meritorious deeds have been performed by me.’
When Veṅkaṭeśa, Śrīnivāsa. the great Lord, is visited, no one shall be inferior or superior. All of them are great people.
If a person devoutly visits Śrīnivāsa, the great Lord, on the exceedingly meritorious (mountain) named Veṅkaṭa which is destructive of all sins, no one will be on a par with him in the world, even if a person has mastered all the four Veḍas.
35. He who devoutly worships Veṅkaṭeśvara, the Lord of Devas, goes to Hari’s abode along with a crore of the members of his family.
36-37. Nothing is equal or superior to Śrīnivāsa in meritoriousness.
If anyone out of delusion hates the Lord residing on Veṅkaṭādri, it means that ten thousand sins of Brahmin-slaughter have been committed by him causing fall into hell. Even by merely talking to him a man will fall into hell.
38. The Vedas are devoted to Śrīnivāsa. Sacrifices pertain to Śrīnivāsa. Everything is solely devoted to Śrīnivāsa. There is nothing other than Śrīnivāsa.
39-42a. One should forsake everything else and resort to Śrīnivāsa.
By rendering service to Śrīnivāsa one attains crores of times of the benefit accruing from performing all the Yajñas, penances, charitable gifts and holy baths in all the Tīrthas.
One who meditates on Veṅkaṭādrinivāsa for two Ghaṭikās (i.e. 48 minutes) shall sustain twenty-one generations of his family and is honoured in the world of Viṣṇu.
42b-44a. If a person never visits Veṅkaṭeśa, the great Lord, he should be known as a person of mixed caste and not a person born of the seed of (his legal) father.
Hence, O Brāhmaṇas, by all efforts Veṅkaṭeśa, the storehouse of mercy, should be seen (visited) with a desire for the other world.
44b-45. Thus, O Brāhmaṇas, the greatness of Veṅkaṭeśa has been narrated to you.
He who devoutly listens to this always and reads it, shall obtain the benefit of the service unto Veṅkaṭanātha.
Footnotes and references:
This list is different from the standard nine types of devotion like Śravaṇa (Listening). Kīrtana (Glorification), Smaraṇa (Remembrance) and others. There is a some overlapping here.