Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Swami Pushkarini, Tirumala.

We returned from Tirumala and Tirupati today morning, we were there on 20th and 21st June. We had a very satisfying darshan of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy by attending to his Suprabatha Seva on 21st June, around 3:00 AM. Later yesterday we also went to Srikalahasti and visited Lord Shiva’s, Sri Kalahasteeswara Temple and had darshan of all Gods at this ancient Temple.
In the past I wrote about our earlier pilgrimages to Tirumala and the adjoining temples and posted a number of photographs on these trips:
During this trip I took some pictures at the Swami Pushkarini – the Holy Water Tank of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple and decided to write on it. The above photographs are of us at the Pushkarini and those below are taken at the main Temple and around it.
While some important Temples of South India are along the banks of holy rivers like Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery the rest have a water source close to the Temple in the form of a geometrically spectacular stepped tank or a well. Such a Temple tank or pond is considered sacred and is called Pushkarini (or Koneru) which literally means a pond of Lotus flowers. The water from Pushkarini may also be used for the rituals and cleaning of the temples. Devotees have to take a dip in the sacred waters of these tanks before offering prayers at the Temples. Any Pushkarini is said to have healing and purifying powers.
The Pushkarini at Tirumala is located very close to Sri Venkateshwara Swamy Temple and it is called as Swami Pushkarini. Bathing at Swami Pushkarini is considered equivalent to bathing in the holy River Ganga. It is said that this Pushkarini was originally based in Vaikuntam – the abode of Sri Vishnu and it was brought down to earth by Garuda and set here for Sri Venkateshwara Swamy. On the last day, that is the ninth day of the Grand Brahmotsavam celebrations, the Sudarshana Chakra of the Lord is immersed in the waters of Swamy Pushkarini in a ceremonial way. The Temple priests and several devotees simultaneously take a dip in the Pushkarini along with the Sudarshana Chakra to attain Moksha / absolve one from sins.
The water at the Swamy Pushkarini is maintained very well by treating it scientifically and by a state-of-the-art recycling facility. However as per the ancient practice, water from the nearby ‘Akashaganga waterfalls’ alone is used for the Abhishekam of Sri Venkateshwara Swamy and for all other Temple rituals at Tirumala.  

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