Today, 17th December, is Vaikunta Ekadashi, a very auspicious day for us. Vaikunta Ekadashi is an important festival dedicated to Lord Vishnu and his incarnations. The festival is celebrated with great devotion at all Vaishnava Temples and is a day of great significance at Sri Venkateshwaraswamy Temple - Tirumala, Sri Sitaramachandraswamy Temple - Bhadrachalam and Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple - Srirangam. Having the Lord’s Darshan on this day and passing through the Vaikunta Dwaram of the Temple is considered very auspicious. Right from early morning today, till late in the night you will find large number of devotees at all Temples in South India.
My son Srikanth along with his friends Venu, Praveen and Ravi had Darshan of Sri Venkateshwaraswamy at Tirumala today morning and passed through the Vaikunta Dwaram. Thanks to the initiative of his friend - Venu, my son could be at Tirumala on Vaikunta Ekadashi for the fourth year in a row and have Darshan of the Lord and pass through the Vaikunta Dwaram five times (two Darshans during his first Vaikunta Ekadashi visit). This is the only time in a year when the Vaikunta Dwaram is opened. It is kept open on Ekadashi day and the next day - Dwadashi but passing through this gate on Ekadashi is of great significance. ‘Vaikunta Dwaram’ means ‘Door to Heaven’. This is the passage encircling the innermost sanctum of the Lord. It is believed that the gates to heaven open today and that anyone who passes through Vaikunta Dwaram at these important Temples on Vaikunta Ekadashi is richly blessed and attains salvation.
My son and his friends, Venu, Praveen and Ravi, started from Secunderabad by car yesterday morning and reached Tirumala in the evening. They got into the queue complex at about 11:30 PM and had a comfortable and convincing Darshan of the Lord in the early morning hours of today. I said, a comfortable Darshan because since morning we have been watching news about Tirumala on TV reporting heavy rush of thousands of pilgrims leading to problems and very long wait in the queue and even of a stampede in which some persons including children were injured. They started back a little later in the morning and reached home today night. It is God’s will and Venu’s influence at Tirumala that has helped them to seek the blessings of Sri Venkateshwaraswamy at Tirumala more than once, on such an important day.