Why Tirupati (Tirumala) is called Saptagiri Kshetram
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Just before knowing about “Why Tirupati (Tirumala / Tirumalai) is called Saptagiri Kshetram?”, let us have a brief about Tirupati (Tirumala / Tirumalai).
Tirupati or Tirumala / Tirumalai is a divine city in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India. This divine city of Tirupati is located 750 km southwest of state’s executive capital Visakhapatnam.
This divine city of Tirupati is home to Bhagavan Sri Venkatesha / Srinivasa / Balaji, an avatar of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.
This Kshetram (Pilgrimage place) is one of the eight ‘Swayam vyakta Kshetrams’ (Directly evolved pilgrimage place) dedicated to Bhagavan Sri Vishnu.
Bhagavan Sri Vishnu came down as Bhagavan Sri Srinivasa / Venkatesha to get marry to Sri Padmavati Devi, which he had promised to do so in the Treta Yuga, that is, as an avatar of Bhagavan Sri Rama.
First of all let us know what is the meaning of ‘Giri’, ‘Achala’, ‘Adri’ and ‘Parvata’ is?
a. What is Giri? – Giri means a rocky mountain. Bhagavan Sri Krishna is called as ‘Giridhara’, as he lifted the huge rocky mountain of ‘Govardhana’ to save the people of Gokula from the clutches of the heavy rain which was poured by Sri Indra Deva.
Similarly, Lord Shiva is called as ‘Girisha’, as Lord Shiva is Isha (Lord) of ‘Girija’. Here ‘Girija’ means the daughter of ‘Parvata Raja’. Girija is another name of Parvati Devi. Parvati means, daughter of Parvata Raja.
b. What is ‘Achala’? – Achala means, something which is immobile. Achala also has the meaning, which is very steady, constant, absolute still etc. A hill or a mountain is always immobile. Thus a hill or mountain is called as ‘Achala’.
c. What is ‘Adri’? – Adri also means a hill or a mountain. The great Himalaya is called as ‘Adrisha’, as it is the ‘King of all the mountains and hills’. Adrisha = Adri + Isha = Mountain + Head or King.
d. What is ‘Parvata’? – Parva means very auspicious time or thing. In Hindus all the mountains and hills are considered very auspicious.
For this reason, most of the divine temples are located on top of the mountains and hills in India.
As said above Sri Parvati Devi is the daughter of Parvata Raja and thus, she got the name Parvati. Parvati also means highly auspicious, divine, favourable, etc.
Now, let us move to know about “Why Tirupati (Tirumala / Tirumalai) is called Saptagiri Kshetram?”:
Tirupati is known as the ‘भूवैकुंठ / ಭೂವೈಕುಂಠ / bhūvaikuṇṭha’ (BhuVaikuntha), that is, this place is so divine this place is called as the Vaikuntha of the earth.
In this place itself, the most divine vivaha (Marriage) of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu’s avatar Bhagavan Sri Srinivasa / Venkatesha with Sri Padmavati took place.
To watch this most divine marriage, all the Devatas (Demigods) starting from Sri Maha Lakshmi Devi, Sri Brahma Deva, Sri Vayu Deva, Sri Saraswati Devi,
Sri Bharati Devi, Sri Rudra Deva, Sri Parvati Devi, Sri Indra Deva, Sri Kama Deva, Sri Surya Deva, Sri Chandra Deva etc. etc. etc. were present.
Tirumala Kshetram (Pilgrimage place) is the most holy abode of Bhagavan Sri Srinivasa / Venkateshwara and it is located in the midst of a group of seven divine hills called Saptagiri.
Here Saptagiri = Sapta + Giri = Seven + Hills.
Tirupati (Tirumala / Tirumalai) is called Saptagiri Kshetram because of the following seven mountains:
1. Sheshachalam (Sheshadri)
2. Garudachalam (Garudadri)
3. Venkatachalam (Venkatadri)
4. Narayanachalam (Narayanadri)
5. Vrishabhachalam (Vrishabhadri)
6. Anjanachalam (Anjanadri)
7. Vrishachalam (Vrishadri)
Now, let us know more details of the seven hills (saptagiri):
1. Sheshachalam (Sheshadri) : Sheshachalam (Also called as Sheshadri) is named after the 1000 headed divine Sarpa / serpent named Sri Aadishesha.
This serpent took the avatar of Sri Lakshmana and served Bhagavan Sri Rama during the Treta Yuga and also same serpent took the avatar of Sri Balarama and served Bhagavan Sri Krishna during the Dwapara Yuga.
In Sri Venkatesha Stotram (That is, from Brahmanda Purana) we can find Bhagavan Sri Venkateshwara is been eulogized as “Sheshadri patih eva cha”.
This means, the one who is the Isha / Lord of Sheshadri Hills, that is, Bhagavan Sri Vishnu is the Isha / Lord of Sri AadiShesha serpent.
As said above, Tirumala or Tirumalai hills is the holy and most divine abode of Bhagavan Sri Venkateshwara is said to be manifestation of Sri AadiShesha serpent. Thus, this place is called as Sheshachalam / Sheshadri.
Most special point to be noted here is, from a far distance Tirumala hills appear in a form of a serpent.
How Sri AadiShesha serpent got manifested at Sheshachala hill and how he was brought down by Sri Vayu Deva can be found in Sri Venkatachala Mahatmya.
2. Garudachalam (Garudadri) : Garudachalam (Also called as Garudadri) is named after the divine king of birds, that is, Sri Garuda Deva.
Lord Sri Garuda Deva is the one who brought these saptagiri (7 hills) from Vaikuntha to earth.
This saptagiri (7 hills) doesn’t belongs to earth. But infact, it was brought from Vaikuntha by Lord Sri Garuda Deva and thus the name Garudachalam / Garudadri.
3. Venkatachalam (Venkatadri) : Venkatachalam (Also called as Venkatadri) is named after Bhagavan Sri Venkatesha.
Here, वेंकटाद्रि / ವೆಂಕಟಾದ್ರಿ / veṅkaṭādri (Venkatadri) means, Venkatadri = Ven + Kata + adri = Our ego or sins + To cut or burn + hill.
Thus this means, this is the hill (adri) where Bhagavan Sri Venkatesha is permanently located and he is so great and divine that he cuts down (burns) our ego or sins forever.
Here, Venkata also means, He (Bhagavan Sri Venkatesha) is someone who is the treasure house of all the divine knowledge, that is,
the knowledge which will give the ‘moksha jnana’ (Divine liberation knowledge) and He is the only one who bestows us the moksha / mukti (Divine liberation).
4. Narayanachalam (Narayanadri) : Narayanachala (Also called as Narayanadri) is named after a divine and great devotee of Bhagavan Sri Venkateshwara and this devotee name is Narayana.
5. Vrishabhachalam (Vrishabhadri) : Vrishabhachala or Vrushabhachala (Also called as Vrishabhadri / Vrushabhadri) is named after a demon by name Vrishabhasura who got slayed down by Bhagavan Sri Venkatesha.
6. Anjanachalam (Anjanadri) : Anjanachala (Also called as Anjanadri) is named after Sri Anjana Devi.
She is the divine mother of Sri Hanuman. She did a tapas / penance at this place and thus the name Anjanadri.
7. Vrishachalam (Vrishadri) : Vrishachala / Vrushachala (Also called as Vrishadri / Vrushadri) is named after Sri Yama Deva, that is, the Lord of Dharma who did tapas / penance at this place.
Tirumala or Tirumalai is the most recent name. In Tamil Tirumala = Tiru + Mala.
Here Tiru means addressing with respect, that is, this name is a sacred, divine, auspicious name and also Tiru means Sri Maha Lakshmi and Mala means a hill in Tamil.
Thus, the most divine name Tirumala or Tirumalai means a hill which is most sacred, divine, auspicious and this is the abode of Bhagavan Sri Lakshmipati (Another name of Bhagavan Sri Vishnu / Srinivasa).
More information will be added to this. Please visit after some time.
To know “Venkatachalam hill (Tirupati / Tirumalai) names in different yugas”, click the below link:
Venkatachalam hill (Tirupati / Tirumalai) names in different yugas
To know more about Bhagavan Sri Srinivasa / Venkatesha / Balaji, click the below link:
About Bhagavan Sri Srinivasa / Venkatesha / Balaji on Bhagavan Bhakthi website
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