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Venkatachala - from Skanda Purana - Venkatachala Mahatmya

Sr Venkateswara Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 5): Story of Vedavati: Devi Sita who was abducted by Ravana at Panchavati was not the real Sita. Agni Deva knew beforehand the intention of Ravana to abduct Devi Sita, so he took Her to Patala and entrusted Her to his wife Swaha. She replaced Her with Vedavati. Formerly Vedavati was touched by Ravana and therefore She had cast off Her body in fire. She was now recreated to kill Ravana. After Ravana was killed, She entered the fire once again and Agni Deva handed over the real Sita to Ravana. Agni Deva requested Sri Rama to give a boon to Vedavati since She has remained in the custody of Ravana at Lanka for the sake of Devi Sita. Devi Sita requested Sri Rama to make Her His wife. Sri Rama told that He would accept Vedavati as His wife in the twenty-eighth Kali Yuga, when She will be born as the daughter of king Viyat (Akasha Raja).

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 3): Story of king Viyat (Akasha Raja): On the twenty-eighth Kali Yuga (after the Mahabharata war) there was a great king born in the lunar race known as Mitravarman. He was the king of Tundira Mandala and resided in the city of Narayanapura. He was a very righteous king and during his rule the earth produced fruits and vegetation in plenty. There was no natural calamity and the people were very virtuous. He had a great son named Viyat (Akasha) who was the ornament of the race and was married to Dharani. In due time king Mitravaran handed over his kingdom to Akasha and went to Venkatadri to perform penance.

Padmavati emerging: After Akasha became the king, once he was ploughing the ground on the bank of river Arani for performing a Yagya. A beautiful girl came out of the land lying on a bed of lotuses. The king who was childless made Her his daughter. An ethereal voice also confirmed that She is his daughter. When the girl entered the palace, the queen conceived and in due time a son named Vasudana was born to the king.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 4): Narada meeting Padmavati: Since the girl was born on a bed of lotuses, king Akasha gave her the name Padmini. During Her youth, sage Narada once came to Her garden and saw Her hand. Seeing Her beautiful features, he said that She appeared like Devi Lakshmi and is the match of Vishnu.

Srinivasa appearing: After sage Narada vanished, Padmini went to the flower park accompanied by Her companions. They saw a huge elephant there, and being frightened took shelter under a tree. During that time, Srinivasa of dark complexion came there riding a white horse and chasing a wolf. He was extremely attractive and held a golden gem-studded Saranga bow and a golden arrow. He enquired about the maidens and came to know of them. He in turn told that He resided in Venkatadri. Seeing Padmavati He became enchanted.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 5): Srinivasa asking Bakulamalika to find about Padmavati: When Srinivasa reached His abode, He bacame absent-minded thinking about Padmavati. His attendent Bakulamalika noticed this and asked the reason. Srinivasa told her about Padmavati Who was previously Vedavati, and how He is enchanted by Her. He told Bakulamalika to go and find whether Padmavati was suitable for Him. When Bakulamalika asked the way, Srinivasa told her the route to Narayanapuri - From the cave of Sri Nrisimha, getting down the mountain, reaching the hermitage of sage Agastya, visiting the Agastya Linga on the bank of river Suvarnamukhari, reaching the forest of sage Suka along the bank of the river, reaching the holy lotus pond named Padmasaras, visiting sage Chaya Shuka performing penance there, saluting Krishna and Balarama worshipped by the sage, crossing river Suvarnamukhari, passing through forests and gardens and reaching the bank of river Arani, then crossing the parks and gardens of Narayanapuri and reaching the palace of king Akasha.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 5 - 6): Bakulamalika leaving for Narayanapuri: Bakulamalika left for Narayanapuri mounted on a red horse and following the path mentioned by Srinivasa. When she reached the Agastyeshwara Linga, she met the attendents of Padmavati and in course of conversation came to know that Padmavati was also enchanted by Srinivasa and after Srinivasa left She swooned. The king consulted an astrologer who told that the girl has been enchanted by an excellent man with whom She will be united. That person had deputed a maiden who will come to the palace and it is beneficial for the king to follow her advice. The astrologer also suggested to perform the holy bathing rite of Agastya Linga. Thus the attendents of Padmavati came to bathe the Shiva Linga. When they came to know that Bakulamalika wanted to meet queen Dharani, they told her to join them.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 6): Queen Dharani meeting a Pulindini: In the meantime queen Dharani saw a Pulindini in the street who claimed that she can tell the past, present and future. Dharani called her and asked her to tell the future. She told that her daughter had been enchanted by the Lord of Venkatadri and He will soon send an attendent to her.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 7): Bakulamalika meeting queen Dharani: In the meantime the maidens returned to the palace with Bakulamalika and introduced her to queen Dharani. The queen was impressed by the divine lady. She asked her purpose of visit. Bakulamalika told her how Srinivasa was enchanted by Padmavati, and had sent her to ask for the hand of Padmavati. The queen was delighted and called king Akasha. They met the ministers and priests and all agreed to this divine marriage.

Marriage arrangements: Brihaspati, the lord of the devas was consulted for the auspicious time of marriage. Brihaspati suggested the Uttaraphalguni day on the month of Vaisakha as the auspicious day of marriage. For the purpose of marriage, Vishwakarma decorated the city, Yama made the people free from illness and various gods filled the place with wealth and foodgrains. In the meantime, Srinivasa sent a garland to Padmavati through Shuka. Shuka told the message of the Lord to Padmavati that He is going to come on the day of the marriage.

Skanda Purana (Vaishnava Khanda - Venkatachala Mahatmya 8): The Marriage of Srinivasa and Padmavati: On the day of the marriage, Devi Lakshmi Herself adorned Srinivasa. Then the Lord proceeded towards Narayanapuri accompanied by Brahma and many gods, sages and devotees. The gandharvas sang, the celestial dancers danced, the devas played divine music and the sages recited Vedic Suktas. When the Lord reached the city of Narayanapuri, the king made Padmavati sit on the Airavata elephant who took her around the city. Then the bride and the bridegroom entered the palace in the marriage chamber. They exchanged garlands. The marriage ceremony continued for four days. Then the Lord went back to Vrishabhachala mounted on Garuda and accompanied by the goddesses.

Srinivasa giving boon to Akasha Raja: When Srinivasa asked king Akasha to choose a boon, he asked for unswerving devotion to His Lotus Feet. Srinivasa granted him the boon. The Lord also honoured Brahma and other devas appropriately.

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Last updated on Dec-2017

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