Many interesting practices are followed in the Thirumala temple. one such interesting practice is the pradhama darsan, the first darsan of Lord Srinivasa in Ananda Nilayam…everyday Lord gives pradham darsan to an yadava boy!…yes, not an archaka…nor a temple official…it is a person of Yadava hereditary who gets first darsan of lord when the temple is opened around 2.30 A.M. everyday…it is because when Lord stayed on Thirumala Hills as Srinivasa it is person of Yadava sect who first sees him…Lord blessed him and told him that He would grant pradham darsan to his decsendents forever…this custom is followed till today and a descendant of that yadava family is given first darsan till today. He is called sannidhi golla in temple practices. When the temple doors are opened in the morning, it is this person who goes inside to haveLord’s darsan…this darsan is called viswaroopa darsan.
Another interesting aspect is no prasadam like pulihora, daddhojanam or even famous laddu is offered to Sri Swamy Varu in the sanctum sanctorum…all these are offered by keeping them out side only…only a typical rice prasadam goes inside that too in a piece of an earthen pot!…not a silver vessel nor a golden vessel…the only Prasad that is offered to lord inside garbhalayam is in small earthen pot piece…Lord gave word to an ardent kummari (potter) devotee ‘ kuruvarathi nambi’ that only the prasadam in earthen pot piece is to be offered to Him always…see Lord’s benovelence… He has thousands of kilograms of gold at His disposal. He has wonderful and most valuable golden utensils donated to Him by rich and the mighty…but He chose to accept only the prasadam in an narthen pot piece…Oh! Swamy! How merciful you are!…it is because of this gesture of Lord Srinivasa, Annamacharya calls lord as thomani pallala vadu, meaning a person who does not use any washed plates.
We find four murthis of Lord in the garbhalayam apart from Lord’s Dhruva Murthi. One of them is called bhoga srinivasa murthi , which is also called ‘ kouthuka bera ’ or ‘purusha bera ’ in vaikhanasa tradition. this idol is consecrated by Samavai, a pallava queen in 966 A.D. It is for this Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi’s idol that the Ekantha Seva is performed every night. During this seva Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi’s idol is placed in a silvercradle in sayana mantapa and milk etc.are offered to Lord to the accompaniment of music and songs composed by tallapaka poets . Sanadal paste is applied to feet of lord’s main murthi, and to Sri Maha Lakshmi’s image in Lord’s chest and to Sri Bhoga Srinivasa murthi. A part of this paste is kept in a golden plate for the use of Lord Brahma and other devathas visiting lord in the nights.
It is believed all dhevathas descend on Thirumala in divya roopas in the nights and offer prayers to Lord Srimannarayana in Ananda Nilayam. On many occasions devotees sleeping in temple mantapams heard temple bells ringing on their own!…it is nothing but devathas offering arathi to lord. As all gods are present on the Thirumala Hills in the nights the atmosphere is electrifying. If we take stroll anywhere on the hills between 2.30 A.M.-4.30 A.M. we can feel a pleasant, divine and magnificient air sweepings across us…we forget all our miseries and your body becomes very light… omkara reverberates in your body… The idol of Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi is a true copy of dhruva murthi (moola murthi) except that Sankha and Chakra are permanently fixed in the case of this idol where as they are not an integral part of the mula murthi…we can also find an Yantra placed below Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi’s idol.
It is believed such a similar yantra is present below Lord’s murthi is garbhalaya also…Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi’s idol is kept very close to main murthi in the sanctum sanctorum. Abhisekham is performed to Bhoga Srinivasa Murthy everyday while it is done to the Moola Murthy only on Fridays. Sahasra kalasabhishekam is done to Bhoga Srinivasa Murthi every Wednesday at 6.00 A.M. During this seva this idol is kept connected to lord’s main murthi with a golden thread…the inner meaning of it is that it is as if the abhishekam is performed to lord’s main murti itself….let’s all pray Bhoga Srinivasa Murthy to bless us all with His darsan too in our next trip to Thirumala… Om Namo Venkatesaya…Om Namo Srinivasaya…Om Namo Narayanaya…