What is the white spot on Lord Venkateswara’s chin?

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If you have observed Lord Venkateswara closely, you will find a beauty spot on his chin. Do you know how he got this? Here is the story. Ananthacharya was a great devotee of Lord Venkatesa. He was instructed by his guru Sri Bhagavad Ramanuja to serve the Lord of Seven Hills doing ‘pushpa Kainkaryam’. So to offer beautiful flower garlands to Lord, he needed to grow a good garden. For that water was needed and so he started digging a well. His pregnant wife too used to help him by carrying away the dug soil from the sight. Thus they toiled day and night. Observing this, Lord Srinivasa’s heart melted with compassion. He wanted to help Ananthalwan somehow. But Ananthalwan did not like to share his service to Lord with anybody. One day when his pregnant wife was carrying mud basket on her head, she felt extremely tired.

A boy came in and started helping her out by carrying the mud. Ananthalwan was surprised that she was moving quickly and asked her how she was able to work at a fast pace . She replied that a boy was helping her. Then, he instructed her not to take any help while performing the service to the Lord. The boy, however, kept nagging them. Ananthalwan grew angry with the boy and threw a digging iron rod at him. The rod struck the boy on his chin and he ran away. The next day when Ananthalwan went to the temple, he saw blood oozing out from the Lord’s chin. He was shocked and grief-stricken. He understood at once that the boy who helped his wife was none other than Lord Venkateswara. He felt extremely sorry for his careless act. He asked the priests (Archakas) to apply white cooking camphor to his chin so that it could provide relief to the Lord.

Since then Lord Srinivasa has been adorned with white camphor (that looks like a white spot) on his chin. As a mark of respect to Anathalwan as well as to reveal his great love for his dedicated devotees, God asked that the rod with which Annathalwan struck him be hung in the middle of the mandapam right in front of the deity, so that people could know its significance. We can see it hung above the entrance door (right side) of the gopuram till today. Such is the love of Lord Venkateswara! As the Lord loves to be adorned with different fragrant flowers in this place, Tirumala Tirupathi is called as Pushpa Mandapam. Once a week, Lord Venkateswara is fully adorned with only fragrant flowers, while the Na:mam is made of ornaments, as ordained by Ramanujacharya.

sriyah ka:ntha:ya kalya:na nidhaye: nidhayerthina:m |
sri:ve:nkata niva:sa:ya sri:niva:sa:ya mangalam ||

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