Tirumala Darshan: 5 Mistakes to Avoid
The Spiritual Benefits of Tirumala Darshan: Mistakes to Avoid
In the pursuit of divine blessings, devotees often flock to sacred places like Tirumala, seeking solace and spiritual elevation. Yet, amidst their genuine devotion,
some individuals inadvertently commit certain mistakes that can hinder their spiritual journey and the fruition of their desires.
In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the critical aspects of a Tirumala pilgrimage and explore the common errors that must be diligently avoided.
By adhering to these guidelines, you can ensure a more profound and fulfilling spiritual experience.
Mistake #1: Skipping Sri Varahaswamy’s Darshan
Sri Varahaswamy’s Darshan in Tirumala
Tirumala, often revered as the abode of Lord Balaji, holds a deep and rich spiritual history.
However, a significant oversight often occurs as devotees rush towards Balaji’s Darshan while bypassing the darshan of Sri Varahaswamy.
This omission is rooted in a lack of awareness regarding the historical and spiritual significance of Varahaswamy in Tirumala.
The Origin of Tirumala – “Adi Varahakshetra”
Tirumala, originally known as “Adi Varahakshetra,” was the sacred dwelling place of Varahaswamy.
When Lord Venkateshwara sought permission to reside on these hallowed hills, he made three sacred promises to Varahaswamy:
- The privilege of the first puja.
- The privilege of the first naivedyam.
- The privilege of the first darshan.
While the first two promises are diligently fulfilled by the temple priests, the third promise, the first darshan, is a solemn responsibility that falls upon the devotees themselves.
In puranas, Lord Venkateshwara explicitly expresses his dissatisfaction with devotees who bypass Varahaswamy’s darshan.
To understand the gravity of this omission, we must recognize that Varahaswamy is revered as “Gnana Piran” or the bestower of knowledge.
It is believed that by witnessing Varahaswamy, our souls enter the “Vignanamaya kosha” (the layer of wisdom), marking a crucial step in our spiritual journey.
Therefore, the next time you embark on a pilgrimage to Tirumala, remember to honor Varahaswamy with your darshan.
Mistake #2: Seeking Worldly Pleasures at Tirumala
Tirumala is a sacred site meant for spiritual awakening and devotion, not for indulging in worldly pleasures.
Unfortunately, in recent times, the essence of a pilgrimage to Tirumala has been overshadowed by materialistic desires.
Some visitors come with the sole intention of indulging in worldly pleasures, such as shopping, feasting, and entertainment.
This not only deviates from the spiritual purpose of their visit but also disrupts the harmony of the sacred space.
To understand the significance of this mistake, we can refer to the legend of Lord Venkateshwara’s wedding to Goddess Padmavathi.
The Lord spent several months in Saint Agastya’s ashram at the foothills of Tirumala, emphasizing the importance of a spiritual sojourn rather than a pursuit of worldly pleasures.
Our ancestors imposed rules against seeking worldly enjoyment in Tirumala to maintain the sanctity of the place.
As devotees, it is our duty to respect these rules and approach Tirumala with pure intentions.
Mistake #3: Disregarding Darshan Rules
Tirumala Devasthanam has established specific rules to ensure a smooth darshan experience for all devotees.
With millions of devotees thronging Tirumala Devasthanam every year, managing the crowd becomes a significant challenge.
The most prominent rule that devotees must adhere to is the restriction on darshan frequency.
According to this rule, each individual is allowed to have darshan at Tirumala only once every six months.
This may seem restrictive, but it serves a crucial purpose in managing the massive influx of pilgrims.
Regrettably, some devotees attempt to bypass these rules through deceitful means, such as using multiple ID cards or employing innovative tactics to outsmart the system.
Such actions not only disregard the sanctity of the pilgrimage but can also lead to adverse consequences in one’s life.
Instead, it is crucial to abide by these rules and support the authorities’ efforts in maintaining order.
Recently, a lottery system was introduced, offering a chance to participate in Archana and spend 30 minutes in front of the Lord.
If one is fortunate enough to be selected, it should be cherished as a divine blessing rather than attempting to manipulate the system.
Mistake #4: Disrespecting Mada streets
There is a custom, a tradition that must be upheld with utmost reverence when you visit Tirumala – The prohibition of wearing footwear in the “Mada streets,” the four streets surrounding the temple wall.
The “Maada Veedhulu” – Sacred Streets of Devotion
As you embark on your journey through Tirumala, you’ll encounter the “Maada Veedhulu,” the four streets that encircle the temple wall.
These streets are not mere pathways; they are sanctified corridors of devotion and worship. Each step taken here should resonate with respect and humility.
The Unfortunate Misstep
However, it’s disheartening to witness a common lapse among visitors – the act of walking on the “Mada streets” with footwear.
Right in front of a clearly marked sign that prohibits it, many unknowingly commit this mistake.
It’s crucial to understand that this tradition isn’t about rules; it’s about reverence.
Respecting Tradition and Faith
Respecting this tradition is not just an act of compliance; it’s an expression of your reverence for the divine and your understanding of the spiritual significance of this place.
It’s about acknowledging the deep-rooted customs that have been followed for centuries.
When you walk the “Mada streets,” remember that you are treading on hallowed ground.
Let your footsteps be a testament to your respect for tradition and faith.
Mistake #5: Adorning flowers in Tirumala
Devotees to refrain from adorning flowers in Tirumala
That only the Lord should be adorned with flowers in Tirumala. Every flower that blooms in Tirumala is meant exclusively for divine service.
Even flowers used in worship are not distributed as prasadam but offered to “Bhu-Theertham.” Despite clear notices against women adorning flowers in Tirumala, this rule is often flouted.
Devotees should be mindful of these rules and help others follow them, ensuring the sanctity of the pilgrimage site is preserved.
A pilgrimage to Tirumala is a sacred journey that offers immense spiritual rewards. To make the most of this experience, devotees must avoid the aforementioned mistakes.
By honoring Sri Varahaswamy, approaching Tirumala with pure intentions, respecting darshan rules, and upholding the sanctity of the sacred streets and floral offerings,
one can ensure a deeply meaningful and spiritually enriching pilgrimage that aligns with the divine purpose of Tirumala.
Credit: Nanduri Srinivas