Vedhavati was born as Padmavati. She was brought up by her parents. She became the very reservoir of all attractive qualities. Soon the time was ripe for her marriage. In those days when the girl was about 14 years old and still unmarried, the parents would consider themselves to be failures. Dharini devi and Akaash Raj were thus looking all around for a wonderful husband. They sent many messengers to different kingdoms of the world. But they could find no one who could match her. They didn’t know what to do.
At that time Narada Muni came to the kingdom disguised as an old brahmana and upon looking at the palm of Padmavati, he told her, “You are the goddess of fortune Laxmi and very soon you would be married to Lord Vishnu.” She really did not take it very seriously. The name of her kingdom was Narayanpur.
One day she was playing in a very pleasing garden with her friends. On the same day Lord Srinivas told His mother Vakuladevi that He desired to go to the wild forest to scare away the wild animals, on a hunt. Vakuladevi tried to dissuade him saying that it would be very dangerous but He convinced his mother of no danger for Him. She made nice prasad and then He very happily went into the forest. While He was in the forest, He saw a wild elephant and began to chase after the wild elephant. The wild elephant ran straight into the garden where Padmavati and her friends played. The wild elephant caused great fear to them. Srinivas immediately chased the elephant away. And then He saw Padmavati. The natural love between the Supreme lord and His consort was awakened. They looked upon each other. Srinivas then approached her, introduced Himself and said, “I want to marry you. I think that you must have descended from heaven.”While Srinivas and Padmavati were talking, the maidservants of the princesses happened to notice and they thought it to be improper. They criticized, “But You are a hunter. What right does a hunter have to propose marriage to the princesses?” Saying thus, they asked Him to leave the place and even began to throw stones at Him. Being harassed by the stones, He got on His horse and went away.
When He reached home, Vakula saw that He was very depressed, and he had sores all over His body. She asked Him to tell her what had happened? He explained that He had seen a beautiful young princess, and that He wanted to marry her. But as He spoke to her, all her maidservants threw stones at him. He requested his mother to help him marry the princess. Vakuladevi told him that she would go and will try to make a proposal to girl’s parents. It was during that conversation the Supreme Lord explained to Vakuladevi who He was. He explained that He was Lord Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the girl was Vedhavati in past life and He had appeared just to marry her. Vakuladevi then promised Him that she would make a proposal to her parents which can result in Srinivasa Kalyanam.
On her way to meet the parents of Padmavati, Vakuladevi came to a temple, where she found the maidservants of Padmavati worshipping and intensely praying to Lord Siva. Vakuladevi enquired of the reason for their intense prayers. They told her that they were praying because their princess, Padmavati was sick. Nobody knew how to cure her. She had not eaten, and not even drunk anything. She has even not been able to sleep, ever since she saw a hunter in the forest. Her parents brought the best doctors and they gave all types of medications but nothing seems to help. Many rishis and sages have also been consulted but nobody could cure her. They all consider it to be some mental anxiety. After hearing of the condition of Padmavati, Vakuladevi said that even she would pray along with them. Meanwhile Lord Srinivas thought of ways to help Vakuladevi make this arrangement. He disguised Himself as a gypsy fortuneteller woman and came to the town of Narayanpur and started calling out, “I am a gypsy fortune-teller woman and I can tell the future to anyone who wants to know.”The people of the town told the queen, that maybe this gypsy woman could tell about what will happen to Padmavati. The queen immediately called for the gypsy fortune teller.
Srinivas in the disguise of a gypsy woman came into the palace. She demanded the queen for all types of articles for puja, to be brought to her along with Padmavati. When Padmavati sat before the gypsy woman, she immediately felt attracted to the gypsy woman and in the hearts of hearts she understood that the gypsy woman was but Her Lord.
The gypsy woman then went into a trance and started speaking, “Padmavati is actually the goddess of fortune Laxmi. Some time ago, while she was playing in a garden along with her friends, she was attacked by a wild elephant and she became very afraid. Just then a noble hunter came and saved her. That hunter is the Supreme Lord Vishnu, and Padmavati has found the love of that hunter. But Padmavati thinks that the hunter has gone forever. She does not know that the hunter is crying and lamenting in separation from Padmavati. And she will only feel happiness when both of them are united again in marriage, and I think that marriage will take place very soon. In fact the mother of the Lord is about to come to propose the marriage.” As she listened to the gypsy woman, the queen was bewildered. Immediately after the gypsy woman had left, Vakuladevi arrived. She was very beautiful and stately woman, so the queen honored her, brought in her palace as a guest.
Vakuladevi then spoke to the queen saying, “I come with a proposal. The Supreme Personality of Godhead Lord Krishna has descended in this world and is living on the banks of Venkatadri Mountains. He is living in an anthill. But even though He is living in the anthill and doesn’t have anything, He is the proprietor of the entire universe. He desires to have your daughter Padmavati’s hand in marriage. Please accept this proposal.” Dharini devi replied, “Please let me discuss this with my husband, the king.” Later the queen asked the King, “Does it make sense to you that the Supreme Personality of Godhead is living in these Seshadari Mountains? We never heard about that.”
The King then asked his ministers and they advised him to enquire from a great sage named Suka Maharishi. The king went to Suka Maharishi and enquired of the descend of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Suka Maharishi said “Srinivas is the Lord of Vaikuntha. He has descended into this world. He is living in an anthill. You should immediately arrange for the marriage of your daughter to Him.” The king Akaash Raj, his wife Dharini devi and everybody rejoiced that Padmavati had finally found the proper match in marriage. Suka himself gave a palm leaf to Srinivas with the king’s written desire that He marry his daughter. Suka first brought the letter to Vakula, and then the two of them went to the anthill. They called Srinivas out of the anthill. When He came out, Suka read the letter. Immediately upon hearing the letter, Vakuladevi started beaming with transcendental happiness. It was the fulfilment of her incarnation.
Srinivas then wrote a letter back, accepting the proposal. Lord Srinivas called Garuda and Ananta Sesa and asked them to invite all the demigods and rishis all over the universe. They all came to this hill to decide how to help the Lord in this marriage ceremony. As they were dividing up the responsibilities very nicely, Lord Brahma saw, Lord Srinivas sitting on the side of the anthill looking very unhappy. Brahma asked “What is the problem?” Srinivas said, “I have no wealth. How am I supposed to feed millions of people who are going to come? What to speak of offering them garlands and nice arrangements and things like that.”Brahma then suggested that He could take a loan from Kuvera, the treasurer of the demigods who was also present.
Lord Brahma then called for Kubera, and asked him to give Lord Srinivas a loan. Kubera replied, “He is the Lord of my life, He is the proprietor of everything. On this very day I will take all the riches of heaven and send them to your feet my Lord, please accept it.”
Lord Srinivas said, “No, I have entrusted all this wealth to you, it is not mine. And while living in this world I must live according to the customs of this world. So kindly give Me a loan and I promise to pay it back to you, with suitable interest. Until the end of Kaliyuga, I will pay you the interest of this loan and the balance of the principle as well.” Lord Brahma then drew out the contract, Srinivas signed it and several witnesses also signed it.
One of the reasons why this temple is so wealthy is, it is understood that the Lord requests all devotees to come for His darshan to help Him to repay this loan to Kubera by putting their wealth in the Hundi. So people give a lot of money to the hundi. And every day at a certain time there is a hall that is where they count all the collections of the day. There are piles and piles and mountains of jewels, rings, and big piles of money and they count it publicly. That is one of the traditions of the temple.
Finally it was all arranged. After all these arrangements were made Lord Brahma noticed that Srinivas appeared unhappy as before so he again asked Him, “What is the problem? Why do you look so unhappy?”
Srinivas replied, “I have a very heavy heart, due to separation from Laxmi, who is at Kolhapur performing tapasya.”
Lord Brahma said, “Why don’t you bring her here?” The Lord then decided that the only way she would come is, if He devises a plan. He sent a messenger to Kolhapur with a message for Laxmidevi, ‘Your Lord is living at the Seshadari Mountains and is very ill, his health is very bad. He wants to see you immediately.’
Upon receiving the message, Laxmidevi immediately asked the messanger to bring her to Lord Srinivas. When Laxmi came there, and she saw, thousands and thousands millions of demigods, sages and rishis who were all preparing for Srinivasa Kalyanam, she thought that they were all there because her Lord was sick. She felt guilt at the thought that the Lord was sick and everyone else had come and it was her who took so long to come to help him.
Lord Srinivas who was pretending to be sick, asked two of the demigods to carry Him. He leaned on them and they helped Him walk towards Laxmidevi. She said, “My Lord what happened to you? I am very sorry I have taken so long to come. How can I help you?” The Lord replied that He was not sick and nothing was wrong. Observing so many people there, she then understood the reason why the Lord had called for her.
Laxmidevi then spoke, “I have understood that You have finally come to fulfil your promise to Vedhavati. All these people are here for Your marriage, and You will soon marry Vedhavati, who has incarnated as Padmavati, and I am very happy to see this, because she has done so much sacrifice, she has worked in such a way just to please you, when I was in my form as Sita. I give you all encouragement to marry her. I will happily become just like her sister. In fact I will help you perform the ceremonial bath for this marriage ceremony.”
All the guests and great sages then rejoiced seeing that Laxmidevi was very much co-operative and in a happy mood. Laxmi and Paravati then performed the bathing ceremony for Srinivas. When He came out from His bathing ceremony he was decorated with beautiful jewels, garments.
Meanwhile the head cooks, Agni and Varun prepared a huge feast for millions of people and Vayu was appointed in-charge of serving. When the Lord saw all thebhoga which way prepared He said that the bhoga has to be offered. Brahma asked, “Whom are you going to offer it to?” Lord Srinivas then replied that, “It should be offered to Lord Nrsimhadeva.” It is said that it was offered to Ahobilam Narasimha in Ahobilam.
There is special connection between Ahobilam and Tirupati. In fact every year on the day of celebrating the marriage of Srinivas and Padmavati, the Balaji temple or the Venkateswara temple sends a large donation to the Ahobilam Narasimha temple, just to show their appreciation for accepting the offerings on His marriage day.
Lord Nrsimhadeva after accepting the bhoga made it all maha-prasada for all the millions of people to honor. There were lines of devotees covering the entire seven hills and Vayudev had it all served it out very nicely and very expertly.
Then they proceeded to Narayanpur. Akaash raj, Vasudham and the brother of Akaash Raj, Thondaman greeted Srinivas and His party. Then Dharini devi brought out Padmavati. There was exchange of garlands, and the wonderful wedding took place. The festivities lasted for 11 days.
Vakuladevi told the Lord that it was time to return to their place. But since the Lord was living in an anthill and it was not a nice place to bring Padmavati, they decided to live at the hermitage of Agatsya Muni, which was also on the hills, near Tirumala.
TTD had constructed Kalyana mandapams at various cities of India. Devotees can perform marriages at an affordable price in these marriage halls. You can book them online at https://tiurpatibalaji.ap.gov.in