Vahanams of Lord Venkateswara
Among all the temples in our country, the glory of Tirumala is unparalleled. The main reason may be because Lord Sri Mahavishnu in the form of Sri Venkateswara or Srinivasa showers His grace on all the devotees having settled here on Tirumala Hills along with his two dearest spouses of all His incarnations Sri Devi (Goddess of Riches) and Bhu Devi (The Earth Goddess). Tirumala is often praised as the Vaikunta of Kali age. The divinity of Vaikunta reflects here on this Hill. It is not an exaggeration to say that the glory of Srinivasa lies in His two divine consorts- Sri Devi and Bhu Devi.
The Brahmotsavam celebrated at Tirumala is indeed one of the most colourful and spectacular festivals. Millions of devotees descend on the Holy Hills to witness this gorgeous festival every year.
Some times due to Adhika masam (extra month) the two Brahmotsavams occur. The First Brahmotsavam is called ‘Annual Brahmotsavam‘. The second one is called ‘Navarathri Brahmotsavam‘. On this nine – day festival the utsavamurtis of the Lord and His Consorts Sri Devi and Bhu Devi are taken out in procession in great splendour. Decorated with exquisite ornaments they are seated on brightly coloured vahanas to the accompaniment of vedic chants and music.
The nine-day cosmic pageant (Brahmotsavam) of Lord Srinivasa is a remarkable feast to the eyes of the devotees. In Navaratri Brahmotsavam there will be no Dwajarohanam and Dwajaavarohanam.
Dwajarohanam: The Brahmotsavam of Venkateswara Swamy will commence with the hoisting Flag on Dwajastambham in the temple on the starting Day of the Bramhotsavams. The flag staff hoisted to commemorate Dwajarohanam has ‘Garuda’ symbol as he is dear to Srivaru.
Pedda Sesha Vahanam: Lord Balaji will be taken out for procession on Pedda Sesha Vahanam on 1st Day Evening. The gargantuan serpent in the cosmic pageant is represented as sevenhooded; symbolic of the seven hills, the abode of the Lord.
Chinna Sesha Vahanam: Lord Balaji will be taken out for procession on Chinna Sesha Vahanam by mounting this serpent on the 2nd day morning, the Lord symbolically proclaims to the world that knowledge (ambrosia) can be acquired only after churning one’s intellect.
Hamsa Vahanam: Lord Balaji will be Astriding the swan on the evening of the 2nd day evening, the Lord makes His assertion on striving for purity and intellectual excellence.
Simha Vahanam: Lord Balaji will be taken out for procession on Simha Vahanam on 3rd Day Morning. The power that emanates from the Lord when He assumes the form of Narasimha and vanquishes Hiranyakasapa.
Muthyapu Pandiri Vahanam: Lord Balaji will be taken out for procession on Muthyapu Pandiri Vahanam on 3rd Day Evening. The message conveyed here to mankind is to seek the Truth, which is pure and untainted, despite the adulterated environment.
Kalpavriksha Vahanam: The Lord by mounting the KalpavrikshaVahanam on the 4th day morning proclaims in loud and clear tones the importance and veracity about the trees.
Sarva Bhoopala Vahanam: The one and only originator and terminator of the universe proclaims His sovereignty by riding this vehicle on the evening of the 4th day.
Mohini Avataram: On the 5th day of Bramhotsavams, Lord Balaji will delight his devotees by dressed as a celestial Beauty Mohini. Lord in Mohini Avataram is said to have made Demon Asura confuse and made the Devatas to won the battle. Lord by appearing in Mohini avataram passes a message that the entire world is a creation of his Maya. By watching Lord in Mohini Avataram can understand why he got the name of Alankara Priyudu. Everyone will be spell bound by his beauty on this day , that’s how he will be decorated and bedecked in jewels.
Garuda Vahanam: Swami mounts His favourite vehicle on the evening of the 5th day. Lord Venkateswara’s appearance on Garuda bestows transcendence and salvation to the devotees who throng for His darshan.
Hanumantha Vahanam: By mounting Hanuman on 6th Day Morning the Lord ingeniously refers to the qualities which are to be pursued by every devotee.
Svarna Ratham (Golden Chariot): This occasion on 6th day evening has to be witnessed to see the beauties and charms of the God and Goddesses and also the divine brilliance of them in their bright dresses, ornaments and garlands.
Gaja Vahanam: The Lord straddles the Gaja (Elephant) on the 6th day night, symboliseshis might and suzerainty.
Surya Prabha Vahanam: Lord Balaji will be taken out for procession on Surya Prabha Vahanam on 7th Day Morning. The provider of life and the remover of pestilence is popularly called Suryanarayana; thereby attributing divinity to the Sun.The Lord appears on the Surya Prabha Vahanam is feast to the eyes.
Chandra Prabha Vahanam: The moon’s influence on the earth is tremendous. Being carried on the Lunar Lustre on the evening of the 7th day, the Lord proclaims the inevitability in facing the consequences of our deeds.
Rathotsavam: On the 8th day morning of Bramhotsavams, Malayappa Swamy along with His Consorts will be taken out for procession in 4 mada street who will be seated on a 35 Feet tall wooden chariot.
Aswa Vahanam: The harbinger of the idea of a vehicle, horse is the conveyance the Lord seats himself upon, on the evening of the 8th day.
Chakrasnanam: On the last day of Bramhotsavams , Chakrasnanam is the holy ablution. On this occasion Swami with His Consorts and Sudarshanachakra are brought to the banks of Swami Pushkarini. The holy immersion of the idols in the holy (Pushkarini) waters and also Abhisheka with Panchaamritas, Turmeric water and pure water for all the deities are performed for a good length of time.
Dhwaja avarohanam: The annual Bramhotsavams comes to an end with Dhwaja avarohanam. The flag that is hoisted on the first day of Bramhotsavams will be unfurled on the last day evening, which marks the end of Bramhotsavams.