Muslim Worship of Lord Srinivasa
Veeraswamy Krishnaraj  (October 25, 2016)


ASHTADALA - PADA PADMAARADHANA (ON TUESDAYS)
ASHTADALA - PADA PADMAARADHANA (ON TUESDAYS)

It was 1984. The Executive Officer of TTD (Tirupati-Tirumala Devasthanam) was Sri PVRK Prasad. He was in a board meeting. Important matters were on the table under discussion.  He did not know that the Lord of the seven hills would bring a surprise of his life. Things were humming along well, when the door attendant interrupted the board meeting to announce that a Muslim man was waiting outside the boardroom to speak to him. He had been sent there by the Archakars for final disposition of his case before the board.

A humble man entered the boardroom and stood there obsequiously looking at Mr. Prasad.

He introduced himself as Shaik Mustan from Guntur and spoke in a soft voice laden with respect.

Shaik Mustan: I belong to the Muslim community in Guntur. I came here walking up the hills. I spoke to Archakars and explained my proposal. They sent me to you. I belong to a small business community. For generations we assembled before a picture of the Lord of the Hills and chanted Suprapadam. We also precisely enunciated and sang Sri Venkateswara Stotrams, Mangalasasanam... For many generations we chanted every Tuesday before the Lord of the Hills Srinivasa Ashtotram (108 times). Besides, we offered home grown flowers at his feet.

My great grandfather and devotees wanted to offer the Lord of the Hills108 flowers, made of gold. Because of financial constraints, my great grandfather accumulated only a few of the gold flowers. My grandfather and later my father accumulated a few more flowers. Now I have 108 flowers with me.

Devasthana EO: Did you accumulate 108 flowers?

Shaik Mastan: Yes, sir. We worked hard to make these flowers. Each flowers weighs 23 grams of gold. They all weigh 2.5 Kgs. I beseech you on behalf of my family to accept these flowers as an offering of love and affection to Srinivasa. We plead to put the flowers in use for Ashtotram or any other service to the Lord. My family and I will be grateful to you and the temple officials for this favor. By your acceptance, the souls of our ancestors will rest in peace. I will leave the decision to you.

A silent hiatus fell on the assembled officials. The stunned audience did not move. Their jaws fell, their breaths paused and the eyes welled with tears.

E.O. Prasad: We accept your gift unconditionally on behalf of the Lord of the Seven Hills. We will use it in the service of Venkatesvara.

As promised, Ashtadala Pada Padma-ārathana Arjita Seva began every Tuesday at six AM since then. Gold flowers are exempt from use repeatedly, while earth flowers cannot be used more than once.  After morning worship (நிர்மாலியம் ), the earth flowers from the night before are removed and new flowers are used.

This is the proof that the Lord of the Seven Hills is the savior of all humanity irrespective of caste, religion and other divisive parameters. 



அஷ்டோத்தரசதம் aṣṭōttara-catam = The one hundred and eight names of a deity repeated in worship

Upon enunciation of each of the 108 names of the Lord of the Hills, a flower is offered at his feet. The same gold flowers are offered every Tuesday. Repetitive use of the same flower is against injunctions: Nirmalya Dosam = நிர்மாலிய தோஷம்). Gold flowers are an exception.

நிர்மாலியம். Morning worship of a deity before the removal of the decoration done on the previous day;  The remains of an offering made to a deity.

தோஷம்¹ tōṣam. dōa. 1. Fault

ASHTADALA - PADA PADMAARADHANA (ON TUESDAYS)

This seva is conducted after the second bell. This ritual was first introduced in Srivari Temple in 1984 on the Golden Jubilee Year of TTD, when a Muslim Devotee offered Lord Srinivasa 108 gold lotuses.

The archaka commences the puja by offering dhupa (arti stick = Incense stick) and dipa (lit the lamp) to the main deity. Then he recites the divine names (108) of the Lord.

While uttering each name of the Lord, one golden lotus is offered at the holy feet of the lord. On completion of the archana to the Mula Virat (Manifest God in the Sanctum), archana is offered to Goddesses Lakshmi and Padmavati. Later Ratha Harati is offered first, followed by ordinary Harati.

http://www.tirumala.org/AshtadalaPadaPadmaradhana.aspx

May the Lord of Hills shower his blessings on you, your family, your near and dear, your acquaintances, your community, your country and all countries of the world.  Pray for the anonymous person you see.