Tirumala Tirupati: Do you know to whom the hair offering to Tirupathi Perumal belongs?

                                                                                                                                                                M.Hari Kamaraj

Sakthi Vikatan Article on Hair offering in Tirupathi Temple.

1. Though there are many offerings in Tirupathi Ēzhumalaiyāṉ temple, the most important of them is the Mudi (hair) offering. The reasons for offering hair in Tirupati are varied. Ēzhumalaiyāṉ = Lord of the seven hills.
2. According to the history of the temple, whoever offers his hair here will be released of all his sins. His burdens will come down as his hair has fallen from the shave. All the difficulties in his life will leave. With the blessings of Thirumagal (Goddess Lakshmi), they will be prosperous. This is why devotees of Lord Ēzhumalaiyāṉ offer their hair in Tirupathi. It is believed that if one prays for something important to happen and offers his hair as an offering, it will surely turn out well.
3. Hair offerings
And hair is the beauty of man. By giving it, our ego dies, and humility is born. We sincerely believe that giving hair relieves all the burdens on our minds. Hair dying is also good for health. Spirituality also says that it is better to remove the hair so that the life energy can rise upwards.
Do you know how the custom of offering hair to Ēzhumalaiyāṉ originated for the first time?
Perumal (Vishnu) came to Tirumala (= sacred hills) from Vaikuntam (= Vishnu’s heaven) in search of Tirumagal (= Wealth-giving Goddess; Lakshmi as Goddess of wealth). He sat there in the Nishta (meditation) and waited for a long time. A huge anthill developed around him. A cow poured milk into the anthill to satisfy Perumal's hunger. The owner of the cow found the reason for the lack of milk from that particular cow. So he cut the anthill with an axe. Perumal's idol (head) was injured. Seeing the blood flowing from Perumal's body, Gandharva princess Neeladevi applied medicine to the wound. He covered Perumal's head with her hair on the wounded scalp.
4. Annai Mahalakshmi
Ēzhumalaiyāṉ was touched by the love of Neera Devi who gave her hair to protect her beauty. "Perumal promised that in this Kaliyuga, whoever offered his hair and prayed, he would fulfill that wish. Let all the crowns offered as offerings be dedicated to Neeladevi." Hence it is believed that if we offer our hair as an offering, Lord Ēzhumalaiyāṉ will fulfill our wishes also. This is the reason why offering hair (நேர்த்திக்கடன் = Nērtthikkadaṇ = offering in fulfilment of a vow) is an important offering in Tirupati.
Nīlādēvi gave her hair to restore the Lord’s beauty, thus showing her love to injured anthill-bound Vishnu, who was moved by her gesture. That day, Perumal gave his solemn word that whosoever gave the hair in Kaliyuga as an offering to him, will have his or her supplication fulfilled. He further blessed that the hair offering will be a dedication to Nīlādēvi. It is the belief that if hair offering is made to the Lord of the seven hills, he would fulfill all the desires of the supplicant. For this reason, hair offering has become an important fulfilment of a vow.
Of the seven hills in Tirupati, Anjanadri, Garudadri, Venkatadri, Narayanadri, Rishabhadri, Neeladri and Seshadri, one of the hills carries the name of Neeladevi
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6. Do you know what happens to the hair offerings we make in Tirupati?
On behalf of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the central government owned MSTC Ltd. sells hair once in three months through an online auction system. About 500 tons of hair is offered annually in Tirupati. It is estimated to generate an annual income of Rs 300-400 crore. The value of hair offerings is 10 per cent of the total income of the Tirupati temple. It is also important that this hair is used in various fields.
7. Hair offerings
Hair extensions are also used to make wigs. Hair is also used in the manufacture of liquid fertilizers and in the pollution control department. It is used for making quality brushes. Hair mats protect garden crops from pests and high temperatures.
Human hair is also used to clean the sludge oil mixed with the sea. Human hair is used in the manufacture of colours, pharmaceuticals and metal refining.