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Why Lord Venkateswara's Eyes Are Covered in Tirumala?
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Why Lord Venkateswara's Eyes Are Covered in Tirumala?

The practice of covering the eyes of Lord Venkateswara with a golden cloth has its origins in ancient legends and holds deep significance in Hindu mythology. This tradition, followed in most temples dedicated to Lord Venkateswara, is rooted in stories that highlight the deity's divine gaze and the importance of humility and devotion in the spiritual journey.

The Mysterious Tradition

The Mysterious Tradition

Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in India is a place of wonder, drawing in countless visitors each year. Among its many intriguing customs is one that stands out - the covering of Lord Venkateswara's eyes. This ancient practice, wrapped in stories and spirituality, holds a deep meaning in Hindu beliefs and temple traditions.

The eyes of Lord Venkateswara at the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in India are covered with a special cloth, ensuring that the deity sees only light. According to legend, this tradition originated from an incident where a demon attacked the god with a burning ball of fire. Using his wisdom and composure, Lord Venkateswara avoided being blinded and defeated the demon.

The practice of covering the deity's eyes dates back to the time of King Kalyanasundaram, who was concerned that his subjects might become overly attached to the divine figure and neglect their duties. Upon learning of an incident where a calf was abandoned by its herd while visiting the temple, the king ordered the calf to be brought to him and placed in his own carriage so that he could visit the temple more often. Moved by the king's compassion for his people, the Brahmins decided to cover Lord Venkateswara's eyes as a gesture of respect.

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A Tradition from Ancient Tales

A Tradition from Ancient Tales

The Beginning: The custom of covering Lord Venkateswara's eyes is said to have started long ago with sage Agastya. While its exact start remains unclear, stories suggest it began to protect the deity's eyes from the sun. Another tale speaks of events from Lord Venkateswara's early days that led to the practice.

Protection and Respect: As time passed, covering the eyes became more than just a physical shield. It became a symbol, representing not just protection from harm but also a humble acknowledgment of the divine's greatness and our own limitations.

The Meaning Behind Covered Eyes

In Hinduism, Lord Venkateswara's eyes are very important and revered, but why they are covered is not entirely clear. One idea is that it is related to the belief that the eyes hold spiritual wisdom. The meaning behind covering the eyes has many layers:

  1. Eyes Representing Wisdom: Eyes are thought to hold deep spiritual knowledge and understanding. When we look into someone's eyes, we feel connected to their soul, which is seen as the most important part of a person.
  1. Eyes as Pathways to the Divine: Eyes are seen as pathways to heaven or to the divine world of Siva Linga. By looking into Lord Venkateswara's eyes, people believe they are inviting his wisdom and power into their lives, connecting with their own spiritual potential.
  1. Symbol of Respect and Humility: Covering the eyes is a sign of humility before God, recognizing that we cannot fully understand life or God without reaching out to him in prayer.

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Pilgrims' Experience at Tirumala Temple

Pilgrims' Experience at Tirumala Temple

For those visiting Tirumala Temple, seeing Lord Venkateswara's covered eyes is both captivating and spiritually uplifting. Known as Tiruvannamalai darshanam, this tradition is deeply ingrained in the temple's practices. Whether seen as a mark of respect, a way to protect the deity or a spiritual practice, this tradition adds to the temple's sacred atmosphere.

Conclusion

The custom of covering Lord Venkateswara's eyes in Tirumala is a captivating aspect of Hindu traditions. It symbolizes protection, humility, and spiritual connection, enriching the experience of visitors. As one explores the traditions of Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, the covering over the deity's eyes reveals not just a physical act but a deep spiritual meaning that well-resonate with the essence of Hindu spirituality.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q. Why is there no light in Tirupati Balaji Temple?
A.
There are many earthen lamps lit before the Lord Venkateswara idol in the sanctum sanctorum that never blow out and keep flickering all year round.
Q. What is on Lord Venkateswara's forehead?
A.
A white-colored Namam is applied on the forehead of Lord Venkateswara which is carefully prepared using powdered camphor.
Q. What happens to the hair from Tirupati Balaji?
A.
The hair from the devotees is collected in a cloth and handed over to the temple authorities who further use them to make wigs and hair extensions. These items are then sold out to raise funds for the temple’s charitable events.
Q. Why are Lord Venkateswara's eyes closed?
A.
It is widely believed that the eyes of Lord Venkateswara radiate cosmic energy, hence devotees can’t look directly into his eyes.
Q. How old is Tirupati Balaji Idol?
A.
Tirupati Balaji idol is believed to be over 2000 years old. According to the legend, it is said that Lord Vishnu manifested himself in the form of Lord Venkateshwar to save mankind from the troubles and evils of Kaliyuga.

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