Pujas and Sevas
A night time ritual to prepare the Lord for His night’s rest is performed wherein milk and cashewnuts are offered to the Lord. Bhoga Srinivasa murti, the small silver image of the Lord is placed on a cot hung from the roof by four silver chains in the Ardha Mandapam (ante-chamber where devotees await the darshan of the Lord). During Ekanta Seva, a direct descendant of Annamacharya sings the Lord to sleep. At the time, sandalwood mixed with saffron and shaped as oranges is placed in a silver cup, and kept at the Lord’s feet till the following morning. A pinch of this mixture is given to devotees during Sarvadarsanam.
As the suprabhatam is being chanted you can see the devotees perform Angapradakshinam, chanting the Lord’s name. It is performed in the Vimana Pradakshinam. The pilgrims who undertake the Angapradakshinam have to bathe in the Swami pushkarini, and reach the Main Temple before the Saprabhatam starts.
After the Suprabhatam, Bhoga Srinivas Murti is awakened, after which Sarvadarsanam takes place. Harati is performed and all devotees are given the teertham which is believed to have been worshipped by Lord Brahma and the Devas overnight. The Sataari is also placed on every devotee’s head during Sarvadarsanam.
On completion of Sarvadarsanam, a screen is placed at the Bangaru Vakili and Suddhi is conducted in the sanctum sanctorum. Suddhi is when all the flower offering of the previous day and removed.
After the Suddi is the Thomala seva. This seva is performed on all days after Suddhi, except on Fridays when it is held after Abhishekam. Thomala is derived from the Tamil word “Toditta Malai” (adorning the deity with garlands of flowers). Thomala Seva involves the decoration of the Lord with flower garlands along with a lit torch in a procession, to the accompaniment of the beat of the jeghanta. The water for the puja is brought from the Akasa Ganga waterfalls by a member of the Tirumala Nambi (the first citizen of Tirumala) familyl. The deity is then adorned with the flowers, while the Mantras are recited in the Sayana Mandapam. The service comes to a close with the waving of the flame known as nakshatra-harati, the sprinkling of theertam, waving of vinjamara, and the priest decicating the service to the lotus feet of the Lord. During the service, the priest is assisted by an ckangi. This seva lasts for 45 minutes.
After the Thomala Seva is the Koluva on all days except Fridays. This seva lasts 15 minutes from 7.00 a.m – 7. 15 am. And during this seva, the idol of Koluvu Srinivasa, is seated in a gilt chair under the canopy of a gilt umbrella (presented to the temple by the Maharaja of Mysore), and holds a koluvu or darbar. The idol is offered a mixture of fried and crushed gingelly seeds and jaggery. The income of the previous day is read out to the Lord, followed by the reading of astronomical details from the panchangam for the previous , current and the following days, Koluvu is always an Ekanta Seva.
The legend goes that Lord Vishnu borrowed a large sum of money from Kubera for his marriage to Goddess Padmavati. Govindaraja Swami ( Lord Vishnu’s brother ) took on the task of procuring th e money from Kubera. So it is believed that till the end of Kali Yuga, Lord Vishnu promised to repay all that money to Govindaraja Swami. Hence everyday after the accounts are read out at Tirumala, the same are read out in front of Govindaraja Swami in Tirupati.
After the Koluvu is the First Archana which is also called the Sahasranama Archana wherein, the Lord is worshipped while reciting His 1008 names. THis seva take place for 45 minutes from 7.15 a.m- 8.00 a.m.
First Bell – This is rung when the first Naivedyam is offered to the Lord, after it is presented to Varaha Swami. Naivedyam is announced by ringing the two bells, followed by Sattumura (recitation of a few psalms of the Divya Prabandhams by the Jiyangar or his assistant). At this point the doors of the Bangaru Vakili are closed. Naivedyam is also offered to Vishwaksena, Garuda and the Nityasuries. The ringing of bells and Naivedyam are popularly known as the First Bell of the temple.
The Second Bell or Aparanhapuja is the second Naivedyam for the Lord. It is second Naivedyam for the Lord. It is followed by a second Archana when the Ashthottaranama (108 names of the Lord as given in the Varaha Purana) is read. This is an ekanta seva, and pilgrims are not allowed to witness this ritual.
Sarvadarsanam takes place everyday and during this period, pilgrims can have darshan of the Lord.
During Sarvadarsanam, festivals like Kalyanotsavam, Brahmotsavam, Vasanthotsavam, Unjal Seva paid for by grihasthas are conducted within the temple precincts but outside the main temple.
Kalyanotsavam is the celebration of the divine marriage between Lord Vishnu and Goddess Padmavati Devi. This is conducted in the kalyana Mandapam and its rituals are similar to those followed in Hindu marriages. The marriage is persormed to the utsava murti of the Lord and his two nachnhimars – Sridevi and Bhudevi around a homam.
Vasanthotsavam is a colorful festival held in spring . This lasts for three days starting in Mid-April on in the first fortnight of May. On the secheduled day, the function starts at 2 p.m in the afternoon.
Dolotsavam is when Sri Malayappaswami (utsava murti), Sridevi and Bhudevi are seated in an unjal (cradle) in the Aina Mahal (Hall of Mirrors) and swung to the accompaniment of vedic chanting.
Sahasra Deepa Alankarana Seva is performed in the Unjal Mandapam outside the temple premises. The Mandapam glows with the lights of sahasra deepa (a thousand earthern lamps).
Monday: Vishesha puja & Malaiyappa swamy Chathoorthasa Kalasa Abisekam is conducted at 9.30 a.m on Mondays.
Tuesday: Ashtadala Pada Padmaradhanamu Every Tuesday at 6.15 p.m. , 108 Golden Lotus flowers are placed at the Lord’s feet accompanied by Vedic chanting. This puja is performed for 15 minutes.
Wednesday: Every Wednesday, before Sarvadarsanam, Sahasra kalasabhishekam is performed for hoga Srinivasa Murti with water from 1,008 small Copper vessels (kalasams) is conducted at 8.30 a.m.
Thursday: Netra Darshan & Muthangi Seva on every Thursday Morning 10.30 am lord srinivasan eyes is opened that devotees can have a look at the Lord’s eyes.
Thursday: Poolangi Seva – On every Thursday evening , all precious ornaments of the Lord are removed and the Lord is adorned with an assortment of flowers. Even the Lord’s Srinivasan (auspicious clay) Kaapu (protection ) which covers His eyes is removed and therefore it is only on Thursday evenings that devotees can have alook at the Lord’s eyes is conducted at 6.00 p.m.
Friday: Abhishekam to Lord Vishnu is performed at 6.45 a.m., every Friday to the chanting of the Pancha Suktha. Traditional natural perfumed camphor, saffron, and milk are used in bathing Lord Venkateswara. The namam is drawn with an intermediate thin tapering line of musk. Abhishekam is then performed to the gold image of Sri Maha Lakshmi which hangs in a gold chain on His chest, the chanting of Vedas and prabandhams. And at the end, arathi of camphor is waved. The Lord is dressed in a pitambaram and valuable ornaments. The saffron water collected form the Lord’s body is the Abhisheka Teertham; it is considered to be holy since it has been in contact with his body. It is given as theertham in small spoonfuls to the pilgrims during the Sarvadarsanam.
Tiruppavada Seva consists of cooking large quantities of a variey of prasadams and placing them in front of the Garuda Sannidhi. Prasadams like Pulihora, Chakarai (sweet) Pongal are offered to the Lord along with other sweet preparations and after naivedyam, its is quickly distributed among the devotees. This seva is performed at 9.30 a.m. monthly uthira Nakshathra.
Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam – Koil Alwar Thirumanjanam is the purification ceremony that takes place in the sanctum sanctorum. TIs i performed four times a year – before Ugadi, Anivari Asthanam, the annual Brahmotsavam and Vaikunta Ekadasi (on Tuesdays only). After the First Bell, the smaller idols are other articles including the Aghandam Deepam (Eternal Lamp) in the sanctum sanctorum are moved to the ante chamber. THe sanctum sanctorum is cleaned and a paste of kumkukm, karpooram and chandanam is applied to th ewalls. After a while, the walls are wiped clean. The water-proof covering is removed, and Thirumanjanam is performed to the main idol and Bhoga Srinivasa Murti. Food is then offered to the Lord during the Second Bell after being offered to Varaha Swami.
Pavithrotsavam – Essentially a purification ceremony, the objective of Pavitrotsavam is to expiate the sins of commission and omission arising in the daily worship and other religious rites performed in the temple. This function is elaborately performed in the month of August every year. It was instituted by Saluva Narsimha and is conducted over three days.
Pushpa yagam – The Lord is worshipped with an assortment of fragrant flowers. This yagam is conducted after Bhahmotsavam in the month of November. This takes place in the Kalyana Mandapam.
Float Festival – The float Festival or Teppotsavam is performed once a year in February – March, for five days. During the festival, the utsav murthi are led in procession in a float (Teppam), in the Swami pushkarini amidst the chanting of hymns and the playing of music.This five day float festival honours the dancing image of Krishna and that of Rama on the first two days and the Utsava murti of Balaji, Sridevi an Bhudevi on the last three days.The deities are decorated and taken out on a boat on the Swami Pushkarini.
Padmavati Parinayam – It is performed for three days in the month of May (Vaisakha) during Sukla, Navami, Dasami and Ekadasi.
Pushpa Pallaki – This seva is performed on anivara Asthanam day in the month of July every year A flower decked float carries the utsava murtis around the temple
Nityotsavam – It is performed for 40 days after Ugadi – The Telugu New Year’s Day.
Adhyayanotsavam – is conducted on Mukkoti Ekadasi day. The Vedas and Tamil divya Prabandhams are recited for twenty days. The utsava murti is kept in the Kalyana Mandapam during this period.
Brahmotsavam – Brahmotsavam is a celebration for 11 days, Two days before the festival, a ritual known as Koil Alvar Thirumanjanam is conducted.
Mritsangrahanam – (the process of collection earth) is carried out on the day prior to the first day of Brahmotsavam. The temple officials pray to deities like Vishvaksena, Anantha, Sudarshana and Garuda. They also pray to Mother Earth and collect a small quantity of earth, with which the Ankurarpanam ritual is conducted, by which earth is spread in a room and nine kinds of cereals are sown in it.