On the Journey of Mounting of Venkatesagiri ||24||

1Jaigsavya said: -O girl, attend to the merit one obtains in ascending the mountain Venkata.
2In each and every ·step of the mountain the people recite Bhagavadgita remembering lord Srinivasa. They are transported to the highest region of delight. When the lord is pleased, they attain liberation. O girl, there is nothing inaccessible to a person with whom lord Hari is so pleased.
3He who hears this Purana while ascending the mountain attains the merit of visiting holy places of pilgrimage. Therefore, while ascending the steps the devotees should praise Hari Srinivasa and their preceptor.
4She heard the glory of ascending the steps, set up and worshipped the holy Salagrama thereon and started ascending.
5O lord of birds, while ascending the pleasure. O lord of birds, this very fact is enough to put them into deep dark regions.
6At every step of journey, one should remember Hari. The. maiden said to Jaigisavya again.
7The Maid said: -O Jaigisavya, please, tell me how Srinivasa, the lord of Lakshmi appears to Brahma and others. Thus, addressed by the maiden, the daughter of Soma, Jaigisavya said in reply.
8-11Brahma and others can see Srinivasa as of eternal form of lustrous body. This is how Veitkatesa is seen by Rudra and his associates. He appears to them as lustrous as one hundred thousand suns, which to the mortals is as lustrous as one thousand suns, as also possessed of the lustre of lightning. To the sages he appears like the sun and the moon, to holy men like constellations, to the worldly people like the mass of milk, to the liars as a blue stone, to the lay people as an ordinary stone only.
12People do not realize the true form of lord Hari. They are swayed by tamas and Rajas.
13Those characterized by Sattva are seldom found in the Kali age. Those who appear to be devotees of Vishnu are in fact not devotees at all. Rather, they are busy in filling up their belly and meeting their sexual desire; for they undertake journey with that end in view.
14Rare is the diffusion of devotion in the iron age. Those who are devotees of the lord but still not detached from worldly pleasures cannot easily get the sight of lord Vishnu.
15O lord of birds, I shall tell you the nature of a true devotee. A true devotee is one who is devoid of hatred, is full of affection and possesses keen insight and devotion. I shall now tell you the forms of hate.
16The supreme lord is distinct from Atman. He is independent as well as free. He is full of knowledge and bliss. To think otherwise is to abhor the lord.
17To pay more attention to Brahma, Rudra and others or among men to Brahmins, etc. and to regard Brahma, Rudra, and others as more honourable than Vishnu is nothing less than dishonoring him.
18O noble one, to regard Vishnu as a human being possessed of hands, feet, etc., is equal to hating the lord. To distinguish each incarnation of the lord from the other or to think of their death is also tantamount to a hate.
19To hate the devotees of Vishnu is a sin; to find fault with the instructions of the lord is showing hate. O maid, those who are full of hate can never be true devotees.
20The Maid said: -O sage Jaigisavya, please tell me who are the true devotees. I low did they show their devotion. Lord Vishnu, Srinivasa who is compassionate to devotees is indeed their protector.
21aThus addressed by the lord, Sage Jaigisavya revived his memory and spoke to the maid.
21bJaigisavya said: -Prahlada, the devotee of Srinivasa Nrisirmha attained sovereignty of the world and the precious knowledge of atman from Nrisirmha.
22Parasara, the devotee of Srinivasa had a great devotion for Vyasa, the incarnation of Vishnu. He praised Vyasa and obtained the quintessence of knowledge from him. With his soul elevated by devotion he achieved liberation.
23The sage Narada, the devotee of Srinivasa had a devotion for had while he was in his mother’s womb. By that devotion he was adopted as a son by Brahma. By the attainment of knowledge, he achieved liberation.
24Ambarisa was a devotee of Srinivasa as well as Hari. He attained knowledge from Durvasas. With his soul elevated by devotion he attained liberation.
25Mucakunda was the devotee of Srinivasa. Detached from worldly affairs and firm in devotion he received supreme knowledge of lord Vishnu. With his soul elevated by devotion he attained liberation.
26Pundarika, the devotee of Srinivasa was devoted to Vishnu at the behest of his father. He obtained supreme knowledge by the grace of God and received liberation after his soul was elevated by devotion.
27Brahma, Vayu, Sarasvati are great Yogins. They are the constant devotees of lord Vishnu. They are of pure form, not attached to worldly objects.
28-29Lord of mountains, lord of Nagas, lord of birds, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, moon, sun, lord of waters (Varuna), Agni (fire-god), Manu bharma, Kubera, lord of obstacles, Asvins, groups of Maruts, Patjanya, Mitra, these are the devotees of Vishnu.
30Visvamitra, Bhrigu, Aurva, Kutsa, Marici, Atri, Pulaha, Kratu, Sakti, Vasishtha, Gautamiya, Pulastya, and Bharadvaja, these are the devotees of Srinivasa.
31Mandhata, Nahusha, Ambarisa, Sagara, Prithu, Haihaya, Iksvaku, Bharata, Yuyutsu, Sutala, Dharma, Vikukshi, Utthana, Bibhishana, Dasaratha, these wise and intelligent persons are the devotees of lord of Venkata.
32-33Bhagirathi, Samudra, Yamuna, Sarasvati, Godavari, Narmada, Krishna, Bhimarathi, Sarayu, Phalgu, Kaveri, Gandaki Kapila, these are the devotees of lord Hari.
34-35O maid, hear, I shall tell you a significant fact. At a congregation, where they narrate the tale of Vishnu, where the devotees who understand the essence flock together-all those who are present are the devotees of the lord.
36Those who go on pilgrimage intent on realizing the lord are the devotees of the lord, not others, for the life’s purport of the devotees of Vishnu stabilizes in the supreme lord and not in other matters.
37If reaching the mountain Sesha one does not gift food, cloth and ornaments to the deserving he is not entitled to be called a devotee of Vishnu. Who can be a greater animal than him.
38The devotees of Hari such as Ganga, etc. live on the mountain Srinivasa in the service of the wide-strider Vishnu. O maid, they should not be worshipped by the faithful.
39I shall narrate to you the purport thereof. I shall also tell you where one should worship and offer homage to the devotees, to each individually.
40He should worship the worthy Brahmanas at their feet, with hands joined in reverence. He should worship lord Vishnu with eight organs of the body. He should worship his preceptor in the same way taking him for Vishnu.
41He should bow to Ganga, Tulasi and the rest with the eight organs of the body. He should physically bow to the holy fig tree but to the cows and others mentally.
42The devotees of Vishnu alone should worship the supreme god. Those who are rightly the devotees of Vishnu but possess nominal knowledge are also entitled to worship him.
43But those who are nominally the devotees of Vishnu, though possessed of knowledge are not entitled to his worship.
44Those who do not worship the supreme god Vishnu go to the dark regions (i.e. hell) due to the great sin.
45Brahma; etc., are the names of Vishnu which he himself had given to the gods. The wise lord did not transfer some of his names such as Kesava, just as a king, when he leaves the capital does not relinquish his title or pass it on to another.
46O maiden, all this I have told you precisely. You should investigate the matter further by yourself. Worship should be made to me by my titles, Govinda, Narayana and Madhava.
47Together they ascended the mountain Venkata, charting chants of praise, uttering the name of lord Srinivasa, feeling joy and pleasure and clapping their hands in expectation of seeing the lord.
48aOn hearing the words of lord Krishna; Garuda asked the lord how the travelers felt pleasure by uttering his name.
48bLord Krishna said: -O lord Srinivasa, this very name of yours is indeed omnipotent. Brahma and others take resort to you. Rama (Lakshmi) has derived her name Sri from this very title.
49Lord Vishnu has derived his name Srinivasa from the fad that he is the resort of Sri. Thus, addressing Srinivasa by name, dancing and clapping hands, with the thrill of hair on their person, they gave expression to their feeling.
50O lord, may we see your face this very day. When shall we get our desire fulfilled. O lord Kesava, you favour us this very day by showing your lotus-feet to us.
51In the epithet Kesava, the letter K devotes the primeval being Brahma which again signifies the lord of all beings. The word Isa denotes the worthy lord Rudra who instigates dissolution of the universe.
52Hence, Hari is called Keshava. Addressing the lord by this epithet, dancing as well as trickling the spring of joy in the form of joyful tears and uttering the.name lord Narayana, they continued their upward journey.
53As he is the resort of merits and demerits and as he abides in the waters of ocean, he is called Narayana. People who take resort to him obtain eternal release, O lord of birds.
54Waters are called Nara; as he resorts to waters (in the ocean) he is called Narayana. Those who resort to Narayana get an eternal release.
55Naras (waters) are so called because as cosmic waters they emerge from his side-glances. As he is the resort Garuda Purana of these waters he is called Narayana and also because he is the source of this eternal universe.
56They danced, praising the lord thus: “O Govinda, there is no such Being as your supreme self, no such personage whose sight is so thrilling and delightful.
57In the word Govinda go means the universal speech. As you are expressed by the medium of universal speech you are called Govinda. O lord, you are known to or by the Vedas”.
58-59Thus they danced while their eyes flowed with joyful tears. “O Hari, the slayer of Asura Mura, please grant us an interview. We are slaves of your slaves. As you pervade the fourteen worlds you are called Vayu. As you play sports constantly or as the great declare you a god, you are called Vasudeva.” Thus, uttering the names of the lord-Vasudeva, Madhava, etc., they danced joyously.
60“People call you Lakshmpati the lord of Lakshmi. The syllable Dhava is the synonym of treasure. Hence, the learned-call you Madhava (the treasure of Lakshmi). 0 lord of Lakshmi, protect us, your devotees.”
61Thus speaking they danced and persued their upward journey, uttering “O lord, grant us your eternal protection. As you are omnipresent you are called Vitala.” Reciting names of the lord they reached their goal. Here, full of devotion, they sought the audience of the lord.
62Maid said: -O best of sages, what is the name of this shrine? What rites shall we perform here? whom did lord Srinivasa favour at this holy place, please tell us in detail.
63Jaigisavya said: -O maid, listen to the narrative of Prahlada, the best of the devotees of Vishnu. Once, when he had no desire to fulfil, Prahlada went to see lord Srinivasa on the Sesha mountain.
64This was. the place where Prahlada had spoken to the Daitya youths on the glory of Vishnu. Hence, O maid, you should worship lord Vishnu (the abode of Lakshmi), in the form of Nrsirmha.
65Prahlada said: “O Daitya youths, you have attained human life which is very rare. Rarer is the knowledge of the glory of Nrisimha. That journey is fruiful whereon throughout they utter the narrative of Hari, O Daitya youths, Hari abides at the place where they sing his narrative, though he pervades the universe.”
66-68On hearing the same, the Daitya princes said to Prahlada, the devotee of Hari. “O friend, if Hari is all-pervading why does he withhold his presence here in the midst of water.” Thus, spoken to by the Daitya youths, Srinivasa appeared in the midst of water.
69Those who bathe in this holy pool stabilize their intellect which remains untarnished with impurity, even in this iron age (Kali).
70Thus bestowing favour on the Daitya youths, lord Vishnu disappeared in the midst of waters. Even today, Nrisimha abides in the midst of waters. Prahlada too abides therein together with Daitya youths.
71Here in the afternoon, there is heard all around the word ‘Victory’. The place is called Narsirhha in recollection of the Victory of the lord over Hiranyakasipu. Pilgrims who visit this holy place take plunge here.
72They took bath, offered an earthen lamp to a pious Brahmin Srinivasa, uttering ‘Govinda, Govinda.’
73The maid sat in front of the principal deity and said. “O noble Jaigisavya, please tell me how I shall have the audience of the lord.” On hearing this, Jaigisavya was extremely delighted at heart and said.
74O, maid, I tell you how you shall proceed. At the main gate of Srinivasa you should recite the following.
75“I commit thousands of faults day and night O lord, pardon all these faults of mine, O best of primeval beings.
76O lord, efface those causes of mine which create hatred for the devotees of Vishnu, whether they are mental, oral or physical.”
77O maid, at the main gate of the temple of Srinivasa you should remember, in the appropriate form Jaya and Vijaya. At the right gate of Srinivasa you should remember Canda and Pracanda.
78At the left gate, you should remember Nanda and· Sunanda; at the extreme left gate you should remember the lily eyed Kumudanetra.
79-81You should enter the temple with full devotion and reverence, circumambulating the lord twelve times. You should sip waters in the holy pool and bathe. You should enter right in the interior of the temple and other chain tiers. While there, you should meditate on the deities sitting in their respective postures on their seats.
82-83In the middle of the seat you should bow to Srinivasa with all the organs of your body. To the left of the lord, outside the pedestal, you should pay homage to the preceptor, in front of the pedestal, just below at the south-east comer. In the south-western corner you should pay homage to the honourable Vyasa. The devotee of Vishnu should be honoured all times everywhere.
84In the north-western comer you should honour goddess Durga with your soul elevated by devotion. Above the pedestal, in the south-east region you should bow to Yama, the presiding deity of Dharma.
85Above the pedestal, in the upper south-western region to Vayu.
86Above. the pedestal, in the north-eastern region to India, the supreme lord. To the east of the pedestal, to Nairriti, lord of the Aryamans.
87To the south of the pedestal, the goddess Durga called Ugra. To the west of the pedestal, to Kamadeva, the lord of health.
88To the north of the, pedestal, to Rudra the supreme lord. To the middle of the pedestal, to Varaha the primeval man.
89Above the pedestal, to Lakshmi called Sakti, the support of the universe. Above the pedestal, to Vayu and Kurma. Above that to Sesha and Karma.
90-91Above that, cosmic Earth, the presiding deity of the universe. Above that, to Varuna, the lord of milky ocean. Above that, to Lakshmi called Svetadvipa. Above that, to divine Lakshmi called Mandapa.
92In the middle of Piths, to Lakshmi called Yami. By the side of Yami to Devi. To the south of Yama, to Surya in the forth of an earthen lamp.
93To the left of God Yama, to Sri in the form of an earthen lamp. In front of Yama, to Agni also in the form of an earthen lamp.
94In front of the lord, he should bow to Bhumi the presiding deity of the elements, and to Durga, the presiding deity of tamas and the reclining couch of the lord.
95To the east, to the Atman in the form of steps of the pedestal. To the east, to knowledge (Jnana) in the form of steps of the pedestal.
96To the east, in the leaf of a lotus, to Vimala in the form of a female and to the deities, Brahma, etc.
97In the lotus-leaf in the south-east corner you should bow to the excellent gods and goddesses Utkarsha, Lakshmi, Brahma, Vayu and Sesha.
98In the eight petalled lotus to the right you should worship Narayana, Sesha, etc., in the form of a female.
99In the lotus leaf in the north-east, to Isana, Narayana, Viranca, Vayu, ether, Sesha and Devas in the form of a female.
100-101In the middle of the lotus, to Vishnu, Lakshmi, Anugraha and to Vayu, ether, Sesha and Rudra in the form of a female. To lord Ananta in the form of pedestal and to Srinivasa.
102To the left of Srinivasa to Lakshmi; in the middle of Srinivasa to Dhara.
103-104Outside the pedestal, in the east, to Kripolka; in the south, to Maholka; in the west, to Virolka; in the north, to Ulka in the four corners, to Sahasrolka.
105-112In the east to Vasudeva, in the south to Sankara in the west to Pradyumna, in the north to Aniruddha; in the south-east to Maya, in the south-west to Jaya, in the northeast to Krtya. in the north-east to Anti; in the east to Kesava in the south-west and north-west to Narayana and Madhava, in the south-east to Govinda, in the south to Vishnu, in the southwest to Madhusudana, in the west to Trivikrama, Yamana, Vishnu and Sridhara, in the north to Hrisikesha and Padmanabha, in the north-east to Damodara.
113-119“In the fourth enclosure, in the east to Mahakurma in the south-east to Varaha; in the south to Nrisimha and Yamana; in the south-west to Bhargava (Parasurama); in the west to Madhava Krishna; in the north-west to Buddha, in the north to Ananta in the form of Ulka and in the north-east to Visvarupa; in the south-east to Varuni; in the south-west to Gayatri; in the north-west to Bharati, in the north-east to Girija. To the left of Girija to Sauparni; in the east to Indra with weapons, in the south-east to Vishnu with his attendants and assemblage with the formula, to you O Agni with weapons, as stated previously.
120-122In the south to Yama, in the south-west to Nirriti, in the west to Varuna, in the north-west, to Vayu, in the north to Kubera, in the north-east to diva, in the midst of north-east and east to Brahma with weapons, in the middle of north-west to Sesha. Thus, you should pay homage again and again.
123Thus, I have narrated to you the prescribed way how one should have the vision of the lord when one goes to a shrine to pay visit. Thus addressed, she went to the shrine together with companions.
124This prescribed way of paying visit to Srinivasa which I have told you just now should not be divulged to anyone, O bird, since it is very, very secret.
125O lord of birds, it is very rare to keep company the good and noble people who can throw light on the nature of tattvas. It is possible to have a preceptor only if one has in store the aggregate of merits accumulated in previous existences.
126In the company of holy pious people even unauspicious things tum into auspicious ones. In the company of lord Vishnu, the unsteady mind leaves its steadiness, as water changes its nature in association with the seashell or in contact with the lotus leaf.