Our Popular Deities


Lord Venkatraman

Lord Venkatraman is another popular deity of GSBs going by the number of temples dedicated to Him both in Karnataka and Kerala. In Kerala He is known as Shri Venkatachalapati and the temples, Shri Tirumala Devaswom, the very name of Tirupati, the abode of the Lord.

Legend :

Who is the greatest among the three murties, Brahma, Vishnu or Maheshwara? A doubt arose in the minds of the sages of yore when they were conducting a sacrifice. “I’ll find out!” Volunteering like this, Bhrigu Muni, who had the power of locomotion at once set out. He first reached Mount Kailas but Lord Shiva was in the chamber of Mother Parvati. He went to Satyaloka but Lord Brahma was too busy in his work of creation to pay attention to the sage. Enraged, he left for Vaikuntha and it was afternoon by then. Coming to know about the mission of the sage, Lord Vishnu pretended to be half-asleep closing His eyes. Beholding Him the anger of the sage knew no bounds. He kicked the Lord at His chest as if to wake Him up from  the slumber. The Lord at once got up, fell at the feet of the sage and politely said, “O, venerable one, I am extremely sorry. My body is as hard as a lifeless rock because it is ageless.  I hope your delicate foot did not get hurt when you kicked at my chest. Please forgive me!” As the Lord’s patience and modesty cooled down his anger, Bhrigu Muni felt ashamed at his audacity and begged pardon of the Lord. But by then, the Lord diplomatically had removed from his right foot, the most powerful Bhrighulanchan that was enabling him to move anywhere in the three worlds at the speed of mind. Bhrigu became powerless. At the mercy of the Lord then he returned to the earth and declared that among the three, Lord Vishnu is the greatest.

    The story did not end here. Mother Lakshmi did not take the sage’s behaviour kindly as the chest of the Lord was her dwelling place, which she felt, was rendered impure by his kick. More than that she did not like the Lord’s cordial treatment to a very hostile guest. Out of anger and anguish she left Vaikuntha and resided in Karavirapur now known as Kolhapur.

To Venkatachala :

Out of sorrow of separation, Lord Vishnu, leaving everything came down to the earth almost like a human being and started residing in an anthill on the peak of Venkatachala Hills till a cowherd found him. Later he married the Princess Padmavati and decided to reside permanently on the hills to be known as the Lord Venkatraman. Lord Venkatraman is the most popular deity of the GSBs and Tirupati Yatra is considered to be the most sacred one.

So long as they were in Goa, it appears, the GSBs did not build any temples for Shri Venkatesh and they constructed only after their migration to south The reasons could be a) The rulers of the Vijayanagar empire were the ardent devotees of Balaji (other name of the Lord) and many GSBs holding good positions in the kingdom must have thought of temples of Venkatramana.  b) One of the names of the Lord is Shrinivas that literally means the Abode of Wealth and our forefathers who had left Goa penniless had to invoke Him, for His instant grace by way of wealth and prosperity. c) In Kannada language, there is a proverb that states, “Sankata Bandaga Venkataramana.” Which means when in difficulties, think of Venkataraman (He will surely ward them off.).

We regard Lord Venkatraman as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and mythologically the Lord has two consorts, Mother Lakshmi and Mother Earth, Shri Devi and Bhoo Devi. In our temples, the Lord is with these two consorts.(In the picture is Lord Venkatraman  installed by H.H.Shrimat Sudhindra Tirth Swamiji  in May, 2001, in Shri Venkatesh Temple in Fort Mumbai, constructed by the legendary Shri Rama Kamati, a popular leader of  GSBs in the formative years of Mumbai, in the 17th Century.)