HE has long hair, which falls on HIS shoulders. HE has a perfect nose, which is neither long nor short. HIS mouth is perfect. HE has beautiful cheeks and ears. If we are allowed to measure HIS chest, we can see it to be in between 36 inches and 40 inches and waist between 24 inches and 27 inches. HE has neck that simulates a conch, and waist, which is like a lion’s. Both are good qualities which show the person’s handsome and great personality.
HE has four hands. Two are in the upward direction. These two hands hold Golden Discus (Sudharshan Chakra) and Conch (Shanka). Actually, these two are not formed with the idol of the Supreme Lord. But later were molded with Gold, by HIS devotees. The other two hands are in the downward direction. In those, the left one (in Katyavalambita Mudra), Kati Hasta, rests on the left thigh with the thumb in upward angular direction. HIS right hand (in Varada Hasta Mudra), Abhaya Hasta, shows the downward direction.
This is the specialty of Lord Venkateshwara’s idol. One will not find in any other Deity’s murti where the right hand shows downwards. HE is the supreme and HE gives all pleasure or anything we want that we ask HIM for and which is not harmful to others. This hand has so many meanings. One, it is pointing towards Vaikuntam. Second, HE is giving all the support in all ways and fulfilling our prayers. Third, HE is telling that everyone should bow on HIS lotus feet. Fourth, HE is the supreme of all, everything is below HIM, and no one is above HIM, i.e. HE is Alpha and Omega of the Universe.
On the right side of HIS chest, there lies the impression of HIS consort, Goddess Sri MahaLakshmi and is known as SriVatsam. The impression is as if she is sitting there. There are Impressions showing that HE has sacred thread (Yajgnopavitam), four golden chains falling from HIS neck and BujaKirti’s (ornaments on the shoulders). These are clearly visible. HIS chest is bare and HE also has impression of a two inches wide thread, below HIS waist. HE also has impressions formed from Bow and Arrows Pouch on HIS shoulders. It clearly shows that HE had worn them for a long time, which is true. HE had them (Kothandam and arrows) constantly on his shoulders in His Sri Rama Avatar. Lord Brahma referred these impressions on both the shoulders extending to the arm pit are due to the constant wearing of bow-string (Vinti Nari) and arrow pouch (Ammula podi).
HE has strong legs and lotus feet, with ornaments on HIS ankles. All these are impressions, which are formed on HIS Murti and are clearly visible. Sri Venkateswara has another scar, which is not formed with the original Idol, but developed later. This has a story, which happened in 11th Century. Sri Ramanujarcharya ordained one of his strong followers Ananthalwar to do flower service (Poolangi seva) daily to the Lord. Following his instructions, Ananthalwar decided to grow a garden atop of Tirumala Hills near the temple. He took a vow that the entire work would be done by his family and himself. He started working and found that the garden requires a water tank. He started digging earth for the tank. His wife was helping him by removing the earth and carrying it off in a basket.
She was in a stage of advanced pregnancy and was facing trouble in removing and carrying earth. Watching this devotion of the lady, Lord decided to help her in the work of clearing the earth. He appeared as a servant boy and took the basket from her head and helped in throwing the earth away. Soon, Ananthalwar noticed that the task of removing earth was picking up at a rapid pace, which was impossible for a pregnant lady. He noticed the servant boy and got angry, since he had vowed that only his family would do the entire work and no one other than them should help. In a fit of rage, he threw the crowbar on the boy. The crowbar hit the boy at his chin and blood oozed and dripped from it.
In the evening when Ananthalwar went to the Temple to offer worship, he noticed that the Lord’s chin was hurt and blood was dripping from it. He realized immediately that the servant boy was none other than Lord Venkateshwara. He immediately took a flower and applied it on the wound and the bleeding stopped. The Lord was pleased for his devotion and service and said “Ananthalwar, the wound caused by your crowbar will heal, but it will leave a scar on my chin, like Sri Vatsam, and to remember this incident, pure camphor should be applied on the scar daily. And also let the crowbar be displayed at the entrance of the Temple at a height to be seen by all. Hence, pure camphor is pressed on the God’s chin every day. We can notice this along with the crowbar, which is displayed at the northern wall near the entrance. HE is Paramapadam, the ultimate; HE is none but Parabrahma who came down to earth to bestow Moksha on us.
The Supreme Lord continuously shows HIS grace in abundance on the devotees as Sri Venkateswara. HE is the Deity of Kaliyuga. When we seek out for Him and utter his name ‘Narayana’ with a clean mind and a soul filled with devotion, HE responds immediately. HE is Bhaktha Sulabha, means responds easily to HIS devotees. ‘Narayana’ means one who is embodiment of all things and who is in everything. Nara - Atma, Soul which has no birth or death. Ayana – abode in all beings. Sri Ramanuja propounded that the constant chanting of Narayana Ashtakshara Mantram (Om Namo Narayanaya) will lead one to the Paramapadam.
Lord Narayana and Lord Shiva. Both are one and the same. To make us realize this, Sri Venkateswara’s murti has markings of Cobra on the body and head, Bhujanga Valayam, the girdle of the serpent on the arms. The worship of Him with Bilva leaves during Dhanurmasam as prescribed by Adi Sankaracharya strongly proves that HE is none but Lord Shiva as well. HE is also Shakti Rupa, because HE has Simhalalatam in the image, which is the common symbolic in Shakti images. Narayani is one of the names of Shakti. HE manifests HIMSELF to the particular form in which the devotees choose to offer Archa Meditation. HE is the Ambrosia of Vedas.
The Upanishads recognize only one Spirit - Almighty, Infinite, Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Attributeless, Formless, Eternal, Incomprehensible, Self-Existent, the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer of the Universe. HE is ‘Ananta Rupa’ means having multiple images and is also ‘Satchidanada Rupa’ means image of Existence, Consiousness and Bliss (A mix of Sat, Chit and Ananda). “I am the ultimate goal and the means”, in Bhagavat Gita, Lord said to mankind (Arjuna). Let us fall on HIS lotus feet and get HIS abhayam to cross the Samsara Sagaram (the ocean of Transmigration) and enjoy Ananda Sagaram (the ocean of Bliss).
HE is Daya Sagar (the ocean of Mercy). HE gives Moksha (liberation from constantly being born in the form of different living beings - depending on the Karma phala acquired in previous births, or nothing but mingling with the God), once if we chant one of HIS names or Narayana Mantram (Om Namo Narayanaya/Om Namo Venkatesaya/Om Namo Srinivasaya/Om Namah Sivaya).The birth as a human being is very rare and precious. Hence one should utilize it by falling on HIS lotus feet and surrender to HIM, hence gaining the realization of the Supreme One.