Tirumala Dhruva Bera

Tirumala Dhruva Bera is the name given to the idol of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala Venkateswara Temple, Andhra Pradesh. "Dhruva Bera" is the official terminology used for the main deity of a temple with the exact translation being "The Immobile image" and as the name suggests, the idol is stationary and other idols are used for "pujas", "sevas" that requires the deity's presence outside the "garbha griham" (sanctum sanctorum). Other terms used for Dhruva Bera include "Moolavar" or "Moola Virat" (Main Deity), "Achala" (Main).

Tirumala Dhruva Bera is considered to be Swayambhu - self-manifested and not created by human. According to Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam, Lord Venkateswara came to reside in this sacred spot to provide blessings to devotees in the "Kali Yuga". The idol does not conform to the "agamas" (rules) for making a deity, thus furthering the belief that the temple's idol is Swayambhu.

Idol description

The dhruva bera stands approximately six feet tall and stands a platform of about 18 inches. The platform follows a simple lotus design and the details of the any inscription on the platform is unknown to anyone except the temple's "archakas" (priests). The platform is usually covered in tulsi leaves except on Thursday afternoon and during Friday abhishekam.cite book |first=Dr. N.Ramesan|title=The Tirumala Temple |year=1981 |publisher=Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams|location=Tirumala]

The face of the idol has exquisite features, with the nose neither flat nor prominent. The eyes are prominent and has the outline of 'namam' though it is not projected out of the idol. The eyes are partially covered with the "namam" made of "pachakarpuram" (raw camphor). The size, shape and details of the namam are governed by strict rules laid by the Vaikhanasa agamam. The idol has a crown carved up to the forehead and "jatajuta" (curly hair) resting on the shoulder. The chest is estimated to be between 36 to 40 inches in width and the waist would be between 24 to 27 inches, though there has never been a formal measurement of these statistics. Since the upper body is bare, features of the chest are prominently seen with the main feature being the image of a sitting Sridevi carved on the right side of the chest. The image of lakshmi is integral to the idol. The idol has 4 arms. The upper arms in the position to hold his weapons though the Chakram and Conch are not integral to the idol. The removable "Sudarshana chakram" is placed on the upper right arm while the "Panchajanya" - Vishnu's conch is placed on the upper left arm. The lower right arm is in the "Varada Hasta" pose - palms facing outward towards the onlooker to signal boon giving nature of the lord. The lower left arm is in the "Katyavalambita" pose - palm facing the lord with the thumb nearly parallel to the waist. The idol is seen with a dhoti worn waist downwards. Both the knees are slightly bent forward to indicate that the Lord is willing to come to the devotee's rescue. The shoulder of the lord has marks resembling scars made by constant wearing of bow and pack of arrows though the idol is not in the "Tribhanga pose" (unlike Tirumala Rama Idol)cite book |first=Dr. N.Ramesan|title=The Tirumala Temple |year=1981 |publisher=Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams|location=Tirumala]

Ornaments

Tirumala Dhruva bera has a number of ornaments as seen on the idol. The "yagnopavitam" (sacred thread) is seen on the bare chest of the lord running from the left shoulder to the right waist. Four sets of necklaces are seen on the idol. The idol also has a two inch "katibandham" (waist band) running over the dhoti. The arms have armlets and the legs have ornaments near the ankle. The lord sports ear ornaments also.cite book |first=Dr. N.Ramesan|title=The Tirumala Temple |year=1981 |publisher=Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams|location=Tirumala]

eva to Idol

Daily Seva

The lord gets complete attention during most of the rituals conducted in the "garbha griha". After, the lord is woken up during the Suprabhatam Seva, "Suddhi" (cleansing) is done by removal of flowers from the previous day and apportionment of holy water bought from "Akasa Ganga thirtam" for the day's prayer. During Tomala Seva, the gold "kavacham" (armour) of the feet is removed and abhishekam is done daily to it. Bhoga Srinivasa, the "Kautuka beram" of the temple receives full abhishekam every day in lieu of the Dhruva bera. Sahasaranamarchana - recital of 1,000 names of Lord Srinivasa is performed to the main deity after the completion of Tomala seva. "Naivedyam" (food offerings) are made thrice during the day and is preceded by recital from various scriptures. [cite web|url=http://www.tirumala.org/maintemple_programme_otherrituals.htm#bell1|title=First Bell|publisher=TTD | accessdate=2007-05-10] Following the first naivedyam (also called First Bell), verses from Prabandham is read. Before the mid-day and second naivedyam (also called "Second Bell"), "Ashthottaranama" (108 names of the Lord) is read and this is a private service. [cite web|url=http://www.tirumala.org/maintemple_programme_otherrituals.htm#bell2|title=Second Bell|publisher=TTD | accessdate=2007-05-10] The rituals of Tomala Seva, Archana and Naivedyam is conducted in the evening after Malayappa swami returns from Sahasra Deepalankarana Seva and is called "Night Kainkaryams". [cite web|url=http://www.tirumala.org/maintemple_programme_otherrituals.htm#nightpuja | title=Night Kainkaryams |publisher=TTD | accessdate=2007-05-10] Naivedyam is offered to other idols only after apportionment of the same to the main deity.

Weekly Sevas

Apart from these daily sevas, Ashtadala Pada Padmaaradhana Seva is conducted every Tuesday after the second bell. During the ceremony, the priests reads each of the 108 names of the Lord while offering a gold lotus to the feet of the lord after the recital of the name. On completion of archana for the lord's consorts, two kinds of "arati" is shown to the Lord. [cite web|url=http://www.tirumala.org/sevas_weekdes.htm#ashtadala | title=Ashtadala Pada Padmaaradhana Seva |publisher=TTD | accessdate=2007-05-10] On Thursdays, Tiruppavada Seva is performed to Dhruva bera in the Tirumamani mantapam inside the sanctum sanctorum. During the seva, large quantities of "pulihora" (tamarid rice) heaped in trapeziodal or pyramidal shape along with sweetmeats like payasam, laddus, jilebis, appam deposited on the edges is offered to the Lord with appropriate mantras. [cite web|url=http://www.tirumala.org/sevas_weekdes.htm#tiruppavada | title=Tiruppavada Seva |publisher=TTD | accessdate=2007-05-10] . On Fridays, Abhishekam is performed accomponied by the chanting of pancha suktas (five suktas - Purusha Suktam, Sri Suktam, Narayana Suktam, Bhu Suktam and Nila Suktam) and prabhandams. [cite web|url=http://www.tirumala.org/sevas_weekdes.htm#abhishekam | title=Abhishekam |publisher=TTD | accessdate=2007-05-10]

References

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