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Origin of Sri Venkatesha
Date: Wed Oct 25 1995 - 06:53:46 PDT

Interesting thread, this =)

"Sampath Rengi says : 
" If one should find an origin for "supra
paatham" then one would like to take a look at raamaayan and vishwamitra's
calling Raama as "Kausalyaa suprajaa ramaa ....". Venkatesa avathaaram is not
of Kali yugam. 

I think this kind of analysis is inviting a little difficulty that can only
be resolved by an appeal to "mukkaalamum uNarnda gnyaanigaL" etc .. ( that
thamizh phrase means wise ones who know the past, present, and the future "

Let me point out one difficulty / contradiction in this. I think we accept that
the Rama avatara preceded the Krishna avatara. However, Vishwamitra putatively
says, after 

kausalyaa suprajaa raama poorvaa sandhyaa pravartate
uttishTa narashaardhoola kartavyam daivamaanyaham

( arise, o Tiger among men, your duty awaits you =) - shaardhoola is not a
synonym for tiger one usually sees, except when to create an interesting
metrical rhythm - eg. there is a chandas called shaardhoolavikreeditam - the
tiger at play - however I digress =) )

stanza 2 : 

uttishTo uttishTa **govinda** uttishTa garudadhwaja

Hello =) I thought raama was not called govinda, Krishna was. Of course,
I could be entirely wrong in this, in which case I'll sink down and pull
the rue over my head but I think , this is a contradiction.

" Ah but you see, Vishwamitra knew that raama was going to be incarnated as
Krishna"... umm, no thanks =)

I would much rather have a historical figure composing the suprabaatham and
using Vishwamitra as a literary device and mouthpiece =)

"There are citations of Lord Balaji in "Saneeswara Puraanam" that
Saraswathi did penance at Thirumalai seeking his blessings, prior to  Ramaa
Avathaaram. The Adivaraahar at thirumalai, the presiding deity for Balaji,

1. Puranic evidence is, I daresay, notoriously suspect =) Puranas are
definitely later compositions compared to even the Mahabharata, and are
composed to redound to the glory of the purana's diety. And then again, they
may also be syncretized on to place traditions, to make a sthalam more
"powerful " etc. 

2. It is notoriously difficult to actually date the puranas..

3. There was controversy in Sri Ramanuja's time, which still persists, 
as to the nature of the "moola moorti" at Venkatam. 

For a people that say we should not look at "nadi moolam" or "rshi moolam",
I think an exercise is Sri Venkatesha moolam is a little fruitless.. I'd
rather stick with my wonderful memories of the peace of the seven hills,
having saathumurai darshanam on Fridays, and a saying that one sees just as
you enter the main temple area :

" venkatesha samo devo na bhooto na bhavishyate"..

- Sundar