Lord Balaji is considered to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. As per the legend, Saint Ramanuja born in 11th Century AD when climbed the seven hills of Tirupati.
Lord Venkateshwara appeared before him and gave him his blessings. After that he is believed to have been blessed to live till the ripe age of 120 years to spread the gospel of Sri Venkateshwara
Devotees visit Tirumala on the day of Ekadashi in the month of Vaikunta, when all the pilgrims in the abode of God will be forgiven of all their sins.
It is believed that they would also attain the salvation after they die.Devotees offer their hair to the Lord which symbolizes leaving of the ego. The act of shaving the head is a long standing ritual associated with Tirumala.
The ancient and sacred temple of Shri Venkatesswara is located on the seventh peak, Venkatachala (Venkata Hill) of the Tirupati Hill, and lies on the southern banks of Shri Swami Pushkarini.
He is also called the Lord of the Seven Hills. The temple of Shri Venkateshwara has acquired unique sanctity in hindus. The Sashtras and Puranas say that, in the KaliYuga, one can attain mukti, by worshipping Shri Venkateswara.
Shri Venkateshwara is described as the great bestowed of boons.
There is ample literary and epigraphic testimony to the antiquity of the temple of Lord Sri Venkateswara. Rich offerings and contributions were offered to the shrine by the dynastic personalities since very ancient times.
In the 9th century AD, the Pallavas of Kancheepuram. In 10th century, the Cholas of Thanjavur, the Pandyas of Madurai and In 14th - 15th century AD, the kings and chieftains of Vijayanagar
It was during the rule of the Vijayanagar dynasty that the contributions to the temple increased. Sri Krishnadevaraya had statues of himself and his consorts installed at the portals of the temple.
These statues can be seen to this day. There is also a statue of Venkatapati Raya in the main temple.
Miraculous Facts at Tirupati Balaji
1- Real hair of Balaji
The Lord Balaji hair is tangle-free, silky, smooth and absolutely real.
2- Idol not in centre
The idol of Lord Tirupati Balaji may appear to be standing in the centre of the sanctum sanctorum, butit is not so technically. The idol is actually placed in the right hand corner of the shrine.
3- Village secret
For the Tirupati Balaji Temple deities ritual material for worship such as - the milk, butter-milk, flowers, clarified butter, holy leaves etc. are availed from a village located about twenty three kilometres far from Tirupati.
The little village is undisclosed and it is not seen or visited by any outsider except the resident people.
4- Sea waves behind idol
One can hear the sound of huge sea waves can be heard by keeping the ear on the back of the deity's image inside the shrine.
5- Flowers at Verpedu
As per the rules, the 'nirmalya' ie flowers offered to Lord Balaji during morning worship are not disposed of out of the GarbhaGudi. However, they are flown into the waterfalls behind the rear side of the idol.
The disposed of flowers are seen surprisingly at a place Yerpedu which is about 20 kilometres away from Tirupati.
6- Moisty idol
The back of the idol always remains wet and moist. The priests tried to dry it but they did not succeed. Till now no one can find the reason.
7- Idol unaffected
The idol of Shri Tirupati Balaji does not get affected by the chemical properties of camphor, though it is full time in the contact of camphor. It is nothing else but a miracle.
8- Unending lamps
The earthen lamps kept in front of the idol of God Balaji in the 'Gabhara' of the Temple never gets extinguished. It is not known since when these lamps were lit and by whom.
9- A live Deity
The Balaji temple is in cool climate cool due to its steep location. It is miraculously seen that after the 'Abhishekham' ie the hoy bath, droplets of sweat appear on the image of Balaji.
Every Thursdays, the ornaments of the idol are removed for Abhishekham, when the priest feels a sensation of warmth.
10- Venkateswara Swamy appeared
In 19th century long ago in India, the King of the region hanged twelve criminals for their cruel act. After their death, the bodies of the criminals were left hanging on the walls of the Balaji temple when the deity himself appeared.
Legend - Hair offering
When God Balaji (Lord Vishnu) was inside the snake-ant Hill on Tirumala, Lord Brahma in the guise of a sacred cow used to come everyday and give milk to Shri. Venkatesha.
One day it was observed by a cow-herd man, who got irated and without knowing the fact, hit the cow on the head with an axe.However, Lord Sri Venkatesha received the axe on his head before the cow could get hurt.
Consequently, the portion of his hair on the head was shaved off due to the sharp axe. As mother Neela Devi saw this, she immediately removed the hair from her head.
She placed it on the Lord's head where the axe has hit. Soon Lord's hair got restored as it was before. Lord Venkatesha (Vishnu) pleased with her sacrifice.
He vowed that - "His devotees will shave their Hair of the head and dedicate to her". Neela Devi accepts the hair offerings by the Devotees of Lord Venkatesha and Lord blesses his devotees for their well being and prosperity.
This is the reason why Devotees shave their head in Tirumala.
Lord Balaji Temple
The shaving hair as offering to Lord Venkatesha as a devotion, also represents a real sacrifice of material beauty and giving up the false ego.
God Balaji Mantra
AUM VYANKATESHWAR NAMO NAMAHA,
SHRIMAN NARAYAN NAMO NAMAHA,
TIRUMAL TIRUPATI NAMO NAMAHA,
JAY BALAJI NAMO NAMAHA