The Identity between Sri Godindaraja and Sri Vankateswara:

Having established Sri Govindaraja Sri Ramanuji. told the King: “0 Yadava King! Since both Sri Venkatesa and Sri Govindaraja are but avatars of the Lord of the milk ocean (Vishnu), they are one and the same. It is clear that Venkatesa is an avatar of the Lord of the milk-ocean from the accounts in the first two chapters of the Brahmanda Purana. Just as the Venkata mountain, an in­carnation of Adisesha is also the body of the Lord (in some aspects), Sri Venkatesa, an incarnation of Sri Vaikuntanatha is also partly an incarnation of the Lord of the milk-ocean. It is stated in the Brahmanda Purana that sages like Agastya did not tread on this hill since it is another form of the Lord. The sacred hill which is the body of the great serpent has in it aspects of Narayana too. Because Venkatesa and Govindaraja are one and the same, please have festivals to the two deities conducted in the same manner but at different times.

“Sri Vaikuntanatha who is inaccessible to the devas, comes down and stays in the milk ocean so that he can hear the complaints of Brahma and other celestials and help them readily by being easily accessible. In a simi­lar way, Sri Venkatesa being difficult of access at the hill top, is present in another form in Tirupati readily acces­sible to the infirm to go to their succour.

“To put it in a nut-shell, since Sri Vaikuntanatha and Kshirabdinatha (Lord of the milk ocean) are one and the same so also it should be concluded that Sri Venkatesa and Sri Govindaraja, avatars of the first two, should also be one and the same. The sage Suta, disciple of Veda Vyasa who has a sound knowledge of the past, present and the future, knew that at some time Sri Govindaraja, an incarnation of Kshirabdinatha, would grace the town at the foot of the Venkata hill and be accessible to those infirm who could not get to the hill-top to worship Sri Venkatesa. The sage has framed the astothra (compila­tion of 108 names) of Sri Venkatesa found in chapter 29 of the first section of Sri Varaha Purana to include “Obeisance to you who is Govinda” followed_by “obei­sance to you who is Srinivasa” (Govindaya te namah; Srinivasaya te namah) and thus proclaimed the iden­tity of Srinivasa and Govinda. The milk-ocean Tirupparkadal is the birthplace of Tiru-Sri. Tirupparkadal has become Tirupati (Place of Tiru-Sri). Sri Vaikunta with a slight change in name has become Sri Venkata. The Lord resident in these two places are but Sri Vaikuntanatha (Venkatesa) and Kshirabdinatha (Govindaraja). Believe firmly that they are one and the same and Celebrate the festivals of the two deities in a grand manner at differ­ent periods in the year.”

An Anecdote to show the identity:

According to the Acharya’s command, the Yadava King had the daily worship and prescribed festivals of the deities conducted in a fitting manner. While Govindaraja was blessing all those who came to Him by granting their prayer% the king of Kasi came with his family to seek the boon of a child to himself from Sri Venkatesa. The Lord who through the various gods grants the wishes of seekers according to the well-known vedic formula `dehirnedadamite’ (give Me something, I will give you something in return), wishing to play the game directly, so that the’ world may know that it was He who was granting the wishes of the people of the world though the agency of the other gods, appeared in the dream of the queen of the King of Kasi, and in the manner of the lesser Gods, told her: “I will grant you the boon of a child; you give me the gem-set nose-screw you wear”. The queen said, “I will seek the permission of the King to whom I am subservient and offer you the nose-screw.” The Lord then said, “I am also subservient to my elder Sri Govindaraja and I have to get his approval to grant you the boon you ask.” Thus Sri Venkatesa revealed His identity with Sri Govindaraja as determined by Sri Ramanuja and revealed to the Yadava King by him.

Coming to know of what transpired between the queen and Sri Venkatesa, Sri Ramanuja was convinced that his conclusions regarding the identity of Venkatesa and Govindaraja had the acceptance of the Lord Himself. In Vishnu temples five icons are established in the sanc­tum — the moolamoorthy, uthsavamoorthy, Kautuka, Snapana and Bali forms, The divinity of these different aspects of the Lord spring from a common source and the five aspects are equally important. Sri Ramanuja felt that he had divine sanction to consider Venkatesa and Govindaraja identical in the same way as the five aspects mentioned above are identical. He ordered that during pujas (Tiruvaradana) the recitation of Vedas, smritis, puranas etc. should be the same in both places — in the hill shrine of Sri Venkatesa and in the shrine of Govindaraja. Thus parts of the Sri Venkatachala Mahatmya and Sri Chitrakoota mahatyam were to be recited together at both the shrines. Similarly among the Tamil prabandams chanted daily, the songs in praise of Venkatesa and those in praise of Govindaraja were to be sung in both the shrines. He ordered that Tirumala and Tirupati should be considered as a single unit-divyadesa and that offerings made to the Lord during festivals like marriages in the houses of Vaishnavas should be to both Venkatesa and Govindaraja along with their consorts. He also ordered that benedictions chanted should include the names of both deities at the same time.

Establishing Andal in the Govindaraja Temple:

In a manner similar to establishing Vyuhalakshmi as a golden jewel on the chest of Srinivasa in order to promote the continuous and unlimited growth of the wealth of Srinivasa, Sri Ramanuja thought of establish­ing a consort to Govindaraja to promote the growth of the wealth of this deity. He decided to establish Sri Andal, divinely born in a Tulasi garden without the conventional growth in a human womb, as an aspect of Bhumidevi and brought up as the daughter of the great devotee Vishnuchitta (Perialwar), in the temple of Govindaraja. He had a beautiful and faultless icon of Sri Goda Devi (Andal) bearing a full-blossomed lily in her left hand, established in a separate shrine to the right of Govindaraja on a base in which the mantras constituting the yantra of Vyuha Lakshmi had been inscribed. This shrine is in all respects similar to that of the main con­sort (Sridevi) of the Lord, situated to His right.


Following the command of his acharya, the Yadava King arranged for the celebration of the Ani festival (June-July) to Sri Govindaraja and Adi festival (July-August) to Sri Goda Devi as mentioned in the Puranas as also the bathing festival in Margali (December-Janu­ary) to the latter. He was very enthusiastic in having these celebrated in a grand manner. Bearing in mind that the mangalasasana (wishes for well-being) of sincere devo­tees is responsible for the unrestricted growth of the wealth of the temples, he had a number of houses con­structed with the approval of Sri Ramanuja in the Ramanujapuram township around the temple and gifted them to great devotees like Tirumalai Nambi and Tirumalai Anantalwan and requested their residence in those houses.

Following the principles of town-planning according to the sastras the. king established a bazaar for the con­venience of the public on the north-western side of Ramanujapuram (temple township) and a granary in front of the temple (eastern portion). Here ends the fourth section of Sri Venkatachala Ithihasamala complied by Anantaraya.