Friday, January 4, 2019

Tarigonda Vengamamba Jeeva Samadhi, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh

Tarigonda Vengamamba Jeeva Samadhi, Tirumala, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
Tarigonda Vengamamba Jeeva Samadhi is the Hindu Burial Shrine of Vengamamba, a poet and staunch devotee of Lord Venkateswara, located in holy town of Tirumala in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. The area around her brindavan (Samadhi) was later converted into a school (S.V.B.N.R high school Tirumala), with the brindavan still open for pilgrims to worship and it is in the school playground.

Tarigonda Vengamamba
Tarigonda Vengamamba (born in 1730), also known as Matrusri Tarigonda Vengamamba, was a poet and staunch devotee of Lord Venkateswara in the 18th century. She wrote numerous poems and songs on Lord Venkateswara of Tirumala.
Early Years:
Vengamamba was born into a family of Nandavareeks sect of niyogi brahmins in 1730 in the Tarikonda village of Andhra Pradesh state. Her father was Krishnayamatya and mother was Mangamamba. Since childhood, she was an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara and her devotion made the villagers believe that she was insane. Married at a very early age (common practice in those times), she lost her husband Venkatachalapathy and became a child-widow. However, she refused to accept anyone but the Lord as her husband and continued to dress as a married woman (such as wearing mangalsutra, non-white clothing, bottu / bindi). She studied yoga sciences under Acharya (professor) Subrahmnayudu and became a yogini. As a result, she faced resentment of the local priest in Tarikonda, and shifted to Tirumala. She was welcomed by the priest and descendants of Annamayya, all who had heard of her devotion prior to her move.
Vengamamba's Harathi:
Moved by her devotion, it is told that Lord Venkateswara allowed her to enter the temple after temple hours to hear her poems and songs. Vengamamba recited poems and took 'Harathi' of the Lord each night and paid pearls as fee to the Lord. Observing pearls in the sanctum sanctorum over a period of time, the priest’s investigation led to Vengamamba. Their punishment was to exile her to a cave in Tumburakona, a distance of 15 miles from Tirumala.
The legend goes on that she created a secret passage from the cave to the temple which was used by Vengamamba to continue her devotional service. The practice of penance and night Harathi continued for 6 years. Eventually, the priests realized their folly and recognized Vengamamba’s devotion and dedication, and requested her to return. Upon return, she was allowed to participate in Ekantha Seva and take the final Harathi of the Lord.
Literary Works:
Her first poem was Tarikonda Narasimha Satakam and it was followed by Narasimha Vilasa Katha, Siva Natakam and Balakrishna Natakam as Yakshaganam and Rajayogamrutha Saram, a Dwipada Kavyam. These works were completed when she was in Tarikonda. On her return to Tirumala from Tumburakona caves, Venkamamba composed Vishnu Parijatham, Chenchu Natakam, Rukmini Natakam and Jala Krida Vilasam and Mukthi Kanthi Vilasam (all Yaksha Ganams), Gopi Natakam (Golla Kalapam-Yakshaganam), Rama Parinayam, Sri Bhagavatham, Sri Krishna Manjari, Tatva Keerthanalu and Vashista Ramayanam (Dwipada), Sri Venkatachala Mahatyam (Padya Prabhandam) and Ashtanga Yoga, Saram (Padyakruthi).
Ekantha Seva:
Since the Lord accepted Venkamamba devotion, her Harathi has been incorporated into Ekantha Seva performed to the Lord each night. A descendent of Venkamamba pays pearls as fee and the Harathi is called Venkamamba Harathi.
Movies Based on Life of Tarikonda Venkamamba:
The Movie Venkamamba is released in 2009 by Duraiswamy Raju and has Meena Durairaj playing the lead, portraying Venkamamba. M. M. Keeravani rendered tunes to Venkamamba Krutis and placed them in Movie. Complete Venkamamba Harathi was included in the Audio. TTD's Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel is telecasting a tele serial named "Tarikonda Venkamamba", on the life and times of Venkamamba. The serial is produced by Duraiswamy Raju and has Meena Durairaj playing the lead, portraying Venkamamba. The tele serial has been received excellent response, and stands next to Siva Narayana Teerthulu, which has K. Viswanath playing the lead and K.Raghavendra Rao's Shrushti, which are also being telecasted on TTD's Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel.
She breathed her last at Tirumala in the year 1817 A.D.
The Temple is located at 1 Km from Tirumala RTC Bus Station, 2 Kms from Tirumala Venkateshwara Swamy Temple, 2 Kms from Tirumala Main Bus Stand, 23 Kms from Tirupati Railway Station, 25 Kms from Tirupati Central Bus Station and 40 Kms from Tirupati Airport.

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