"Suddenly there was rain of stones coming from the devotees -
and it was directed towards me and my staff - that too exactly at the main
entrance of the Sri Srinivasa Temple at Tirupathi" - That is how Sri PVRK
Prasad - Retired IAS officer who was with TTD as Executive Officer for many
years started narrating his experience.
That was the first time the public agitated so much and started
stone throwing on the Executive Officer. I was in a situation where I
don't know what to do against this sudden shocking development.
Meanwhile, the accompanying Vigilance officer and a security guard tried to
rescue me and but in the process got very bad injuries. By that time TTD
Security arrived stood like a ring around me and took me inside the temple.
It was happened in the year 1982. We have to stop the
Darshan for some time due to this sudden development and till the whole
situation was brought to the control, the Main entrance door was closed.
It may be important to note here that this was the only second time
that the Darshan was stalled and Main entrance gate was closed. The
earlier was in the year 1981.
How and what was behind this uncommon sudden development?
Sri Tirumala Venkateswara Swami - the main deity - appears to
the devotees for all the days in a week with broad milky white Karpoor Naamam -
except (a) on Thursday nights after the Poolangi Seva (b) Next day morning
after the due Abhishekam - the deity appears without Naamam. That is
called "Nija Rupam" "Actual Statue"
There is a fundamental importance the way the Naamam is designed
on the forehead of the deity. By observing and mixing the both the major
two sects of Vaishanva tradition, the Naamam is neither in the U shape or in
the Y shape but takes a middle path between these two. And designing and
fixing the Naamam by following the middle path one of the critical exercise and
once this was done, that Naamam should be there till the next week!
When I was TTD Executive Officer many devotees brought the issue
to my notice and there were lot of correspondence on this issue - like, that
the Naamam which growing in the size day-by-day and is encroaching the Swami's
eyes and they were afraid that after few days, the Deity's eyes will be closed
/ obstructed by the Naamam.
Except on the Thursday night immediately after Poolangi Seva or
on the Friday morning - the devotees can able to see the eyes of the
deity. When I joined TTD in the year 1978, there were very few complaints
on this issue but over the years the number of complaints increased, so my
interest on getting the truth has also developed. So I spend some considerable
time in learning and studying the old photos and discussing with old people
about the size of the Naamam as well as deity's earlier actual common picture.
I verified most of the available records and old books, paintings and drawings
and analyzed the Naamam and its size. It looks as though the Naamam
was originally lean and the eyes of deity were clear in all respects. Based on
the analysis I started enquiring about from which period the broad Naamam came
into existence and the reasons for that. For which the people who are attached
to the main deity most of their lives informed me that they were not aware of
the lean sized Naamam for all theses years and for years they are familiar with
broad one only. Even the respected and His Holiness Jeeyyar Swami
declared that he was not aware of the leaned sized Naamam.
Then the question arises was about how come the painters and
artists drawn the different Naamam. For which the reply was that each
individual has got his own imagination and looking at the deity and reproducing
the picture will have eventually some differences from the original as it was
not a Photograph. On the other side there was a considerable
representation asking me to allow the more devotees to have the Darshan of the
Sri Swami on those particular days - Thursday night and Friday mornings - when
deity's eyes are clearly visible. Their request was that the devotees
irrespective of the particular day be able to see clearly the eyes of deity.
Then I discussed with the HH Jeeyyar Swami and other
temple trustees and asked why not make it a lean sized Naamam by which time
will be saved and that time can be used for more people's darshan and by doing
that the devotees will be satisfied about their Darshan. Accordingly I decided
to change the size to the leaner size but I was hesitant in putting the
decision in practice. I was postponing the same for some time.
That was 1981 the month was October. The grand
Brhamotsavam were in concluding stage - and I asked the concerned people to
make the corrections about the Naamam and they duly agreed on that.
At around 10.30 in the morning, when I was near my camp office,
there was a call informing me that there was some trouble near the main
entrance. Immediately I left for the main entrance and the situation was
The Darshan was stopped. Main entrance gate was closed. As
soon as I reached I opened the main gates and entered inside and immediately
whole lot of TTD employees who were sitting there surrounded me. And
immediately with anger and uncontrollable rage, they suddenly moved towards the
Police force which was standing there.