The story of Vrishabhadri – Part 1

Relishing the Venkatesha Vaibhavam Series

Celebrating the arrival of Sri Aishwarya Srinivasa Perumal in Houston, Sri Ramanujamji, disciple of Sri Swamiji, is taking us on a journey to His divine abode by reminiscing the greatness of Lord Srinivasa and Venkatachalam, based on the divine work – ‘Divyadesa Vaibhavam’ by Paranur Mahatma Sri Sri Krishnapremi Maharaj. This is an ongoing series filled with immense rasa.

This series is available to listen on our Namadwaar E-Satsang YouTube channel at this playlist:https://

We shall now enjoy a few divine droplets from the eleventh episode of this series.

Vrishabhadri Hills

From this month we shall relish the story behind the descent of each of the seven holy hills beginning with the greatness of the Vrishabhadri Hills. 

Sri Swamiji in one Madhurageetham glorifies Sri Tirupati Srinivasa Perumal as, ‘Kali Yuga Pratyaksha deva’ – the sole refuge for all in the age of Kali. The very sight of Perumal brings joy, touches the depths of the heart and His presence fills the entire expanse of the seven hills with divinity and peace. In fact, even before the advent of Srinivasa Perumal as archavatara, mahatmas experienced divinity – the presence of Perumal in the seven hills (vignyAya sAnnidhyam atO murArE). 

Sadhus and mahatmas are always in deep communion with the divine. The ‘sannidhyam’ or the ‘pull’ of holy kshetras like Tirumala attract Mahatmas and Bhagavan Himself.  Sri Swamiji too had a similar experience when he first came to the village of Maharanyam 35 years ago for a bhajan satsang. Sri Swamiji felt divine serenity and witnessed the presence of Srinivasa Perumal that day. Very soon by divine ordinance in a few years he installed the archavatara of Sri Kalyana Srinivasa Perumal in Madhurapuri for the benefit of all devotees. Even today many sadhus and mahatmas flock to Madhurapuri ashram revealing and glorifying the divinity of this land. Yogis and sages are believed to still reside in Madhurapuri and it is because of their penance we have Bhagavan here.

Likewise, many sages performed severe austerity and penance in Tirumala praying to Srinivasa Perumal to bless them with His Presence as archavatara. In Ramayana, the demons Khara and Dhooshana caused great havoc and disturbance to the sages in Janasthana, similarly in the kshetra of Tirumala too, sages were threatened by the demon Vrishabhasura – asura in the form of a ferocious raging bull with sharp horns.

The sages surrendered to Srinivasa Perumal seeking His protection. Undeniably the power of their penance is enough to easily annihilate the asura but the sages always safe guarded and reserved this treasure exclusively for Bhagavat Sakshatkara. And being the embodiment of compassion, they submitted a very unique and lovely prayer to Bhagavan. Though they were tormented mercilessly, their prayer was not to vanquish the asura – but a prayer to destroy ‘his enmity towards them.’ This is indeed ‘sadhu lakshana’ (the quality of a sadhu). Sri Prahlada Swami, even after being cruelly tortured by Hiranyakashipu, prayed to Narasimha Bhagavan only for the well-being of his father. Referring to this surrender and prayer of the sages, Saint Annamacharya, in the thodayamangalam kirtan ‘sharaNu sharaNu surEndra sannuta’, glorifies Sri Venkateshwara as the One who slayed the pride of this asura (sharanu rAkshasa gharva samhAra).

In the same context, a great Mahatma once gave this lovely instruction to Sri Swamiji saying –  “Always shower love even to those who are perceived as enemies to you.” Refraining from nurturing the slightest ill will at heart towards anyone is real devotion – a quality that would please the Guru and Bhagavan the most!

Bhagavan, immensely pleased with this prayer of the sages, vanquished this enmity that the asura possessed. To destroy the bull-headed asura, Bhagavan too took a suitable form of a handsome valorous chieftain of hunters mounted on a horse. 

Vrishabhasura snorted, dug his horns deep into the soil, sharpened them and charged violently towards Bhagavan. Bhagavan aimed an arrow which sharply pierced the heart of the asura. The asura shed the form of the bull and revealed his original demonic form. It is now that he witnessed the magnificence and grandeur of Perumal and not the hunter anymore. He called out to Bhagavan as ‘Mukunda’ – One who bestows liberation. Touched by the call of His divine Name like how Ramachandra Prabhu presented himself before Vali, who at the jaws of death, feebly called out ‘Rama’, Srinivasa Perumal stood in front of this asura eagerly awaiting his lovely prayer.

In spite of being an asura, Bhagavan Mukunda bestowed him with liberation because he was fortunate to reside in the holy Tirumala hills. Bhagavan honored and named this very hill after Vrishabhasura as ‘Vrishabhadri’ which remains so even to this day. 

We shall look forward to next month’s episode to enjoy the lovely prayer of this asura.

Based on Sri Ramanujamji’s Venkatesha Vaibhavam Series of Discourses

To listen and enjoy the complete episode 11 of Venkatesha Vaibhavam series, please click here –

For the complete playlist on YouTube –


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