‘TTD’s PACHYDERMS CHERISHING IN THE DIVINE SERVICE
Tirumala, 6 October 2016: Vaishnavi, Anasuya, Lakshmi, Mahalakshmi, Padmaja, Padma, Revati, Srinidhi… feel proud and blessed as they cherish the service in the abode of Lord Venkateswara. These are all the names of the Pachyderms which have been sanctifying their lives in the divine service.
IMPORTANCE IN HINDU MYTHOLOGY
According to Hindu mythology, Elephant is the symbol of wealth as it is the favourite car of Goddess Lakshmi Devi, the consort of Lord Maha Vishnu. The richness of Lord Venkateswara(another incarnation of Lord Vishnu) glorified with the valued assets of the elephants in the decorative and devotional service to Lord Venkateswara at Tirumala along with Bulls and horses.
“While Elephant represents wealth, Bulls indicate dharma and Horse signified the source of power”, says Dr AV Ramana Dikshitulu, one of the chief priests of Srivari temple indicating that the presence of the elephants, horse, bulls and others in the temple rituals of Tirumala.
FROM LAKSHMI TO ANASUYA…
Meanwhile among the elephants, Anasuya is the youngest one aged 14 years and Lakshmi is oldest with 52 years of age. ‘We have not kept any male elephant as it is difficult to keep them in captivity as they had periods of ‘Masth’ during which the male harmones drove it wild’, said the Director of SV Goshala Dr Harnath Reddy.
TTD on an average spends around Rs.six lakhs on each elephant per annum and its feed alone costs Rs.Three lakhs per month on all pachyderms. These pachyderm are given feeding every half an hour and taken special care. ‘During processions on mada streets we give sugar cane and Napier drops for every 20 minutes to keep them calm and feel restful in view of the sound, heavy lighting and also the crowds. The mahouts who take care of the elephants are given special training with experts from Kerala’ , he said
PRESERVING THE FAUNA
The SV Goshala a steady number of these animals which also includes almost 2700 cows including 15 Swadeshi milch cows, Kapila breed animal, showcasing the commitment of TTD to preserve and promote importance of protection of animals and Desi breeds. ‘We have eight elephants which will be caparisoned for display as soldiers of Lord Malayappaswamy during all festivals and major public rituals of Srivari Temple and other local temples of TTD ‘says Sri K Harnath Reddy, Director of SV Gosamrakshana Shala.
DONATIONS POUR IN FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Almost all the elephants were donated by individuals and other states governments. The Karnataka government has given three elephants which includes one by former Prime Minister Sri HD Deve Gowda and another by R Gundu Rao. While the Maharashtra government has also given two.
SWADESHI CULTURE MISSION
He says that TTD goshala has become a role model with its swadeshi milch cows and supplies milk and milk products to not only the Srivari temple and local temples, but also educational institutions and hospitals run by the TTD. The other residue of cow rearing like cow dung, urine have also found use in Ayurvedic and other traditional forms of medicine promoted by the TTD as part of its campaign to become a role model in swadeshi culture.
ISSUED BY PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER, TTDs,TIRUPATI