Tirumala October 23: As thousands of devotees throng the Sri Vari Temple for the divine darshan of Lord Venkateswara, the temple authorities particularly the Archakas take care in decorations and beautification of the environment around the Mula Virat (divine idol) of Lord Venkateswara and also the Utsava Idols.
All the belognings of the Lord, ornaments, daily use vessels (a silver) and severa gold utensils besides the Lord’s clothings, perfumes and also his golden bed, cot etc., are all stored in a spacious room called SABERA.
SABERA in a bi-lingual word meaning Sab-Ara (an area to keep all things). The room is located within the ancient Sampangi Prakaram (inner prakaram) of the Srivari Temple and is said to be about 100×200 sft room. It is adjacent to the Ananatha alwar Bhandagaram opposite to the Srivari Hundi.
A spokesman of the TTD Archakas said that the responsibility of the Main Viral idol and its beautification always wrested on them. “We have to ensure that the Lords’s beauty was eternal and out of which the divine charm of the deity is resplendent every day as it received thousands of devotees every day and gave them satisfactory darshan and sent them away with contentment“, he said.
The silk robes are used for Lords dressing are only once. After one use they are sent to the record room and are disposed in auctions twice or thrice in a year.”Lord’s robes are sought after by big and mighty with heavy competitions“ said one of the Archakas.
The duty of preparing the Lord– dressing and decorating for darshan, for rituals and also for Ekanta seva i.e. for rest and sleep at midnight is the responsibility of a team of seven archakas of the Srivari Temple.
The Shuddi (purification) of the Lord is always done with Pacha-karpooram, Kumkuma Puvvu and Sandal paste. These items are kept in abundance in the Sabera. As much as 40 kgs of sandal paste is used in a month at the Srivari Temple it is said.
“We use abundant flowers of popular varities of Jaji, malle, rose and lotus which are regularly used to keep a cool environs around the Lord who has given darshan for almost 19hours a day to his waiting devotees”, a spokesman said.
Besides the Main idol the team of archakas also are responsible for up keep of the Utsava idols–which are made of pure gold and also the Ornaments. The Utsava Idos are kept in safe custody in the Ranganayakula Mandapam which guarded throughout the year by armed security personnel on a 24×7 basis.
Sabera also is a store for all the other vastram which are offered as blessings of Lord VIPs and also the material which are used in preparation of the Theertham.” Five items are normally used in Lords theertham- Yelakkai, Lavagam, Jajipuvvu and Jajikai are powdered and kept ready“ the archakas said.
When asked whether we could describe the SABERA as the ward robe or the personal store of the Lord Venkateswara, the priests said “we do not call anything like that as the entire Tirumala temple complex and the Hill shrine is the personal property of the Lord and as such how come only a small room becomes his personal room“.
Adjascent to sabera is another air conditioned room where the garalnds, flowers and oher items perishable items like gannera,tulasi Netc are stored on a regular basis for use in Lord /Venkateswara’s service. Nearly 25 women laborers are engaged in making the garlands every day from around 200 kgs of flowers of which 50 to 100 kgs are offered in donation by devotees. “Only 50 kgs of flowers, tulasi and ganners (mostly ornamental flowers) are grown in the gardens of TTD ” said Srinivasulu, the gardens in charge of the TTD.
ISSUED BY THE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,TTD, TIRUPATI