Sarva Sambhavam by Sri P V R K Prasad I.A.S
‘Venkatesa Samodevo Nabhuto Nabhavishyati’
Lord Venkateswara is defined, ‘Piliche variki palike Daivam’
who ever calls him, He answers his call. If we ask any devotee of Lord
Venkateswara his experiences with the God, especially his trip to Tirumala,
he has definitely not one, but more than one to share with us. When ordinary
people like us have so many experiences to share, don’t you think
the executive officer (E.O.) of Lord Balaji has to share many more miraculous
incidents with us? Any E.O. is the first devotee of God and the E.O. who
devotees himself to God wholeheartedly is bound to experience unbelievable,
strange but true experiences.
Sri P.V.R.K. Prasad I.A.S narrated his services as E.O. in Tirumala during
the period 1978-82. He is behind some of the facilities we see today in
Tirumala - the Vaikhuntam queue complex, the slanting wooden plank in
the temple, Large sized Lord Hanuma to protect the pilgrims who climb
up the mountains on foot, the new ‘Dwaja Stambam’ etc. How
these things materialized and what problems he faced in the course of
action and how he felt God’s grace behind these efforts were beautifully
penned down in Telugu. Each episode is graphic description with ardent
faith in God in flowery language. Tears roll down our cheeks unknowingly
as we go through the episodes.
The ‘dwaja stambam’ episode is the highlight of the book.
If I mention that in a nutshell, I will be spoiling the beauty of it.
To give you the feel of this great work, we are presenting to you one
episode, translated into English, as a humble attempt to visualize the
tremendous work. One must buy this book. Read it and make people read
Sarva Sambhavam author Sri P V R K Prasad I.A.S
Published by EMESCO Books
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A sample episode..
Is Srinivas Heartless ?
“How heartless are you ? How can you leave our
entire family to our fate so ruthlessly, in the middle of the night, amidst
these frightening mountains, on the desolate ghat road ? Oh!. Never again
in my life will I dream of having a darshan of you! This experience is
enough for a life time..” The man who out poured his curses on Lord
Venkateswara thus, was moved to tears by the experience he had-just half
an hour later. His repentance knew no bounds. He atoned for his sin and
realised that the only purpose of his life was to chant the name of Lord
Sri Venkateswara incessantly.
As long as I was T.T.D. Executive Officer (1978-82) I was always preoccupied
with my work there. My thoughts centred round all the sevas for the Almighty,
the comforts and facilities for the devotees and so my whole and sole
concern was how best I could improve these.
I used to attend all the sevas from dawn to dusk starting from Suprabhata
seva to Ekantha seva as many times as possible. Especially I never missed
the special seva on Friday mornings - Abhisheka seva. This particular
seva starts at 4.30 in the morning as a procession (along with the participants
in it). Hence I generally left for Tirumala the previous day itself. I
started around midday, did some special checking on the way and reached
Tirumala about 4 p.m. I continued my job along with the other officers
there. Finally I reached the temple, stayed there till 9.30 p.m. attended
“Poolangi Seva” came back to Guest house and attended Abhisheka
early next morning.
That had been my practice, but one Thursday, in 1980, my whole programme
was disturbed. I could not leave Tirupati till 8 in the night due to heavy
work there. So I thought I would have my dinner at home and start around
It crossed 9.30 but still there was no hope of my leaving for Tirumala.
I was sitting in the camp office and was attending to some urgent phone
calls. My personal secretary and driver were ready by all means. It was
beyond ten. My wife Gopika peeped in, was surprised to see me still there
and questioned “what’s wrong? Are you not going ?” Generally
every Thursday she accompanied me but this Thursday since she had to attend
to guests at home she told me beforehand that she was not going with me.
Seeing me delayed, she suggested, “Why don’t you stay back
to night and start early next morning at 3.30 a.m.? I too can join you”.
But some how I did not like her proposal.
“No! there is no question of my sleeping here to night! I must rush!
I am off this very moment”, pat came my reply. But I don’t
know why, I didn’t move. I didn’t feel like going. So I continued
with my office work for about 20 to 30 minutes. Gopika came there atleast
2 to 3 times, surprise was writ all over her face at the state of affairs
but left me alone without troubling me with questions.
I would have continued thus till about 10.30 p.m... Abruptly, I closed
the file I was looking into. I got up with a jerk from my seat. I madly
rushed into the car as if somebody was chasing me.
“Come on let’s go” I instructed the driver. Within 10
minutes we reached the Toll gate at the foot of the ghat road in Alipiri
(Due to safety measures they closed the Toll gate by 10p.m. itself those
days). They opened it for my sake. The office people told me there was
a heavy rush that day. It meant an ordinary darshan would take 7 to 8
hours that day.
It was a pleasant journey on the ghat road in the midnight with no huzzle
buzzle. I would have dozed off to sleep in the cool breeze any other day
but that day I was disturbed. I was restless at the turn of events and
was also anxious to reach Tirumala quickly. In fact there was no great
hurry. There was plenty of time left at my disposal but I can’t
explain why something within me, was putting me on tenterhooks and was
hurrying me up.
“Go, a little faster” I told the driver. Strictly speaking,
however much experienced a driver was, he wouldn’t dare to go faster
on a ghat road, especially at middle of the night. But still he tried
to oblige me. We crossed almost all the hairpin bends. We would have reached
Tirumala if we travelled just one kilometre more, but before the last
curve, in the pitch darkness outside, one gentleman was waving to us desperately
to stop the car. In the car headlights, I could figure out that he was
standing before an ambassador.
I asked my driver to stop. Who was he ? Why was he there in the middle
of the night? Before I could raise these questions he came to me. “Sir,
even we are pilgrims like you. Our car broke down half way through. We
should reach Tirumala before it’s too late. Can you give us lift
please.....” he was pleading in anxiety. I brushed aside my series
of questions and asked only one. How many of you are there ? They were
- the gentleman himself, his wife, daughter, son-in-law and the driver
- all told five of them.
In addition to me and my driver, there was my P.A. in our car, but it
never struck me how so many could fit into one car. Without second thoughts,
I accommodated them all (including their luggage) into our car. Then I
observed his daughter and son-in-law were dressed in the wedding robes
which meant they must have got married a few hours ago. Amazing ! As soon
as they got into the car all the tension and restlessness I have been
facing disappeared to God knows where ! Before we reached Tirumala he
detailed upon his story in a voice blended with anxiety and worry! To
put it in his words the sum and substance of it was-
“We run a hotel in Mysore.. I know no other God except Lord Venkateswara.
That’s why, we wanted to perform our daughter’s marriage in
Tirumala but we were forced to perform it in Mysore itself as per the
wishes of the boy’s parents.
But I insisted I would take my daughter and son-in-law for our family
deity’s darshan straight from marriage pandal and they agreed.
Accordingly, the marriage took place in Mysore this morning at 10. Our
plan was to reach Tirumala via Bangalore and have a special darshan (for
Rs.50 those days) before 7 p.m. and to start at once so that we could
reach Mysore before next morning. All our relatives who have come to attend
the marriage are still in our house. We are left with some more ceremonies
in the marriage.
Unfortunately, our journey did not run smooth. It was like a hurdle race.
All through the journey, we were delayed by railway gates and traffic.
By the time we reached Alipiri it was 10 p.m. The toll gate was closed.
We narrated our story to the staff there and requested them to allow us
on our way, so that we could have the darshan of the Lord before midnight
and rush back to Mysore. Thankfully they consented. Did you also request
them to leave you thus?”
He paused for a minute. I said ‘Yes, yes’ and didn’t
allow him to question me further. I changed the topic. The rest of the
story I knew. Their car broke down in the ghat road.
Now the problem before him was to go for the darshan of the Lord before
they closed down the temple i.e., before 12p.m. Since he had some problem
or other throughout he lost his patience. He was torn between devil and
deep sea-the moment his car gave him trouble. The toll gate below was
closed. It would not be opened before 4 a.m. next morning.
What should they do in the pitch darkness? Should they walk the rest of
the journey? But it would be impossible to reach the temple before 12.
How? What to do? This question rang in his ears a hundred times!
“Oh! My God! Don’t you know I am your staunch devotee! Don’t
you know I pray to you day in and day out! I brought the newly wed couple
straight from the mantap to be blessed by you first and foremost. We did
not mind all the problems we faced enroute. Is it fair on your part to
do such injustice to me ? The newly weds in their wedding attire are left
on the roads without having your darshan! There is no hope of my going
back to our place before it is too late. My total surrender to you, my
strong faith that-my devotion to you will solve all problems - is swept
away before my new son-in-law by the winds on your mountains. We are totally
helpless! We have no way-out, except to keep awake the whole night on
this fiery ghat road in the shivering cold weather.
“Hm! How can you be called our God? How can you ever leave your
devotees to their own fate, so ruthlessly? How can you be so unmindful
of their safety in this forest? How blindly I believed you? I deserve
this punishment! Never again will I come to your temple! Never again will
I think of seeing you....” He was thus cursing Lord Venkateswara.
His head bent with shame before his new son-in-law for their helplessness.
He was in such a depressed state when he saw our car.
When he was given lift in our car, his spirits rose up. The very first
sentence he spoke was, “Sir, I don’t know who you are, but
I can tell you that you have come as God-sent man!” As he was in
such a communicative vein, our car reached our guest house in Tirumala.
It was 11.30 p.m., then. He threw a thank you to me and was in a hurry
to rush to the temple with all his people. Then I cooled him down and
said, “Don’t worry! first you freshen up yourselves, then
we will all go in the car.” After about another fifteen minutes,
I took them to the temple and left them there. I gave instructions to
the temple staff and left on my work.
A few minutes before the close of the day, they had a special darshan,
harathi and prasad all to their heart’s full. They were provided
food and cottage for the night as guests of T.T.D. Overnight the T.T.D.
staff repaired their car. I could not meet them again that night. But
by then, he enquired and came to know all about me... Next morning after
the Abhisheka seva when I enquired about them, I found out that they left
early in the morning at four itself.
I received a letter from him two days later “ If my car had not
troubled me and if we had a smooth journey on the ghat road, we would
have reached Tirumala by 11 p.m. itself, but to of no use. We could certainly
not have darshan of the Lord that night, due to the heavy rush that day.
That’s why; our family deity came to our rescue. He saw to it that
our car gave us trouble and he sent you exclusively for our help. He fulfilled
the desire of this humble devotee on a grand gala scale, before our son-in-law,
through you! Never before did we have such a warm welcome! Such a great
feast to our eyes!
“How small and tiny we are before the magnanimity of the Almighty!
Unable to grasp the underlying leela of the Lord, I lost my temper for
a few minutes. I was cross with Him- How many curses I laid against Him?
How badly I spoke of him! I am ashamed of myself. I can never forgive
myself! Every second of life, I seek the forgiveness of the all powerful,
ever forgiving Lord......”
Reviewed by: Smt. Madduri Rajyasri