Tirumala: Sacred Foods Of God
A V Ramana Dikshitulu and Kota Neelima
The ritual of offering food or Naivedyam to Lord Venkateshwara ? a manifestation of Lord Vishnu ? at the Tirumala Temple has existed since eternity, when Lord Vishnu decided to descend on Earth in the archa form or as an idol that can be worshipped. He commissioned Sage Vaikhanasa to prepare the ancient religious text ?Agama Shastra, which gives... an elaborate description of the rituals to be conducted in the Tirumala Temple, the ingredients to be used to prepare prasadams, procedures for a priest to follow, precautions to be taken, and the Veda mantras to be recited at each step. This volume gives an inside view of the ancient rituals of offering food to Lord Venkateshwara, which even today are practised according to the procedures prescribed by the Agama Shastra. It provides detailed descriptions of the various kinds of food offerings made, with specifications about the quantity, ingredients, preparation, variety of food, and particular times when they should be served. The book covers all the food offerings made to the Gods from morning till evening, such as the major offerings of Bala Bhogam (in the morning), Raja Bhogam (during the day), and Shyana Bhogam (in the evening); offerings made on festivals and special days; offerings to other Gods in the temple; offerings made at the time of natural disasters; and so on.