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Tiruchanur Padmavathi Ammavari Story

Kasyapa Muni with other sages were performing a sacrifice on the bank of the Ganges, Sage Narada came and asked in the galaxy of the hermits as to who among the Gods was the Supreme enjoyer of the fruit of the sacrifice (Yajna Phalabhokta). All the sages ultimately determined to consult sage Bhrigu who they considered to be the final authority on such matters. Bhrigu who was approached by them thought to demonstrate by a practical experiment the nature of the Supreme one among them.

Firstly Bhrigu repaired to the Abode of the four faced deity, Brahma and prostrated before him as a mark of respect. Finding that Brahma was puffed up with pride and arrogance on account of the preponderance of the Rajasic attribute in him, he gave up and came to the Kailasa.

There he found God Shiva engaged in amorous sports with Parvati and consequently reached that he could not achieve the mission on hand.

Immediately he reached to the abode of Lord Vishnu who shone forth with spiritual halo around Him while he laid Himself on the Serpent Couch Adisesha seconded by Goddess Lakshmi.

No sooner had he saw the Lord in that posture than he hurriedly kicked at His chest.
Immediately the Lord rose from His bed, embraced sage Bhrigu and enquired in all humility as to why he kicked at His coarse and rugged body with his soft flower like delicate foot. The Lord applied warm water to that foot and shampooed it gently to allay the pain caused to it.

Sage Bhrigu pleased with the reception given to him, arrived at the conclusion that the Supreme deity was Sriman Narayana alone by the practical experiment and conveyed in a very strong decisive tone to the sages that Lord Narayana alone was the supreme enjoyer of the Fruit of the sacrifice.

Then all the hermits offered their respective offerings to Lord Narayana alone and fulfilled their object of performing the sacrifice.

The rash kicking or insult of the sage at the chest of the Lord, Goddess Lakshmi became much infuriated at the submissive behavior of the Lord towards the person who offended Him very seriously and who violated laws of and decency in kicking of the place where She rests. On that score there arose a quarrel (Pranayakalaha) between the divine couple and at last Goddess Lakshmi separated herself from Lord Narayana and settled in Karavirapura (Kolhapur).

Lord Narayana unable to bear the pang of separation from the Goddess did penance to appease His beloved. He had chosen the Venkata Hill as the proper abode to practice penance and selected an ant-hill under a Tamarind Tree as a suitable place on it.
Meanwhile Brahma and Shiva and Goddess Lakshmi found themselves restless as they could not find out the whereabouts of the Lord in Sri Vaikunta and other celestial places.
So Brahma, Lakshmi and Siva assumed the roles of a cow, cowherd and a calf respectively and roamed about the whole world in search of Lord Narayana. Ultimately they reached the kingdom of Chola which was very opulent and very prosperous. The Goddess sold the cow and calf to the Chola king who took special care of them.
Later on the king released the cow to join. Other cattle to graze on the Venkata Hill. It found luckily the presence of the Lord in an anti-Hill. Incited by its over whelming joy the cow empted all the milk to the last drop by showering it on the ant-hill and as usual it retired along with all the other cows. The king found to his amazement that not even a drop of milk was forthcoming from the cow for many days.

The King blamed the cowherd and he pleaded innocence. But the cowherd who closely watched the movements of the particular cow witnessed it reaching the ant hill and emptying the contents of the udder on it. No sooner had he in a frenzy of fury raised up his axe to kill it than the Lord pushed His neck suddenly in between the axe and the cow and sustained a very serious injury. Instantaneously, the cowherd fell down dead when he witnessed the radiant form of the Lord blending. The cow returned without its guide. The king ordered all the servants to search and at last they found that the cowherd dead near the ant-hill.

The king reached the vicinity of the ant-hill and to his great astonishment he heard a very feeble voice emanating from the ant hill. The Lord told the king that his servant insulted Him and cursed the king to became a ghost. The king pleaded innocence in the matter and prayed for the withdrawal of curse. The Lord replied that the effect of the curse would terminate when he would wear the gemset diadem presented to Him by Akasaraja at the time of offering his daughter Padmavati in marriage to Him.

Then the Lord went to Karavirapura or Kolhapur and found an idol of Maha Lakshmi worshipped by many devotees. Lord Narayana Himself propitiated her for some time and heard an incorporeal voice which conveyed to Him that He should practice penance for about ten years on the Bank of Suvarnamukhi which was graced by the hermitage of Sage Suka. He was also given to understand that He should offer Archana to the Goddess with ever Blossomed Lotuses during the period of penance. The Lord had cautiously installed the Solar Deity (Surya Bhagawan) to make the Lotuses ever – blossomed on the bank of the pond which He dug by His weapon and wherein He allowed the Lotuses to glow. 
Goddess Lakshmi on the eve of termination of the austerities to join Her Husband manifested Herself with the name Padmavati on the Sukla Panchami Day which coincided with Friday and Uttarashada constellation in the month of Karthika.

Her penance to attain the Lord so blazed forth with a radiance of thousands of rising Suns and the midst of a colossal thousand petalled golden Lotus shooting forth beams of light in all quarters dispelling poverty and affording shelter to all the distressed. The Goddess being highly pleased with the Lord’s penance to attain her grace lauded Him amidst cheers on the part of the Divine beings who congregated to witness the happy union of the eternal divine couple. Goddess Padmavati graced Her abode the chest of the Lord as usual and repaired to the Venkata Hill. The episode brings to light that the Lord manifested on the Venkata Hill had come down to the world in search of Lakshmi.

The memory of the manifestation of the Goddess in the form of Padmavati is still perpetuated by a Holy bath in the sacred pond duly observed by special honours from the Shrine of Lord Srinivasa on the Avabritha day of the Brahmotsavam on Sukla Panchami in the month of Karthika. This great grand festival of Padmavati is popularly known as Panchami Theertha. Many pilgrims from far and wide take bath or holy dip on that day to get the Blessings of Padmavati Devi.

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