There is no parallel to the sublime grandeur of the Tirumala hills and the widely experienced devotional ecstasy at the place.

Millions of devotees walking up the holy Tirumala hills send out a joyous cry of “Govinda”, the term which literally mans one who protects the Vedas, thus unconsciously the pilgrims hail the supreme which ensures the well-being of one and all through the revelations contained in the sacred Vedas which are cherished from time immemorial.

All of us go to Tirumala to have the darshan of the lord. What is darshan? Is it merely looking at the image of the Lord? Or is there any other undercurrent of subjective experience? Darshan is not merely the act of seeing the murti; not merely receiving a blessing or benediction from the priest, it is much more.

A darshan is neither given nor received. It just occurs. True believers know that even just getting the opportunity to be at the holy Tirupati is just an occurrence, and it is willed by the Lord.

Darshan is a mystic experience with centuries of tradition behind it.

By our cultural moorings and Purva Janma Phalas – our accumulated merits over several births – we are irresistibly attracted to this profound experience. It is a form of happiness induced by the manifestation of the collective conscious in our psyche.

Piligrims to Tirupati are least concerned with the theological subtleties. To them Devotion exists, God exists, Truth exists.

Once you have darshan of the Lord, you yearn to return again and again. It is the result of a total surrender of ego to the Lord, who is infinite bliss and reality.

It is a mystical experience which occurs when you feel that you are face to face with the supreme.

The murti of Lord Venkateshwara of the Tirumala hills acts as a catalyst to induce that experience. Lord Venkateshwara is not an imperious God in the clouds. He is real, palpable, responsive and gracious.

So let those with faith, those who have not yet had the merit of ‘seeing’ the lord a Tirumala, pray for the lord to beckon you and shower you with his bounty and grace.