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Story Behind Hair Tonsuring at Tirupati Temple

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Story Behind Hair Tonsuring at Tirupati Temple
When Bhrigu visited Lord Vishnu who was in a private meeting with his consort Goddess Lakshmi and failed to immediately receive and honour the sage, the sage felt humiliated and angry by this act. Sage Bhrigu kicked Lord Vishnu in the chest, to which Vishnu did not react and instead apologized to the Sage by massaging his feet. During this act, he squashed the extra eye that was present in the sole of Bhrugu's foot. The extra eye is believed to represent the sage's false egotism. The sage then realised his grave mistake and begged forgiveness from Lord Vishnu.

Vishnu's chest is significant as the abode of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess felt highly insulted at the sage's misdemeanour and Vishnu's silence at the act and left Vishnu heavenly abode (Vaikunta).

After the departure of Mahalakshmi due to Bhirigu rishi, Lord Vishnu left Vaikuntha and went to earth in the search of Mahalaxmi. Ultimately his quest brought him to the Seshadri hills where he stopped to rest in an anthill. Listening about the separation of Vishnu and lakshami, Brahma and Shiva got upset and decided to intervene. Thereafter Brahma and lord shiva took to form of cow and its calf and went to live at the place of a Chola king. The sun god informed to goddess lakshami about the plan of Brahma and shiva and requested her to sell the cow and calf to the king of the Chola country assuming the form of a cowherdess.

The chola king bought the cow and its calf and sent them to graze in the Seshadri hills. On this hill, the cow would secretly visit the anthill where Vishnu was living without sustenance. Emptying her milk, the cow would then return to the palace. The cowherd was angry because cow never yielded any milk to him. To find out the reason behind that, he watched movement carefully and his explorations brought him to the anthill. He discovered the cow emptying her under over the ant-hill. The cowherd got wild over the conduct of the cow, and he aimed a blow with his axe on the head of the cow. Because the cow was the actually Brahma, the Lord Vishnu rose from the ant-hill to receive a wound in the head, resulting in a loss of some hair.

When Lord Balaji was hit by a shepard on his head, a small portion of his scalp becomes bald. There is no hair growth over there and this is noticed by a Gandharva princess Neela Devi. She feels "such an attractive face should not have a flaw". Immediately she cuts a portion of her hair and with her magical power she implants it on his scalp. Then Lord Balaji notices her sacrifice as hair is the beautiful aspect of Female, he promises her that all his devotees who come to his abode should render their hair to him and she would be the recipient of all that hair received. Hence it is believed that hair offered by the devotees is collected by Neela devi.

Thus was born the tradition of offering hair to Lord Balaji at Tirumala.

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