Introduction of The Hundi Robber
Lord Venkateswara of the Seven Hills is Kaliyuga Avatar. Many are
his Leelas. He made this Avatar to punish the evil doers and protect
the innocent. He has mended many wicked people. They later turned
as His sincere devotees. puranas pronounce many such incidents.
Here is a story where a daring robber was mended and made His Bhaktha.
The story runs thus:
Tirupati is' famously known as Kaliyuga Vaikuntam. About 300 miles
to the west of it, in a big village there lived a wealthy Land Lord.
His name was Danam Vankata Reddy.
Reddy's family was big. He owned hundreds of acres of wet and
dry lands. He was a great farmer and looked after the lands, himself.
He was a great Bhaktha of Lord Venkateswara. Not a day passed without
his offering puja to the Lord.
One year there were no rains. Crops failed. There was neither
food nor water. There was famine. Many men and animals died for
want of food. Poor people suffered a lot. It was found very difficlut
Reddy was very much moved at their sufferings. He distributed
Kanjee prepared out of broken rice once daily to the poor. All prayed
for rain. Special pujas were performed. Bhajans were conducted round
the clock. Yagnas also were performed.
Reddy prayed Lord Venkateswara and vowed that if it rained and
people's hardship eased, he would make pilgrimage to the Hills and
celebrate the Brahmotsavam of the Lord. He tied in a saffron dyed
cloth one hundred rupees as his offering and deposited it in a chest
to be carried and dropped in the Hundi at the temple.
Some months passed. Yet there was no rain. People's hardship hardened.
Reddy was very much worried. One day morning after bath, Reddy decorated
the pictures of Srinivasa and Padmavati with flowers and Tulasi
garlands, placed fruits and broke coconuts and offered harati, recited
Suprabatham, Sthothram, Prapathi etc. and prayed. He said, “O,
Lord Saviour, the tanks and wells have gone dry. There is no water
to drink. For want of rain no crops could be' grown. The sufferings
of the people are untold. Is it not your duty to come to their aid
and help relieve from this difficulty?"
His appeal reached the ears of the Lord. He ordered Varuna to
rain. Who ever prays the Lord in sincere devotion, will surely get
his wishes fulfilled. That night by about ten, the sky was overcast
with thick clouds. It rained heavily till next morning. People were
overjoyed. They performed special Pujas to the Lord.
Reddy prostrated before the Lord and praised. Him in many words.
He thanked God for granting his request and relieving the hardships
of the people by his kind act.
After four months, Reddy started on Pilgrimage to Tirupati. He
carried with him the chest where he collected the offerings all
the year round, wore yellow robes. and after prayers left home.
In those days there were no proper roads nor vehicular facilities.
Pilgrims had to walk long distances along hills and valleys and
on rough roads through forests.