My India   History   Festivals   Ramayan   Mahabharata   Health
Hindu Philosophy   Hindu Culture   Hidu Life Rituals   Gods and Heroes of Hinduism  Comparing Religions
My resume   Poems   Travel-logs   Music   Bhajans   Videos   Links   Mahabharata katha London 2012

Wedding Debts of Tirupati Venketeshwar Balaji


The temple of Tirupati Venketeshwar Balaji in Andhra Pradesh is one of the richest temple in India, if not the world.  One of the reasons people donate a lot of money to Tirupati is that they believe they are helping the deity to pay off his wedding debt.

The world over, weddings are an occasion to invite friends and family to celebrate the nuptials of the happy couple.  Innumerable rituals and ‘functions’ are accompanied several feasts to make the occasion memorable.  Inevitably, such occasions are an expensive undertaking. 

One of the mythologies associated with Tirupati Balaji at Sheshadri is that the Lord Venkatesh has borrowed heavily to pay for his wedding to goddess Padmavati .  Naturally, all debt attracts interest and Lord Balaji has accumulated a lot of interest on his wedding debt.  Devotees are encouraged to donate money to Lord Balaji so he can pay back Kuber for the enormous amount of money borrowed.  Till date, devotees donate everything from gold, gems, land, cash and even their hair in hope of helping their tutelary deity reduce his debt.  No matter how much they donate though, the debt keeps rising because of the interest being charged on his initial debt. 

No one has asked, where is the donated money going to?  Which bank account?  Which person receives the money?  As far as I know, Kuber has no bank account remitting to Svarg! 

No one has asked why is the groom incurring this expense and not the bride’s father as is the norm?

Above all, no one has asked, why would Tirupati, the husband of goddess of wealth, need to borrow money in the first place?  And if he did borrow, why isn’t his wife capable of paying back the debt?

What surprises me is that instead of using this as a cautionary tale of how NOT to borrow to spend on a lavish wedding, people actually use this story of Balaji as an excuse to spend lavishly on their own weddings!!       

Countless families, rich and poor, go beyond their means and borrow heavily to make a great show of how ‘generous’ they are.  It is a total farce as the long line of guests is soon replaced by a longer line of debt collectors.  Savings collected over several decades disappear overnight and parents are saddled with crippling debts they can’t pay back easily.  WHY?  It makes no financial or logical sense to borrow so heavily for a wedding.  Hence it makes no sense to add mythology to encourage self-impoverishment of ‘believers’.  It is sad the temple authorities are using this illogical tale to encourage irresponsible borrowing for marriages.  It may increase their wealth, but it makes poor sense for the devotees.  Surely, donation to God should be made out of love, not compulsion.



Return to Index

Return to Bhagwat's main page

Return to ShriNathji's Haveli 

© Bhagwat Shah
[email protected]