Tirupati is most commonly associated with the world-renowned Tirumala Venkateshwara Temple. But there is another Vishnu temple in Tirupati, the Govindaraja Swami Temple. (This isn't the only Govindaraja temple; there's also one in Chidambaram.) As I understand it, the story of the temple goes roughly as follows: when Venkateshwara (the Vishnu deity in Tirupati, AKA Srinivasa or Balaji) wanted to marry Padmavathi, he got a large loan from Kubera (the god of wealth) to pay for the wedding expenses. Afterwards, Govindaraja, an elder brother of Venkateshwara and another form of Vishnu, helped Venkateshwara by counting the money. He spent a long time weighing the gold on a giant scale until he fell asleep on the scale itself, which is how the statue looks in the temple.
My questions are;
- Who is this Govindaraja?
- What does it mean to say that he is Venkateshwara's elder brother?
- Was he a son of Venkateshwara's foster mother Vakuladevi?
- I wasn't aware that Vakuladevi had any biological children or was even married. I just thought Vishnu came to the house of Vakuladevi when she was an elderly woman living alone, but was she a widow or something? (Presumably if she had a husband he would be the next birth of Nandagopa, just as she was the next birth of Yashoda.)
- Or was Vakuladevi a foster mother to Govindaraja just as she was a foster mother to Venkateshwara?
- Is anything else known about Govindaraja other than this gold-counting story, for instance how and why Vishnu took an incarnation as Govindaraja?