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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?
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    You've been asking some really great questions! Keep it up! (I wish I could answer some of them, but alas, my knowledge is not that deep.) – senshin Jun 19 '14 at 21:40
  • Govindaraja is elder brother to lord Venkateshwara. – johnson316 Dec 17 '14 at 5:15
  • @johnson316 But what does that mean? Does it mean he's the son of Venkateshwara's foster mother Vakuladevi? – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 17 '14 at 5:17
  • see the source:google.co.in/… – johnson316 Dec 17 '14 at 5:25
  • source says Sri Govindaraja Swami is considered to be the elder brother of Lord Balaji – johnson316 Dec 17 '14 at 5:26
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So according to sthalapurana (local story) when lord Venkateswara come to Tirupathi hills, he visited Vakuladevi, and she became his foster mother. As you already explained this is linked to Dwapara yuga where Krishna promises Yashoda that in next life he will let her do his marriage, and Yashoda reborn as Vakuladevi. Vakuladevi is a maiden and did not have any sons. One story is Krishna's elder brother Balarama reborn as Govindaraja. Govindaraja helped in organising all the money for Srinivasa's marriage. He is also foster son of Vakuladevi. I'm still trying to get more information on his whereabouts. Hope this answers your question atleast partly.

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    Welcome to Hinduism.SE! Thanks for your answer, but could you provide sources to back up your answer? Like the claim that Vakuladevi was a maiden, that Govindaraja was a rebirth of Balarama, and that he was a foster son of Vakuladevi? Also, do you know how Govindaraja became a foster son of Vakuladevi? Did he have actual parents on Earth, or did he just appear before Vakuladevi or come in a Vimana like Srinivasa? – Keshav Srinivasan May 14 '15 at 4:30
  • By the way, if you're interested in Venkateshwara, I've posted a bunch of other questions about him on the site: hinduism.stackexchange.com/… – Keshav Srinivasan May 14 '15 at 4:40
  • I'm still trying to find Govindaraja whereabouts like when he became foster son of vakuladevi. This is story in TTD published venkateswara story. I don't have purana reference to the same. – satyasodhaka May 14 '15 at 4:40
  • What TTD book has the story? – Keshav Srinivasan May 14 '15 at 4:41
  • I read that book when i was kid. I seriously don't remember the name. But i can surely furnish the whereabouts in 2 months of time. I know that this answer is not sufficient to back my earlier comment. Sorry that is all I remember. – satyasodhaka May 14 '15 at 4:48
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Lord Govindaraja is the God of the place Tirupathi. Venkateswara came to Tirupathi lately. If there are two Vishnu temples in one place, the one who was established first will be called as elder brother of the one who came lately. That's how govindaraja become elder brother of venkateswara. This is followed in many places like, in Kanchipuram Lord Varadharaja is known to be younger brother of Lord Yathokthakari perumal as varadharaja came after Yathokthakari perumal. Lord govindaraja was called by devas to be the witness for the agreement that Lord venkateswara's loan with kubera. Lord govindaraja verified all the money and jewels that was lent to Lord venkateswara. The amount was so huge that he became tired by that task so he lied there by making thr measuring jar as his pillow.

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  • Welcome to Hinduism.SE! Unfortunately, this doesn't answer my question at all. What was the story of Govindaraja before the time of Venkateshwara? I already know about sleeping on the scale and all that; I mentioned that in my question. And in any case, it would be wrong to say that Govindaraja was the god of the place; that would be Varaha, which is why the place was originally called Adi Varaha Kshetra. – Keshav Srinivasan Jan 31 '15 at 2:58
  • Aathi varaha is the god of the place thirumala which refers to 7hills – Bhargavi Feb 3 '15 at 15:19
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    Read the answer once again. It answers the second part of your question. For the story of Lord govindaraja, u can read the kshetra puranam of govindaraja temple – Bhargavi Feb 3 '15 at 15:24
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Govindaraja Swamy is the elder brother of Lord Venkateswara. He took a loan from Kubera for performing Venkateswara Swamy's marriage. So He looks after the money and loan to be paid for Kubera. That's the reason why you can see the idol with money measuring jar as his cushion.

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  • Welcome to Hinduism.SE! Unfortunately, this doesn't answer my question at all. I gave all this information in my question itself. But my question is about what it means for Govindaraja to be the "elder brother" of Venkateshwara? Does it mean he was Vakuladevi's son? Vakuladevi was the foster mother of Venkateshwara, but I'm not sure if she was even married. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 17 '14 at 21:22
  • Also, answers on this site should be elaborated with details and sources (preferably scripture). They shouldn't just be three lines long; otherwise you should post a comment, not an answer. – Keshav Srinivasan Dec 17 '14 at 21:24
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Govindraja is the main and basic posture of lord Vishnu who sleeps on the coils of adishesha embodiment of time.Now,to answer your question first of all you try to get rid of all mythological and sentiment based confusion. Govindraja is the core form of mahavishnu and all the stories were built around the obvious vaishnavite centre Tirupati.

The real thing is that lord vishnnu was worshipped in the form of Govindraja in Tirupati that's why tirupati also has an alias Govindrajpattana later on the story of lord venkatesha happened around tirupati Tirumala and shrinivasa was declared as an Incarnation of lord vishnu and Thu the priority and significance of Govindraja was shifted to lord venktesha its all a sequence based story or rather a myth.we should stop Fantasizing about the the gods timeline and should focus on the real cosmic form LORD MAHAVISHNU you wouldn't want to explore it further

Lord Govindraja Is my family deity kuladevta and to know him I never ever referred to any mythological conclusions.

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  1. There is no separate story for Govibdaraja. Its only as sthala purana of Chidambaram.
  2. There is no relation between Lord Venkateshwara and Lord Govindarajan
  3. As said in previous comments, this Moola Govindarajan Moorthy and srhi Andal was installed by SRI RAMANUJA.
  4. The uthasava Moorthy was being safeguarded by one of the Dasi and the same was handed over to shri swmy RAMANUJA and installed there.
  5. To bring importance to the Govindarajan temple, it was propagated as big brother of Lord Venkateshwara.
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