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The Venkatachala Mahatmya of the Skanda Purana describes the story of Venkateshwara (the Vishnu deity in Tirupati, AKA Balaji or Srinivasa). This excerpt describes how Brihaspati, guru of the gods, is called by Padmavathi's father Akasa Raja to fix a date for the marriage of Vishnu and Padmavathi:

Saying "So be it" the Lord of men called Brihaspati from the world of Suras asked him about (the hour) for the marriage of the girl and the bridegroom. The king asked: "The native star of the girl is Mrigashirsha; that of The Lord is Shravana. Let the conjunction of these two be considered." On hearing it [Brihaspati] said "The star Uttaraphalguni suits both of them for the increase of their happiness. It is declared so by the divine astrologers. Let their marriage be celebrated on the marriage be celebrated on the Uttaraphalguni day." He said, "Let it be celebrated duly in the month if Vaishakha."

My question is, why does Vishnu have Shravana as his Nakshatra or birth star? Vishnu's connection to Shravana Nakshatra isn't limited to Venkateshwara, by the way; this book says "Vishnu is the presiding deity over Shravana".

Now strictly speaking it's meaningless for Vishnu to have a "birth star". First of all, as Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita, Vishnu is unborn, and second of all he's older than the stars! So I assume it's referring to the birth one of Vishnu's incarnations (avataras), because similar answers are given elsewhere in the story. As I discuss in this question, when Vishnu is asked by Padmavathi and her friends what dynasty he belongs to, he says he is a member of the solar dynasty, because Rama was a descendant of Surya the sun god. And when asked who his parents are, the answer given is Vasudeva and Devaki, the parents of Krishna. So presumably this too is a reference to one of Vishnu's incarnations

But which one? The Bala Kanda of the Ramayana says that Rama was born during Punarvasu Nakshatra, and the Srimad Bhagavatam says that Krishna was born during Rohini Nakshatra. So was someone else born during Shravana?

Do Hindu scriptures provide any explanation of why Shravana is considered the birth star of Vishnu?

  • perhaps this was the star that was in phase when Lord Vishnu descended as Lord Venkateshwara? For example, look here shanthiraju.wordpress.com/2008/05/19/singiri-koil it says "Swati nakshatra" as birth star for Lord Narasimha, which is also confusing because Lord Narasimha was spontaneous manifestation in the pillar. (adapted from this yahoo answer.. in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100921043825AA6UBL5) – Sai Sep 10 '14 at 15:50
  • @Sai The thing is, Vishnu was already associated with Shravana before the story of Venkateshwara. And also Akasa Raja gives this information to Brihaspati without even talking to Vishnu, so that means that he was relying on general knowledge of Vishnu. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 10 '14 at 16:11
  • is this referring to the book which you have linked? Or are there other places where it is mentioned Vishnu as associated with Shravan Nakshatra? (Just curious) – Sai Sep 10 '14 at 16:14
  • @Sai Yeah, there are lots of other places which mention Vishnu's connection to Shravana. – Keshav Srinivasan Sep 10 '14 at 16:16
  • Id have to look through at least one of them to be able to speculate :). Could you post them as well as part of your question? I believe it would only help to answer your question (if an answer does exist) – Sai Sep 10 '14 at 16:17
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Shravana Nakshatra is the Birth Star of Lord Vamana, as it is in Srimad Bhagavatam, here: (SB.8.18.5) śroṇāyāṁ śravaṇa-dvādaśyāṁ muhūrte ’bhijiti prabhuḥ sarve nakṣatra-tārādyāś cakrus taj-janma dakṣiṇam

"On the day of Śravaṇa-dvādaśī [the twelfth day of the bright fortnight in the month of Bhādra], when the moon came into the lunar mansion Śravaṇa, at the auspicious moment of Abhijit, the Lord appeared in this universe. Considering the Lord’s appearance very auspicious, all the stars and planets, from the sun to Saturn, were munificently charitable."

And since Vishnu, i.e. Vamana is one of the Adityas, Shravana Nakshatra is said to be His birth-star.

  • Thanks! Since Vamana is the main incarnation of Vishnu for the Vaivasvata Manvantara, Vamana's birth star would be significantly more important than birth stars of other incarnations. So your answer seems quite plausible to me. By the way, I've heard that the three stars of the Shravana constellation represent the three steps of Vamana, so that's all the more reason why Vishnu would be associated with it. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 9 '15 at 18:05
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If you were present in the yuga where krishna was alive at that time we must consider lord vishnu's nakshatra was bharani, same way if you were present in the yuga wen rama was alive at time you must consider punarvasu as a birth star of vishnu but here now we are in kaliyuga were lord vishnu still stayed on tirumala hills but he never took any avatar yet hence untill he take his next avatar we must consider his birth star as sravana once he takes kalki avatar that would be the end of kaliyuga

  • Still lord vishnu's venkateshwara avatara is not yet completed hence his present birth star sud be considered :) – Murali krishna Dec 1 '15 at 13:47

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