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Tirupati/Tirumala is a pilgrimage center of great significance and is visited by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims throughout the year.


Venkatachalapati is the only moolavar in the sanctum and this is said to be the only Eka Murthy Temple for Vishnu in India.

Dear Sai Friends,

I am posting below a message I received from Whitefield about the incident which has been discussed recently on Sainet. It certainly is an excellent example of the way our beloved Swami works to bring those into His presence who are ready to accept Him.

Swami came to Brindavan (where I live most of the time) on Dec 3rd 1998 and we had great darshans. They have refurbished the old Ramesh Hall and have torn down the old marriage hall, enlarged it and set back Swami's entrance gate.

On Monday, the 7th of December, in afternoon darshan at Whitefield, about one hundred men and priests arrived, with musicians. They were positioned on the men's side, up front. On the evening of the 7th, I learned the reason why the priests had come. They were all from Tirupati, the oldest and most famous of all temples in India. It is dedicated to Lord Venketeshwara. It seems that in the morning, when the priests went to open the doors in front of the idol of , superimposed upon the idol was the form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba! Being quick to grasp the implication that Baba is THAT, they all high-tailed it to Whitefield, where the Lord they worshipped was in human form! Interestingly enough, they also had a cameraman with them and he was filming the special darshan Swami gave the Tirupati priests and musicians. This is one of the BIG ones (miracles), for sure!

He has brought each one of us to Him in the way that was best for us. Each instance was a miracle. Maybe someone could write a book entitled "A Million Miracles," giving the stories of each of us and how Swami aroused our awareness of the Divinity which He knows Himself to be and is teaching us that we are.

Love and blessings,
Joy Thomas


my wife, Lakshmi who stays at Puttaparthi has just emailed me this message:

A few months back the pujaris (priests) were doing special puja (prayer) to Venkatachalapathi at Tirupathia in which all the pujaris were to blindfold themselves and offer flowers, etc. While doing puja, they felt the Lord's feet and hands to be flesh and not stone. The rest of the Body when felt was of stone. When repeatedly they felt the same they could not withhold their inquisitiveness and opened their blindfold. They found right in front of them instead of Venkatachalapathi of stone Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba in flesh and blood. He gave them the vision, blessings and disappeared.

They could not contain their joy and immediately took all the ornaments with which they decorate the Lord of Tirupathy and came to Prasanthi to decorate the Lord in flesh and blood and enjoy the sight.

Swami called them in and first chided them for opening their blindfold and asked them how could He trust them if they did not obey the customs of the puja. They asked for forgiveness. He showered them with blessings and sent them away.

A few days back they had come once again to Whitefield (Baba was in Whitefield for a few days last week) with all the Lord's ornaments, nadaswaram (trumpets) etc., to felicitate the Lord. Everybody present saw it. Swami asked them not to make it public, blessed them with an interview and sent them back.

So please tell all that the Lord of Tirupathi is none other than Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Tamani, 12 November 1998 in Sai Net


I read Joy's letter with great delight. It is actually additional detail to what I heard. I must point out that I am giving you hear-say. I have no idea of the truth of it.

I was told that the priests do not look Venkateshwara in the face. They approach Him looking at His Feet. On the first occasion Swami appeared to them, they saw human feet as they approached and as they looked up the idol's form, it changed portion by portion into Swami's. On that occasion nothing else was said. This version seems to differ somewhat from Joy's, and Joy may well be correct and my version incorrect.

The second time this happened, Swami talked to the chief priest and commanded him to come to Whitefield. The priest and all his retinue went and from there, the story picks up as Joy said. I did hear one extra detail and that is:

The reason for Swami inviting them, apart from declaring that He is Venkateshwara (no small declaration), was to reassure them that He would protect the temple from secular violence, then happening around them.

Joy and peace,