Hathiram Bhavaji popularly known as Hathiram Baba, was a saint from North India, who visited Tirumala around 15th Century on a pilgrimage. After visiting Tirumala, he became a great devotee of Lord Venkateshwara and settled in Tirumala by setting up an ashram. This ashram was named as Hathiram Baba Mutt and well taken care by TTD even now. Hathiram Bhavaji and Lord Venkateshwara had a great connection that remained as a great story in the history.
Story of Hathiram Baba and Lord Venkateshwara
Hathiram Bhavaji was a great devotee of Lord Rama, and when he visited Tirumala, he became the devotee of Lord Venkateshwara. According to legend, Lord Venkateshwara was named as Lord Balaji by Hathiram Bhavaji. It is believed that with Hathiram Baba’s deep devotion, Lord Balaji was too pleased and used to come to his place and play dice with him. One day, the game went too long and Lord Venkatshwara with an urge for the daily worship left one of his ornaments such as necklace, in Hathiram Baba’s ashram. As soon as the priests opened the temple, they noticed that an ornament was missing and got into a deep search of it. When Hathiram Baba also realized that the ornament was left by the God, he went to temple to return it.
But he was caught by temple guards who mistakenly assumed him as the thief stealing the ornament. Later Bhavaji was taken to the king for investigations, and when Bhavaji told exactly what had happened, no one believed his words. As a punishment, the king ordered to fill Bhavaji’s house with sugarcane and asked him to eat every bit of sugarcane before the sunrise. The king also ensured a tightened security at the outside of Bhavaji’s house so that no one gets in to help Bhavaji. Knowing it is impossible for a common man to eat such an amount of sugarcane, Hathiram Baba kept chanting the name of Lord Venkateshwara. Eventually, when everyone was asleep, a huge white elephant appeared inside the house and ate all sugarcane and disappeared.
The next day morning, the king was shocked and surprised that it was not possible for a common man to have had all the sugarcane and moreover, no elephant was also seen around. This instance opened his eyes and made him realize that the God by himself had appeared to save his devotee. From then, Bhavaji was named as Hathiram Baba–Hathi means elephant and Ram for Bhavaji chanting Ram.
This is the great story behind Hathiram Baba and Lord Venkateshwara, and the place where he was staying in Tirumala is now alive as Hathiram Baba Mutt.
The Hathiram Baba Mutt was established even before the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams was formed. The story of Hathiram Bhavaji had been portrayed as a film in 1960 as Sri Venkateshwara Mahatyam and in 2017 as Om Namo Venkatesaya. Like Hathiram Baba Mutt, Tirumala holds a pride of lot of great histories. Keep reading our blogs for interesting facts and any information about Tirumala.
Read More : Sevas in Tirumala