Padmavati - Balaji

Lord Balaji is the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and his wife is Padmavati, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi. Balaji is however, seen with both Goddesses, Padmavati and her original form Ma Lakshmi also.

Legend has it that Vishnu in the form of Balaji (also Venkateshwara) resided on the Tirumala hills of Tirupati. When the time came for him to marry Padmavati, he realized he had no money for the expenses. He took a loan from Kuber, who is the keeper or treasurer of wealth for the Gods.

After the marriage, Balaji wondered how he would repay the loan. He was very worried. He thought of his wife in the Lakshmi form. Goddess Lakshmi saw the plight of her Lord. She came to help him.

Balaji requested Goddess Lakshmi to bless his devotees with immense wealth. The devotees would then donate a portion of their wealth to fill Lord Balaji's 'Handi' or pot. As the collection would meet the loan requirement, the Lord would return the amount to Kuber. Lakshmi agreed.

Today, Tirupati is the richest temple in the world. It is believed that devotees who pray to Balaji are blessed by Lakshmi with great wealth. The devotees then voluntarily donate huge amounts in the Lord's 'Handi' or pot.

Balaji, holds both Padmavati and her original form Lakshmi in his heart. Venkateshwara is thus also know as 'Shri Niwas'. 'Shri' means Lakshmi and 'Niwas' means home. Lord Balaji's or Vishnu's heart is thus Goddess Lakshmi's true home.