The sacred epics say that every stone, tree, particle of sand, air, birds, animals that inhabit the sacred rows of Seshachala containing the worldly known sanctuary of Lord Venkateswara manifests itself with divinity.
According to Brahma Purana and Skanda Purana, there are about 66 crores of sacred theerthams on the green cover of the seshachala forest ranges. From epics to the present day, the holy theerthams of Tirumala are famous for their sacred character and their divinity. Almost all the sacred areas of the water hold fantastic legends and salvation stories. In fact, these legends are the driving force that brought the lakhs of pilgrims to this temple city every day, even today for years.
However, these sacred theerthams are classified as Dharmaratiprada theerthams, Gnanaprada theerthams, Bhaktivairagyaprada Theerthams and Muktiprada theerthams.
The sacred immersion in these theerthams will transform the person to lead a moral life combined with the spiritual discipline that is the very foundation for salvation. According to the puranas, there are about 1008 sacred torrents in the first category of theerthams.
The man is on the quest to get the best for himself. Jnana is the path of knowledge, wisdom, introspection and contemplation. It involves a thorough exploration of the nature of our being through systematic exploration and the emergence of false identities. It is believed that an immersion in the theertham of Gnanaprada gives this path of wisdom to the pilgrims. There are 108 in numbers. They are Manu, Indra, Vasu, Rudra (11 in number), Aditya (12 in number), Prajapati (9 in number), Aswini, Sukra, Varuna, Jahnavi, Kapeya, Kanwa, Agneya, Narada, Soma, Dharma, Yagna , Kamakarsa, Kamasardhi, Vasa, Jedumbara, Karthikeya, Kubja, Prachetasa, Garuda, Sesha, Vasuki, Vishnuvardhana, Karmakanda, Punyavriddhi, Runavimochana, Pasu, Ganeshwara, Bhaumaswa, Paraibhadra, Jagajadyahara, Viswakallola, Yama, Baraspatya,
Parjanya, Megha, Sankarshana, Vasudeva, Narayana, Deva, Yaksha, Kala, Gomukha, Pradymna, Aniruddha, Pitru, Arsheya, Vaishwadeva, Swadha, Swaha, Asti, Anjaneya, Suddhodaka, Astha Bhairava(8 in number). All put together 108 theerthams.
Bhakti Vairagya Prada Theertham:
The Puranas claim that these things are more sacred than the theerthams of Gnanaprada. An immersion in these theerthams will provide the renunciation of the materialistic way of life and lead to bhakti yoga. This number includes 68. They are Chaklra, Vajra, Vishwaksena, Panchayudha, Halayuda, Narasimha, Kasyapa, Manmadha, Brahma, Agni, Gautami, Daiva, Devam, Viswamitra, Bhargava, Durarohana, Bhairava, Meha, Pandava, Vayu, Asti, Vishnahara, Vashnahara, Basharahara, Vashnahara, Vashnahara, Vashnahara, Vishahara, Lakshmi, Rushi, Shatananda, Suteekshaka, Vaibhandaka, Bilhah, Vishnu, Salvah, Sarabha, Brahma, Indra, Bharadwaja, Akasaganga, Kumaradhara, Gaja, Rushyasringa, Tumburu and Dasavatara . Halayudi, Saptarshi (7 in number after the name of saptarshi), Gajakona, viswaksena, Yudhasarasti.
Mukti means the liberation of the senses from the claws of the mind. It is the enlightenment or state of self-realization of the soul by Bhakti. A bath in the muktiprada theerthams will give us salvation. They are 7 in number and considered the most sacred among the 66 crore theerthams. They are –
Swamy Pushkarini Theertham:
As per the temple legend Swami Pushkarini was originally in Vaikuntam and belonged to Sri Maha Vishnu. It was set on Earth by Garuda, for the sport of Sri Venkateswara Swamy. It is adjacent to the Sri Venkateswara temple. As the 66 crore theerthams these theerthams are not identified it is believed that one holy dip in Swamy Pushkarini theertham which is adjacent to hill shrine of Tirumala temple is equal to having taken bath in all these theerthams.
According to the legend of the temple, Swami Pushkarini was originally in Vaikuntam and belonged to Sri Maha Vishnu. It was put on land by Garuda, for the sport of Sri Venkateswara Swamy. It is adjacent to the temple of Sri Venkateswara. As 66 crore theerthams are not identified it is believed that a sacred bath in Swamy Pushkarini theertham that is adjacent to the sanctuary of the Tirumala temple hill is equal to having taken bath in all of these sets.
Festivals are organized each year for these essays at the right moment as decided by the shastras.
For this sacred theertham of Swamy Pushkarini, Mukkoti Dwadasi, the twelfth fortnight of Dhanurmasa is considered propitious. Gogarbham or Pandava Theertham Suddha Dwadasi The Sunday of the month of Vrishabha or the day of Bahula Dwadasi which falls Tuesday is considered auspicious.
Sunday with Sapthami tidhi in Aswayuja Month or Dwadasi Day in unison with star Uttarabhadra.
Full moon day in Mesha month in unison with Chitra Nakshatra.
Full Moon Day in the month of Meena (Pisces) with Uttara Phalguni Nakshatra is considered a auspicious.
Magha Pornami in the month of Kumbha is considered auspicious to take a bath in this theertham.
The day of the full moon in the month of Makara (capricorn) is considered divine for holy immersion.
The pilgrims who go to Tirumala make a practice of bathing in these holy torrents in the belief that it would erase all their sinful actions.