SRI BALA BALAJI TEMPLE-APPANA PALLE-7
One of the doorways to temple premises
stands on the sacrifice rock.
Suddenly he hears a thunderous noise (due to flapping of the wings of Garuda), the sun is blocked by a huge body, which shines like a dozen suns and blinding to the eyes of onlookers. The eyes of Garuda gleam red like rubies. Every time he flaps his wings a gush of strong violent wind uproots trees as if it is a forceful hurricane, huge rocks roll down the slopes of the mountain, wild animals frightened by all this run helter skelter.
In spite of all this Jimuthavahan is calm, composed and in ecstasy, as he is going to save Sankhachuda from Garuda's clutches.
Garuda approcahes Jimuthavahana. His eyes gleaming with hatred for the Nagas, He pierces Jimuthavahana's heart and tears it open. He then clutches his body with His claws and goes to the top on the mountain to eat.
Meanwhile, Sankhachuda returns to the sacrifice rock. He is horrified to see the blood there. He realises that Jimuthavahana was taken by Garuda. He quickly follows the trail of the blood, weeping and crying that he has to save the person who has stood in his place. Meanwhile, parents of Jimuthavahana, his wife and other relatives come searching for him. They meet Sankhachuda and learn about the horrifying tale. They follow Sankhachuda to the place where Garuda has taken Jimuthavahana.
Meanwhile Garuda is surprised to see that the person he is eating is neither crying nor terrified. So He stops eating and stares at him. Jimuthavahana asks Garuda why He has stopped eating him, is his flesh not enough to satisfy His hunger? Garuda now feels respect for Jimuthavahana and asks him who he is, as he is human and not a Naga and why is he so happy and ecstatic even when being eaten alive?
Before Jimuthavahana can reply, Sankhachuda comes running to the spot and cries out that Garuda has killed Jimuthavahana the Vidhyadhara king who is kind hearted and righteous. Garuda is aghast. He cries out that he had indeed committed a grievous sin as He has heard far wide the fame of Jimuthavahana, as kind, considerate, righteous and dutiful king of Vidhyadharas.
Sankhachuda informs Jimuthavahan that his parents are coming. Jimuthavahana asks him to cover his body with the upper cloth as his parents cannot see him in that state. Sankhachuda obeys. Parents and wife of Jimuthavahana arrive upon the scene and cry. Garuda is more ashamed now and begs Jimuthavahana to tell Him what He should do to absolve Himself of the sin.
Jimuthavahana requests Garuda to repent for His previous deeds, not to harm any living being leave alone Nagas and do so much good deeds that the merits should override his sins. Garuda assures him saying that He is ashamed of his previous deeds and will not harm anyone.
Jimuthavahana is very happy to have saved the Nagas. He pays his respects to his parents and tells them that he is dying. He consoles his mother and father saying that what good his body, flesh or blood is if not for helping out others. He prays to the God saying that if he has to take birth many times again, every time he should be able to sacrifice himself for others.
Saying that Jimuthavahana falls down unconscious. His parents weep and pray to Gods for saving their only son. His wife prays to Goddess Gauri and asks for her kindness in rescuing her husband. Garuda vows that he will stop Yama (God of Death) and his servants from taking away life of Jimuthavahana, if need be tear them to pieces and go beg Indra (King of Devas) for Amrutham (ambrosia or nectar) so that he can get back Jimuthavahana to life.
Goddess Gauri appears before them and sprinkles holy water and Jimuthavahana is revived. She blesses them all and praises Jimuthavahan for his scarifies. She blesses them all with happiness and all good things. Every one bows to the mother Goddess and are happy.
Now since Jimuthavahan has sacrificed himself at this place -Sacrifice means "Arpana" (to give oneself) "Phali" means the Result or the place where Jimuthavahana's sacrifice has brought in good result (saving of Nagas). ArpanaPhali has with the time became Appanpalli.
As per Jimuthavahana's request and sage Kashyapa's advice, Garuda also known as Vainatheya (son of Vinata) made a creek of the river Vasitha (tributary to River Godavari) to pass through the place so that the Nagas who were killed by Him (whose remainings were scattered around the place) could obtain salvation. That is why this river is called as Vianatheya river. It flows towards south. Hence the temple on its bank is considered as a pilgrimage center.
This is the Vianetheya river on the banks of which the temple of Bala Balaji stands today.
Whether these legends can be actually proved or not I don't know. Because the present place is not on a mountain. But there must be a reason for these legends which may have disappeared or gone obscure with time.
In my next posts read how Lord Balaji came as a child and stayed back as an idol in the temple......