On Friday, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), prayed outside the ancient hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara, near Tirumala. In an image that has gone viral on social media, Ambani was seen seeking blessings from an elephant. The animal’s trunk was touched on Ambani’s head as he bowed to him in reverence. In Hindu culture, there is a tradition of animal worship. However, many were left curious after the image of Ambani seeking the blessings of the elephant went viral.
Why are elephants revered?
The elephant is revered as Lord Ganesha in Hindu culture. The elephant is believed to bring good luck and prosperity. It is considered sacred with a connection to divinity and in ancient times was treated as part of the extended family. Elephants are bred in temples in southern India as part of worship rituals. In the Tirupati temple where Ambani prayed, elephants are bred for worship. They are fed by the temple authorities and as a ritual, Ambani also fed and sought the blessings of the majestic animal.
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Mukesh Ambani makes generous donation to Tirupati Temple
Mukesh Ambani on Friday made an offering of Rs 1.5 crore to the ancient hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara in nearby Tirumala, a temple official said. Ambani, an ardent devotee of Lord Venkateswara along with Radhika Merchant who is the daughter of Encore Healthcare CEO Viren Merchant and other RIL officials arrived in the hills in the early hours of Friday.
After the service, Ambani handed over a check for Rs 1.5 crore to TTD’s additional managing director, A Venkata Dharma Reddy, at the shrine, the official said.
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After a brief stay at a guest house in the hills, Ambani, Radhika Merchant and others took part in an hour-long sacred ritual of Abhishekam (holy bath) conducted at dawn at Lord Venkateswara in the inner sanctum by high priests amid chanting Vedic hymns, the TTD official said.
Before leaving the hills, Ambani fed the elephants at the temple, the official added.
(With PTI inputs)
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