Some popular stories about Sri VenkatAdhvari
Once the Mogul king in Delhi had concealed some gold coins inside a pumpkin and presented the pumpkin to Sri VenkatAdhvari. Without realizing the presence of the gold coins when enquired about the pumpkin Sri VenkatAdhvari said that it is fit to cook and eat as a vegetable or to sell and buy some salt. When the king asked him about the comment Sri VenkatAdhvari said that he commented to the Lord that the emperor at Delhi is the one who fulfills the wishes of the Lord while what the other kings present are fit only to cook and eat as a vegetable or to buy salt. Such was his power of wit.
Sri VenkatAdhvari was an ardent proponent of SaraNaagati as the mokshOpAyam. He suffered innumerable hardships to establish its greatness. Once when some miscreants tied a stone to his neck and tried to kill him in their anger towards him, he prayed to PirAtti that the stone should fall on the heads of those miscreants themselves which PirAtti made it happen.
Once when someone was questioning the authenticity of Arti prapatti, Sri VenkatAdhvari told him to circumambulate ThAyAr sannidhi while he prayed to PirAtti on the man’s behalf. Before the man reached the dvajastambham PirAtti made him shed his body and thus granted him moksham.
Sri LakshmI Sahasram is composed as a part of Sri VenkatAdhvari's work ViSvaguNadarSa Sambu. In this epic, Sri VenkatAdhvari creates two characters KrishAnu and ViSvAvaSu who travel to many places. KrishAnu would only say what is bad about that place while ViSvAvasu would mention only what is good there. While they were at Thiruvenkatam, KrishAnu berates the place following which they both lose their sight. To regain their lost vision they compose LakshmI Sahasram praising Sri PadmAvati ThAyAr, the divine consort of SrinivAsa PerumaaL.
There is also the folklore that Sri VenkatAdhvari himself lost his sight and regained it by composing Sri LakshmI Sahasram. In any case it has been shown on several occasions that chanting LakshmI Sahasram confers many benefits to the seeker.
The thousand slokas of Sri LakshmI Sahasram are subdivided into twenty five “stabakams”. Stabakam means a flower bouquet. Naming the chapters as flower bouquets seems appropriate as these songs are composed as LakshmI worship. There are many similarities between SwAmi Desikan’s works and LakshmI sahasram. Just like SwAmi Desikan, the author has interspersed the letters of the LakshmI mantra throughout the work. Chanting this, is said to confer benefits similar to chanting Sri RanganAtha PaadukA Sahasram. Similar to SwAmi Desikan’s work the songs in the beginning of the stabakam are in “anushTub” chandAs while the songs that follow are in other chandAs. To explain the “dayA” or the compassion of PirAtti, Sri VenkatAdhvari invokes the episodes of KaakAsura and Sita’s stay in aSokavana just as SwAmi Desikan had done before. Among the mangaLa slokAs in the work, the sloka for SwAmi Desikan will explain the author’s bhakthi towards him. It is said that Sri VenkatAdhvari composed twenty five stabakams to correspond to SwAmi Desikan’s Sri stuti that has twenty five slokAs.