Ramana Dikshitulu

Ramana Dikshitulu
Chief priest at the Tirupati Temple, Andhra Pradesh
A. Venkata Ramana Dikshitulu is the 37th descendent of Vaikhanasa Archaka Gopinath, who discovered the idol of the moolavirat (idol of the Lord) 1,700 years ago, near the site where the temple was built. “It is our good fortune that our family has, without a break, been in the service of the Lord for 37 generations,” he says. “I took it up to fulfil my commitment to the elders.”
A Ph.D in molecular biology, Ramana Dikshitulu got an invitation from South Carolina University for a lucrative post-doctoral position. But he chose to serve the temple.
“When people come to me with their problems, I try to guide them and help them overcome the situation in a balanced way,” he says. “I think that is the role destined for me.”
However, he misses working in the lab. “But I'm satisfied because I have done justice to the lineage,” he says. “Also, I treat religion like the way a scientist would. It has got a system which needs understanding and 100 per cent concentration and dedication, too.”
Ramana Dikshitulu believes that being in this profession has definitely made him a better man. He has three sons who are highly educated and yet chose to follow his profession. “We were instructed by our ancestors not to take up any other occupation,” he says. “I have passed on the same principle to my sons, who are committed to continuing the tradition.”

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