In the Kalikaalam, Lord Shri Venkateshwara is the pratyaksha-daivam. In kali-kaalam only adharmam will be encouraged and people do not even know what is right and what is wrong. Rewards will be given to the bad people and people do not even get chance to realize their mistakes. In order to save the patitas Shri Venkateshwara came to Bhuloka and made the Saptagiris in Tirupati as His abode. May be the following story is the earliest of Shri Venkateshwara Maahaatmyams:
Takshaka in order to fulfill Shrugi's shaapam, starts for the place where Parikshit mahaaraaja was listening to Bhaagavatam from Shri Shuka maharshi (see this). On his way he meets a great scholar by name Kashyapa (not the Kashyapa Prajaapati). He is a very great mantra-vetta. On listening to the news that parikshit mahaaraaja will be bitten by Takshaka, Kashyapa immediately sets out to save Parikshit mahaaraaja's life. He was very confident that with his mantra-shakti he can counter any great vishaagnijwaalas. Takshaka and Kashyapa exchage their identities and Takshaka challenges Kashyapa saying that nothing can counter his teevra-visham. Takshaka to show the strength of his visham bits a huge vruksham and in a second it comes down to ashes. Kashyapa with his matra-shakti immediately restores the Vruksham to its original form.
Takshaka tells Kashyapa since Parikshit mahaaraaja has a shaapam given by Shrungi and it cannot be undone, while doing mantra japam for Parikshit mahaaraaja Kashyapa will have little doubt and mantras dont work unless 100% belief in them is there. Also, knowing that Kashyapa is in need for money, he offers him a lot of riches and wealth. Kashyapa with his divya-drushti sees that Parikshit's ayu is going to come to an end and returns back taking the gold and wealth from Takshaka.
After coming back Kashyapa repents a lot for his greed for money. He deeply feels that he should have done his duty of trying to save the king and instead he chose to listen to Takshaka, took money from him and neglected his kartavyam. Afraid of the narakas he has to experience because of his paapam, he decides none other than Shri Venkateshwara can save him. He immediately goes to Tirupati and at the Srivaari paadaas near the start of the mountain steps, he with his whole heart cries "Venkataachalapati" and falls. He smells something burning and realizes that the paapam inside him, in a purusha rupam, was getting burnt. He gets released from his paapams and becomes a great Bhakta.
Morals in the story:
- Nothing can precede one's duty. One must never neglect his duty and always strive for helping others.
- Total surrenderence to God is the only way for getting out of this paapa-punya cycle.
The story in no sense conveys the message — do whatever paapa kaaryas you want and then finally God will pardon. As all of the previous stories suggest God only likes people who never deviate from the path of Truth and Dharma. The message that is being conveyed through the story is the importance of Bhagavat-Naamasamkeertanam in Kaliyuga.