GARUDALWAR VAIBHAVAM AT NACHIYAAR KOIL


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Garudalwar has been   affectionately  glorified as Peria Thiruvadi , Pakshiraja,  Vainateya, Suparna, Garuthman, Vinatasuta,  Vishnuvahana, Nagantaka and Kashyapeya by  devotees Garudalwar  is  always engaged in eternal service to Lord  Sriman Narayana .

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As a result, of his SharaNagati to Lord Sriman Narayana (Narayana Sayujyam).  Garudalwar enjoys the benefit of  Sameepyam (constantly being beside the Lord), SarUpyam (Shuddha Satvam) and SalOkyam (residence in Vishnu Lokam).

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Garudalwar  serves as the eternal chariot of Lord  Vishnu. Consequently, Garuda received the name Periya Tiruvadi as against the divine  role played by Hanumanjee as the Vahana for Lord Rama. Hence, Hanumanjee  received the title Siriya Tiruvadi.

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Those who have  had the mercy  of the darsanam of the 11 Garuda seva at  ThirunAngUr dhivya desams  at ThirunAngUr are truly blessed . Their  fortune  is comparable to those who had  witnessed the  Garuda Sevai at Kanchi ( VaikAsi and Aadi ThiruvONam ), SrIrangam ( Thai , Maasi, Panguni and Chitthirai) , NaacchiyAr Koil , AzhwAr Thirunagari  and the famous  Nava Garuda seva ( “Nine Garuda  Sevais”) at  Thirukurungoor  with  Swamy NammAzhwAr vaibhavam enacted .

Garudaalwar  is  worshipped as Veda Moorthy .His  appearance star   is SvAthi , which is the same as for Lord Narasimhar. Garudalwar  incarnated as PeriyAzhwAr at SrI VilliputthUr and became the Father-in-Law of Lord RanganAthan and had the privilege of having his daughter and  son-in-law live at his home in SrI VilliputthUr, which is known today as NaacchiyAr ThirumALigai.

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At TheruzhunDUr dhivya desam , Garudalwar  stands next to Aaamuruviyappan (GhOsakhan) awaiting His Lord’s  command .  At AhObilam, Garudalwar  performed penance for the darsanam of Lord Narasimhan as He appeared  before PrahlAdhan and the Lord responded to his tapas by giving darsanam to Garudalwart as “JwAlA Narasimhar”.  Hence one of the names for AhObilam is GarudAdhri.

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At Vadanadu Divya desam ,  Badarikashramam  , Garudalwar  is blessing  the devotees  with his darsanam in the  assembly of  of Nara-NaarAyana.

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At ThiruveLLiyangudi dhivya dEsam , Garudalwar  graces   in PerumAL Sannidhi with Sankham and Chakram as  a Nithya Soori.  At ThiruvallikkENi Garudalwar  gives the darsanam with  Lord  GajEndra Varadhan , in a separate Sannidhi.

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 Nachiyar Koil is  a srivaishnava Divya desam is located in Tirunaraiyur en-route to Tanjavur from Kumbakonam. Since importance is given to Nachiyaar in this temple, it is called Nachiyaar Koyil.

The moola virat  Lord  Tirunaraiyur Nambi  worshipped  as Vasudevar graces us  in the Kalyana kolam with Vanchulavalli Thayar in the sanctum sanctorium . The Theertham is Manimuktha pushkarini and the Vimanam Srinivasa Hema Vimanam. Legend has it that Lakshmi appeared  as Vanchulavalli  and MahaVishnu  manifested himself in the Pancha Vyuha forms and married Vanchulavalli.

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In the sanctum one finds the sculptures of the deities Sankarshana in the east, Pradyumna in the south, Anirudha in the west, Purushottaman in the north and Vasudeva in the center. There is no separate shrine for Thayar. There are shrines for Yoga Narasimhar, Ramar, Hanuman and Chakrapani.

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Kal garudan  is of special significance at this temple.  The Garudalwar   gives darshan  with nine serpents and is believed to have the powers to remove the Navagraha dhosham. 

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It is  understood from elders that a sculptor  was  making this  deity  of Garuda  with utmost devotion . On completion,  he suddenly found the  deity   flying after he had made  Garuda’s  wings.  

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Excited and simultaneously  confused   at this sudden action, the sculptor prayed Garudalwar  for his mercy .

 Garudalwar   pleased with his dedication and  prayers  decided to settle here at this place and bless the devotees. ( Kal  in tamil means stone ).

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 A huge and well built Garudalwar  gives darshan to all the devotees coming to this Srivaishnava Divya desam . During the Tamil month of Aadi,  the temple Lordships  Thiru Naraiyur Nambi makes a visit to  this Garuda’alwars Sannidhi.

A magical event happens during Garuda Sevai .  Garudalwar  increases  his  weight manifold .  Science has not been able to explain the mystery underlying the fact that when the Salagrama deity  of Garudalwan  is taken out for procession, he is  so light that he is carried  by just 4 persons.  

As the  palanquin bearers (Srimaan taangigaL) , cross the outer enclosures one by one,  Garudalwar  becomes progressively heavier and  needs 8, 16 and 32 men to carry the palanquin  after each enclosure. Finally, when the Lord is taken outside the temple, Garudalwar  increases in weight so much that 128  devotees assemble  to carry the Lordships .

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Similarly, after the  outing  procession (PurappaaDu), when Garudalwan  enters the sanctum, he keeps loosing  weight so that it need progressively lesser number of men to hold it  from 32 to 16 to 8 and finally just 4 and in that order. 

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Another unique feature of this grand festival  is that one can see  Garudalwar  sweating profusely as he makes his way out for the procession.

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Thirumangai Azhwar, Periya Azhwar, Poigai Azhwar etc have done their Mangalasasanams to Garudalwar.

Adiyen Ramanuja dasan..

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 Photos credits : google images

video credits  : ramyagiri , mighty garuda and advanced devotees

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BHAKTHA KANHOPATRA DEVOTION TO LORD VITTALA


Once near the holy dham Pandharipur lived a daasi by name Shyama in the town of Mangalvedha .This place is about fourteen miles from Pandharipur. Shyama had a beautiful daughter by name Kanhopatra. She was so beautiful that there was no match to her beauty in this world. While she was young she learned the art of singing and dancing. Shyama, asked her daughter to come with her to see the king so that he would give some money and ornaments to her.

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Kanhopatra then said that she would not come to the kings durbar to praise a human being .She was always in the mood of KRISHNA BHAKTHI .One day a group of pilgrims who were going to Pandhari were passing by singing the praise of LORD KRISHNA . When Kanhopatra saw them she made a namskar to them and asked them where they were going, the pilgrims then replied to her that they were going to Pandhari to have darshan of Lord Vitthal. She was excited and pleaded her parents to join the sant group. Taking a vina in her hand, she joined the pilgrims in singing the praise of Lord and reached Pandhari. She had the darshan of Vitthal and decided to be in Pandhari. She would always remain in the great door of the temple and sing his praise always swooning into LORDS KRISHNA LEELA. One man who had come from Bedar saw her and went and told the king about her and her beauty. On hearing this, the Mohamedian king sent his guards to go get Kanhopatra from the temple of Pandharpur.

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The guards arrived at the temple gates and told Kanhopatra the king’s orders and that if she failed to listen to them, they would have to take her forcefully. She then told them that she would visit Vitthal for one last time and come back with them to the king. She went in and prayed to Lord Vitthal and told him that if he abandons her now the whole world will blame him for this. she cried profusely with abhang meaning ..

O Narayana, you call yourself savior of the fallen…
My caste is impure I lack loving faith
my nature and actions are vile.Fallen Kanhopatra
offers herself to your feet, a challenge to your claims of mercy
If you call yourself the Lord of the fallen, why do O Lord not lift me up?
When I say I am yours alone, who is to blame but yourself
if I am taken by another man. When a jackal takes the share of the lion,
it is the great, who is put to shame.Kanhopatra says, I offer my body at your feet, protect it, at least for your title.

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As she pleaded with Vitthal, lord accepted her soul and united it with him. He took Kanhopatra in his lap and she left her body on his lap. Vitthal then asked the priest to bury her body at the southern gate of the temple. As soon as they buried her a tarati tree sprang up immediately in that place and everyone were surprised.

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We can till date see this tree in Vitthal Rukmani temple in Pandharpur. Meanwhile the king’s guards who were sitting in the main gate of the temple asked the priest what happened to Kanhopatra. They told them that she now got united with Vitthal and is no more. The guards then asked them to show her corpse to which the priest told them that it has changed in to a tree.

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The guards did not believe what they said and arrested the priest and took him to king. The priest then offered coconut and bukka from the temple to the king as Prasad and told him what happened. When the king took the coconut he saw a hair in the coconut and asked the priest how this came in the coconut offered to god.

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The priest was afraid and confused how it had come. He then decided to tell the king that it was Vitthal’s hair. The king dint believe this and asked him if it was true. The priest then told him to come to Pandhari and see it for himself and also gave it in writing.

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The king then decided to come to Pandharpur and visit the god to check if what they described about him was true. He entered the temple paid his respects to the god and went to god’s bed chamber and looked at the god. He then saw god’s brilliant crown, beautiful curly hair, his lotus eyes, his crocodile ear rings and the kaustubh around his neck.

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The moment the king saw this he became repentant and told the priest that he had seen the lord just the way they had described him. He then prostrated before the god and embraced his feet and said that Kanhopatra’s fortune is supreme in getting united with Vitthal…

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Kanhopatra wrote Marathi abhanga poetry telling of her devotion to Vithoba and her struggle to balance her piety with her profession. In her poetry, she implores Vithoba to be her saviour and release her from the clutches of her profession. About thirty of her abhangas have survived, and continue to be sung today. She is the only female Varkari saint to have attained sainthood based solely on her devotion

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All glories to Kanhopatra
All glories to the sants of Maharashtra
All glories to LORD VITTALA

Please check our Travel diary to Pandharapur

https://kmkvaradhan.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/pandharpur-yatra-bhajey-pandurangam-a-pilgrims-diary/
Adapted from Bhaktha Vijayam