Sunday, July 5, 2015

Garuda - Periya Thiruvadi

Vinata [Suparna] and her husband Kasyapa gave birth to Garuda, the carrier of Lord Visnu, and to Anuru, or Aruna, the chariot driver of the sun-god. Kasyapa is the son of Marici, is one of the prajapatis, and is one of the sons-in-law of Prajapati Daksa.
On Salmalidvipa Island there is a salmali tree, from which the island takes its name. That tree is as broad and tall as the plaksa tree--in other words 100 yojanas [800 miles] broad and 1,100 yojanas [8,800 miles] tall. This tree is the residence of Garuda.
Garuda was given elephants and tortoises as eatables, and is a favored devotee of the Lord. Garuda is also said to be an inhabitant of the planet known as Kinnaraloka. The inhabitants of the Kinnara planet have the same features as Garuda. Their bodily features are like those of a human being, but they have wings.
Once upon a time, Garuda, the carrier of the Lord, snatched away a nectar pot from the hands of the demigods in heaven in order to liberate his mother, Vinata, from the clutches of his stepmother, Kadru, the mother of the serpents. On learning of this, Indra, the King of heaven, hurled his thunderbolt against Garuda. With a view to respect the infallibility of Indra's weapon, Garuda, though otherwise invincible, being the Lord's own mount, dropped one of his wings, which was shattered to pieces by the thunderbolt. The inhabitants of higher planets are so sensible that even in the process of fighting they observe the preliminary rules and regulations of gentleness. In this case, Garuda wanted to show respect for Indra; since he knew that Indra's weapon must destroy something, he offered his wing.



Nachiar Kovil or Thirunarayur Nambi Temple in Thirunarayur, a village in the outskirts of Kumbakonam in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is glorified in the Divya Prabandha, the early medieval Tamil canon of the Azhwar saints from the 6th to 9th centuries AD. It is one of the 108 Divyadesam dedicated to Vishnu, who is worshipped as Srinivasa Perumal and his consort Lakshmi as Nachiyar. The temple is the place where god Vishnu is believed to have initiated Pancha Samskara (religious initiation) to Thirumangai Azhwar. The temple follows Thenkalai mode of worship.

The temple is believed to have been built by Kochengat Cholan of the late 3rd century AD, with later contributions from Medieval Cholas and Vijayanagar kings. A granite wall surrounds the temple, enclosing all its shrines, while it has a 5-tiered rajagopuram, the temple's gateway tower. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.

Vishnu is believed to have appeared to the sage Medhavi and married his daughter at this temple, witnessed by Brahma and other gods. Six daily rituals and four yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the Brahmotsavam, celebrated during the Tamil month of Margazhi (December–January), is the most prominent. The Kal Garuda image in the temple used during the festive occasions is believed to increase in weight seeking 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128 people in succession when the procession comes out of various gates from the sanctum to the main entrance of the temple.