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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Thirukachi Sri DEvapPerumal Garuda Sevai 2020

Ever heard of ‘elang bondol’ -  in  1989 , the Bondol was  made the mascot of the city of Jakarta !

Tamil Nadu has crossed the grim milestone of 25,000 total coronavirus cases, the only second state in India to do so after Maharashtra. On Wednesday, the Southern Indian state recorded a new high of 1,286 cases, while the numbers in capital city Chennai also went past the 1000-mark, with 1012 cases.  The state has been witnessing over 1000 cases daily over the last four days, with over 80% of the cases coming from Chennai alone.  On Wednesday, Delhi reported more cases of novel Coronavirus infections than Mumbai, the first time such a thing has happened in more than two months. Delhi discovered 1,513 new cases, it highest single-day figure, while Mumbai, which is the city with the maximum number of cases, found 1,276. Delhi has been seeing a big surge in its numbers in the last one week, recording more than 1,000 new cases every day. Its case count has been growing at the fastest rate among the top five states with maximum caseload.

~ and due to lockdown (5.0 now) – Temples remain closed – temple festivals have been halted, otherwise today 4.6.2020 would have been grand Garuda Seva for Sri Devapperumal.   In this earthly World full of conflicts, people often are listless, fear everything and do not have a composed mind. What should they look to ?  

ஒருவகைக் கலக்கமுமில்லாத இடம் பரமபதம் **
அவ்விடத்தை நமக்கு அளிக்க வல்லன் எவன் என்ற கேள்வியும் உளதோ ?

The annual brahmothsavam of Sri Varadharaja Swami  would have prospered and  today would have been  day 3.   The most famous amongst the  brahmothsavam is the  Garuda Sevai – when Lord Devapperumal is taken in procession on vahanam of Garuda also known as Periya Thiruvadi. Garuda was born to Kaashyapar and Vinathai (Vinathai siruvan siragu-  ena pasuram]

Bondol eagle (Haliastur indus) is a species of bird of prey from the Accipitridae family.  It is Brahminy Kite.  Garuda is a legendary bird   in Hindu, Buddhist and Jain mythology.  Garuda is often portrayed in  anthropomorphic form (man with wings and some bird features). Garuda is a protector with power to swiftly go anywhere, ever watchful and an enemy of the serpent. Garuda is a part of state insignia in India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. The Indonesian official coat of arms is centered on the Garuda. The national emblem of Indonesia is called Garuda Pancasila. The Indian Air Force also uses the Garuda in their coat of arms and even named their special operations unit after it as Garud Commando Force.
 Sri Vardadhar Garuda Seva @ Thiruvallikkeni  of 2011 above and 2014 below 

Garuda Seva has special significance not only for Kanchi, more so for  Sholinghur because of Swami Doddachaaryar connection. Forefather of the present day Acharyar, who lived during 16th century, was an ardent devotee of Lord Varadharaja and did many kainkaryams to Him. He was a regular in the annual Vaikasi Garuda Sevai of Devathirajar. Legend has it that on a particular year, he was not well and could not attend the Garudothsavam at Kachi. He was feeling desperate about his misfortune of not being able to have darshan of PerArulalar at Kachi on Garuda vahanam. He lamented standing near the Thakkan kulam at Cholasimhapuram (Sholinghur]. He composed hymns on Varadharaja, known as Sri Devaraja Panchakam. He longed for the Lord's sevai and these outpourings were a direct result.

Emperuman will never let his ardent bhaktha down. He came down to Sholinghur and gave darshan to Doddacharyar - seated on Garuda vahanam. Such is the mercy and leela vinotham of PerArulalar.   Even today, on Vaikasi Garudothsavam day, there is a tradition known as Doddachaaryar Sevai, when the archakas hide Lord Varadar at the western gate for a short time with two umbrellas just before He leaves the temple.  It is believed that Lord goes to Sholinghur for giving darshan to Doddacharyar. The mangala harathi takes place thereafter.

அவனே அருவரையால் ஆநிரைகள் காத்தான்,
அவனே அணிமருதம் சாய்த்தான், - அவனே
கலங்காப் பெருநகரம் காட்டுவான் கண்டீர்,
இலங்காபுரம்  எரித்தான் எய்து.

Sri  Peyalwar is crystal clear in his hymn praising the Lord, who protected the cows and cowherds by holding the mountain Govardhana, the one who broke marudhu trees, who razed the city of Lanka killing demons, the Lord of the perfect city of Ayodhya is the Only One – who can give us salvation and give us the blissful life at  His abode ‘Paramapadam’. 

On the glorious Garuda Seva time, we remember the great Acharyar and fall at the feet of the Acharyars through whom only we can reach our Emperuman.  At Thriuvallikkeni divyadesam, for Sri Varadharajar Uthsavam on day 3 morning @ 06:00 am would be  Gopura vassal sevai and periya mada veethi purappadu thereafter.    ~ one will have to be at Thirukachi, to see and believe the crowds and the grandeur. 

adiyen Srinivasadhasan. (S. Sampathkumar)

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