Today morning, 2nd of June 2012, Devaperumal was riding on the most famous vahanam. You would have seen and enjoyed the sevai is many other Divya desam’s but this one in Kanchipuram is most famous. Couple of facts about Garuda sevai in general and some interesting facts about the one in Kanchipuram.
Garudan has another important role, in our sampradayam, in addition to acting as Emperuman’s vehicle. He is considered as one of our foremost acharyan and is also known as veda swaroopam.
Garudan was the archaryan to Swami Desikan. Swami Desikan prayed to Garudan in Aushada giri in Thiruvendhipuram, who gave the Swami the moola mantharam and the archa-vigraha of Lakshmi Hayagrivar.
Before Varadar leaves the kovil in Garuda vahanam, at the main gopuram, our Lord is covered for a minute with two kodai’s after which harathi is performed and he steps outside to bless us all. During this minutes our Lord, leaves Kanchipuram to give dharshan at Sholingar divya desam. To understand / enjoy this we need to go back in time.
Some 450 years back, one devotee by name Doddayacharya lived in the temple town of Sholingar and was engaged in kaimkaryam to Lord Narashima. He was very attached to Varadar of Kanchipuram. He never used to miss the Garuda Sevai of Devathirajan during Brahmotsavam. One year due to advanced age was not able to make the trip to Kanchipuram. He was disturbed and on the day of Garuda sevai got up early in the morning and had his bath in Thakkan kulam (local pond in sholingar) and the archaryan expressed his inability by standing on the banks of the pond and visualized the Lord in Garuda vahanam in all its glory. In five sanskrit verses, known as Devaraja Panckajam he described how the Lord, carried by son of Vinathai would appear at the entrance of the huge tower of Kanchipuram temple, in all elegance and eagerness to protect his devotees.
At that time in Kanchipuram our Perumal was about to leave the kovil. The temple priest received a divine message that our Lord would like to disappear from their midst for a couple of minutes to appear before Doddayacharyar in Sholingar. To commemorate this event, even today, our lord is hidden from public view for a minute. Later on a temple was built on the banks of thakkan kulam. At this temple Garudan is seen with upadesa muthirai.
Today evening Varadar would bless us all as Rama