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Thread: The amazing Stone Garuda at Nachiyar Koil, TN, India

  1. #1
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    The amazing Stone Garuda at Nachiyar Koil, TN, India

    Here's a Garuda made of Shaligrama stones whose weight increases from that who can be carried by 4 people to someone that can be carried only by 128 people in the end:

    Kal Garudar which is the vahana for this temple. Here Garuda has the capability to cure the Navagraha doshas.
    A magical event during Garuda Sevai - Garuda increases in weight manifold. During street procession (Margazhi and Panguni), an unbelievable event takes place at the Nachiyar Koil. While only 4 people carry Lord Garuda out of his Sannidhi, as the Lord goes out of each Layer and prakaram, he is said to increase in weight, that 8 people, 16 and then 32 people are required to carry Lord Garuda out of the temple. Finally, when the Lord is taken outside the temple, Garuda increases in weight so much that 128 people are required to carry the Lord. On his way back, it is said that Garuda mount decreases in weight and finally when he is back in the Sannidhi, only 4 people are required to carry him.

    The temple sthalam at Naachiyar Koil, Tirunaraiyur houses this amazing stone Garuda and is one of the 108 divya desams of Hindus . The place is very close to the temple town of Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district.
    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

  2. #2
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    Re: The amazing Stone Garuda at Nachiyar Koil, TN, India

    Namaste Aspirant01

    Thank you for sharing this about this Temple. This made my late night interesting. I love Garuda. I have a very, very interesting Murthi of Garuda from Nepal, it stands about 5 inches. Not typical of the Garuda murthis you see at all.

    There are so many, so very interesting, almost trivia upon the Vast Waters of Hinduism, that make things so very, very engaging to the Dharma, to the “Faith”. Isn’t it? This is one example, which just engages your mind.

    Can I add one more? It is not on the same level as yours, but interesting in itself. Forgive me for deviating a bit from the subject, and delving even more into speculation and tales of “old”. Disclaimer – there are many tales and “word of mouth” history in the Histories of Hinduism. After all, it goes way, way back. But it is interesting to contemplate. And it involves one place that once had Hindu Temples, now gone, and another place called Kashi which has a very interesting Pillar called Lat Bhairo.

    One day you should go to Kashi (Varanasi). It is the oldest City in the World. It is the City of Shiva.

    But I want to mention some other city, which sometimes claims also to be the oldest city in the world. For some reason, it is also associated with the end of the world.

    Balkh is a city of Afghan Turkistan in Central Asia. It was the ancient city and center for Zoroastrianism. It was visited and praised by Marco Polo. The Greeks named the city “Bactra” from which is known Bactria. Today it is but nothing compared to the days of old. About 2000 years ago however, Indo tribes roamed about it. It is regarded as the first place where Zoroaster preached, and where he died. Tribes spread out from here to form Persia. Buddhism came here. Then about 650 AD, the Arabs came and took the city. They plundered and killed wantonly. Buddhist and Vedic shrines were destroyed. The Arabs were actually thrown out by 670 AD, only about 20 years later. But they came back in the early 700’s AD, and raised the city to the ground. Ancient texts were burned, including Ayurveda texts and others of ancient renown. Indigenous Hindu Kings who carried the title Hindushahi, or Maharaj Dharmpati, Rajas such as Ranthal, Spalpati and Lagturman ruled in the 800’s AD. But by 1019 AD Mahmud Ghazni defeated Trilochanpal, and Islam struck. Ghazni destroyed the Hindu Temples. Those Hindus who fled at that time, went to Kashmir. Some even made it to Kashi (Varanasi, Benares). Then Genghis Khan sacked Balkh in 1220 AD and butchered the inhabitants. Then the Mughal Empire came by the 1640’s AD. It was the city of a young Aurangzeb who was appointed its Governor at the age of 28. Nadir Shah took the city in 1736 AD, but then it later fell to the Afghans. Malaria broke out rampant in the 1870’s so much so the regional capital was shifted from Balkh to Mazar-i Sharif. By the early 1900’s, there were only a few hundred people living in Bhalkh, its population consisting of mostly Afghans, half as many Uzbeks, a few Hindus and a few families of Jewish people.

    Today the population is about 97,000 people.

    In ancient Hindu texts, the area is known as Upgansthan (where we get the name Afghanistan). Afghanistan came into use in the mid-1770’s AD under the rule of Ahmed Shah Durrani. The original language of the regions was Brahmui, which is very similar to Sanskrit.

    There is a long standing “prophecy” regarding Balkh. I do not know the origin of it in any particular text. Perhaps due to such long and agonizing tribulations and destruction, this in itself somehow plays into the prophecy.

    But before mentioning this prophecy, it is interesting to also mention that in 2001, a stone inscription in Sanskrit was recovered in the before mentioned Mazar-I Sharif. It tells of the Hindu ruler Veka and his true devotion of Lord Shiva. The date is from the early 800’s AD. The inscription includes “OM”. It describes the construction of a Temple to Shiva, where the Murthi was Shiva in the Embrace of Uma. This stone has now been taken to Pakistan, and held in a museum in Islamabad.

    It is said “Bhairo” was worshipped in the region.

    This town was called at times “Amm Ul Belad” or “Mother of Cities” and is claimed to be one of the oldest cities of the world. But up until most recent times, this town was decayed, ruins, and there is a long standing saying that if it is repopulated and emerges again as a true city of its own, that this will be the sure sign of the approaching End of the World. Of course, the very term “End of the World” can also be an adept description of the place prior to its most recent rejuvenation – the very shambles of it could in one sense be more of a description of an arrival to a faraway place after a long, hard, dirty journey where nothing is there and you say, “to the far End of the World”.

    In Kashi there was a large column which was held sacred. It was called Lat Bhairo. Actually it still is there. It is encased in copper. It is understood that Lord Bhairava cut off the 5th head of Brahma. Bhairava is an aspect of Shiva. This is, of course, “Brahmanicide”, and Bhairo is associated with it. Some say the neck that held this Head of Brahma was worshipped in Kashi as a Column, and was a form of worship of Bhairo. Some say this Lat Bhairo is that murthi. In Kashi, Bhairava is the Kotwal or Police Chief who magistrates Kashi. It is said, if you come to Kashi, you must right-away give obeisances to the Kotwal. This may be a Bhairava Temple. But before the 1900’s it was also typically the Lat Bhairo. This column was called the “World”. Because of the association with Brahmancide, some associate this Column as the End of Caste system. But also something called the End of the World.

    But this is not the same as the dissolution of the universe. More “the End of (our) World”. Or the End of Hinduism as we know it.

    Today the Lat Bhairo is not as popular as it once was. Today it stands only a few feet high, covered with copper sheeting. Under the copper is the fragment of stone pillar that was once a large stone column that stood over 40 feet high. Covering it, many ancient carvings and inscriptions.

    It once stood in the courtyard of a Temple. This temple was destroyed by Aurungzeb, the same before mentioned who as a boy lived in Balkh. On the site of the Temple was built a mosque. This is what they do, often throughout the history of Islam. Today the grounds of the column are about six to eight feet higher than back then.

    In 1809 AD, during the attempt by Islamic fanatics to attack Lat Bhairo, located off the Grand Trunk Road and near Raj Ghat in Kashi, this column was broken by the Muslims. But they didn't get it all. It was recovered by Hindus. Some say it was at that time that it was encased in copper. But others point out, that Xuan Zang a Seventh Century Chinese traveler to Varanasi described a Linga 30 metres high and encased in copper. Which is strange. Perhaps it was encased in copper more than once.

    Previous to the attack on Lat Bhairo, the Islamists attempted to sack the holy Temple of Vishwanatha. The riots at that time over Lat Bhairo were quite horrific, with much blood in the little alleys of the narrow avenues of Varanasi. Reoccurring outbreaks continued until 1811 AD.

    Some say this column was originally an Ashokan column, who ruled the Maurya Dynasty from 269 BC to 232 BC. His Kingdom stretched from Afghanistan to Bengal to almost the South of India. He converted to Buddhism after the Kalinga War.

    We do not know the true story of Lat Bhairo. It is still there today. Some claim those Hindus who fled Ghazni to Kashi in the early 1000’s AD had begun the worship of Lat Bhairo. We simply don’t know.

    But we know one thing. Before the 1809 AD riots, there was already a very long and outstanding tradition. The tradition was, and I guess still is, declares that the Lat Bhairo is sinking. On the day that the head of the Lat Bhairo is level to the ground, that will be the End of the World. That is the End of Caste. That is the End of Hinduism. Or the End of Something.

    Whatever the End is, this column doesn't have much futher to go before it reaches level with the ground.

    Om Namah Sivaya

    “From one country we came, and landed at the same pier,
    But, touched by the world's breath of wind, we travel off on a dozen roads.”

    Today I think of Vishvanatha.
    Vishvanatha is The Lord.
    The waves of Ganga are His wine.
    Vishveshvara is the Lord of Kashi.
    Never forsaken, Kashi is the Light.
    Oh I wish this Moment,
    I could be in Kashi -
    Where All the Gods have Come,
    Together to be One.

  3. #3
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    Re: The amazing Stone Garuda at Nachiyar Koil, TN, India

    Namaste ShivaFanji,

    You know so much! It was both fascinating and saddening to know about Balkh - as you've rightly stated, Kashi and all of India have long suffered similar fate from Islamic rulers of the past.

    I would be most honoured to visit the holy city of Kashi and pay my obeisances to Lord Viswanatha and mother Visalakshi. How blessed one must be to have darshan of them!

    I think you will enjoy Lingashtakam -


    jai hanuman gyan gun sagar jai kapis tihu lok ujagar

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