The Story of Garuda Panchami

          Long ago, there lived a person named Madhureshwara Raju in Madhurapuripatinam. He had five sons and a daughter. Anggamma was his eldest among six children. Her siblings had lost all their wealth and they had finally got into farming.  Every day she used to carry and serve food for her siblings who were working in the farm. This practice went on for years.

It was one fine day, when she was affectionately packing the food for her brothers, Garuda, the eagle spat poison on it but without noticing Anggamma wrapped it. As usual she served the food and after they had eaten, she got horrified to see them all tumble down one after the other unconsciously. It made no sense to her. On further analyzing them, she found that they had succumbed to death. She sat there dumbstruck in the field, filled with tears, not knowing what else to do.  

On the same day, Lord Shiva and Parvathy visited the earth disguised to check if dharma is maintained and to protect the virtuous from the bad. When they traveled across Anggamma’s field they found her in a desperate state. They reached down to find out the reason for her despondent mood.

Goddess Parvathy in disguise asked her, “Why are you crying my child?” Anggamma in her sober condition outburst emotionally, “Even if I unburden my heart to you, can the piercing pain of my heart be healed? Can you solve my problem?” Parvathy with a divine smile answered, “We are the ones who solve the problems of the whole world. So, confess to me what's troubling you?” Teary-eyed Anggamma finally explained, “As usual, I brought food to my siblings who were working here day long. But after they ate the food, they suddenly fell unconscious and died. I'm all lost what to do and what had brought this curse on us?” Goddess explained her the reason, “My dear child, it is that you didn't perform Garuda Panchami rituals well in your previous janma and that is the cause for your anguish.”

“I'll explain what pooja you should perform, its methods and the things required. After it is done, put the akshatha and flowers offered to Goddess over your dead siblings and everything will turn well,” said Parvathy. She also said, “Wait here, I’ll get you the things required for the pooja.” All the edible things required for the pooja were made from mud which turned real at the touch of the Goddess' hands. The idol for worship was also made from the mud. Everything made was offered in front of the idol of Goddess, accompanied by Anggamma's sincere prayers. She was also given a thoran, a sacred thread, to be tied in her hands.  After the rituals, Parvathy asked Anggamma to sprinkle the akshatha and the flowers used for prayer on her siblings. She immediately did that and felt a new surge of happiness when she watched her siblings coming back to life. 

She wanted to wish and share her happiness with that unknown couple, but she found them vanished. In the fullness of time, Anggamma and her siblings also got back their lost wealth and prosperity. Anggamma returned to her village and informed the villagers about how her siblings got back to life after performing the pooja advocated by Goddess herself. 

         It is believed that every year, during the Tamil month of Aadi on a particular day (which differs), if this ritual is performed by anyone, it is considered to do good and helps preserve a healthy relationship between siblings. 

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