Difference between revisions of "Garuda (गरुडः)"

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== Birth and Family ==
 
== Birth and Family ==
 
Vinata, a wife of Kasyapa gave birth to Garuda and Kadru and her sister gave birth to the Nagas. Once there was a dispute between Vinata and Kadru. Vinata said that the hairs on the tail of [[Ucchaishrava (उच्चैःश्रवस्)|Uchaishravas]], Devendra's horse, were white but Kadru asserted that they were black. To settle the dispute they made a bet. The condition was that the loser must become the servant maid of the winner. As instructed by Kadru, some of the Nagas went in advance and hung down from the tail of Uccaissravas, thus giving the false appearance of a tail with black hairs. By this trick Vinata lost the bet and had to become Kadru's servant maid. As a result of it, the task of looking after Kadru's children became Garuda's duty. Kadru told him that if he fetched Amrtam from devaloka and gave it to the Nagas, she was prepared to release him from the bondage. So Garuda flew up to devaloka, fought with the gods and defeated them. He returned with the pot of Amrtam and gave it to the Nagas. The Nagas went to take their bath after placing the pot on darbha grass spread on the floor. Just then Devendra swooped down and carried away the pot of Amrtam to devaloka. When the Nagas returned after their purifying bath, the pot was not to be seen. In their greed they began to lick the darbha grass on which the pot was placed. The sharp edge of the grass cut their tongues into two. This is why the Nagas (snakes) came to have forked tongues.<ref name=":1">Mani, Vettam. (1975). ''[https://archive.org/details/puranicencyclopa00maniuoft Puranic encyclopaedia : A comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature.]'' Delhi:Motilal Banasidass. (Page 613 and 614)</ref>
 
Vinata, a wife of Kasyapa gave birth to Garuda and Kadru and her sister gave birth to the Nagas. Once there was a dispute between Vinata and Kadru. Vinata said that the hairs on the tail of [[Ucchaishrava (उच्चैःश्रवस्)|Uchaishravas]], Devendra's horse, were white but Kadru asserted that they were black. To settle the dispute they made a bet. The condition was that the loser must become the servant maid of the winner. As instructed by Kadru, some of the Nagas went in advance and hung down from the tail of Uccaissravas, thus giving the false appearance of a tail with black hairs. By this trick Vinata lost the bet and had to become Kadru's servant maid. As a result of it, the task of looking after Kadru's children became Garuda's duty. Kadru told him that if he fetched Amrtam from devaloka and gave it to the Nagas, she was prepared to release him from the bondage. So Garuda flew up to devaloka, fought with the gods and defeated them. He returned with the pot of Amrtam and gave it to the Nagas. The Nagas went to take their bath after placing the pot on darbha grass spread on the floor. Just then Devendra swooped down and carried away the pot of Amrtam to devaloka. When the Nagas returned after their purifying bath, the pot was not to be seen. In their greed they began to lick the darbha grass on which the pot was placed. The sharp edge of the grass cut their tongues into two. This is why the Nagas (snakes) came to have forked tongues.<ref name=":1">Mani, Vettam. (1975). ''[https://archive.org/details/puranicencyclopa00maniuoft Puranic encyclopaedia : A comprehensive dictionary with special reference to the epic and Puranic literature.]'' Delhi:Motilal Banasidass. (Page 613 and 614)</ref>
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Once Prajapati Kashyapa was doing a yajna with the desire of obtaining a son. He was being helped by rshis, deities and gandharvas. Accordingly, the task of collecting samidha was entrusted to Indra, the Valakhilya rshis and other deities. The powerful Indra chose to bring wood befitting his strength. As he was carrying mountain like log of wood, he came across the Valakhilyas who were the size of half a thumb and were struggling to carry one twig of Palasha tree amongst them. Seeing this, Indra, overcome with pride, slighted and stepped across them. This enraged the Valakhilyas who took the sankalpa (vow) of obtaining a second Indra for the deities who would be a hundred times more valourous than the current Indra. This was a cause of great concern for the current Indra who then went to the resort of sage Kashyapa. Sage Kashyapa then explained to the Valakhilyas that it is due to Lord Brahma’s order that Indra rules over the three worlds. And their wish for a second Indra will defy the words of Lord Brahma. Therefore, he requested the Valakhilyas not to falsify the verdict of Lord Brahma. And in order that the wish of the Valakhilyas is also fulfilled, he suggested that may the child whose birth they seek become the Indra of birds. He requested them to bless Lord Indra who had come to them as recipient. Convinced by the speech of Rshi Kashyapa, the Valakhilyas said, “Oh Prajapati, our vow was to obtain an Indra while yours was to obtain a son. Therefore, may you accept the fruit of our vow.” Thus, Rshi Kashyapa’s wife Vinata, who at that time was following the vow of Brahmacharya to obtain a progeny was blessed to bear that great son whose birth was the result of the vows of Rshi Kashyapa and the Valakhilyas. This son, who came to be known as the Indra of birds, is none other than Garuda. Reference : Mahabharata ([https://archive.org/details/MAHABHARATA_201902/page/n135 Adi Parva])
  
 
== Garuda and Valakhilyas ==
 
== Garuda and Valakhilyas ==

Revision as of 17:54, 9 September 2019

Garuda (Samskrit : गरुडः) once went to devaloka and brought Amrtam from there to be given to the Nagas, but Devendra came down and took it back. This story is given in Mahabharata from Chapter 27 onwards. Agni Purana, Chapter 19 refers to Garuda and Aruna as the sons of Vinata.

Birth and Family

Vinata, a wife of Kasyapa gave birth to Garuda and Kadru and her sister gave birth to the Nagas. Once there was a dispute between Vinata and Kadru. Vinata said that the hairs on the tail of Uchaishravas, Devendra's horse, were white but Kadru asserted that they were black. To settle the dispute they made a bet. The condition was that the loser must become the servant maid of the winner. As instructed by Kadru, some of the Nagas went in advance and hung down from the tail of Uccaissravas, thus giving the false appearance of a tail with black hairs. By this trick Vinata lost the bet and had to become Kadru's servant maid. As a result of it, the task of looking after Kadru's children became Garuda's duty. Kadru told him that if he fetched Amrtam from devaloka and gave it to the Nagas, she was prepared to release him from the bondage. So Garuda flew up to devaloka, fought with the gods and defeated them. He returned with the pot of Amrtam and gave it to the Nagas. The Nagas went to take their bath after placing the pot on darbha grass spread on the floor. Just then Devendra swooped down and carried away the pot of Amrtam to devaloka. When the Nagas returned after their purifying bath, the pot was not to be seen. In their greed they began to lick the darbha grass on which the pot was placed. The sharp edge of the grass cut their tongues into two. This is why the Nagas (snakes) came to have forked tongues.[1]

Once Prajapati Kashyapa was doing a yajna with the desire of obtaining a son. He was being helped by rshis, deities and gandharvas. Accordingly, the task of collecting samidha was entrusted to Indra, the Valakhilya rshis and other deities. The powerful Indra chose to bring wood befitting his strength. As he was carrying mountain like log of wood, he came across the Valakhilyas who were the size of half a thumb and were struggling to carry one twig of Palasha tree amongst them. Seeing this, Indra, overcome with pride, slighted and stepped across them. This enraged the Valakhilyas who took the sankalpa (vow) of obtaining a second Indra for the deities who would be a hundred times more valourous than the current Indra. This was a cause of great concern for the current Indra who then went to the resort of sage Kashyapa. Sage Kashyapa then explained to the Valakhilyas that it is due to Lord Brahma’s order that Indra rules over the three worlds. And their wish for a second Indra will defy the words of Lord Brahma. Therefore, he requested the Valakhilyas not to falsify the verdict of Lord Brahma. And in order that the wish of the Valakhilyas is also fulfilled, he suggested that may the child whose birth they seek become the Indra of birds. He requested them to bless Lord Indra who had come to them as recipient. Convinced by the speech of Rshi Kashyapa, the Valakhilyas said, “Oh Prajapati, our vow was to obtain an Indra while yours was to obtain a son. Therefore, may you accept the fruit of our vow.” Thus, Rshi Kashyapa’s wife Vinata, who at that time was following the vow of Brahmacharya to obtain a progeny was blessed to bear that great son whose birth was the result of the vows of Rshi Kashyapa and the Valakhilyas. This son, who came to be known as the Indra of birds, is none other than Garuda. Reference : Mahabharata (Adi Parva)

Garuda and Valakhilyas

Garuda (Eagle) who went to the realm of devas (gods) for Amrta (ambrosia) took rest on the branch of a banyan tree, and that branch was broken from the tree. Sixty thousand Valakhilyas were doing penance hanging head downwards on that branch. Garuda knew this only after the branch was broken. Feiring the curse form them he took the branch in his beak and flew about here and there. At last, according to the advice of Kasyapa, he took the branch to the mount Gandhamadana and without causing any harm to the small hermits placed it there (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 30).

Gajakacchapa Akhyana

After saluting his mother Garuda set out on his quest for Amrta. All the fourteen worlds shook at the lashing of his wings. He reached Nisadalaya, where while consuming whole lots of Nisadas a brahmin and his wife also happened to get into his throat. Garuda felt their presence immediately in his throat and requested them to get out of his mouth. Accordingly they got out and also blessed Garuda, who continued on his journey. Next Garuda reached the forest where his father Kasyapa was engaged in tapas. He told him about his mission and requested him for something to eat. Kasyapa then tells him the Gajakacchapa Akhyana (गजकच्छप-आख्यानम्) about the origin of the elephant (gaja) and kacchapa (tortoise). (Mahabharata Adiparva Adhyaya 29)

Amrtam

Amrtam which has been thus recovered after many such adventures, is still preserved carefully in devaloka. [ (1) M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 17. (2) M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 27, verse 16. (3) M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 2. (4) Valmlki Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, 35th Sarga. (5) Visnu Purana, Section 1, Chapter 9. (6) Agni Purana, Chapter 152. (7) Bhagavata, 8th Skandha. (8) Uttara Ramayana.]

References