Author Topic: What is Garuda ? bird-like creature ?  (Read 19692 times)


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Re: What is Garuda ? bird-like creature ?
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2012, 11:43:21 PM »
The following is the explanation on what a Garuda is. In Buddhist mythology, the Garuda are enormous predatory birds with intelligence and social organization. Another name for the Garuda is suparna , meaning "well-winged, having good wings". Like the naga, they combine the characteristics of animals and divine beings, and may be considered to be among the lowest devas.. Throughout the Mahabharata, Garuda is invoked as a symbol of impetuous violent force, of speed, and of martial prowess. Powerful warriors advancing rapidly on doomed foes are likened to Garuda swooping down on a serpent. Defeated warriors are like snakes beaten down by Garuda. Also, one of the five forms of Dorje Shugden, Trakze, rides on a Garuda too.


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Re: What is Garuda ? bird-like creature ?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2012, 02:53:21 PM »
Ok..I've chanced upon this site where it explains what Garuda is and its symbolism...hope it helps.

Garuda is the king of bgirds. Its name derives from the root Gri, to swallow: garuda devours the snakes. He is represented with a human upper body, big eyes, beak, short blue horns, yellow hair standing on end, bird's claws and wings. However, sometimes, mainly in Hindu iconography, he is represented in human form with wings.

Garuda is a very big bird and comes out of the egg fully grown. Garuda symbolises the space element and the power of the sun, which can dry up the waters. Therefore he is the natural enemy of snakes and he devours or controls them. He represents the spiritual  energy of which devours the delusions of jealousy. And hatred, which are represented by the snake. Garuda is also the openness: he can stretch out his wings and soar into space. He represents the great freedom of the mind which can open and is not uptied by confliction emotions the wise mind which reaches every where, like the rays of the sun, and brings about the growth of life and wisdom. Specifically in Buddhism Garuda is related of the perfection of giving [dana paramita], just as the rays of the sun give life to the earth.

The myth of the great bird devouring the snake seems to have originated in Mesopotamia. The snake represents the subconscious or hidden aspects of the mind, those feelings and thoughts which crawl underneath the surface. Garuda can perceive any tiny snake and instantly fall upon in. Similarly, by practising awareness of all our feelings, thoughts and actions we can develop the wisdom which can perceive perfectly the workings of our mind and in that way we can achieve complete freedom to act utilising our mind in the most beneficial way.

In Hindu Iconography Garuda is the vehicle of Vishnu. In Buddhism, he is the vehicle of Amoghasiddhi, the Buddha who embodies the all accomplishing wisdom. He is also the vehicle of a from of Lokishvara Hariharihar vahana. Garuda is also a deity of his own who is supposed to cure snakebite, epilepsy and diseases caused by nagas. An image of Garuda is found in the toranas, the semicircular tympanum above the temple doors.

The emerald, also called Garuda stone is considered a protection against poison and Garuda images appear in Jewellery as a protection against snake bite.


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Re: What is Garuda ? bird-like creature ?
« Reply #17 on: July 25, 2012, 04:23:01 PM »
Here's a nice story of how in one of his previous births, the Buddha was actually a Garuda and this story talks about that particular birth.

hen Buddha Was a Suparna

Garuda is king of the class of beings known as suparnas. To demonstrate and share his profound understanding of the lure of a woman with a monk who was having difficulty with his vow of celibacy, the Buddha is said to have recounted his own experience as King of the "sunbirds," who once ruled the Isle of Seruma, a land of nagas: 

Once while on a gambling junket to Varanasi (formerly anglicized as Benares,) he had a love affair with his host's extraordinarily beautiful chief wife, Sussondi.  She had been informed of the garuda's gorgeous appearance by palace attendants, and he was smitten as soon as she entered the gaming room.  Under the cover of a dark and dangerously violent wind that the suparna had stirred up, they flew away to his island home.  There, they made passionate love, but then he had the nerve to return to the host-king's palace -- without her.

Meanwhile, Sagga, the magical minstrel of the King of Benares, was sent to search for the missing Queen.  On board ship, his song was so wonderful that a makara emerged from the ocean depths in excitement and smashed it to bits.  He drifted on a plank that finally landed under a banyan on Seruma.  Queen Sussondi, walking alone by the shore, recognized the nearly-drowned man and took him to her quarters to revive him. She had to hide him in case the garuda should recognize him, of course, and with Sagga living in secret there in her quarters, one thing led to another.

Six weeks went by until a ship from Benares landed to provision there, and Sagga made it successfully back to his home having fulfilled, at least to a certain extent, his royal mission. 

Skillfully and with delicacy, he sang of his adventure and his longing to the King and his faithless guest, the suparna, who even joined in with his wonderful voice.  On hearing Sagga's story expressed so skillfully, the garuda understood its significance. 

Though he was the most splendid of all creatures, he had not been able to keep Sussondi for himself alone.  Now filled with regret, he flew away to fetch her and returned her to the King.   In that lifetime, he never again visited Benares. 

There, in Jeta's Grove, Buddha then told The Four Noble Truths and all about the births revealing also, that the long-ago King of Benares had been his own student, Ananda.