Talk about Vulture in Hindu religion and the first image that comes to the mind is of Jatayu fighting Ravana who was abducting Sita. Another Vulture that is mentioned in Hinduism is Sampati, brother of Jatayu. Both Sampati and Jatayu are the sons of Aruna, chariot driver of Surya, the sun god.
Legend has it that the two brothers once tried to reach sun. In the attempt, Jatayu almost got his wings burnt. To save his brother, Sampati flew above Jatayu and in the process burnt his wings.
In the Ramayana, Jatayu tried to stop Ravana who was forcibly carrying away Sita on his Puhsphak Vimana – flying machine. In the attempt, Jatayu was fatally injured. But Jatayu lived long enough to inform Sri Ram and Lakshman about the abduction.
It was Sri Ram and Lakshman who performed the last rites of Jatayu who died chanting Ram
– name of Sri Ram.
This act of Jatayu helped in attaining moksha and also sanctified all the vultures.
Sampati who had lost his wings was residing in a cave and confirmed to Sri Ram about the abduction and informed about the direction in which Sita was carried away.
In Astrology, Vulture is the vehicle or Vahana of Ketu Navgraha.