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Symbolism In Garuda As Vahana Of Lord Vishnu

Garuda, eagle, is the Vahana or Vehicle of Lord Vishnu. Puranas narrate in detail on how Garuda became the Vahana of Lord Vishnu but what is more interesting and thought provoking is the hidden symbolism.

It is said that a man who does not deviate from the path of Dharma develops the two wings of devotion and knowledge and the tail that propels him forward is the Karma Yoga. Such an individual rises like an eagle with Lord Vishnu always on top and the Lord helps him in navigating through the tough terrains of earthly existence before merging with the Supreme Soul.

Writing on the concept of Garuda as the Vahana of Vishnu, Swamini Sarada Priyananda says that

An individual in the world really sustains the continuity of the world. His three aspects, as Knower through the intellect, as Enjoyer through his mind and as Doer through his body, demand the continuation of the world. The knowledge and enjoyment are interdependent and vary simultaneously, while the actions of a man affect his knowledge and enjoyment too. Thus Garuda having the two wings of mind and intellect balanced by the tail of the body, is the carrier of Vishnu.